3788
Canadian Maritimes
The Best of the Canadian Maritimes
Explore Cape Breton Highlands National Park, learn about maritime history at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and visit the Hopewell Rocks in the beautiful Canadian Maritimes.
Rating (4.9)
Program No. 3788RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
2,675
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12 days
11 nights
29 meals
11 B 8 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrival and Check-In, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Halifax, Nova Scotia
D
Atlantica Hotel Halifax

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Arrive to Halifax, Nova Scotia and transfer to the hotel. Program Registration. 4:00-5:00 p.m. Come meet our group leader in the lobby and get your welcome packet. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in and the front desk will be happy to help you.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a welcome dinner

Evening: We’ll begin our evening with an orientation session where we’ll get to know each other as well as review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes. We’ll go over important information as well as have time for questions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars or settle in for the night. You may also wish to explore what the city has to offer.

DAY
2
Intro to Nova Scotia, City Coach Exploration, Free Time
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B,D
Atlantica Hotel Halifax

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles on pavement and on field trips. Approximately 2 hours on the coach for city exploration and transfers.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local historian for a presentation on the history of Nova Scotia and the city of Halifax, giving us an overview of how the province and city came to be what they are today. Then depart by motorcoach for an expert-led exploration of the city of Halifax including the Citadel and “Titanic” cemetery. Next, head to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic for a field trip with local experts including a presentation on the maritime history of Atlantic Canada. The museum is Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum, first created by a group of Royal Canadian Navy officers who envisioned a place where the nation’s naval past could be preserved. We’ll learn about the age of steamships, local small craft, the Royal Canadian and Merchant Navies, and World War II convoys. The museum also tells the story of famous historical events such as "The Battle of the Atlantic," the Halifax explosion of 1917, Nova Scotia's role in the aftermath of the “Titanic” disaster, various shipwrecks and more.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: We’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure

DAY
3
Hector Heritage Quay, Baddeck, A.G. Bell Historic Site
Baddeck, Nova Scotia
B,L,D
Auberge Gisele's Country Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. The drive from Halifax to Pictou is about 103 miles and from Pictou to Baddeck is about 126 miles, approximately 3.5 hours including stops.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Set out for Baddeck on Cape Breton Island, stopping en route in the town of Pictou at Hector Heritage Quay on the scenic waterfront for a presentation by a local expert. This award-winning site offers a unique glimpse into the journey of early Scottish settlers to Nova Scotia and their life in the new world. The centerpiece is a full-scale reproduction of the tall ship “Hector” that brought the first group of Scottish immigrants in 1773 and established Pictou as the “Birthplace of New Scotland.”

Lunch: Boxed lunch eaten in a scenic spot en route

Afternoon: Arriving in the town of Baddeck on Cape Breton Island, we’ll take a field trip to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Bell (1847-1922), an inventor and humanitarian, considered himself first and foremost a teacher of the deaf. He visited Baddeck in 1885, fell in love with it, and the next year built a vacation home where he and his wife spent as much time as they could until his death here. The Bells were active in the local community and had a significant impact on its development. We’ll see how air and water captured Bell's imagination and learn more about the amazing life of the man who invented the telephone and his many accomplishments, including his work to bridge the world between sound and silence by teaching the deaf to speak.

Dinner: We'll enjoy dinner in the hotel dining room

Evening: At leisure

DAY
4
Acadian Culture, Rug Hooking, Cape Breton Highlands Park
Baddeck, Nova Scotia
B,L,D
Auberge Gisele's Country Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles on groomed trails, some uneven ground. Total driving time is 3.5 hours, 155 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Explore the Cabot Trail and Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and see why Travel+Leisure named Cape Breton the #1 island destination in the continental U.S. and Canada. Our local expert will discuss the Acadians of Cape Breton and provide expert commentary along the way. The Cabot Trail is a paved road that loops 185 miles around the northern tip of Cape Breton. This remote rugged area passes through many charming Celtic communities, each with breathtaking scenery and unforgettable hospitality. Cape Breton Highlands National Park conserves and protects the majestic highlands and coastal wilderness stretching across the northern tip of Cape Breton Island between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll also stop in Cheticamp, a coastal town famous for its rug-hooking tradition and observe a demonstration. The internationally renowned Cheticamp hooked rugs have a colorful history. Their popularity is due to the high quality workmanship, rich pastel colors, and diversity of design.

Lunch: Boxed lunch eaten in a scenic spot en route

Afternoon: Go for a leisurely, expert led walk in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, one of the most significant landscapes in Canada, covering nearly 367 square miles (950 square km). The forested highlands end dramatically in cliffs on the ocean. The varied habitats support numerous species of mammals, birds, fish, and more. Watch for whales from viewing decks and keep our eyes peeled for moose and bald eagles.

