Jenn’s Maritimes Journey with Adventure Canada – Part 2
In July 2017 Jenn, one of our seasoned travel consultants at our King Street office in Toronto travelled with Adventure Canada along the St Lawrence River to the Atlantic. Read part 1 to see how her trip began, here’s part 2!
Prince Edward Island
To me, PEI means Anne of Green Gables. Since I had been to see Lucy Maud Montgomery’s home the last time I was here, I opted to experience something I hadn’t before and went to Lennox Island. This Mi’kmaq community shared their culture with us through drumming, dancing, and costuming such as the bell dress. Adventure Canada’s “discovery fee” is used towards communities that they visit. On my visit, Cedar Swan, CEO of Adventure Canada, presented a $1500 USD donation to the community for their community centre.
Afternoon options included exploring the town or taking a tour of the Confederation Bridge. I opted to check out the local craft market, and try the local restaurants. I can highly recommend Open Bar.
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Music plays a big part in the culture here in Eastern Canada, with bagpipers and fiddlers in every family. Our next stop gave us a chance to sing and dance with the locals. Cape Breton, here we are!
The Acadian trail called our name. Our Parks Canada guide took us through lovely woods, with clear, cold running streams and up the mountain to the wind-swept boreal forest where we had lunch with amazing vistas of the town and sea.
Other shipmates took the Skyline Trail and also enjoyed amazing views, even joining a crew to plant 50 trees in a reforestation area!
The local pub called to us all to listen to some local musicians featuring fiddling. Andre, one of our crew from the ship and a Québec accordion musician, stepped up and joined with local artists, creating a lovely afternoon visit.
St. Pierre & Miquelon
St. Pierre and Miquelon were next – France here we come! Since we were in France we decided to skip dinner on-board and headed into town for a wonderful French dinner and some French wine!
The next day we took the zodiacs over to Sailor Island. Our excellent guide explained that in its heyday, the island supported a population of 800, a hotel, church, school, pub and a huge cod drying business. Now no one lives on the island and with the graveyard and shipwreck, you might think it would feel depressing … but it doesn’t. Serene yes but not a downer and well worth a visit. The colours of the homes are bright yellow, green and reds … maybe that is why it feels charming! And makes it a photographer’s delight! A lovely place to end our Maritime voyage.
You may think that the Ocean Endeavor is a big ship as it can carry up to 198 passengers. I was pleasantly surprised how it did not feel this way! There is lots of space in and out …. A big comfortable space for lecture and the recaps, space for quiet times, space for yoga, spaces for outside viewing, a hot tub and small swimming pool, and two saunas! The dining room fits everyone in one sitting. The way it is set up even it doesn’t feel big! There also have a separate space for music and entertainment. There is also a large drying room where each guest has their own cupboard to store their outdoor gear so you do not have to store it in your cabin – a real bonus. They often operate two disembarkation points so getting off the ship and out into the wilderness is a fast process
The cabins are a good size all with their own bathroom. The international crew provides excellent on-board service! Adventure Canada ensures a high guest/crew ratio so this helps with landings making them smooth and easy. Most times we broke up into smaller groups. By the end of the trip, I am pretty sure I met everyone! I took the trip when Canada was only 149 years old but with this being Canada’s 150th – well, what a great way to celebrate.
Contact Jenn via JPatterson@MeritTravel.com or 416.519.9316 for more information about this or any other Arctic or Antarctica sailings!
September 28, 2017