Experience the best of the Maritimes on our small-group tour of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI.) These 3 are known as the “Maritime Provinces.“ You can combine this tour with the addition of our tour to Newfoundland & Labrador
Canadian Maritimes : Oct 1st - 12th 2021 (12 Days)
LAND ONLY: $4,795 Canadian/ per person + 15% HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) (includes breakfasts + dinners)
Begins Oct 1st in Halifax and finishes Oct 12th in Halifax. On this tour we do not have any sightseeing in Halifax city itself because some members of the group will have visited the largest city on Canada’s East Coast before. If you wish to explore the city more thoroughly, you can choose to add our optional Halifax pre-tour (details at the end of our main itinerary below) or arrive in Halifax a day or more before the tour starts and/or stay on in Halifax for a day or more after the tour finishes.
COMBINE THIS TOUR:
Newfoundland & Labrador +Canadian Maritimes: September 20 - Oct 12 2021 (23 Days)
Please let us know if you are interested in combining the 2 tours.
Travel Safely in Canada Experience the best of the Maritimes on our small-group tour of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI.) These 3 are known as the “Maritime Provinces.“ With the addition of Newfoundland & Labrador they become known as the 4 “Atlantic Provinces.” We enjoy rustic fishing villages, warm hospitality, the world’s highest tides, fresh salt air, sandy beaches, rocky coves, cosmopolitan cities, remote lighthouses, rich history, unspoiled nature and succulent seafood. Lobster, scallops, salmon and other fish can be found on menus everywhere, prepared in every way imaginable – from traditional seafood chowder to lobster tacos! We focus on the rural areas and picturesque fishing and farming villages of this rugged land, and the history – Canadian Confederation, the birth of Canada as a nation, took place on July 1st 1867 in Charlottetown, PEI. On this tour we travel by our own coach and learn about the culture and history of the indigenous people as well as of the French, British and other European settlers. Wherever possible, we stay 2 nights in each location.
In such a rugged land at the edge of the wild Atlantic Ocean, the timing and length of much of our sightseeing depends on the weather!
Limited to 16 travellers + Norman & Julie Bruce
AIRFARE: Our flights specialist estimates the cost of the airfare to be approximately $900- $1,200 Canadian departing Vancouver through Toronto to Halifax, Nova Scotia (YHZ) with Air Canada and returning from Halifax via Toronto with Air Canada. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN ESTIMATE FROM VANCOUVER AND IS ONLY VALID AT TIME OF PUBLISHING. You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join this tour. Our flights specialist can quote you from any city.
FlexibilityWhen we are spending more than one night in a place, if you don’t wish to join our included excursions on the intervening day, you MAY be able to enjoy a relaxing free half day or full day exploring the area near our hotel. Of course, the timing and length of much of our sightseeing depends on the weather! Please discuss your options with Norman and Julie.
Included Meals Each full day of the tour we include breakfast and dinner. Because of the remote places where we are staying on many of our nights and the fact that we are travelling after the main tourist season, good-quality local restaurants will not be available everywhere and so we will enjoy our dinners together as a group some nights at our hotels. We have the chance to enjoy several unique Maritimes dishes.
(UPDATED July 26th 2021)
Fri Oct 1stWe arrive tonight at Halifax Airport (YHZ) and transfer to our hotel.
First of 2 nights in Halifax. Cambridge Suites Hotel or similar. No meals.
Sat Oct 2nd
South Shore Touring
Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada in terms of area (behind Prince Edward Island) but the population is just over 1 million. Halifax is the capital and largest municipality of Nova Scotia with over 400,000 people. It is by far the largest city in the 4 Atlantic provinces. Today we explore the area outside Halifax. We visit the fishing village of Peggy’s Cove to see one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. Appearance-wise, little has changed in this picturesque Nova Scotia fishing village over the past century. Colorful, salt-weathered fishermen’s houses and the town’s iconic red-and-white lighthouse stand strong along the sea-splashed shore of St. Margaret’s Bay. Lobster traps, jetties, and fishing boats are still all over the place and we see the only post office in North America that is in a lighthouse!
