There is no better time to visit the New England state than in autumn. The dramatic autumnal colours are spectacular!
It can be difficult to find accommodation in New England at this time of year due to all the spectators flocking in to see the colourful changes.
A great way to see all the changes and in more than in one port is a New England cruise! Not only can you see the colours but admire the history and architecture of the different ports.
New England Cruise
One of my favourite itinerary’s is with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines departing from the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey. Why not if you have time spend a few days in the big apple of New York before or after your cruise. We took a taxi/Limousine from the New Yorker Hotel. Which was $80, a little extravagant but we were on vacation and what better way to start than in comfort!
The 9 night New England cruise allows you to explore the ports of Boston, Portland-Maine, Bar Harbour-Maine, Saint John-New Brunswick and Halifax-Nova Scotia and in between some rest days at sea to prepare for more exploring.
The first port of call, Boston
The city of Boston has lots of history with the oldest building being the Old State House dating back to 1713. You can do the Freedom Walking Tour which takes in the history and tales of times gone by.
Other key things is the Quincy Market, Cheers Bar, Boston Public Gardens, Beacon Hill, Harvard University and Fenway Park home to the Boston Red Sox Baseball Team.
As well as all this you might like to visit Salem the historical town of the witch trials dating back to 1692. Here you can visit several attractions on witchcraft including the Witch Museum, The Haunted Witch Village, Witch Mansion, Witch Trials Memorial just to name a few. The Salem ferry runs from Boston’s Long Wharf which takes under an hour.
Once off the ship the main shopping street with an array of shops and cafes is within walking distance.
Portland is famous for its many Lighthouse’s one of the most recognisable is the Portland Head Light located at Port Elisabeth, Maine. Built between 1787 – 1791. Why not take the trolley tour which includes a full narration on Portland and takes you out to visit the striking Portland Head Light Lighthouse.
Bar Harbour, Maine
This is the only port that is tendered. If you are on a pre-booked tour with the ship they will escort you off on to the small boats and you will be met at the other side for the tour. If you are not going on a tour the departure off the ship, is normally after all the morning tours have left.
This is a lovely shipping port with unique gift shops containing items from quality artisans. One of Bar Harbour’s main attractions is Arcadia National Park with its grand scenery including lakes and mountains sprawling over 50 miles.
Saint John, New Brunswick
We took a day tour taking in the City Market with the locals dressed in historical clothing. Next we visited the Reversing Falls a phenomenon, here you can witness the falls going one way in the morning and then in the other direction in the afternoon. We were a bit sceptical at first and were eager to return in the afternoon to witness this. Low and behold you can actually see it! The phenomenon is due to the tides of the Bay of Fundy against the current from Saint Johns River when the tide is high.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
To make the most of this port we also took a pre-arranged tour. This took us to Peggy’s Cove with its panoramic views along the coast and iconic lighthouse. As Halifax was the closest port of call to Titanic it holds a lot of the artefacts and pieces from the Titanic. We proceeded on to Halifax Public Gardens to hear the story of Titanic and this continues in the Fairview Cemetery. We also took in the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, then the tour makes its last stop at the Acadian Maple Factory, see how the maple trees are plugged and the maple extracted to make this sweet delight. The shop offers lots of maple in all shapes and sizes from candies to bottles of maple syrup. If you have time or prefer to explore Halifax on your own one of the main highlights is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic which includes an exhibition on the Titanic.
Some of the other New England cruise delights you might like to try depending on the time of year are the lobsters, chowder, pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie, blueberry pie and blueberry ale.