Somewhat unlike the US, Canada is proud of its European heritage, particularly notable in the east. Sailing the Gulf of St. Lawrence on your Canadian cruise, around the mainland coastlines, hamlets and islands of Canada’s Eastern Seaboard, you’ll discover a rich history and wealth of experiences all played out before a magnificent backdrop. Green, thickly forested slopes sit beneath rocky peaks that cascade steeply to the sea, where the waters are rich with plankton and krill - this, in turn, attracts an abundance of Crustacea, fish and whales. It was intrepid fishermen from Europe, notably Portugal, Spain, England and France who initially harvested these riches. The French were the first to settle the area, founding Acadie or Acadia, followed by the British who established New Scotland, now Nova Scotia. The subsequent battles for supremacy have left place names, customs and languages that betray the often bloody history of the region. Cultural differences are now however largely forgotten and combine to add to the unique feel of the region.
Leaving the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the province of Nova Scotia offers a return to the open sea and the stunning harbours of a coast where the scenery and wildlife offer a compelling distraction while the small havens visited offer the freshest, tastiest seafood.
Heading west, the population dissipates, paving the way for a wealth of natural wonders, drizzled liberally across the landscape like maple syrup. Experiences here are likely to be equally as sweet too, with skiing in snow-white Whistler, the chic, multicultural confines of Vancouver and of course, the heart-stopping grandeur of the Rockies. If lucky, you may even spot the odd brown bear while you’re on your cruise’s shore excursions. Every aspect and activity will leave you in awe, and with picture-perfect mementoes around every corner, it’d be a crime to forget the camera!
Canada is up to its eyeballs in rich cultural heritage. A series of festivals, events and other gatherings are held annually to celebrate the traditions, cultures and influences that have gone into this contrasting melting pot, moulding it into the great, unique nation it has become today. A voyage around these soul-quenching shores will serve up a generous helping but will leave you with a taste for more.