Travel Thoughts By Kim
Let’s go on an adventure together….on a New England and Canada Cruise!
I LOVE AUTUMN!!! I get so excited when the leaves start to change and everything around me comes alive with brilliant color! We tend to take it for granted around here….but, we’re so lucky because there are places that don’t get to enjoy it the way we do! While I was born and raised here and am spending my retirement years here, I also lived in central North Carolina for a number of years in between. Yes, the leaves did change and it was nice, but it was no comparison to the vibrant colors we get here. In fact, we had to drive a few hours to the Blue Ridge Mountains to see the real beauty of autumn. But here? We get it! I remember suggesting to my mother that we might want to go “somewhere” to see the fall colors. She would always respond with “Why? I can see autumn at its best right from my own back yard or on a short drive through the country side.” She was right, but there is something about seeing it in the mountains or with different views.
So, in October 2015, a friend and I went on a New England and Canada Cruise with the hopes of seeing the beautiful fall foliage that the New England and Canada coastal views had to offer. While it was a WONDERFUL cruise, it didn’t provide the colorful views we expected…..we missed hitting the peak foliage season by about a week! UGH!!!
The cruise began in Boston and our first port stop was Portland, Maine. We didn’t purchase an excursion package for this port. We just wanted to wander around and eat lobster. It was the perfect port to do that – the ship was docked just a block from the downtown area. We walked around the fishing docks, visited a fish market, rode a Pedicab (a bicycle pulling a two seat cart) along a few of the streets, ate lobster at The Portland Lobster Company, and took lots of photos! It was a gorgeous day for walking and we really enjoyed this port a lot!
Our second port was Bar Harbor, Maine. Unfortunately, heavy fog prevented us from going ashore – it is a tender port, meaning passengers get transferred from ship to shore by small tender boats. The fog was so thick that the boats couldn’t operate safely. So, the captain pulled up the anchor and we headed on to the next port.
The next port was St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. We took a double decker hop-on-hop-off bus tour. The bus was “Pepto-Bismol” pink and quite fun to tool around the city in. We enjoyed a beautiful park and a police museum and several other cool things to see and do. It was another gorgeous day, but very little fall colors!
Our final port was Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. We, again, took a “Pepto-Bismol” pink hop-on-hop off bus tour to see the sights. One of my favorite parts of Halifax was a dahlia exhibit in a public park we stopped at – lots and lots of different dahlias growing in beautiful displays to walk through. It was another stunning fall day and we enjoyed this port very much.
When we returned to Boston, we took a city bus tour before going to the airport to head home.
The cruise we took was with Royal Caribbean. Most of the major cruise lines have similar cruises that stop at these and other ports along the New England and Canadian coast. They are awesome cruises and well worth the time and expense to do. Find one that fits your budget and go…..just don’t go solely for the purpose of seeing fall foliage! Peak season is usually only a couple of weeks and is a moving target – difficult to plan ahead to be there at the exact right time. But, go with the goal of seeing these amazing ports and “hope” for some fall colors and you won’t be disappointed at all. We weren’t….well, maybe a little, but it was such a great cruise that we didn’t mind the absence of fall colors all that much.
Visit my blog post at https://thoughtsbykim.com/2015/10/23/fall-cruise-adventure/ for more photos from this wonderful adventure.