Dinner: Enjoy a traditional lobster supper (other options available) with all the trimmings, fresh and locally sourced, at a local restaurant in Baddeck

Evening: At leisure

DAY
5
Fortress Louisbourg
Baddeck, Nova Scotia
B,L,D
Auberge Gisele's Country Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles on pavement, cobblestones, grassy areas. Total driving time is 3 hours, 150 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: We’ll head out for a field trip to the remarkable Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site, where a Parks Canada interpreter will reveal the history of Nova Scotia and the battle between the French and the British for control of North America. Founded by the French in 1763 and abandoned by the British in 1768, Louisbourg was a place of great importance in North America. It was the administrative capital of French holdings in Atlantic Canada and one of France's key economic and military centers in the New World. It was also a center for trade with France, the French West Indies, Lower Canada (now Quebec), Acadia, and New England. This site is North America's largest historical reconstruction. Unlike most colonial settlements, no modern city was built here; thus, the site preserves a massive archaeological time capsule.

Lunch: At the historic Hotel de la Marine in Louisbourg, we’ll have a meal featuring the kinds of foods 18th century working people would have eaten on a regular basis.

Afternoon: As our field trip continues, see that the fortress is alive with reenactors in costume and character. Visit the lively town tavern, see Chapelle St. Louis, the garrison chapel, explore the King's Bastion Barracks, the largest building on site and one of the largest buildings in North America in its day. Strolling through the fortress streets, we’ll see the impressive walls, majestic gates, quaint homes, and formal gardens.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner in the hotel dining room

Evening: At leisure

DAY
6
Ferry to PEI, Walking Charlottetown, History, Performance
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
B,L,D
The Hotel on Pownal

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach and ferry. Walking up to 1 mile on pavement, docks. Total driving time is 3 hours, 170 miles; ferry crossing is approximately 1.25 hours. Ferry has washrooms, viewing platform, gift shop, and cafes.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Catch the ferry to Prince Edward Island, and during the relaxing ferry ride, breathe in the bracing sea air and have the chance to photograph the picturesque views.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: Disembarking the ferry at Wood Island, PEI, we’ll travel to Charlottetown. As we ride, the Group Leader will provide an overview of Prince Edward Island. The Island is a small stretch of land with a broad and diverse past; filled with rich green pastures, brilliant red cliffs, and cool blue water. Learn about PEI’s diverse landscape and history – and the people who help make Prince Edward Island the special place it is.

Dinner: We’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Evening: We’ll attend a performance at a local theatre. Our program was planned far in advance when details of performances were not available. The information will be posted on our website when available and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment.

DAY
7
PEI Culture and People, Charlottetown Guided Walk, Free Time
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
B,L
The Hotel on Pownal

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles on pavement and sidewalks, 2 – 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Learn about Prince Edward Island's history, people and culture in a presentation by our local expert. This island’s cultural heritage is a mix of First Nations, French, English, Irish, and Scottish. Archeologists have found evidence of Mi’kmaq settlements that date back thousands of years. Then set out on an expert-led walking field trip in Charlottetown, the birthplace of Canadian Confederation. We’ll gain an appreciation for the historic architecture of this enduring symbol of Victorian elegance. Hear about the restoration of Charlottetown's historic buildings as we walk along Great George Street, visit St. Dunstan Cathedral, and see the location of the last public hanging. We’ll also learn about some of the city’s high-profile people, the prosperity and “boom-and-bust” of its merchant economy; and of course, the Fathers of Confederation.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like in Charlottetown.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
8
Green Gables, Dalvay-by-the-Sea, PEI National Park
Moncton, NB
B,L,D
Rodd Moncton

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles on pavement and boardwalks, some uneven terrain and stairs at historic site. Total driving time is 3 hours, 170 miles. Lobster cruise aboard a 48 ft vessel built with comfort and safety in mind. The cruise takes place inside the Bay of Shediac where the waters are usually calm, and the vessel has phenomenal stability. Heated main deck, 360-degree view, clean and spacious washrooms.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: We head to Green Gables Heritage Place — part of L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site — where Parks Canada staff will present its history and significance to Canadian literature. Green Gables was the famed fictional home of Anne Shirley, the red-haired heroine of Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic 1908 novel, “Anne of Green Gables.” It was inspired by Montgomery’s real life Cavendish home. We’ll learn about the history of the house as well as Montgomery herself.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local seaside restaurant

Afternoon: Examine the fascinating background of Dalvay-by-the-Sea, a National Historic Site of Canada within Prince Edward Island National Park. This elegant Queen Anne Revival home was built in 1895 by Scottish-American oil tycoon Alexander MacDonald, a partner of John D. Rockefeller and President of Standard Oil Company. We’ll then have time to walk along the beach in Prince Edward Island National Park. Notable for its diverse habitats including forests and wetlands, the park provides a home for a variety of plants and animals, and is popular for its beaches, sandstone cliffs, sand dunes, barrier islands, and sand pits. The coastal area is inhabited by the endangered Piping Plover, whose nesting sites are protected. The park is a dynamic system of shifting sand carried by wind and waves, and is the finest example of sand-dune ecosystems in Atlantic Canada.

