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Port Spotlight: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

All three ships that sail on Canada & New England itineraries — Eurodam, Maasdam and Veendam — call at the charming port of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The largest city on Prince Edward Island as well as its capital, Charlottetown’s Victorian architecture, abundance of parks and harborside locale make it an idyllic stop for cruise visitors. Guests can walk the cobblestones of Victoria Row, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, see the house that inspired “Anne of Green Gables” or explore the shore of Prince Edward Island National Park. The 8-mile-long Confederation Bridge that connects the island to New Brunswick is quite a site to behold.

On their recent separate cruises, guests Bill McCullough and Sharon Johnson set out to explore this pretty and interesting port.

This June my wife, Claudia, and I took a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise on the Veendam from Boston to Quebec City and back. We liked the Veendam especially that it was small enough to get under the Confederation Bridge, sunset picture below. In Charlottetown you can see the Anne of Green Gables site and some churches. — Bill

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Bill and John A. Macdonald resting on a bench in Charlottetown.

Bill and John A. Macdonald resting on a bench in Charlottetown.

Fourteen years ago, we visited Prince Edward Island for a week. I had wanted to see all the L. M. Montgomery sites on PEI since I was not only a fan of “Anne of Green Gables” (her most famous book), but also a children’s librarian with an interest in literary travels. For our latest visit, we chose the HAL tour, “Best of Prince Edward Island.” The tour we chose drove on the “Central Coastal Route” so we would have an opportunity to see not only the Anne sites featured in the novels, but also the Confederation Bridge, fishing villages, country churches, red rocky shoreline, potato and soybean fields, forests and rolling hills. — Sharon

Charlottetown as seen from the ship.

Charlottetown as seen from the ship by Sharon.

Confederation Bridge.

Confederation Bridge.

My friend and I quickly asked if we could dress up like Anne. We had fun dressing up in a dress with a pinafore, red wig with two pigtails, straw hat, an old traveling bag and flowers for photos.

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Boarding the bus, we drove through the rain to the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Park Corner (also called Silver Bush as it was featured in the novel “Pat of Silver Bush” and several other novels). This was the home of Lucy Maud’s cousins and is still owned by the Campbell Family. It was also the place that she married her future husband.

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There was a big blue chest in the kitchen that was featured in her book “Story Girl” and a bookcase in the living room which was the inspiration for Anne’s Katie Maurice (her invisible friend). The house contains lots of Lucy Maud Montgomery memorabilia which are nicely labeled and displayed. Our tour also included a horse and buggy ride in Matthew’s carriage which went past flower gardens and the “Lake of Shining Waters” that was mentioned in the Anne books.

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In no time at all, we were in Cavendish which is the fictional Avonlea of the Anne novels.

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The house and the woods that were the inspiration for Green Gables, the novel, are part of the Prince Edward Island National Park. There is a small exhibit about L. M. Montgomery in the Green Gables Visitors Center plus a short film about her that you can view before visiting the house that is restored to the descriptions in the novel.

You will find Anne’s room with its candle stand for signaling her best friend Diane and her famous puffed sleeved dress that she so desperately wanted so that she could be like the other girls. Marilla’s room has the famous amethyst brooch that was thought to be taken by Anne. And the black shawl where the brooch was eventually found is draped over a rocking chair. Also, upstairs is a sewing room and the hired man’s room. Matthew’s room, simply displayed downstairs, had his clothes laid out on his bed.

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After visiting the inside of the house and photographing the outside, we took a walk into the “Haunted Woods” which Anne’s imagination caused her to avoid after dark. There was also the “Lovers Lane” mentioned in her novels.

It wasn’t until we were on our way back to Charlottetown and our last stop at Cows Creamery that the sun finally appeared. At Cows Creamery we sampled chocolates, had a factory tour and tasted their delicious ice cream.

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