28 September 2013: Montreal, Canada

Au Revoir…Arrivederci…and Welcome Aboard

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived this morning in Montreal to a second consecutive spectacular fall day. We deserve it.

About 300 our guests will be disembarking and heading home. More than 50 will stay with us as we head back out on the Saint Lawrence and then turn south toward Nova Scotia, Boston, and then west to New York. [whohit]-MONTREAL-[/whohit]

Safe travels for those heading home…happy to see friends who are staying, and welcome aboard to our new guests.

Here’s our next cruise: from Montreal to New York by way of Charlottetown, Halifax, Boston, and Martha’s Vineyard.


Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.

You can quibble about a few francophone cities in Africa that have more residents—Algiers and Kinshasa amongst them—but French is not the mother tongue there.

The metropolis of Montreal is truly cosmopolitan.

Think of it as a large, exciting city where most of the inhabitants happen to speak French.

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Pointe a Calliere, near the Old Port of Montreal where we are docked. Photo by Corey Sandler

Montreal is Canada’s has about four million habitants in its metropolitan area; it is the second largest city of Canada, after Toronto.

The French language is spoken at home by about 66 percent of Montreal residents, followed by English at 13 percent.

I have described Montreal as a cosmopolitan city, though, and that is very much true.

There are more than a dozen languages in common use. In approximate order: French, English, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Creole, Chinese, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Vietnamese, Russian, Armenian, and Polish.

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Reflections of autumn in Montreal. Photos by Corey Sandler

Quebec is Canada’s largest province. Only Nunavut, which is governed as a territory, is larger.

To put things in perspective: Quebec occupies a territory nearly three times the size of France. Or, for that matter, three times the size of Texas.

When you walk the streets of downtown Quebec, there are more than 1,200 miles between you and the province’s northern boundary along Hudson Strait.

Unlike most Canadians I’ve been up there, and let me tell you: Ivujivik looks nothing at all like Montreal.

And they don’t speak much French up there, either: northern Quebec is the home of the Inuit and a lot of caribou, seals, and polar bears.

For us, we’ll enjoy haute cuisine aboard our five-star hotel as we sail from French Canada to Acadia, New England, and New York. There are more than a few languages, accents, and local peculiarities ahead: stay tuned.

All photos and text copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like a copy of a photo, please contact me.