A Canada for every season
The season for Canada/New England cruises generally runs from May until September, and they can be of varying lengths. Some of them only run for seven days and these generally run round trip from U.S. ports such as New York or Boston. On these shorter trips, however, you won’t see as much since the cruise probably won’t be able to get much farther than Nova Scotia before having to turn back. You can sail from New York or Boston to Montreal to fit in a wider range of ports. On longer cruises, some as long as 14 days, you will get a truly port-intensive experience. Key ports of call will often include Boston and Halifax, as well as Quebec City, Bar Harbour, Maine and St. John’s, Newfoundland. Other possibilities often include Philadelphia and New York City, as well as possibly Newport, Rhode Island, Martha’s Vineyard, in Gloucester, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. Prince Edward Island is sometimes even included on the longer itineraries.
As for what to do while in all these interesting ports, most people on this type of cruise prefer to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities to learn about the heritage of the various places they visit. Most of these ports have a significant heritage and a sometimes colourful history. People enjoy exploring the quaint little streets and making taking a guided walking tour with a local historian.
Eating opportunities abound as well, and many of the cruise line excursions include lunch stops at various venues. Regional specialities are often on the menu, including Maine Lobster, New England clam chowder, and a variety of other items pleasing to the pallet.
If you time your Canada/New England cruise just right, you’ll have an opportunity to “leaf peep,” that is take in the views as the leaves change colour in a profusion of reds, oranges, browns, and varying shades of green. One fun thing to do is to take an aerial tour at one of the ports, where the focus is on viewing the fall foliage from above, in a small aerorplane or helicopter.
Each stop on a port-intensive Canada/New England cruise provides for a different culture, an entirely unique heritage and history.
Bar Harbor is an ideal town for travellers as it has a range of attractions to appeal to all tastes. This picturesque city was established in 1796, when it was known by the name Eden. Located on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, it receives a large number of visitors all year round. As it has the added draw of Acadia National Park as a neighbouring area, countless travellers who have a passion for camping also visit the town.
Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, which is located in Trenton, is the nearest airport to Bar Harbor and a free bus service operates between the two. Besides this, there are car rentals and taxis available. It takes about fifteen minutes to reach the city from the airport.
The vibrant city of Halifax lies on a peninsula that stretches alongside the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. It is the capital city of Nova Scotia and is regarded as one of the world’s best natural harbours. The city also takes pride in its rich maritime history. Today, Halifax has grown to be the economic and cultural nerve-centre of Eastern Canada. Besides admiring the waterfront, there is a host of activities that travellers can engage in while they are there.
The city is accessible through the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport, which is located 35km to the north. There are direct flights to and from Toronto, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, Calgary and Boston, among others. The history of the city can be traced back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, when it was the gateway for European immigration to Canada. However, the native inhabitants of the area, the Mi’kmaq, had been living in the area for hundreds of years before. The modern city of Halifax came into existence in 1749, when the British established a military outpost there. The undulating hills of this coastal city rise up to the Halifax Citadel, which is a star-shaped fortress that provides a breathtaking view of the city’s coastline.
Montreal is a scenic Canadian city that is rich in cultural traditions. It is the country’s second largest city and is located in the south of Quebec province, approximately 60km from the United States border. It is widely regarded as one of the liveliest cities in Canada, with an amazing variety of cultural events, festivals and activity centres to keep visitors engaged all year round.
Paul Chomedey originally founded Montreal as a missionary village in 1642. Prior to that, the place was called Hochelaga and had a large population from the Mohawk tribe. Explorer Jacques Cartier first visited the area in 1535 and by the 18th century, it had been transformed into a major fur-trading town. Before the Montreal Olympics of 1976, the city’s infrastructure was overhauled and various urban development projects were executed. The city has a multi-ethnic population, predominantly made up of people of French and British descent. The city infrastructure includes a commendable mix of walkways, underground shopping complexes, recreational areas, theatres, office and residential apartments, all of which can be easily accessed, even during the snowy winter season. The city also has the world’s largest inland port.
Situated on top of the Cap Diamant and overlooking the St. Lawrence Seaway is the capital of Canada’s Quebec province, Quebec City. Although it’s an administrative and business hub, the city also has an extensive array of historic attractions, which coupled with its old world European atmosphere and some of the best gourmet restaurants around, always succeeds in delighting travellers. A ride on the horse-drawn carriages that clatter down the streets amidst beautiful grey-stone buildings can truly be an unforgettable experience.
Situated on the shores of a picturesque harbour, Sydney is primarily an industrial centre and Nova Scotia’s third largest city. It’s a place that is synonymous with the legendary Cape Breton and has heritage buildings that date back to the 18th century. Sydney, along with North Sydney, Sydney Mines, Glace Bay and New Waterford form the region of Industrial Cape Breton. You can be transported to the past through various historical museums and archaic structures that are scattered around the city or simply enjoy the marvellous coastline.
Col. Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres founded Sydney in 1785 and for a brief period in the late 18th century it served as the capital of the British colony of Cape Breton Island. The city began to take shape as a booming industrial district in the 1850’s, when the General Mining Association undertook industrial development work there. By the early part of the 20th century it had one of the world’s largest steel plants and the harbour played an important role during Second World War as a Royal Canadian Navy base.
The Canadian city of Charlottetown serves as the provincial capital of Prince Edward Island. Located in the southern part of the island, it is roughly V-shaped and has the Yorke and Hillsborough rivers running alongside it. The town’s harbour opens onto the Northumberland Strait.
Incorporated in 1885, the city already had a rich history behind it. In the colonial survey of 1764, it was selected as the site for the county seat of Queens County and the following year was designated as the colonial capital of St. John’s Island. The town was named after Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who was a consort of King George III. The present day Charlottetown has been expanded by a municipal amalgamation, merging the city with Sherwood, Parkdale, Winsloe, West Royalty and East Royalty.
LAnse aux Meadows
Escape to times gone by and follow in the footsteps of the Vikings. L''Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the only authenticated Norse site in North America. Uncovered in 1968 by the discovery of a small cloak pin, the site was unveiled and proved that crews of Norse explorers settled in the surrounding area over 1000 years ago. Located at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, is where you will find the remains of an 11th-century Viking settlement and wood-framed peat-turf buildings, like those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland.