All Aboard the ‘Ocean’: Québec to the Maritimes by Train

Speak with a historian, explore cosmopolitan cities, visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and learn the story of French Canada as you ride a train from Québec to the Maritimes.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21432RJ
11 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Embark on a journey through eastern Canada aboard the “Ocean” and revel in the charm of Québec and the Maritimes. Setting off from the Island of Montreal, ride the rails through the lower St. Lawrence River valley through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Stop along the way to experience Québec City, the natural beauty of the Bay of Fundy and the unique culture of the Canadian Maritimes.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to 2 miles during field trips, excursions; uneven terrain and stairs. Be prepared to get on/off trains and walk through museums.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Discuss with local experts the history, settlement and cultural significance of French Canada while discovering cosmopolitan Montreal and 400-year-old Québec City.
  • Join experts at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy to learn about the Bay of Fundy’s phenomenal tidal energy and visit Hopewell Rocks.
  • In the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, survey the maritime history of Atlantic Canada, from the age of steamships to the Royal Canadian Navy to Nova Scotia's role in the aftermath of the Titanic.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Marie Legroulx
Marie is an eleventh-generation Quebecoise whose ancestors settled on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in the mid-17th century. She has a BA in history and an MA in Quebec literature from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Marie draws on both fields in her Road Scholar learning adventures as well as within her life more broadly. She taught French and Quebec literature for 25 years at the university level. Marie has been leading groups in Quebec City and the surrounding area since 2008.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Marie Legroulx
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James White
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Jim Manson
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Sea Captain's Wife
by Beth Powning
Azuba Galloway, daughter of a shipwright, sees ships leaving for foreign ports from her bustling town on the Bay of Fundy and dreams of seeing the world. When she marries Nathaniel Bradstock, a veteran sea captain, she believes she will sail at his side. But when she becomes pregnant she is forced to stay behind. Her father has built the couple a gabled house overlooking the bay, but the gift cannot shelter her from the loneliness of living without her husband. When Azuba becomes embroiled in scandal, Nathaniel is forced to take her and their daughter, Carrie, aboard his ship. They set sail for London with bitter hearts. Their voyage is ill-fated, beset with ferocious storms and unforeseen obstacles that test Azuba's compassion, courage and love. Alone in a male world, surrounded by the splendour and the terror of the open seas, she must face her fears and fight to keep her family together.
Shadows on the Rock
by Willa Cather
Set at the end of the 17th century in rural Quebec, this beautifully realized novel highlights the struggles of the Parisian widower Auclair and his young daughter to adapt to their new land.
A Traveller's History of Canada
by Robert Bothwell
A readable and admirably concise march through Canadian history from prehistory to today, including a timeline.
Cod, A Biography of a Fish That Changed the World
by Mark Kurlansky
A sparkling extended essay on the cod, looking at the importance of the fish to cuisine and history, as well as to Scandinavian, American and Canadian commerce.
Montreal Then and Now
by Alan Hustak
This installment in the Then and Now series takes stock of Montreal’s evolution by placing antique photographs side-by-side with contemporary ones. It peels back the years so that readers can see city fixtures as they once were.
Island, The Complete Stories
by Alistair MacLeod
Raised in Cape Breton, Alistair MacLeod writes of family, the pull of old Gaelic traditions, love and the landscape and folkways of Nova Scotia in this collection of 16 stories. Winner of the Pen/Malamud Award.
Varieties of Exile
by Mavis Gallant, Russell Banks (Introduction)
Wonderful stories set mostly in Gallant's native Montreal, a city starkly divided between working-class French Catholics and genteel English Protestants.
by Simon Winchester
The subtitle tells it all -- Winchester squeezes "Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories" into the covers of this latest entertaining and digressive tale.
Champlain's Dream
by David Hackett Fischer
In this stunningly researched and engaging biography, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Hackett Fischer weaves together the epic story of soldier and explorer Samuel de Champlain, a colonizer of North America who spent 30 years bringing his vision of a New France to life.
A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife
by Noble S. Proctor, Patrick J. Lynch (Illustrator)
A comprehensive pocket guide to commonly encountered marine mammals, seabirds and other marine life of Northeastern North America, from North Carolina to Newfoundland and the Canadian Maritimes.
Trans-Canada Rail Guide
by Melissa Graham
A compact, kilometer-by-kilometer guide to the 4,000-mile rail journey across North America from Halifax to Vancouver.
The Atlantic Coast, A Natural History
by Harry Thurston
Thurston illuminates the geology, plant and animal life and nature of the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Maritime Provinces and the Northeastern United States south to Cape Hatteras in this illustrated, engaging survey.
Burden of Desire
by Robert MacNeil
An intricate, suspenseful novel of love and war set against the backdrop of the 1917 explosion that destroyed the north end of Halifax. Written by the noted newsman Robert MacNeil.
Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories
by Robert Bothwell
An in-depth look at Canada-Quebec relations through interviews with prominent Canadian figures.
The Boat Who Wouldn't Float
by Farley Mowat
A laugh-out-loud account of Mowat's determination to refurbish and sail a clunky old boat in the not-always-forgiving waters of Newfoundland.
Railroads Across North America, An Illustrated History
by Claude Wiatrowski
This entertaining account of the golden age of rail in the U.S. and Canada is illustrated with 600 vintage and modern photographs, period advertisements, maps, timetables, postcards and brochures.
Train, Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World
by Tom Zoellner
An informative and entertaining history of railway travel around the world -- from the frigid Trans-Siberian Railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to futuristic Mag-Lev trains. Zoellner examines mechanics and innovations in rails and engines, trains’ impact on societies and even America's ambivalence toward mass transit.
Why I Hate Canadians
by Will Ferguson
This is the tenth anniversary edition of Ferguson's wickedly astute cultural salvo, the collection of humorous essays that launched his career. As you might guess, the title is tongue-in-cheek.

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