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
2,899
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12 days
11 nights
29 meals
11 B 8 L 10 D
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 its capital city of Halifax. You’ll gain insight into this province and its people, and the formative influence of the waters that surround them - the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southwest, and Atlantic Ocean to the east. 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 Museum, a National Historic Site. Bell (1847-1922), 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. Most think of the telephone when they think of Bell, but the museum highlights his ground breaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. He was also one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society and received numerous honorary degrees. Bell taught a dog to “speak” and was bestowed the Mohawk title of Honorary Chief, a rare honor. We’ll hear how he taught the deaf to speak and of course, how he invented the first practical telephone.

Dinner: At the hotel.

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. At times clinging to steep oceanside cliffs, the trail offers unforgettable ocean vistas and the dense wilderness is home to moose, black bears, and bald eagles, which we may be lucky enough to spot. Beyond the natural beauty to be seen here, the Cabot Trail passes through many charming Celtic communities, each with breathtaking scenery and unforgettable hospitality that will immerse us in the still vibrant Gaelic and Acadian cultures of Cape Breton. We’ll stop in Chéticamp, a coastal town famous for its rug-hooking tradition. There we’ll visit Les Trois Pignons, the town’s cultural centre and museum featuring historical Acadian exhibits and hooked rugs. Observe a demonstration and learn about these “talking” rugs that quietly speak of the trials and tribulations of the women who challenged the wilderness with their families.

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 travel to the remarkable Fortress Louisbourg National Historic Site, the largest reconstruction project in North America, and an important site in the struggle between England and France for control in the New World. Founded in 1713 by the French and developed into a thriving center for fishing and trade, Louisbourg was besieged twice by Britain before finally being destroyed in the 1760s. At the site, a Parks Canada interpreter will tell us about this chapter of North American history and the project to recreate the fortress and life within it at its heyday. The fortress features more than a dozen buildings, including three authentic working 18th century restaurants and during the summer months hundreds populate the streets of the fortress working, playing, and living life as they would have in 1744.

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

Afternoon: As our field trip continues, with our exploration of the buildings and interaction 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: At the hotel.

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. Learn about PEI’s diverse landscape — its red sand beaches and fertile farmland – and the people who help make Prince Edward Island the special place it is.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We’ll attend a performance at a local theatre. Details of the performances running during our trip will be posted on our website when available and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment.

DAY
7
PEI Culture & People, Walk Through Charlottetown, 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: At the hotel.

Morning: Learn about the history and culture of Canada’s smallest province — its original Mi’kmaq settlements and the French, English, Irish, and Scottish settlers. Then set out on an expert-led walk in Charlottetown, the birthplace of Canadian Confederation — appreciating its Victorian architecture and St. Dunstan's Cathedral Basilica, visiting the location of the last public hanging, and learning about the restoration of Charlottetown's historic buildings as we walk along Great George Street. We’ll hear about some of the city’s high-profile people, the “boom-and-bust” of its merchant economy, and of course, the Fathers of Confederation.

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: At the hotel

Morning: Today’s activities begin with a visit to Green Gables farmhouse - the setting for L.M. Montgomery’s beloved tale, Anne of Green Gables. The story of this red-haired orphan is a global success - having sold more than 50 million copies and been translated into at least 36 languages. The house was designated a National Historic Site in 1985 and is part of the Prince Edward Island National Park. Parks Canada staff will highlight the heritage of the house and area and illuminate Lucy Maud Montgomery's role as an author of national historical significance.

Lunch: At a local seaside restaurant.

Afternoon: Examine fascinating Dalvay-by-the-Sea, a National Historic Site of Canada located within Prince Edward Island National Park on the north shore of PEI. We’ll take a guided tour of this elegant Queen Anne Revival home, which 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 the 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: At the hotel.

Morning: Head to Hopewell Rocks, where a local expert will discuss the significance of the Bay of Fundy and its most famous geological feature. Also called the Flowerpot Rocks, the Hopewell Rocks developed when reddish cliffs, first formed millions of years ago as a massive mountain range – older than the Appalachians and larger than the Canadian Rockies – began to erode, aided by time, ice and rain and sculpted by the highest tides in the world. We’ll keep a keen eye out for the peregrine falcon, bald eagles, merlins, osprey, cormorants, eider ducks, the great blue heron and even the occasional great horned or barred owl. Grindstone Island, which can be seen from the upper observation deck, is protected by the Canadian Wildlife Services and has been designated as an Ecologically Significant Area (ESA) mainly due to its importance as nesting and/or feeding grounds for a variety of bird species, including peregrine falcons, great blue herons, double-crested cormorants, greater black-backed gulls, and herring gulls.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Weather and tides permitting, embark on a tidal walk at Hopewell Rocks with a local naturalist. Walking along the ocean floor at low tide, we’ll learn about New Brunswick's most famous geological feature. Then we’ll travel along the New Brunswick coast through Fundy National Park, enjoying 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: 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: Led by a local expert, we’ll take a field trip to St. Martins, a village governed by the rhythm of the world's highest tides. The water level rises and falls by up to 38 feet every 6 hours (or so) in this historic village in the heart of the Bay of Fundy. We’ll explore St. Martin’s sea caves and walk on the ocean floor while learning about the tides, geology, and history of the area. We’ll also walk through the village — originally named Quaco — which has retained much of its appearance from earlier times, and visit the Quaco Museum to 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, 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.

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

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: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart for a tour of the Bluenose Coast, part of Nova Scotia's South Shore. Our first stop is Peggy's Cove, one of the most picturesque and charming fishing villages with its fishing sheds and weathered wharves. This unique environment is both a designated provincial preservation area and an active fishing community. Folklore has it that town is named after the sole survivor of a schooner shipwrecked off nearby Halibut Rock. Peggy's Point Lighthouse is perhaps the most iconic of Nova Scotia’s 160 historic lighthouses. Positioned on a granite ledge, it also 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 harbor front restaurants. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We will then travel along the coast to nearby Lunenburg. Established in 1753, Lunenburg’s Old Town features such a well-preserved example of 18th-century British colonial urban planning that is has received a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. We’ll explore these historic narrow streets, with their original houses and historic churches on foot with a local expert. The town's picture-postcard harbor, its colorful waterfront and homes of flamboyant sea captains, reflect its seafaring heritage. The renowned fishing and racing schooner Bluenose was built here in 1912, as was the replica Bluenose II in 1963.

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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