In Fall of 2017, Connor and I found ourselves with several weeks of free time we didn’t expect and no idea how to spend it. At first we looked at Alaskan cruises, but then we stumbled across a pretty darn affordable cruise from Montreal to Boston on Holland America. In a moment of that classic “why not” attitude, we booked the cruise, booked flights to Montreal, found a hostel, and began our spontaneous adventure.
Days 1-4: Montreal
We chose to stay at the M Montreal Hostel, located in the Gay Village neighborhood of Montreal. This was probably the nicest hostel we’ve ever stayed at; there was an elevator, two jacuzzis on the roof, and a full bar in the basement.
We decided to give ourselves three days in Montreal to explore a bit before the cruise, so we took each full day to do one big thing. We spent our first day exploring the city on a free walking tour provided by the hostel. Our guide was super knowledgeable and gave us ideas of what we wanted to do for the next two days.
On our second day, we took the advice of our tour guide and caught the Aura Basilica Montreal show, one of the coolest and most beautiful things either of us has ever seen. Although hard to describe, Aura is essentially a multimedia show in an old basilica, utilizing lights, sound, and projections to make the church come alive. It’s absolutely incredible, and a definite must-see if you have a night in Montreal.
On our third and final full day in Montreal, we again followed the advice of our first day tour guide and hiked up Mont Royal. It was a loooong hike, with lots of stairs and lots of uphill battles, but the view at the top was absolutely worth the trek!
Finally, it was embarkation day! We arrived at the docks a little early, got some awesome lunch from a grilled cheese food truck (there’s lots of them around, the docks are another great place to see if you’re in Montreal), and boarded our first cruise as passengers together!