Holland America cruise to Maine, Nova Scotia & Quebec
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Mar 31, 2013 8:48 PM Last Post By: saskja
Mar 25, 2013 1:32 PM
Holland America cruise to Maine, Nova Scotia & QuebecHello from Australia....we're about to embark on our first cruise and seek advice about shore excursions, as the reviews look pretty grim!! All are over-priced & rushed like cattle and excessively "touristy"!!
The ports we stop at are: Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Price Edward Island & Quebec City.
Its only a 7 day cruise but we want to make the most of it considering the distance & expense we're coming from!
There's 4 of us traveling, so we're thinking of using a taxi for 2-3 hrs instead. Most excursions cost between $50-$190 pp.
Any advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
Mar 25, 2013 4:44 PM
1Hi from NZ, we did this cruise (our first) in 2007 (have done more with HA and booked to do Alaska inJuly). We just loved the St Lawrence one, being 7 days only was a great 'starter' for cruising. Re Excursions - we like you thought them dear. Am reading my journal as I write - Quebec-we had had a day there previously, so did a big walk around, including the Citadel. Charlottown - took a walking tour of this little town with a costumed very knowledgeable young student guy, history student at Ottawa Uni. Prince Edward Island (known as PEI) very historic, where the Canadian Confederation Treaty signed in 1864. Very small pretty town, only spent about 3 hours ashore and had done it all. Back to ship for a swim! Sydney, Nova Scotia - thick fog (very common here) Did another walking tour withcostumed guide , back to ship for lunch as such a small town. Halifax - More really thick fog, couldn't see which side of the ship was alongside the wharf! but it soon cleared. One of the few places we did a HA excursion - a 7 hour bus tour to Lunenberg and Mahone Bay. Excellent trip with tour guid Lois. Tour included a visit to the historic graveyard where the Titanic victims burried. Lois knew all the stories, just great,can recomment that trip. Bar Harbour, Maine - Did a 4 hour bus trip, not that great. Enjoyed walking around the town more. We disembarked in Boston and had a few days there - really loved that city. Good luck, you'll love it all.
Mar 25, 2013 9:09 PM
2Thanks Hideechi....just the type of advice I was hoping for. . You truly understand the independent traveller like we are!
Since there's 4 of us (2 from US), we will consider hiring a car and letting our friend from US drive. It's certainly cheaper and less crowded with more time to relax and really explore.
Our friends in Melbourne did Alaska in June last year and loved it. Chow :)
Mar 26, 2013 11:41 AM
Mar 26, 2013 7:21 PM
When you get into Bar Harbor, rent some bikes and explore the carriage roads of Acadia.
Mar 26, 2013 9:13 PM
Mar 29, 2013 3:47 PM
Mar 31, 2013 8:45 PM
7Québec City: only take a taxi to the Tourist Office, in Upper Town. It's right next to the city's landmark, Château Frontenac. Get a free map and sound advice from the helpful folks there and you are set to go. They will be your best advisors on how to use your time according to the time your stop lasts in town. You can easily walk down to Lower Town when you are done with Upper Town (Place Royale; Farmer Market; walk on St-Paul St in the small but quaint antiquaries neighbourhood; Petit Champlain, self-proclaimed the oldest shopping street in North America) or take the Funiculaire (outdoors cable car) if your legs are tired.
Oh and before going back to the ship: I suggest you stop at 'Mon Oncle Antoine' next to Place Royale, and sample a local (micro-brewery) beer.
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