Holland America Line shore excursions come in all shapes and sizes. On every cruise, there are adventure tours for the thrill-seekers, city tours for the historians, excursions that explore the water and the sky, art-focused tours, nature-based excursions and so much more.
Sometimes the best way to see a new city is up close, on foot, taking your time and strolling along the streets into hidden corners that a bus can’t reach. In Canada and New England, Holland America Line features an impressive 27 walking tours throughout the various ports. Here are some of the most popular.
If you love sampling local foods in the ports you visit, you’ll love A Taste of Charlottetown: Culinary Walk in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. During the three-and-a-half-hour walk, this tasting tour provides samples of some of the island’s unique foods and beverages and a bit of the city’s history as well.
Our guide, Betty was a retired school teacher and her narrative was very informative and fun. We got a little history as we walked to each place and sometimes while at them. It was a great way to be able to learn about and taste some of the local food and drink. — Guest BlackHawk
At Bar Harbor, Maine, Step Back in Time: A Victorian Stroll through Bar Harbor goes back in time to the turn of the 20th century, when Bar Harbor was the world’s most exclusive and illustrious resort. A costumed guide — perhaps he is the Vanderbilt’s carriage driver or she is a maid from the nearby Rockefeller estate — leads the walk and shares tales of a magnificent time in America’s history.
From the port of Gaspe, Quebec, guests can explore Percé and its legendary rock on the A Walk through Percé excursion. The walking tour begins in the Charles Robin sector near the wharf in Percé village and goes to Saint-Michel Church — the villagers’ place of worship for more than 100 years. Continue down Saint-Michel Street towards Mont-Joli, with its sumptuous summer homes and breathtaking view of Percé Rock. This excursion highlights magnificent buildings and the area’s rich history.
The tour to this wonderful town was really enjoyable. The scenery is so beautiful along the drive and from the town overlooking the ocean. In addition, the people were warm and friendly and the town is very walkable and quaint … I would do this trip again. — Guest TravelingChef
Learn about the creation and characteristics of the Saguenay Fjord and the habits of the St. Lawrence Seaway’s beluga whales during the A Stroll in the Park tour at Saguenay, Quebec. After the introduction to the park, guests will enjoy a one-hour stroll along the Meandres des Falaises trail to discover the Eternity River Delta.
It is doubtful that you could get here without doing the ship-based tour. The stroll is an easy hour-long walk with a naturalist pointing out flora/fauna/geologic features of the park. Gorgeous scenery! — Guest SES1
The new Coastal Hike tour at St. John’s, Newfoundland, is for nature lovers. Guests take a shuttle transfer to the top of Signal Hill and from there set out on an approximately one-mile guided hike. Take in spectacular panoramic views of the coastal landscape and captivating scenery of one of the Canada’s busiest working ports — considered by many to be North America’s ‘first city.’ Discover the area’s most popular hiking trail while descending almost 500 feet in elevation to sea level.
History buffs will appreciate the Walking the Freedom Trail tour at Boston, Mass. Travel back to revolutionary Boston while the guide reveals the sites and scenes of critical events that paved the way for American Independence. The tour features Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church and the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of many famous Americans including John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. America’s first public school and the country’s oldest continuously operating hotel also are seen on the walk.
Our tour guide was the best. She was informative, fun and very entertaining in the great way she told the history of Boston. This tour moves at a brisk walk with lots of stops at the various important monuments of history. She allowed enough time to get some great pictures but moved quick enough to cover many important features. — Guest Fran48
You can’t get any closer to the heart and soul of the exciting city of Halifax than by exploring Nova Scotia’s capital on foot. The A Walk through Historic Halifax tour explores the famed Public Gardens, then moves on to Citadel Hill where you take in the view over the modern port city and down the hill, past the 200-year old Town Clock, the Metro Centre and City Hall to Grand Parade, ending at Historic Properties.
Our kilted guide was Phil and he knew Halifax exceptionally well! The start of the tour in the Public Gardens was a definite highlight. This leisurely walk-around was most enjoyable. We also saw The Citadel and then, about half-way down the hill to the central city, Phil told us the enthralling story of the tragedy of Halifax: the day the French ammunition ship, Mont Blanc, blew up in the harbor and devastated the city. This was an excellent way to see and learn about Halifax from an exceptionally knowledgeable guide! — Guest AvidCruiser
If museums are your thing, A Walk through Old Sydney Town in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is the perfect tour for you. The relaxed walking tour visit four museums: St Patrick’s, the oldest Roman Catholic Church at Cape Breton; Cossit House, built in 1787; Jost House, offering interesting exhibits from several historical periods; and the Cape Breton Centre for Heritage & Science.
This tour is a very pleasant walk with a guide dressed in 18th century costume. He was very knowledgeable and friendly. It was a bit cold but the tour ended with hot tea and homemade cookies which was a welcome treat! — Guest Judy
What kind of walking tour do you prefer? One that visits historical places or a nature walk? Fortunately, Canada and New England has both!