Sunday 20 September: Home – Vancouver (D)
We depart this evening for Vancouver. The flight crosses the international dateline en route and arrives Vancouver early afternoon. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel for a 2 night stay. This evening, let’s get together for dinner.
Monday 21 September: Vancouver (B)
This morning, we enjoy a relaxing
sightseeing tour of Vancouver, rated the world’s most liveable city. Highlights include the lovely Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Bay and Park, English Bay, Gas Town, Granville Island and the downtown area. The afternoon and evening are free.
Tuesday 22 September: Vancouver – Toronto (B)
This morning, we are transferred back to Vancouver Airport in time to join our flight
to Toronto. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel.
Wednesday 23 September: Toronto – Niagara Falls (B,D)
This morning, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of this cosmopolitan city. Toronto is a city of towers and spires where the old blends in with the new. Cultural institutions, theatres, parks, restaurants, fine stores and an intriguing variety and mix of peoples are making this city one of the great cities of the world. After lunch, a short drive from Toronto takes us to the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario’s premier wine-producing region to Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of Canada’s prettiest towns. 27 wineries are scattered amidst a landscape of vineyards and orchards stretching along the picturesque Niagara River Parkway. Culinary excellence is a trademark of this town, from the abundance of local produce and world-class wineries to the many renowned restaurants and Signature Kitchens. Enjoy two nights at our hotel overlooking Niagara Falls.
Thursday 24 September: Niagara Falls (B,D)
We enjoy a tour of the Niagara Falls area including the famous floral clock and the “Hornblower” cruise that takes us right up to the falls. Formed by melting glacier water over 12,000 years ago, Niagara Falls flows majestically at the crossroads of the United States and Ontario, Canada. On the Ontario side, the Horseshoe Falls span a distance of nearly 0.8 km, stand 17 storeys high and push 155 million litres of water per minute over the brink into the raging Niagara River below. Tonight, we enjoy dinner together with the illuminated falls as a backdrop.
Friday 25 September: Niagara Falls – Albany (B,D)
We cross the border into the USA and enjoy a day on the road, travelling through rural farmlands and fruit growing areas skirting the Erie Canal. Our overnight stop is in Albany, capital of New York State. There is time to see the Empire State Centre with a diverse range of architecture exhibited in the government buildings before we check-in to our hotel.
Saturday 26 September: Albany – Mohawk Trail – Boston (B,D)
A lovely drive today as we sit back on our coach and enjoy the autumn colours of the Mohawk Trail. We travel through many small towns and colonial villages including Williamstown, known as the prettiest village in America and snugly nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Berkshire Mountains. At Shelbourne Falls visit the only Bridge of Flowers in America. Later this afternoon, we arrive into the great city of Boston for a 3-night stay.
Sunday 27 September: Boston – Freedom Trail (B)
Our morning tour shows us Boston City, the capital of Massachusetts and the most liveable large city in the USA. It is the cradle of independence, rich in history and culture, and it still retains much of the charm from an earlier age. We visit North Church, associated with the immortal Paul Revere and the Freedom Trail, and visit areas that in the past we have only read and heard about – “The Boston Tea Party”, Bunker Hill, Boston Pops Symphony Hall, Boston Common, and Beacon Hill.
Monday 28 September: Boston – Cape Cod (B)
Our tour today takes us down to Cape Cod “Kennedy Country” and home to the rich and famous along the rugged coastline through fishing villages and coastal estates. During the morning we visit Plimoth Plantation, a recreated village depicting life at the time of the Pilgrim Fathers. After lunch, we see Plymouth Rock at the harbour’s edge, commonly regarded as the stone on to which the “Mayflower” passengers first stepped ashore when they disembarked and we visit a full scale replica of the “Mayflower”. Then it’s down to Cape Cod, Hyannis and the JFK Memorial before we return to Boston late afternoon. Keep an eye out for the cranberry bogs which are a common sight in the area.
Tuesday 29 September: Boston – White Mountain National Park (B,D)
After a good breakfast to start us on our way, we continue our journey with a stop at the historic town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s only seaport. This is a delightful town with many vintage Georgian mansions and colonial structures dating back to the 1690s and the time of the original English settlers. We enjoy an overnight stay and dinner in the town of Lincoln, a major ski resort in the winter.
Wednesday 30 September: Lincoln – Burlington, Vermont (B,D)
Our journey today takes us through White Mountain National Park. Spreading across New Hampshire into Maine, the White Mountains are the biggest in New England, noted for their spectacular scenery and many natural attractions – especially in the autumn. Dominating the rest is Mount Washington at nearly 7000ft. Then it’s across the border into Vermont where a “must do” is a stop at a maple syrup factory shop. We spend the night at Burlington located on the shores of Lake Champlain.
