An autumnal voyage along the east coast of North America offers the traveller stunning scenery at one of the loveliest times of the year. New England is legendary for its glorious autumn foliage when its picturesque villages and country lanes are lined with a tapestry of colours. We explore quaint coastal towns that boast the best preserved colonial architecture in North America to the sprawling metropolises of New York City and Boston, brimming with culture, history and entertainment. If you have contemplated a visit to New England in the Fall, but perhaps been dissuaded by the thought of long coach journeys, then this coastal cruise could be the perfect answer.
We begin our 12 night cruise in the picturesque village of Lunenburg, in Nova Scotia, the region’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestled on a hilly peninsula, this 19thcentury village is known for its shipbuilding, seafaring expertise, and natural beauty which will only be heightened by the season’s autumnal palette. We sail west through the Bay of Fundy to Campobello where Franklin Roosevelt enjoyed his summer vacations for fifty six years before sailing the rugged and beautiful coastline of the sprawling state of Maine. Here we call into Bar Harbor and the state’s capital Portland where we explore the fascinating history of this region that played such an influential role in the settlement of the British and eventually their expulsion. In Massachusetts we discover the culturally rich and architecturally handsome cities of Boston and Cambridge, before further enjoying the colonial influenced architecture of Newport on Rhode Island. No trip to East Coast America would be complete without a visit to the iconic city of New York, particularly stunning when the summer heat has cooled off and before the New York winter months arrive. A unique element of the trip is the opportunity to cruise the Hudson River with its stunning autumnal scenery. We conclude our journey with a visit to Baltimore and the historic colonial city of Williamsburg where we learn more of the 17th to 18th century history of this spectacular region.
Autumn Colours in North America itinerary:
Day 1 - LONDON HEATHROW TO MONTREAL
Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this evening and transfer to the Delta Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay
Day 2 - MONTREAL TO HALIFAX
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Montreal before an afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to Halifax. On arrival transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky and sail this evening.
Day 3 - LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA
Today we enjoy a walking tour through the UNESCO World Heritage awarded town of Lunenburg. Established in 1753, the Old Town is the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America. Named in honour of King George II who was also the duke of Braunschweig-Lunenburg, the architecture of this seaside town reflects a strong European influence due to the settlement of ‘Foreign Protestants’ from Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. We visit stunning historical buildings and stately heritage homes as we explore the Old Town and visit the aquarium at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
Day 4 - CAMPOBELLO, NEW BRUNSWICK & EASTPORT, MAINE
This morning we explore lovely Campobello Island, where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family spent summer vacations for 56 years. View the magnificent 34 room residence which is the centre-piece of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park. Also see the historic East Quoddy Lighthouse, standing guard over the rocky shores of the Bay of Fundy, and watch for migratory birds, including woodpeckers, doves, and even Bald Eagles. Sail over to the small island town of Eastport, the eastern-most city in the United States. Our guided tour acquaints you with its rich history from the British occupation to the great fire of 1886.
Day 5 - BAR HARBOR, MAINE
Today explore Bar Harbor, set amid Maine’s dramatic coast. The island, discovered by Samuel de Champlain in 1604, is surrounded by Acadia National Park the most visited National Park which is in North America after Yellowstone. First, wander the streets of this quaint fishing village on Mount Desert Island which was a fashionable resort town in the late 1800s and the summer home of influential families, including the Rockefellers, Astors and Carnegies. In the afternoon, tour Acadia National Park to discover the Wild Gardens of Acadia, showcasing over 300 native plant species. Also visit the Abbe Museum’s collections chronicling Maine’s 10,000 years of Native American culture and history.
Day 6 - CASCO BAY & PORTLAND, MAINE
This morning we will cruise though the Calender Islands of Casco Bay before arriving into Portland’s historic Old Port district brimming with charming boutiques and quaint cafes. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized Portland when he wrote ‘ My Lost Youth.’ We will join a City Highlights Tour, including a stop at the Portland Head Light, America’s first lighthouse. It was commissioned by George Washington and built in 1787 to guard what was then the state’s busiest habour. The Old Port Exchange with its cobblestone streets is the core of the cultural revival that extends to the Art district with its marvellous museum and art school.
