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Old 07-22-2006, 02:59 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
Can anyone give me some advise as to what shore excursions to consider on a New England cruise. I leave on Sept. 9th on the Dawn and I'm very excited to go to Martha's Vineyard, Boston, Halifax, Bar Harbor and Newport. Having never been to any of these places I definately want to make good choices. We have a full day in each location so we won't be rushed. My husband and I are sailors as well so we are looking forward to the seaside communities. Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-22-2006, 05:31 PM
LisaP's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 5,589
This is a great itinerary -- and one we've done a few times. We also live in the area.

MV - My best advice here is to rent a bike and do your own tour. There are many maps available, and bike rentals are in abundance near the tender dock. Just watch the time as it is a tender port.

Boston - The Freedom Trail is a must if you are into American History. There is no charge -- just follow the red line along the sidewalk. Maps are also available online. The cruise lines, along with the port of Boston, generally run a shuttle (for a fee) to the Faneuil Hall area, which is on the Freedom Trail. As the Trail is a large circuit, it doesn't matter where you begin. Another choice would be a Boston Duck Tour, in which you are driven through the city in an amphibious vehicle. Part of the tour is on the Charles River itself... very pretty and relaxing.

Bar Harbor - A great town for walking. And,the main attraction is Acadia National Park -- well worth the visit. You don't need a ship tour for this, but again, watch the clock as this is a tender port. When you are done with the Park, take a walk through town and stop just about anywhere for a lobster lunch. Trust me - you will never enjoy cruise ship "lobster" after this.

Newport - The mansions are the main draw. My favorite thing to do here -- as a sea-lover myself -- is to walk along the area behind the mansions where the Atlantic meets the rocky coast, an area known as the Cliff Walk. You won't have a lot of time to visit more than a couple of mansions. My favorites are the Astor House and the Breakers. If you choose to stay in town, there is the tennis hall of fame and the oldest surviving synagogue in the mainland U.S.

Halifax - This is my favorite port. (In fact, we were there again just a couple of weeks ago.) Peggy's Cove is very pretty, but if you are already doing the Cliff Walk in Newport I wouldn't bother. Instead, I recommend the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Pier 21 Immigration Museum, both located on a boardwalk along the pier. (In fact, the ship will likely dock at Pier 21.) You can also visit the Citadel fortress -- again, for a bit of history.

Obviously, I can go on and on about these ports. If anything in particular appeals to you, please let me know. Also let me know if there are any other activities you'd enjoy, such as beaches or shopping.
Happy cruising!
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Old 07-22-2006, 07:59 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
LisaP: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wonderful advise. We had already decided to do MV on our own but a bike sounds even better. At Bar Harbor we thought about the Land and Sea package that includes Acadia National Park and sailing on a schooner (we are sailors). In Boston, we are still considering our options but the Duck Tour was our number one choice at this point. In Newport I wanted to do one of the mansion tours and I love your idea of the Clift Walk. In Halifax, we don't have a clue yet so I really appreciate your thoughts. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this cruise. Coming from Phoenix when it's still very hot in September, do you know what the temp. is likely to be?

Again, thank you for your recommendations. We plan on doing some shopping as well. We have a 40' sailboat in Los Angeles that needs some nautical decorations and I thought what better place to find this kind of thing than with this wonderful itinerary. Any shops you recommend?
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