When travelers think of a cruise to Canada and New England, images of stunning scenery, sweeping estates, beautiful lighthouses and maple syrup are just a few things that come to mind. But there’s so much more to our neighbor to the north.
Did you know that as the second-largest country in the world, Canada borders three oceans and features a variety of different landscapes seen in 42 national parks? It also stretches along six different timezones, is home to the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited place (Ellesmere Island) and plenty of different animal species — including 11 different types of geese! Here are some other interesting facts about Canada.
1. Canada features the longest coastline in the world.
Canada’s coastline is over 125,000 miles long. In other words, you could travel around the world five times and still not match the distance. In fact, the coast is so lengthy it even touches three different oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic.
The Walk through Perce tour at Gaspe, Quebec, features some of the most extraordinary panoramas in Eastern Canada and stunning views of just a tiny portion of the lengthy shore. You’ll have a chance to visit the Barachois de Malbaie (sand bar), and the stunning precipices along the coast, including the legendary rock, the cliffs of Forillon National Park, Percé village and Saint-Michel Church.
2. Old Quebec City is the only walled city in North America.
The walls around the capital of Quebec stand strong to this day. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was founded in the 17th century and though it is one of the continent’s oldest, time has truly treated it well. During A Walk Through Old Quebec you’ll see Place-Royale and North America’s oldest Catholic church — Notre Dame des Victoires. You’ll also walk along Petit-Champlain Street, a charming pedestrian area, then take the funicular from the Lower Town to the Upper Town to reach the Château Frontenac.
3. Nova Scotia is the fastest growing wine region in North America.
Nova Scotia features plenty of world-class wineries that have produced international and national award-winning labels. With the Taste of Halifax tour, you’ll have a chance to sample some of these labels and also the best of Halifax’s food and beer scene at five local culinary hotspots, including gourmet food trucks, trendy restaurants and breweries. Make sure to bring your appetite!
4. Canada has more lake area than any other country.
With over two million lakes and plenty of rivers, almost a quarter of all the fresh water in the world is in Canada. The Bras d’Or Lake, at the heart of Cape Breton Island, features breathtaking scenery. This large body of water is made up of both fresh and sea water, as it reaches the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Peters Canal. The lake was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve just a couple years ago. You can take in the stunning views of the area with the Bras d’Or Lakes: Heart of the Island tour.
5. Canada has the highest tides in the world.
A call at Saint John, New Brunswick, is the perfect opportunity to see the the highest tides in the world. The renowned ‘reversing rapids’ are the result of the mighty Saint John River meeting the powerful tides at the Bay of Fundy. During the tour you’ll stop at the harbor and witness the effects of the extreme high and low tides. The area is an photographer-favorite, with its beautiful lighthouse, lobster tribes and fishing boats coming together to create a charming scene.
6. The biggest lobster ever caught, was caught in Halifax.
According to the Guinness World Records, the colossal crustacean weighed in at about 44.4 pounds! With the Lobsters & Lighthouses by Boat tour, you’ll have a chance to catch one, too. On the tour, you’ll learn all about lobsters and the importance of lobster fishing in Nova Scotia. You’ll board a boat and head to Halifax Harbour and the great North Atlantic where you will help the captain and crew pull up a lobster trap! Impress your friends back home when you have the opportunity to take a photo holding a live lobster!
7 & 8. The Trans-Canada Highway is the longest highway in the world and the Confederation Bridge is the longest bridge crossing ice-covered waters.
Canada’s almost 5,000-mile transcontinental highway system connects the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean and runs through all 10 of its provinces. You can take a ride along this world-famous road at Prince Edward Island, as it takes you through towns and villages to the Confederation Bridge, which connects the island and New Brunswick. The Best of Prince Edward Island tour also visits the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush and Cavendish Beach.
9. The largest fiddle in the world is in Canada
The Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion at the Port of Sydney features the largest fiddle in the world, and if you’ve already called here you know you can’t miss it — The fiddle and bow stand over 60 feet tall. You’ll learn all about the fiddle and how it came to be with the Best of Cape Breton tour.
10. The Gulf of St. Lawrence is the world’s largest estuary.
Lucky for you, Holland America Line’s cruises to Canada include a day of scenic cruising along the St. Lawrence river so you can experience the world’s largest estuary for yourself!
Many of the shore excursions fill up quickly, so remember to pre-book the shore excursion of your choice to save time onboard and ensure you have a seat!
Do you know any interesting facts about Canada you want to add to the list? Tell us in the comments below.