It’s Canada Day! Explore the Country on These Unique Shore Excursions
It’s Canada Day, and to celebrate our friends to the north we’re highlighting these incredible sites that guests can witness on a Holland America Line cruise to Canada & New England. Here’s wishing all of our fans, colleagues and friends a wonderful Canada Day!
QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Discover the European charm and character of the first French city in North America as you explore the city sights and learn the fascinating history of Quebec’s 400-year legacy. Drive by Place-Royale, a beautifully restored market square of typical 17th- and 18th-century stone architecture, that comprises the heart of the Lower Town and was the site of Champlain’s first settlement. Perched on a hill overlooking the St Lawrence River is the Chateau Frontenac — the best-known landmark in Quebec and explore the Place D’Armes area. Located just outside the Château is the romantic street called Dufferin Terrace, from where you will have a spectacular view of the St Lawrence River, Ile d’Orleans and the Laurentian Mountains.
Passing through the St. Louis Gate, you will next explore National Battlefields Park, also known as the Plains of Abraham. The park was the site of the historic battle where the French surrendered to the British in 1759. It is now a beautiful 250-acre park with hills, gardens, monuments and artillery artifacts. Take a photo at Cap Diamant with spectacular views of the St Lawrence River, Lower Town, and surrounding countryside. Pass the trendy Grande-Allee — the Champs-Elysees of Quebec, lined with quaint shops, sidewalk cafes, and boutiques. Later watch for the Hotel du Parliament — an imposing, Second Empire-style building.
CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
The Island’s Finest: Anne, Lobster & Scenic Drive
Prince Edward Island is noted for its friendly people, warm hospitality and many welcoming smiles, but this picturesque Island also boasts many icons, ranging from sprawling sandy beaches, a spunky red-head named Anne and the rolling red cliffs of the North Shore. Experience these island charms firsthand during visits into Prince Edward Island National Park and the Anne of Green Gables National Historic Site. Enter PEI National Park on route to Cavendish Beach and stop for a photo that captures the miles of white-gold sand surrounded, and protected, by gorgeous sand dunes. At Green Gables Heritage Place, experience the idyllic farmstead where local author Lucy Maud Montgomery drew inspiration for the story of one of Canada’s most-loved fictional characters, Anne of Green Gables. Take time to explore the memory-filled rooms of Anne’s home and stroll the immaculate grounds and Lovers’ Lane.
At New Glasgow, voted one of Canada’s prettiest little villages, will view rolling farmlands, stunning seascapes, tiny villages and bustling harbors. Enjoy a lobster lunch at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company — an island landmark renowned for its food. The restaurant is located in a renovated 1913 butter factory, which also showcases their world-famous preserves.
SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA
The Bird Islands of Cape Breton: Puffins, Seals & Eagles
The scenery along the Trans-Canada Highway leading to Bras d’Or includes stunning panoramic views. At the entrance to the great Bras d’Or channel, discover the beautiful Bird Islands. Rising from the sea like rocky pillars, these islands are the nesting grounds for thousands of seabirds — razorbills, kittiwakes, black guillemot, bald eagles, double crested cormorant and more than 300 pairs of Atlantic puffins.
Board a boat for a 2½-hour educational, interactive and cultural narrated cruise. Capture the changing seasons and ever-busy wildlife with your camera as you learn about the nesting habits of seabirds, the life of the grey seal, sea caves and other local folklore on this informative half-day excursion. Although wildlife varies with the seasons, there is always something to see.
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
The Bay of Fundy: Explore the Ocean Floor
Unbeatable, unbelievable, unforgettable — welcome to the Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tidal swing in the world. Twice daily, the Bay of Fundy fills and empties with 160 billion tons of water on the move — a feat of nature recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Today, visit the spot where the highest recorded tides occur, at Burntcoat Head Park. The extreme tidal range here is up to a whopping 53.6 feet. Spend the day on the Bay of Fundy with an ocean floor walk in the company of a local interpretive guide. Tiptoe among the periwinkles, search for fossils and, when the tide is out, see the creatures left behind.
Stroll along the easy walking trails or visit the top of the lighthouse with its 360-degree view of the Bay of Fundy. The Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre, nestled in the tree line in South Maitland, offers many informative panels explaining the phenomenon of the Bay of Fundy tides. From the observation deck, with a remarkable view of the Shubenacadie River and its banks of red clay, watch (time and tide permitting) the amazing spectacle of the river flowing the opposite direction, as the incredible Fundy tide rolls in and actually reverses the flow of the river.
ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND
Newfoundland: Screech In! In Partnership with Food & Wine Magazine
Together, the island of Newfoundland and the mainland of Labrador make up Canada’s easternmost province. The region originally drew settlers because of its abundant cod fisheries. This staple is still a signature of the local cuisine but, today, world-class chefs, distillers and brewers are opening exciting hotspots featuring homegrown culinary delights with some interesting twists.
Let go on this relaxing and entertaining pub crawl that begins with a visit to the top of Signal Hill so you can capture some photos of the region. The Annex Building offers a spectacular view of the tower and harbor. Sample different types of rum, some of which were favorites of 17th-century pirates, while others were served to the British Royal Navy and Army of the 19th and 20th centuries. Learn about the history of rum, its link to the settlement and development of the province, and its liberal use over time by those who plied the waters of Newfoundland. A costumed interpreter will share with you secrets of historical recipes and the mixing ingredients used to make rum.
At a local Brewery, you will sample some true Newfoundland ale. Learn a bit about this small fishing village that is still home to the St John’s fishermen that brave the Atlantic Ocean every day to make a living. Your tour culminates at a local pub, where you will take part in a traditional Newfoundland ceremony known as a Screech-In. Tradition dictates that the ceremony specifics be a surprise (hint: there is rum involved) and that those who survive the ceremony become honorary Newfoundlanders.
Which tour would you like to experience on a visit to Canada?
Booked a fall cruise for 2022. Can’t wait. These are all fabulous Canadian ports.