We make a photo stop at Mahone Bay. This tiny town has 3 large churches.
We drive on to the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Lunenburg, renowned for her fleets of Grand Banks’ fishing schooners. We enjoy a walking tour to fully experience one of the most remarkably-preserved colonial settlements in the New World and visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic to learn about the town’s famous seafaring heritage.
Second of 2 nights in Halifax. Cambridge Suites Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Sun Oct 3rd
This morning we learn about the traditions and culture of the native Mi'kmaq people at the Millbrook Cultural & Heritage Centre. We visit the charming university town of Wolfville before exploring the lush Annapolis Valley where the French Acadians made their first settlement in Grand Pre in the early 1600’s. The landscape they drained, planted and worked has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1755 the British Governor issued a decree ordering the expulsion of the entire Acadian population from Nova Scotia to Louisiana, where the name “Acadian” became transformed into “Cajun” – the name still used for the largely self-contained communities in the bayou areas of southern Louisiana and their folk music and spicy cuisine. Even today, the Cajuns speak an archaic form of French – derived from that of their ancestors in the Canadian Maritimes. This expulsion of the Acadians by the British came to be known as the “Great Upheaval” and we will learn more about this pivotal event at the Musee Acadien in Moncton, New Brunswick. Later this afternoon we visit a local winery for a tour and tasting before driving to Digby, the scallop capital of the world, where the fresh sea air and passionate Acadian culture combine to form an enchanting and historically-rich town.
Overnight in Digby. Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Mon Oct 4th
Nova Scotia – New Brunswick
This morning we take the ferry nearly 3 hours across the Bay of Fundy to New Brunswick. The trip is a great opportunity to spot whales and birds, so keep a lookout while you’re on board. New Brunswick is the only province with both French and English as its official languages. The population of the whole province is just over 750,000. New Brunswick's population decreased by 0.5% between the censuses of 2011 and 2016 while all other provinces and territories in Canada increased in population during that period. This afternoon we enjoy a city tour of Saint John (not to be confused with St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland!) This was Canada's first incorporated city, established by royal charter on May 18th 1785. It is known as the “Loyalist City” due to the large number of people loyal to the British crown who “escaped” here from what would become the United States during the American Revolutionary War of 1775 – 1783. The city was the most populous in New Brunswick until the 2016 census, when it was overtaken by Moncton. It currently has a population of nearly 68,000. Our walking tour includes the original City Market, an authentic 19th Century country general store and the New Brunswick Museum. The city is Canada's third largest port by tonnage and is located where the St. John River flows into the Bay of Fundy. Here we see the Reversing Falls where, twice daily, the highest tides in the world force the Saint John River to reverse its flow.
First of 2 nights in Saint John. Holiday Inn Express Harbourside or similar. Breakfast & Dinner
Tues Oct 5th
St. Andrews + St. Martin's Day TripToday we enjoy a day trip to picturesque St. Andrews by-the-Sea, where we experience Maritime history, beautiful architecture and hospitality amid the quaint charm of this seaside gem. Later we drive to nearby St. Martin's to experience the Fundy Trail Parkway. With stunning views of the world-renowned Bay of Fundy, the parkway has been carved out of the escarpment and is one of the last remaining coastal wilderness areas between Florida and Labrador.
Second of 2 nights in Saint John. Holiday Inn Express Harbourside or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Wed Oct 6th
Saint John – Fredericton – Moncton This morning we drive to Fredericton, the picturesque capital of New Brunswick, which is known as the 'City of Stately Elms.' Before Europeans arrived, the Welastekwewiyik (or Maliseet) people had inhabited the area for centuries. The French arrived in the late 1600s but the area was captured by the British in 1759 during the French and Indian War. When New Brunswick became a separate province in 1784 Saint John was the designated seat of government but most of the population favoured the idea of having the legislature in a more central location. There were organized moves to return the capital to Saint John on at least 3 occasions in the 19th Century and a commission of inquiry was even set up to determine the cost to relocate the capital! In 1864 politicians from central Canada and Nova Scotia hoped the Maritimes would enter Confederation as a single province but New Brunswick politicians resisted a merger because of the seat of government dispute between Fredericton and Saint John. Fredericton had a population of just over 58,000 in the 2016 Canadian Census, making it the third-largest city in the province after Moncton and Saint John. Fredericton is a centre for research in agriculture, forestry and engineering – much stemming from the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.