Thursday 1 October: Burlington – Montebello (B,D)
From Burlington, we travel up the shores of Lake Champlain stretching for 125 miles and cradled in the broad valley between the Adirondacks and the Green mountains. Before long, we reach the border and cross back into Canada and drive to the wonderland of Montebello where the fall colours paint the woodlands scarlet and gold. Our overnight stay is at the legendary Chateau Montebello set in 6500 acres of ground and built in the log cabin style. This evening, enjoy dinner in the lovely hotel restaurant.
Friday 2 October: Montebello – Ottawa (B,L)
Breakfast at your leisure this morning and we have the morning free to enjoy the grounds of this magnificent resort located on the banks of the Ottawa River. Before departure, loosen the belts to make room for a wonderful buffet luncheon before we take the short drive to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, for a 2 night stay.
Saturday 3 October: Ottawa (B)
We enjoy a sightseeing tour of Ottawa. The wonderful autumn colours in the parks and gardens, the grounds of the Prime Minister and Governor General’s residences, the Houses of Parliament and the embassies make a wonderful display. At the end of the tour, why not enjoy a lunch break at the Fruit Markets with a wide range of restaurants and coffee shops. The remainder of the day is free to explore this beautiful city.
Sunday 4 October: Ottawa – Montreal (B,L)
We leave Ottawa this morning and drive to Mont Rigaud and the “Sucerie de la Montagne”, an authentic “sugar shack” located in the heart of a 120 acre forest of century old maple trees. Hosts Pierre Faulcher and his son Stefan provide a glimpse of life as it truly was for Quebec and Canadian pioneers. We enjoy lunch in the rustic dining room before we continue our journey through to the second largest French-speaking city in the world, Montreal, for a 2 night stay.
Monday 5 October: Montreal (B,D)
Founded in 1642, Montreal is decidedly “French” yet it is also very cosmopolitan with many immigrants from all over the world who have made the city their home. This morning, we start our sightseeing at the magnificent Notre Dame Basilica with its magnificent wood interior and stained glass windows illustrating biblical scenes as well as the city’s history. The Old Town area offers a range of buildings covering the centuries since the foundation of the city and our drive up Mont Royal provides panoramic views over the city and the St Lawrence River Valley. The afternoon is at leisure, a chance to explore the underground city which protects the locals from the harsh conditions of the northern winters.
Tuesday 6 October: Montreal – Quebec (B,D)
From Montreal, it’s just a 3 hour drive through to Quebec City, the capital and “soul” of this French Canadian province. The city is one of the oldest and most historic in North America with its preserved walls and Old Town that is reminiscent of 17th century Europe. The city is dominated by Chateau Frontenac which sits atop the cape overlooking the St Lawrence River. This afternoon, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of both the Upper and Lower Old Town before checking into our hotel for an overnight stay.
Wednesday 7 October: Quebec, Commence Gulf of St Lawrence Atlantic Coast Cruise (B,D)
After check-out from our hotel this morning, we venture out of the city to visit Isle d’Orleans. The island located in the middle of the St Lawrence River offers beautiful pastoral landscapes of traditional rural Quebec and during the fall seasons, wonderful autumn colours. Back on the mainland, we continue up the Beaupre coast and visit the magnificent Basilica of Ste Anne-de-Beaupre, the second most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in North America and credited with many miraculous cures. On our return to the city, we stop to view the Montmorency Falls, at 270 feet height, over twice the height of Niagara Falls. Then, this afternoon, it’s time to join our home for the next 11 nights, the Holland America ship MS Zuiderdam and embark on our cruise down the St Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic Coast.Depart 5.00pm
Thursday 08 October: Cruising Gulf of St Lawrence (B,L,D)
The largest estuary in the world, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence fringes the shores of half the provinces of Canada and is a gateway to the interior of the entire North American continent. Geographically, the Gulf is defined by stunning coast line and beautiful islands, including Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands. Thousands of migratory birds make this area their home during the spring and fall migration period.
