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Cruising to New England and Canada

Acadia National Park, Photo Credit Rachael Dymski
History and beauty are highlighted on the Canada/New England cruises. Ships make their way down the eastern seaboard with rugged coastlines and quaint seaside villages. The journey will take tourists to some of the oldest cities on the Atlantic coast along with the romance of Canada's islands.

There are many things to do in these ports, so it is not always necessary to book with a tour group. You can also plan a day on your own to see the sites. Families can find plenty of kid-friendly options and wine lovers will be happy to know that Canada and New England are wine producing regions.

Another helpful tip: North America has fjords and you can see them on certain itineraries of this cruise. For those interested, they would need to book an itinerary with a day that cruises the Saguenay in order to see the Saguenay Fjord.

Destinations and Ports of Call

There are many different options when it comes to these cruises. Journeys vary in length and route. Shorter sailings would be seven night round-trip voyages.

Longer sailings include 10-14 night cruises. There are also one-way sailings that provide a large array of port stops.

Cruises have many port stops, so cruisers will have to make a decision on what voyage to take.

Major U.S. ports include: Baltimore, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York City and Cape Liberty.

Canadian ports include: Halifax, Montreal, Quebec and Saint John.

Tourist Attractions

In Bar Harbor: The main attraction of this port is Acadia National Park. It covers 47,633 acres of steep cliffs, forests, mountains and rocky shores.

It is one of the most visited national parks in the U.S. Visitors will also enjoy Cadillac Mountain and Thunder Hole water spout.

In Boston: This city is all about the history. It is filled with galleries, museums, parks and historic sites. Historians must see the Boston Tea Party Ships, Minutemen Bridge and the route of Paul Revere- The Freedom Trail.

Tourists can also explore Boston Public Gardens or maybe catch a sporting event. In this town, the Red Sox and Patriots are local heroes.

In Halifax: This is Nova Scotia’s capital and is home to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (which houses Titanic memorabilia), Canada’s Museum of Immigration and Pier 21. Children will enjoy the Theodore Tugboat cruise.

Outside of the city, guests can visit Lunenburg, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Newport: Mansions fill this town, as it was once the playground to the rich and famous. Tourists can tour through these lavish homes and the best of all is The Breakers.

It is an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo belonging to Cornelius Vanderbilt II. There is a famous 3.5 mile Cliff Walk that winds through beautiful neighborhoods and the sea.

In Saint John: Saint John lies on the Bay of Fundy’s north shore. It has the highest tidal range in the world, which causes one of its rivers to reverse direction.

Visitors can jet boat through the Reversing Falls or take a kayak ride. In the “uptown” area, guests can stroll along brick walkways through quaint town squares.

In Quebec City: Tourists will get a glimpse into French life in Quebec City. Historic sites such as La Citadelle and Place Royale are popular among visitors.

Right outside the city is Montmorency Falls, a higher waterfall than Niagara!

Restaurants and Shopping

Bar Harbor- For casual cuisine try Lompoc Café & Brewpub or Route 66. Gourmet dining can be had at Quarterdeck and La Bella Vita. The majority of shopping can be found in the downtown area.

Boston- Hungry tourists should try Cambridge, Beacon Hill or Back Bay. They are all casual dining areas known for tasty meals. For shopping, there are several different places to check out.

High-end shops can be found on Newbury Street and antiques/crafts are in Beacon Hill’s boutique shops. There are also many shopping opportunities at Faneuil Hall.

Halifax- A few eateries to try in Halifax would be Waterfront Warehouse and Heart & Thistle. Spring Garden also has many different places to dine.

The Halifax boardwalk contains the most shopping opportunities.

Newport- There are two different areas one can go to catch a bite to eat off of the ship. The Wharf area has The Mooring Kitchen and The Black Pearl.

Walk over to Bellevue Avenue for LaForge Casino Restaurant and the Newport Creamery. Thames Street is where most shops will be found.

Saint John- Two great places to eat in Saint John are at the Saint John City Market and Steamer’s Lobster Company. Diners will really get a taste of traditional food at these places.

Over 100 retail shops can be found very close to the docking area, including Market Square and Brunswick Square.

Quebec City- For traditional French food, try Aux Anciens Canadiens. Al fresco lunches can be had at Delice du Roy. Dufferin Terrace is a great place to mingle in some shops.

Weather/ When to Go

The Canada/New England cruise season is from May to October with the busiest months being August and September. Autumn is very popular among tourists, especially late September to mid-October for peak foliage.

The coolest travel months for Canada are May, June and October. The warmest months are July and August. Highs will get into the mid 70’s but even summer nights can get fairly chilly with lows in the mid 50’s.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: New England   Planning Tips   

August 14, 2013

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