BOSTON, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Arrive Boston. Overnight Hilton Boston Logan Airport.
New England’s largest city, Boston, Massachusetts, is home to historic sights and modern neighborhoods; stores and restaurants with old-time character; and gracious green spaces as well as a beautiful waterfront. Legendary figures of the American Revolution come alive at buildings and attractions along Boston’s Freedom Trail, including the Paul Revere House and Old South Meeting House, and in Lexington and Concord just outside Boston. Pay homage to great U.S. presidents at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and in the town of Quincy, the birthplace of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
MAYFLOWER, PLYMOUTH, EMBARK, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Today we transfer to the Holland America Zuiderdam via Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock and an authentic replica of the Mayflower. This is the 400th anniversary of the landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. We will visit the restored villages of both the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe Discover how the 17th-century Wampanoags would have lived along the coast during the growing season; planting their crops, fishing and hunting, gathering wild herbs and berries, and reeds for making mats and baskets. Nearby at the English village, costumed role players bring colonial Plymouth vividly to life. Lunch is on your own here could be “thanksgiving style.” After Plimoth Plantation, we will visit the Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction of the tall ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth. Walk about the ship and meet historical characters who describe living conditions on the journey across the Atlantic.
PORTLAND, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
First settled in 1633, carries the marks of both subsets of Mainers. The restored brick buildings and warehouses of the Old Port and the fine upright houses of prosperous captains, merchants and shipbuilders make the city’s past a living part of its present. And the waterfront is a going concern, not a museum: Fishing boats chug into and out of their berths, buoys clang, harbor seals bark. Those shop windows aren’t displaying hardtack, rope or hand salve, though. Juice joints, art galleries, bookstores (and comic-book stores!), worshipful temples to coffee, locavore bistros with national press, bespoke menswear designers and gelato shops all jostle for attention
HALIFAX, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Located on a rocky inlet on the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax—Nova Scotia’s provincial capital—is defined by its maritime geography. It's a spirited mix of world-class history and nautical-themed museums alongside bunkers and fortresses that guarded the harbor, plus striking public art and sights, funky shops and excellent pubs serving up folk music (and good pints).
A DAY AT SEA, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
ST JOHN'S, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1
Closer to London than it is to Canada’s west coast, the capital of Newfoundland, St. John’s, has long looked east and across the Atlantic. It is the easternmost city in North America, excluding Greenland, and has its own time zone, a half-hour ahead of the rest of eastern Canada. Long before there was a permanent town, established around 1630, British fishermen would set up camp here in the summer. To this day the harbor remains the center of the city, with its oldest buildings and streets (including Water Street, the oldest street in North America) nearby. And although it was primarily fishing and whaling that drove the economy of St. John’s for centuries, today the oil and natural gas found beneath the ocean floor is increasingly important
SAINT ANTHONY, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2
While Christopher Columbus is popularly credited with being the first European to “discover” the New World, Viking explorers were there before him—more than four centuries earlier. Near the northern tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, tiny St. Anthony (population: 2,418) predates even the famed navigator and explorer Jacques Cartier. Though he gave the town its name, it was already a seasonal camp used by French and Basque fishermen when he arrived in 1534. St. Anthony's fortunes have long been tied to the sea: Those fishermen were followed by whalers, and now tourism has become increasingly important, with whale-watching expeditions among the principal draws.
A DAY AT SEA, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3
HAVRE-SAINT-PIERRE, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4
Located on the north shore of Québec’s Saint Lawrence River, Havre-Saint-Pierre offers panoramic views and miles of sandy beaches. It is the gateway to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, home to abundant wildlife and limestone monoliths, sculpted over the millennia by the elements. The gorgeous picture of Fall colors at the top of this page were taken here.
BAIE-COMEAU, MONDAY, OCTOBER 5
Baie-Comeau is beautifully located on the banks of the Mancouagan and Saint Lawrence Rivers. Stroll the lovely quartier Sainte-Amélie. Learn about regional wildlife at the Maison de la Faune. Or visit the new Centré Boréal, a fascinating Glacier Center where visitors can walk through a manmade glacier, experiencing its temperature, sound, and movement.
QUEBEC CITY, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6
Few places in North America are as steeped in history as Québec City, Canada. Older than Jamestown and founded before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, it is the only city north of Mexico whose original fortifications remain intact. The Québec City historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is still home to religious orders and hospitals that date back to the 17th century. Its Place-Royale would look familiar to the explorer Samuel de Champlain, even with its modern attractions of gift shops and cafés. On the Plains of Abraham, you can walk the battlefield where, in 1759, the French forces under General Montcalm were decisively trounced by the British, led by General Wolfe. French culture still lives on here in Québec City.
DEPART, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7 OR extend on the Peak Colors New England