During this voyage along the United States eastern seaboard we travel as far north as Yarmouth in Nova Scotia and to Savannah, Georgia in the Deep South. This unique cruise is a fantastic opportunity to witness the autumnal colours of the New England states and immerse yourself in the glorious colonial architecture of Virginia, the Carolina’s and Georgia. In just two weeks we cover a great swathe of America visiting some of the most famous places that were the foundation of the nation from Boston to Washington and beyond.
O f course we could not offer such an itinerary without including the cities of Boston, New York and Washington, but for many it is the less well known that will be the most memorable. We will visit Yorktown with its famous battlegrounds of the American Revolution and nearby Williamsburg in all its 18th century glory. Then on to Baltimore with its famed inner harbour and Fort McHenry, and on our visit to Boston, we will call into the fishing town of Gloucester which is also an internationally acclaimed artists’ colony.
Just across from the Massachusetts coast lies the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard, a world famous resort where we spend the day before enjoying a well earned relaxing day at sea as we head for Portsmouth Virginia. And so begins our journey along the coastline of the Southern States visiting Wilmington South Carolina, and beautifully preserved Charleston, the birthplace of the Civil War. Our journey ends in Savannah, an elegant city founded in 1733 where we will see some of its enchanting architecture before returning home.
Although this cruise is not classified as expeditionary, on some days it will be necessary to use the Zodiac landing craft to access remote ports and land ashore.
New England in the Fall and the Colonial South itinerary:
Day 1 - LONDON TO WASHINGTON DC.
Fly by scheduled flight. Drive to Norfolk and embark MS Caledonian Sky. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner. Moor overnight.
Day 2 - NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.
From the port of Norfolk, our excursion leads to historic Williamsburg. The capital of the Virginia colony from 1699 to 1780, 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. Sail this evening up Chesapeake Bay.
Day 3 - WASHINGTON DC.
During the night we will enter the Potomac River, arriving in Alexandria at breakfast time. We will start the day with a visit to nearby Mount Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington. For more than 40 years, George Washington, Commanderin- Chief of the American forces in the Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States, called Mount Vernon home. Today, guests to Mount Vernon can visit the Mansion, more than a dozen original structures, Washington’s Tomb, and nearly 50 acres of his extensive plantation. After lunch we will set off for Washington DC, enjoying a drive around the capital including the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington Memorial and the White House. We return to the vessel in the late afternoon and sail down the Potomac River.
Day 4 - BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.
Baltimore is a truly great American city full of colonial and maritime history. Our morning tour will include the national landmark historic and cultural district of Mount Vernon ; it is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods and originally was home to the city’s most wealthy and fashionable families. Later, visit Fort McHenry best known for its role in the War of 1812 and the vibrant hub of Fells Point. Back on board for lunch and a relaxing afternoon at sea.
Day 5 - NEW YORK, NEW YORK STATE.
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. We sail at midnight so have the whole evening to enjoy this iconic city.
Day 6 - NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND.
A principal 18th century port city, Newport boasts amongst the highest number of surviving colonial builds of any city in the United States. Our afternoon tour will explore the opulent ocean-side mansions, interesting museums, coastal forts and lighthouses of the town.
Day 7 - GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS.
From our berth in the enchanting port of Gloucester we take a tour to Boston and Cambridge. 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. 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.
Day 8 - YARMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA
Arrive this afternoon in the fishing port of Yarmouth. Once one of the major shipbuilding ports in the world today it is home to the largest fishing industry in Atlantic Canada and the largest lobster fishery in the world. We will admire the Victorian architecture, a legacy of the wealthy captains and shipowners who once resided here and explore the Cape Forchu lighthouse, known as the Beacon to Canada. We will have ample time to explore the town and local museums.
Day 9 - 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. Later, you will have the opportunity to stroll along the harbour or discover the town’s fine boutiques and restaurants.
Day 10 - AT SEA.
Relax onboard and attend a lecture.
Day 11 - PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA.
We will spend the morning in this charming town which, like its namesake in the UK, has a fine seafaring tradition. We will visit the Naval Museum and have a guided tour through the Old Town with its well kept period homes and interesting shops and galleries. Sail at lunchtime. This afternoon we cruise along the long chain of barrier Islands from Kittihawk to Cape Hatteras, a haven for birdlife.
Day 12 - WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA.
Situated between the sea and Cape Fear River, historic Wilmington was founded in 1739. To this day, visitors are reminded of its rich history by the grand old homes and tree-lined boulevards making Wilmington one of the most beautiful small cities in the south. Our visit will include the beautiful antebellum Bellamay Mansion and the quintessential southern garden of Airlie. This 67 acre garden by the sea is a breathtaking combination of formal gardens, wildlife, follies and sculptures and 10 acres of fresh water lakes.
Day 13 - CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA.
The city of Charleston is brimming with history and culture. Here was the scene of the major Revolutionary War naval battles, tales of pirates and civil war sieges. We will moor in the heart of this living museum on the banks of the Ashley River. Here is one the best places to appreciate Southern antebellum culture. Our tour will include Fort Sumter and some of the best plantations, gardens and parks. We will stay in Charleston until late in the evening affording the opportunity for an after dinner walk along the cobblestone streets illuminated by old fashioned gas lamps.
Day 14 - SAVANNAH, GEORGIA.
We disembark the Caledonian Sky this morning and drive to Savannah. Our first stop will be Fort Jackson built in 1808 is the oldest standing fort in Georgia. The fort was built for the defense of Savannah during the War of 1812 and was an active Fort until 1905. We will enjoy lunch at the site before exploring the Historic district of Savannah. This 2.2 square miles of the Historic District shows 268 years of rich history with its restored 18th and 19th century buildings, and the waterfront where cotton warehouses are now restaurants, hotels, and shops. Our beautiful city eloquently displays exquisite ironwork, ancient cobblestones, splendid mansions and picturesque cottages. You will see and hear about Factors Walk, Trustees Garden, City Market, and Colonial Cemetery. During the walking portion of this tour you will visit one of the most elegant houses in Savannah, the Andrew Low House, c.1848 and see the magnificent Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the Massie Heritage Centre which interprets the history of Savannah. We have also arranged a special visit to a lovely private home and garden where you will be treated to light refreshments. We transfer to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for our overnight stay. This evening we will enjoy dinner at the Olde Pink Restaurant a traditional experience in the Historic Area.
Day 15 - SAVANNAH TO LONDON.
Disembark this morning and return to London by scheduled indirect flight.
Day 16 - 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.