Following the cruise to Greenland and the Canadian Atlantic Provinces, I spent a day in Boston, eating seafood, and then proceeded onward to the Canadian Maritime Provinces. This was a cruise on my old favorite, Norwegian Cruise Line, that I thoroughly enjoyed. The timing was a bit early for the glorious fall tree colors, but heading north revealed them in the forests of Quebec—as well as almost sleety cold rain in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada's ten provinces, and is a peninsula nearly surrounded by salt water with over 3800 coastal islands including Cape Breton Island. In 1605, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in the future Canada (and the first north of Florida) at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia. Catholic Mi'kmaq and Acadians formed the majority of the population of the colony for the next 150 years, while almost constant war between Britain and France surged around them. The British conquest of Acadia took place in 1710 and the capital was established at Halifax. In 1755 the vast majority of French Acadians was forcibly removed in the Expulsion of the Acadians; again in 1758, after the fall of Louisbourg, another 3,000 Acadians were deported. The Acadians were dispersed to the Thirteen Colonies, Britain, and France, and some of them formed the core population in Louisiana known today as Cajuns. The economic and cultural life of Nova Scotians has always been tied to the sea and many of the area's attractions are connected with the nearby bays and ocean.
New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were also part of the French colony of Acadia and suffered the same Expulsion of the Acadians in the mid-18th century. Much of New Brunswick is heavily forested on the hills of the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains. Its most distinctive feature is undoubtedly the Bay of Fundy, which has some of the most extreme tides in the world, averaging 55 feet (16.8 m) twice each day. Prince Edward Island, to the east of New Brunswick, is the smallest province in both land area and population. It is relatively low with rolling pastoral hills, long beaches of red and white sand, large expanses of dunes and marshes, and many bays and coves. Unfortunately, I somehow lost my photos of Charlottetown, PEI, and Gaspesie, Quebec, so those ports will remain in my memory only.
Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and the second-most populous province of Canada, after Ontario. It is the only one to have a predominantly French-speaking population, with French as the sole provincial official language. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, the capital. In 1534, Breton explorer Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula and claimed the land in the name of French King Francis I. French explorer Samuel de Champlain chose the name Québec in 1608 for the colonial outpost he would use as the administrative seat for the French colony of New France. The French population grew slowly, and British colonists established fur trading posts. By 1756, France and Britain were battling the Seven Years' War worldwide. In 1758, the British mounted an attack on New France by sea and took the French fort at Louisbourg. On September 13, 1759, the British forces of General James Wolfe defeated those of French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City, and France ceded its North American possessions to Great Britain through the Treaty of Paris (1763). Quebec City is a lovely place with lots of Old World charm.
The port stops in the USA were not very interesting: Portland, Maine, seemed deserted during my walk through the Old Port District; and in Bar Harbor, Maine, I chose to take a whale-watching excursion which was only mildly successful. Overall, though, the cruise was an enjoyable experience and a good introduction to this area of Canada.
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23 Sep 2016......Boston, Massachusetts: Embark Norwegian Dawn
24 Sep...............Portland, Maine, USA
25 Sep...............Halifax and Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
26 Sep...............Day at sea
27 Sep...............Charlottetown, PEI, CA
28 Sep...............Gaspesie, Quebec, CA
29 Sep...............La Baie and Saguenay Fjord, Quebec, CA
30 Sep...............Quebec City, Quebec, CA
1 Oct................Quebec City, Quebec, CA
2 Oct................Day at sea
3 Oct................Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, CA
4 Oct................Halifax and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, CA
5 Oct................Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick/Nova Scotia, CA
6 Oct................Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
7 Oct................Disembark Norwegian Dawn
7 Oct................Boston Logan BOS — Pittsburgh PIT
WORLD HERITAGE SITES
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