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 (4.91)
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
Arrive Halifax-NS, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Halifax, Nova Scotia
D
Atlantica Hotel Halifax

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

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby, to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, the buffet offers hot and cold choices plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. 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.

DAY
2
Intro to Nova Scotia, Halifax, Maritime Museum, Free Time
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B,D
Atlantica Hotel Halifax

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving approximately 2 hours including city exploration and transfers. Walking up to 2 miles; pavement.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold choices plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local historian for a presentation on the history of Nova Scotia and the city of Halifax. We’ll then depart by motorcoach for an expert-led exploration of the city of Halifax including the Citadel and “Titanic” cemetery. Next, we’ll 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 in Halifax. 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: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Hector Heritage Quay, Baddeck-NS, 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: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll check-out of the hotel and set out for Baddeck on Cape Breton Island. En route, we’ll stop 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: At a scenic spot en route, we’ll have boxed lunches with sandwich, fruit, sweet treat, juice or water.

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. We’ll then transfer to the hotel for check-in and dinner.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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. Driving throughout the day is about 155 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Walking up to 2 miles; groomed trails, some uneven ground.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated breakfast with several choices plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Exploring the Cabot Trail and Cape Breton Highlands National Park, we’ll 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: At a scenic spot en route, we’ll have boxed lunches with sandwich, fruit, sweet treat, juice or water.

Afternoon: We’ll 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. We’ll watch for whales from viewing decks and keep our eyes peeled for moose and bald eagles.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Baddeck, we’ll enjoy a traditional lobster supper (other choices available) with all the trimmings — fresh and locally sourced — plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving throughout the day is about 150 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking up to 2 miles; pavement, cobblestones, grassy areas.

Breakfast: Hotel plated meal.

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, we’ll see that the fortress is alive with reenactors in costume and character. We’ll 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. We’ll return to Baddeck late afternoon with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

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

DAY
6
Ferry to PEI, History
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
B,L,D
Rodd Charlottetown

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach and ferry. Driving throughout the day is about 170 miles, approximately 3 hours. Ferry crossing is approximately 1.5 hours. Walking up to 1 mile; pavement, docks.

Breakfast: Hotel plated meal.

Morning: Checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer by motorcoach to catch the ferry to Prince Edward Island. During the relaxing ferry ride, you can breathe in the bracing sea air and photograph the picturesque views.

Lunch: At a restaurant near the ferry terminal, we’ll have a buffet lunch with hot and cold choices plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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. We’ll earn about PEI’s diverse landscape and history — and the people who help make Prince Edward Island the special place it is. We’ll then check in to our hotel with time to freshen up before an early dinner in time to attend an evening performance.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, choose what you like from the buffet that includes salads, entrées, side dishes, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
PEI Culture & People, Charlottetown Walk, Anne of Gilbert
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
B,L
Rodd Charlottetown

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, up to approximately 2.5 hours; pavement, sidewalks.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold choices plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll 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. Archaeologists 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. We’ll 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: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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: We’ll attend a performance of Anne of Gilbert at The Guild Theatre. The Guild is a fully-equipped black box theatre with theatre-style seating. The multi-purpose venue is ideal for both seasoned and emerging entertainers who seek an intimate performance space in a professional stage environment.

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

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving throughout the day is about 170 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking up to 2 miles; pavement and boardwalks, some uneven terrain, stairs at historic site. Lobster cruise aboard a 48-foot vessel with built with comfort and safety in mind with heated main deck and 360-degree views.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel and transfer by motorcoach 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: At a local seaside restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll 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. In the late afternoon, we’ll transfer to New Brunswick and check in to our hotel.

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

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving throughout the day is about 138 miles, approximately 2.5 hours. Walking up to 2 miles; boardwalks sand, uneven terrain, slippery rocks. Flights of stairs to reach ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold choices plus milk, juice, , coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We check-out of the hotel and transfer by coach 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: At the Hopewell Rocks Interpretive Centre, we’ll have a buffet lunch with hot and cold choices plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Weather and tides permitting, we’ll embark on a tidal walk at Hopewell Rocks with a local naturalist. As we walk along the ocean floor at low tide, we’ll learn about New Brunswick's most famous geological feature. We’ll then travel along the New Brunswick coast through Fundy National Park with impressive views of seaside cliffs and colorful forests. Arriving in Saint John, we’ll 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. We’ll then transfer to the hotel for check-in.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, choose what you like from the buffet that offers hot and cold choices plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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 & Tidal Harbor, Halifax
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B,L,D
Atlantica Hotel Halifax

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving throughout the day is about 300 miles, approximately 5 hours including stops; Walking up to 2 miles; some uneven and rocky, pebble-like terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold choices plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

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, we’ll 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, we’ll walk 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: At a local restaurant, the buffet offers hot and cold choices plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll transfer to Halifax with some stops along the way, arriving in time for dinner.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Halifax, choose what you like from the buffet with appetizers, entrées, desserts, and coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: Driving throughout the day about 150 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking up to 2 miles; pavement, some rocky/slippery terrain, some hills.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold choices plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll 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. We’ll then continue on our way to Lunenburg.

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. We’ll then return to Halifax for our farewell dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, the buffet offers hot and cold choices plus coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

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

DAY
12
Program Concludes
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B

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

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold choices plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. 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!