The city has many green spaces, museums, cafes, a very active cultural scene and is bisected by the Saint John River. On our guided tour of Fredericton we see the famous Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, the riverfront City Hall (built in 1876), the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly Building and Christ Church Cathedral – which is now a National Historic Site. The city has a campus of the third oldest university in Canada, the University of New Brunswick. In the heart of Fredericton we enjoy a medicine walk through the Old Growth Forest of 333-acre Odell Park, where we join a Wabanaki medicine keeper who will share their knowledge of local flora and fauna along with their uses as medicines, food and in ceremony.
This afternoon we drive to Moncton, New Brunswick’s largest city and the 2nd largest city among the 3 Maritime Provinces (although a LOT smaller than Halifax, Nova Scotia) with a population of nearly 72,000 in the 2016 Canadian Census.
Overnight in Moncton. Crowne Plaza Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Thurs Oct 7th
New Brunswick – PEI
French Acadians settled the site of present-day Moncton in 1733 and established a marshland farming community. In 1755 nearby Fort Beausejour was captured by British forces. That same year the British Governor ordered the expulsion of the entire Acadian population from Nova Scotia and this area. Moncton was officially founded in 1766 with the arrival of the “Pennsylvania Germans” from Philadelphia. The city was not incorporated until 1855. Today the city's economy is stable and diversified. The strength of Moncton's economy has received national recognition and the local unemployment rate is consistently less than the Canadian average, unlike most cities in the Maritimes.
Moncton is situated in the Petitcodiac River Valley and lies at the geographic centre of the Maritime Provinces. The city has earned the nickname the 'Hub City' because of this and its history as a railway and land transportation hub for the Maritimes.
On our guided tour of Moncton this morning we include a visit to the Musee Acadien. The museum’s permanent exhibition, entitled 'L'Aventure Acadienne' [Acadian Adventure], is a dynamic and innovative presentation of the tragic history of the Acadian people in Atlantic Canada.
Before we leave New Brunswick we drive down to the Bay of Fundy, where we learn about the ecology and geology of the most dramatic and diverse tidal environment on earth. We experience a true natural wonder this morning at the Hopewell Rocks, massive flower-pot-shaped formations sculpted by the highest tides on the planet.
Later we cross the Confederation Bridge, the world's longest continuous multi-span bridge, to Prince Edward Island, with its famous red soil. This is by far Canada’s smallest province in size and population – just over 159,000 people live in the whole province! However, it is the most densely populated province.
First of 2 nights in Charlottetown. Holman Grand Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Fri Oct 8th
Prince Edward Island TouringPart of the traditional lands of the Mi’kmaq people, aboriginal people inhabited Prince Edward Island for 10,000 years before being colonized by the French in 1604 as part of their colony of Acadia. The island was ceded to the British at the conclusion of the French and Indian War (which French Canadians still call the Guerre de la Conquête “War of the Conquest”) in 1763 and became part of the colony of Nova Scotia. In 1769 the island became its own British colony. PEI hosted the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 to discuss a union of the Maritimes provinces. However, the conference became the first in a series of meetings which led to Canadian Confederation in 1867. PEI initially balked at Confederation but joined as Canada's 7th province in 1873. Today 2 of the island’s several nicknames are 'Birthplace of Confederation' and 'Cradle of Confederation'.
