If you think a cruise is all about bikinis and tropical drinks under a palm tree, you might just be surprised. Some of the most beautiful ports of call are closer to the North Pole than the equator, and arriving by ship allows you to see these northern destinations in a new light. Get a glimpse of American culture and Canadian wildlife when you cruise along the coasts of New England and Canada, while exploring picturesque fishing villages and historic sites at every port.
New England – Where America Began
Boston, first settled more than 300 years ago, is one of the country's oldest cities. The American Revolution began here, and the city is filled with enough museums and landmarks to keep a history buff entertained for days. From the Old North Church, where two lanterns hanging in a steeple window told of the arrival of British troops, to Boston Common, where more than one thousand soldiers camped, the Freedom Trail takes you on a walk through America's past you'll never forget .
To the north, Bar Harbor offers nature lovers the opportunity to hike the 125 miles of trails inside Acadia National Park. Magnificent views from Maine's rugged coastline and the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast make this tiny park a popular destination. When dinnertime rolls around, head back into town for a seafood feast that has been harvested from the ocean just hours before. It's truly unlike anything you've ever tasted.
Wildlife and Culture in Canada
Canadian ports of call allow adventurous cruisers to get even closer to nature. Join a whale-watching expedition and see these majestic mammals up close, or choose a tour of the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the Western Atlantic, where more than 250,000 pair of this colorful bird live and breed. While you're in St. John's, Newfoundland, be sure to sample the local jams, and don't go home without a hand-knit fisherman's sweater.
Fans of the Victorian era will love Saint John, New Brunswick. This quaint harbor town suffered a devastating fire in 1877 which destroyed the entire city center. Today, the overwhelming architectural theme is Victorian, with elaborate ironwork, brick walkways, and plenty of gingerbread decorating every building. While you're here, don't miss the world-famous Reversing Falls, where a unique geological formation causes the river to run backwards at high tide.
More than Just Pretty Scenery
Cruise along the Eastern Seaboard in autumn and you'll witness stunning displays of nature, both in the riot of color the trees provide, and the whales and other sea life that call the area home. But there's more to a New England cruise than just scenery. Active families will find plenty to keep them occupied as well. Shore excursions include kayaking, whitewater rafting, nature hikes, and bike trips, so the entire family is sure to find something of interest.
Whether you're longing for a change from the usual ports of call, or this is your first cruising adventure, you'll love sailing along the Atlantic coast. Gorgeous scenery, fun activities for the whole family, and rich history combine to make a memorable vacation for everyone.