Dinner: As a special highlight, we’ll take an interactive dinner cruise in Shediac Bay to learn about and enjoy lobster. A local lobster fisherman will tickle our taste buds with a demonstration on how to crack and eat delicious, freshly-cooked lobster (other options available). We’ll also learn about the passion of fishermen for the lobster industry and other delicacies of the sea with a discussion of old fishing techniques that helped shape a way of life. Members of the crew will tell “old salt” tales and we’ll hear Acadian music played to the beat of tapping, traditional wooden “spoons.”

Evening: We’ll then transfer to the hotel in Moncton for late evening check-in.

DAY
9
Hopewell Rocks, Fundy National Park
Saint John, New Brunswick
B,L,D
Delta Hotels by Marriott Saint John

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles on boardwalks and sand, uneven terrain, slippery rocks. Total driving time is 2.5 hours, 138 miles. Flights of stairs to reach ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Head to Hopewell Rocks, where a local expert will discuss the significance of the Bay of Fundy and coastal New Brunswick at Hopewell Rocks. Over thousands of years, the Bay of Fundy's mighty tides have shaped the landscape of coastal New Brunswick. The Hopewell Rocks, also called the Flowerpot Rocks, have been formed by the clash of continents, carved by melting glaciers, and sculpted by the highest tides in the world.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: Weather and tides permitting, embark on a tidal walk at Hopewell Rocks with a local naturalist. As we walk along the ocean floor at low tide, learn about New Brunswick's most famous geological feature. Then travel along the New Brunswick coast through Fundy National Park with impressive views of seaside cliffs and colorful forests. Arriving in Saint John, set out on an expert-led walking field trip into the city and market. The only city on the stunning Bay of Fundy, Saint John is the largest city in New Brunswick and the second-largest city in the Maritime Provinces. Having become the first incorporated city in Canada in 1785, Saint John is home to many other firsts including, the first public museum in Canada, the first chartered bank, Canada's first YWCA, and the first public playground in Canada.

Dinner: We’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure. You might like to see some of Saint John on your own or just relax at the hotel.

DAY
10
Loyalists & Shipbuilders, Sea Caves, Return to Halifax
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B,L,D
Atlantica Hotel Halifax

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles, some uneven and rocky, pebble-like terrain. Total driving distance approximately 300 miles, 5 hours including stops en route to Halifax.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: We’ll take a field trip to the Sea Caves and tidal harbor at the village of St. Martins. Led by a local expert, explore quiet beaches, cliffs, sea caves, lighthouses, and covered bridges Walk on the ocean floor while learning about the tides, geology, and history of the area. The tide rises and falls every 6 hours (plus a few minutes), a change of up to 38 feet at St. Martins. People are amazed to learn that the amount of water flowing in and out of the Bay of Fundy is equal to all of the water pumped into all of the oceans by all of the rivers of the earth each day. We’ll also take a walk through the historic village, surrounded by rugged red cliffs, where life is governed by the tides. St. Martin’s — originally named Quaco — has retained much of its appearance from earlier times. Next, head to the Quaco Museum and learn about the legacy of loyalists and shipbuilders in a session conducted by the curator and a local genealogist. The community was founded in 1783 by a detachment of royalist, and, therefore, loyalist soldiers who had decamped from New York state. After the Revolutionary War, St. Martin’s became a center of the shipbuilding industry and was for a time the second wealthiest community in the British Empire. We’ll then examine the museum exhibits with a local expert.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: After lunch we will depart by coach for Halifax with some stops along the way; arriving in time for dinner.

Dinner: We’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg, Farewell Dinner
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B,D
Atlantica Hotel Halifax

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles on field trips; on pavement, some rocky/slippery terrain, some hills. Total driving time is 3 hours, 150 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Depart for Nova Scotia's South Shore with a field trip to Peggy's Cove, one of the most picturesque, charming fishing villages on the East Coast with rustic, weathered wharves balanced on huge granite boulders. The town is named after the sole survivor of a schooner shipwrecked on Halibut Rock off Lighthouse Point: Peggy (Margaret) of the Cove. The best-known lighthouse in Canada, and one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world, was built here in 1914. Positioned on a granite ledge, it served as the local post office until November 2009.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in one of the many harborside restaurants. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Take a walking field trip with a local expert to explore Lunenburg's narrow streets, visit historic churches, and examine the Victorian architecture of the Old Town. The picture-postcard harbor, colorful waterfront, and homes of flamboyant sea captains reflect its seafaring heritage. Many of these beautifully maintained homes were on the original town plan, established in 1753 as the first British colonial settlement in Nova Scotia outside Halifax. Later, a vibrant economy was built on farming, fishing, shipbuilding and trade, particularly with the West Indies. The renowned fishing and racing schooner Bluenose was built here in 1921, as was the replica Bluenose II in 1963. This beloved symbol of Canadian maritime history is on the Canadian dime.

Dinner: We'll enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
12
Program Concludes, Departure
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel. Program concludes

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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