This morning we enjoy a walking tour of Charlottetown, PEI’s capital and largest city, with a population of over 40,000. We include the harbourfront, Victoria Park, Province House, and St. Dunstan’s Basilica. This afternoon we tour the scenic North Shore of the island. We stop at New Glasgow to try some local jams from the Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. We drive by the red cliffs, white beaches, gently sloping sand dunes and green fields of Prince Edward Island National Park. Another of the island’s nicknames is 'Garden of the Gulf' (of St. Lawrence), due to its rich agriculture. Little PEI produces 25% of all the potatoes in Canada! We also visit Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place, the inspiration for Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic books. We make a brief stop to visit the charming seaside town of Victoria-by-the-Sea. This evening we experience true Maritime hospitality at a traditional hall-style lobster supper.
Second of 2 nights in Charlottetown. Holman Grand Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Sat Oct 9th
PEI – Nova Scotia This morning we take the ferry just over an hour across the Northumberland Strait back to Nova Scotia and proceed to Cape Breton Island, the “Scotland of North America”, via the Canso Causeway. We visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck to learn of the many accomplishments of this genius who made his home on the island.
First of 2 nights in Baddeck. Silver Dart Lodge or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Sun Oct 10th
Cape Breton Island Touring
Today we experience one of the most stunningly picturesque roads in North America as we drive the Cabot Trail which winds around the rocky splendor of Cape Breton's northern shore, ascending to the incredible plateaus of Cape Breton Highlands National Park and offering unforgettable vistas of Cape Breton's rugged coastline.
Second of 2 nights in Baddeck. Silver Dart Lodge or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Mon Oct 11th
Cape Breton – Halifax
This morning we visit the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, the reconstruction depicting one-fifth of the settlement of New France as it was in 1744. Authentically-costumed guides bring the streets and buildings to life. From Louisbourg we drive along the shore of Bras d'Or Lake to the mainland and back to Halifax.
Overnight in Halifax. Cambridge Suites Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Tues Oct 12th
Fly homeThis morning we transfer to Halifax Airport (YHZ) for your flight home, arriving the same day. Breakfast if not leaving too early.
On Canadian Maritimes tour we do not have any sightseeing in Halifax city itself because some members of the group will have visited the largest city on Canada’s East Coast before. If you wish to explore the city more thoroughly, you can choose to add our optional Halifax pre-tour (details below) or arrive in Halifax a day or more before the tour starts and/or stay on in Halifax for a day or more after the tour finishes.
Optional Halifax city pre-tour:
Sept 30th + Oct 1st 2021
$120 Single supplement
Thurs Sept 30thWe arrive tonight at Halifax Airport (YHZ) and transfer to our hotel.
Overnight in Halifax. Cambridge Suites Hotel or similar. No meals.
Fri Oct 1st
Halifax City Tour
By far the largest urban area in the 4 Atlantic provinces, Halifax has one of the largestnatural harbors in the world. Incorporated as a city in 1841, the site of Halifax has been inhabited by humans since the Ice Age, with Mi'kmaq people living in the area for 3,000 years before European exploration.
Our driving and walking tour takes us to the city’s most well-known buildings and landmarks such as Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Towering over downtown Halifax, 4 forts have occupied this hilltop since 1749. The fort that stands today dates back to 1856. A kilted member of the 78th Highland Regiment provides us with insights into what it was like to be a soldier then, as we explore the Citadel's corridors and learn about Halifax's involvement in major wars – such as the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War and both World Wars.
Halifax’s status as the commercial capital of Atlantic Canada has helped the city come into its own as a cultural hub as well. While we are exploring downtown Halifax, we will walk along part of the 2-mile boardwalk of the Halifax Waterfront. This is a fun-filled spot packed with cafes, restaurants, bars, breweries, shops, historic ships, boat tours and ferries – not to mention buskers and other street performers. We have free time over lunchtime for you to explore the waterfront Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, which was established by royal decree in 1750. Travelers and locals alike visit the market to purchase soaps, baked treats, fresh produce, fish, jewelry and more from nearly 100 vendors.
We visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 where, between 1928 and 1971, 1 million immigrants passed through Pier 21 to start new lives in Canada. This large ocean liner terminal – sometimes referred to as the “Ellis Island of Canada” – has since become a National Historic Site. As we wander the halls of Canada's National Museum of Immigration, we learn the stories of some of the immigrants who passed through here with such high hopes.
It makes sense that Canada's oldest and most substantial maritime museum is located in Halifax – the city's history is filled with stories from the sea. At the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic we see the exhibit detailing Halifax's response to the 1912 sinking of the Titanic. The display includes artifacts from the 'unsinkable ship' and recounts local efforts to recover lost passengers and remaining parts of the ship. In fact, it was at this museum that Canadian director James Cameron saw the carved panel that inspired Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet's raft in his 1997 movie 'Titanic.'
Fairview Lawn Cemetery is known as the “Titanic Cemetery” because it is the final resting place for over 100 victims of the sinking of the 'unsinkable' RMS Titanic.
Halifax Public Gardens are one of the finest surviving examples of a Victorian garden in North America. They were founded by the Nova Scotia Horticultural Society in 1836 and were recognized as a National Historic Site in 1984. These gardens are part of Canada’s Garden Route.
Breakfast only. This evening you can enjoy dinner (at your own expense) at a cozy local restaurant, maybe with live music. Julie and Norman will make suggestions for restaurants close to our hotel. Tonight the rest of our group fly in to join our Canadian Maritimes tour.
- Accommodation mainly in 4-star and good 3-Star hotels. All our hotels have en-suite bathrooms and heating. In the more remote locations, we often stay in the best available accommodations.
- Land transport by our own coach.
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Tipping for driver & guides
- Breakfast + dinner daily
- Guiding by Royal Heights tour leaders Julie and Norman Bruce with assistance of our expert local guides in each area.
- Lunches. We try to stop in towns that have a variety of options but, sometimes, a grocery store is the best option. If the weather is suitable, we will try to stop for a picnic or 2.
- We do NOT include porterage. Porters MAY be available to help you with your suitcase and you should be prepared to tip them if you use their services. Please only bring one piece of luggage per person and make sure your luggage has wheels so you can move your own luggage when necessary.
- Single Supplement charge, if requested ($1,200 Canadian + 15% HST)
- Personal Expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, and drinks not included at meals.
- Arrival & departure transfers. We can arrange individual or group transfers when you have confirmed the arrival & departure times of your flights. Please contact us for a quote.
- Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance. This insurance is strongly recommended. We can put you in touch with our insurance expert for a quote.
Our flights specialist suggests flying from Vancouver through Toronto to Halifax (YHZ) with Air Canada and returning from Halifax via Toronto with Air Canada. You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join this tour. You are welcome to book your own flights or we can put you in touch with our flights specialist who can book flights for you from any city. Please let us know.
Our published price is based on 2 people sharing a room. If you would like to share, we will do our best to find you a roommate. The EARLIER you pay your deposit, the more likely we are to be able to find you a roommate. If you wish to be guaranteed a single room, there is a Single Supplement charge of $1,200 Canadian + HST. Those people traveling alone but wishing to share will be informed prior to their final invoice being sent if a roommate is not currently available. At that point, you will be invoiced for the Single Supplement. If a roommate subsequently joins the tour, your single supplement will be refunded with the final documentation.
Land portion of the tour must be booked directly with Royal Heights Tours. You can secure your place on the tour with a $400 per person non-refundable deposit. We take payment by cheque, Visa or Mastercard for the $400 /person deposit. Your invoice for your Land tour will be e-mailed to you in mid-August. Payment will be due by August 30th. Price quoted is for FINAL PAYMENT by cheque. Should you wish to pay the outstanding amount for the LAND tour by credit card there will be an administration fee of 2.5% on the outstanding amount.
- Please make sure your luggage has wheels so you can move it easily.
- This tour is not suitable if you need walking assistance in the form of walking sticks or canes. You must be in reasonably good shape to enjoy this tour – there is some walking and exploring through the back streets of old historic towns where our bus cannot enter. Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes as some of our walking tours can take up to 3 hours.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.