Day 7 - GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS
From our berth in the enchanting port of Gloucester we take a tour to Boston and Cambridge. In 1630 the Puritans settled in Boston and formed the Massachusetts Bay Colony, one of the earliest English settlements in North America. Cambridge has developed into an international community merging history, education, arts and culture. We will have time to stroll the historically elegant Brattle Street with its outstanding collection of Tory mansions including the Longfellow House National Historic Site, a treasure chest of historic artefacts. In Boston we will view the Old North Church inspired by the works of Christopher Wren. It was built in 1723 and is where Paul Revere began his midnight ride of April 1775 preceding the Battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution. We discover the Beacon Hill neighborhood, with lovely turn-of-the-century homes and cobblestone streets, looking splendid in their Fall Colours. Also, visit the Charlestown Naval Yard and board the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship still afloat and most famous for her actions during the War of 1812 against Great Britain when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships.
Day 8 - MARTHA’S VINEYARD
Over a century ago, Martha’s Vineyard was one of the world’s most important whaling centres. Today, its picturesque landscape of fishing villages and beautiful beaches is home to local, summertime, and celebrity residents. Spend the day in Edgartown, an architectural gem of 18th and 19th century sea captains’ houses and other historic buildings. Visit the Vincent House, built in 1672 and the oldest residence on Martha’s Vineyard, and the Old Whaling Church, built in 1843 and considered one of New England’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture. Later, you will have the opportunity to stroll along the harbour or discover the town’s fine boutiques and restaurants.
Day 9 - NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
Through the years Newport has made a name for itself in a variety of manners, first as a colony founded on religious freedom, later as the summer playground for the American socialite families including Kennedy and Eisenhower, as a key location for the United States Navy, and then as the yachting centre. A principal 18th century port city, Newport now boasts amongst the highest number of surviving colonial builds of any city in the United States. Our morning tour will explore the opulent ocean-side mansions, interesting museums, coastal forts and lighthouses of the town.
Day 10 - NEW YORK
To stand on deck whilst we sail into New York City past the Statue of Liberty is a truly breathtaking experience. Our morning tour will include the city highlights including the Empire State Building. The afternoon is free to explore independently, maybe visit the legendary artists and writers’ quarter of Greenwich Village, enjoy shopping on Fifth Avenue, visit one of the world famous galleries or enjoy a walk around Central Park which will be awash with greens, yellows and reds. We sail at midnight so have the whole evening to enjoy this iconic city.
Day 11 - POUGHKEEPSIE & HUDSON RIVER, NEW YORK STATE
Visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, conceived by Roosevelt to house the many historical papers, books, and memorabilia throughout his life. After privately raising funds to build the site, he donated it to the National Archives to ensure that the public would have access to important historical documents. Also visit Eleanor Roosevelt’s residence Val-Kill, a National Historic Site. Wander the bucolic grounds and visit the cottage where Eleanor lived until her death. This afternoon we cruise along the Hudson enjoying the spectacle of autumnal foliage along the banks of this majestic river.
Day 12 - DELAWARE BAY & BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
This morning we cruise through Delaware Bay before transiting the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, arriving in Baltimore at lunchtime. Baltimore is a truly great American city full of colonial and maritime history. Our afternoon tour will include the national landmark historic and cultural district of Mount Vernon, Fort McHenry best known for its role in the War of 1812 and the vibrant hub of Fells point.
Day 13 - YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA
From the port of Yorktown, our excursion leads to historic Colonial Williamsburg. The capital of the Virginia colony from 1699 to 1780 and once the political and economic centre of the Virginia colony, Williamsburg is the nation’s premier living museum, offering visitors a glimpse of life as it was in the 17th and 18th centuries. A guided tour leads us along the Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg’s main thoroughfare, past the Capitol, the courthouse, the Governor’s Palace and the historic Bruton Parish Church, which has held Episcopal services here since 1715. Then enjoy time at leisure to explore the museums and side streets, which are filled with taverns, bakeries and the restored houses of wheelwrights, coopers, apothecaries and other tradesmen.
Day 14 - YORKTOWN TO LONDON
Disembark this morning and transfer to Washington D.C. for your return scheduled flight to London Heathrow.
Day 15 - LONDON HEATHROW
Arrive this morning.
The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.
If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.
Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.
For your comfort, safety and security
The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.