Friday 09 October: Charlottetown PEI (B,L,D)
Canada’s smallest province is an island that seems to be tethered to New Brunswick by the 8-mile-long Confederation Bridge lest it drift into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Leave the mainland, cross the bridge, and make a right for Charlottetown. The largest city on Prince Edward Island as well as its capital, its Victorian architecture, abundance of parks, and harbourside location make it an idyllic stop for cruise visitors. Walk the cobblestones of Victoria Row, see the house that inspired “Anne of Green Gables,” or explore the wild shore of Prince Edward Island National Park. Arrive 10.00am Depart 6.00pm
Saturday 10 October: Sydney, Nova Scotia (B,L,D)
A hundred thousand Gaelic welcomes await you in Nova Scotia, Latin for “New Scotland.” At the northeast end of the province sits Cape Breton Island, whose wild and lovely topography includes Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Bras d’Or Lake, and miles of rugged coastline. Sydney is the gateway to it all. There are highland villages for visitors to see, the scenic Cabot Trail to explore, golden inland seas to sail, and the Fortress of Louisburg to inspect – where every barn, barracks and pipe and drum corps appears just as it did when King Louis’ troops occupied the site in 1744. Arrive 8.00am Depart 5.00pm
Sunday 11 October: Halifax, Nova Scotia (B,L,D)
It’s big enough to be the economic and cultural capital of eastern Canada, but small enough to be easy-going and hospitable. Halifax residents have it good, the city is located on one of the planet’s great natural harbours and adorned with landmarks like the Citadel fortress, Pier 21 (Canada’s Ellis Island), and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Outside the city, cruise visitors can discover the weather-beaten landscape of Nova Scotia’s south shore. See craggy coastlines, the bouldered topography of Peggy’s Cove, and the German village of Lunenburg, so meticulously restored it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive 8.00am. Depart 4.00pm.
Monday 12 October: Bar Harbor, Maine (B,L,D)
There’s something magical about Bar Harbor. A celebrated vacation destination on Mount Desert Island that is the gateway to Acadia National Park, it possesses a rich history and culture unlike any other. The natural beauty that surrounds Bar Harbor is punctuated with ocean cliffs and rocky beaches, glacier‐formed lakes and valleys, unobstructed mountain vistas, and boreal forest. This beauty has been captured in the works of Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Fitz Henry Lane, and many other great artists. Arrive 11.00am Depart 10.00pm
Tuesday 13 October: Boston (B,L,D)
Today sees us back in one of America’s favourite cities. There is something nice about Boston, a big city but with a sense of small-town parochialism that is never more evident than when their sports teams like the Red Sox, Patriots or the Celtics are playing at home. There is a lot more to see that you may have missed in our first visit. Maybe enjoy a leisurely lunch at Quincy Markets, get lost in the Prudential Shopping Centre or again stroll the grounds of Harvard with the “freshmen”. Arrive 8.00am Depart 5.00pm
Wednesday 14 October: Newport, Rhode Island (B,L,D)
Founded in 1639, Newport, Rhode Island is considered to be the shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. A haven for religious dissenters, a critical colonial era port city, a thriving artists colony, a summer playground for America’s barons of industry during the Gilded Age, home to the US Naval War College and known as America’s First Resort, Newport is a destination like no other.
Arrive 11.00am Depart 6.00pm
Thursday 15 October: New York (B,L,D)
Ponder the thoughts of the immigrants of the last century as early this morning we sail under the Verrazano Bridge and enter New York Harbour sailing past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island up the Hudson River. A full day to enjoy the wonders of “The Big Apple” – so much to see and do – Times Square, Central Park, Harlem, lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village, Wall Street, Empire State Building, United Nations, Central Park.
Arrive 8.00am Depart 5.00pm
Friday 16 October: At Sea (B,L,D)
Two days at sea to relax and unwind as we travel down the East Coast and near
Saturday 17 October: At Sea (B,L,D)
Sunday 18 October: Fort Lauderdale – Houston (B,D)
Our cruise comes to an end in Fort Lauderdale this morning. As thoughts turn towards home, we transfer to the airport and join the flight to Houston where we are met and transferred to our hotel for an overnight stay. Let’s enjoy a final dinner together this evening.
Monday 19 October: Houston – Auckland (B)
We check-out from our hotel this morning and enjoy a final tour highlight. We see the sights of Houston passing landmarks like Hermann Park, City Hall and the renowned Museum District. We then travel to Space Centre Houston to learn all about space travel. A tram will take us on a tour of the Johnson Space Centre and we will see the old and new Mission Control Centre and the Saturn V rocket while watching NASA staff at work. There is time to explore the exhibits including Apollo 17 and a full-size replica of a space shuttle. Later, it’s time for farewells as we are transferred to the airport to join our overnight flight to Auckland. Cross International Dateline en route.
Wednesday 21 October: Home
Arrival time is early morning.