Set sail on the Bluenose

Are you looking for a destination with interesting history, beautiful architecture and jaw-dropping scenery? 

Hoping to avoid transatlantic flights and debilitating jet lag? Then look no further than our own back yard. Late September until mid-October signals the season of fall foliage touring in the Atlantic provinces and New England regions.  

So much more than just pretty colours, the New England/Atlantic coastline is rich in colonial as well as Loyalist history. 

Depending on your cruise itinerary, you’ll experience opportunities to learn much about our forefathers as well as take part in active adventure pursuits. 

Some examples of your port cities are:

Boston, Mass.: Legendary figures of the American Revolution are paid honour at galleries and attractions along this city’s Freedom Trail. The Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the American Revolution and is still a relevant topic in current politics.

Folkloric stories abound and keep its history alive, but Boston is also a splendid waterfront city with spectacular green spaces, uniquely cultural neighbourhoods and exemplary 19th century architecture. 

Bar Harbor, Maine: The quintessential New England town, Bar Harbor offers a veritable smorgasbord of enchanting views of charming seaport villages, lighthouses and double-masted sailboats. 

A scenic and walkable town, Bar Harbor is the perfect place to enjoy the famous Maine lobster. Also home to the magnificent Acadia National Park. Active passengers are encouraged to explore the park's varied trails by either foot or horseback. 

The very friendly tourist infra-structure offers free passes on the Island Explorer buses for local exploration.

Newport, Rhode Island: The balance between the elite and blue-collar factions of society is a way of life in this coastal town. A fishing port of plain-spoken pubs and shops and a resort town of ultra rich yachtsmen and entrepreneurs make for an interesting mix. 

Settled in 1639, Newport was a favourite of writers, artists and scholars in post-Civil War times. Lavish historical homes and unending stretches of wild coastline entice the photographer in all of us. That and perhaps a peak at a Kardashian?

Halifax: Established in 1749, the world’s second largest harbour has long been an important stronghold during many North American conflicts. Its Maritime Museum is a testament to its long military importance. 

Halifax has an important role in the history of the Titanic. Hours after the ship sank, cable ships from Halifax were commissioned to retrieve the bodies. Of the 209 bodies brought to Halifax,150 were buried in her cemeteries.

International attention was garnered in 1917 after the Halifax Explosion. A French munitions ship collided with another ship in the harbour and the resulting explosion killed over 2,000 people, injured over 9,000 and left half the city devastated. 

Today’s Halifax is home to cosmopolitan high-rises, funky bars and restaurants and is home to the wonderful soul of Acadian musicians. Sail her harbour on the Bluenose II or wander the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lunenburg.

Quebec City: No fall foliage cruise is complete without a visit to Canada’s most historic city. 

Founded before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Quebec City is the only city north of Mexico whose original fortifications remain intact.  European charm, romantic ambiance, exquisite cuisine, Quebec City remains the most popular port for all Atlantic/New England cruise itineraries.

These are but a few of the historic and picturesque ports and villages you can expect to visit on a New England cruise.

Itineraries range from five to 14 days and are offered by all manner of cruise lines. Sailings operate throughout the summer and fall however Fall Foliage departures sell out well in advance.


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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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