Atlantic Canada: Maritime Provinces

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island

Fall 2021 • 11 Days • Approx: $3800-$4100

Featuring walks and activities in the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

This tour is not yet finalized. We are waiting to finalize our 2021 Schedule till Spring of 2021, and will send out an announcement at that time.

Combining Maritime Provinces & Newfoundland

Travelers may join us for just the Maritime Provinces, or Newfoundland, or combine both tours into one longer, higher value Atlantic Canada Adventure. The flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia is included (not including fees for check luggage) for travelers joining us for both the Newfoundland and Maritime Provinces tours.

Over 20 years ago, we visited Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces on one of our earliest North American adventures. In fall 2016, our WAI planners completed a top to bottom review of the region and created a fully revised and improved itinerary with new walks and activities galore that we rolled out in 2017. It was a smashing success full of scenic glory and rich history, and we look forward to sharing it again in 2021!

Newfoundland (Part 1) – is truly a unique land, distinct in many ways from its sister provinces. Newfoundland is Canada’s newest and easternmost province. The spirit of independence and commitment to their unique island culture that kept them separate from neighboring Canadian provinces until the 1940’s is still evident today! “Newfie” warmth, hospitality, and sense of humor, not to mention boatloads of intriguing historic sites and drop-dead-gorgeous coastal scenery, make Newfoundland one of North America’s most underrated travel destinations.

Maritime Provinces (Part 2) – offers a trio of eastern Canada provinces that certainly live up to the name “Maritimes”. We are never more than a few miles from the sea, and everywhere we travel, themes of shipbuilding, fishing, navigation and naval pursuits are never far from the surface. The pastoral charms of Prince Edward Island, coastal beauty of Nova Scotia, and tidal surprises of New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy beckon travelers to wander the landscapes of Maritime Canada.

Combining Maritime Provinces & Newfoundland
Travelers can join us for just Maritime Provinces, or combine this tour with Newfoundland. A flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia will be included (not including fees for check luggage) for travelers joining us for both tours.

This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made as this tour is finalized, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!

Including:

NOTE: Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement. We provide a roommate matching service for those interested.

  • All land travel by motorcoach as outlined
  • Ferry crossing: Digby, NS to Saint John, NB
  • Ferry crossing: Wood Islands, PEI to Caribou, NS
  • Tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
  • 15 meals: all breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners as denoted (BLD)
  • 9 walk routes as listed
  • Walking fees for those collecting IVV/CVF walk credit (if IVV approved)
  • WAI guide service throughout
  • All tipping for group meals and coach drivers

Activities & Visits to:

  • Halifax Harbour Ferry – Nova Scotia
  • Peggy’s Cove – Nova Scotia
  • Lunenburg – Nova Scotia
  • Grand-Pré National Historic Site – Nova Scotia
  • Port Royal National Historic Site – Nova Scotia
  • Fundy Trail Parkway – New Brunswick
  • Hopewell Rocks – New Brunswick
  • Green Gables Heritage Place – Prince Edward Island
  • Prince Edward Island National Park
  • Cape Breton Island National Park – Nova Scotia
  • Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site – Nova Scotia
  • Activities at Liscombe Lodge – Nova Scotia
  • Memory Lane – Nova Scotia
  • More fun and educational stops than we can list!

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

Important Info

Group Size

Approximately 24-28 travelers

Hotels

Strategically located Tourist Class hotels or better

Meals

15 Meals included: All Breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners

Airfare

Not included. Start and finish point is Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Transportation

Included. We use motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 40+ seats.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Itinerary

This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made as this tour is finalized, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!

Click on each day to reveal more details. (BLD) refers to meals included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 1: Arrive Halifax, Nova Scotia (D)

Travelers arrive into Nova Scotia today at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Our hotel for the next three nights is about a 30-minute taxi ride from the airport and a block away from the bustling Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk. The first group activity is a Welcome Orientation this evening, followed by dinner together at our hotel.

Day 2: Activities in Halifax (B)

Halifax Harbour Walk – 10 km, rated 2B

Halifax is the largest city in the Maritime Provinces, and has been a center of commerce, culture, and the British claim to eastern Canada since it was established in the mid-18th century. Today’s walk starts by boarding a photogenic, oval-shaped Halifax Transit ferry, the oldest saltwater ferry vessels in North America, to access the Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail across the harbor. A second crossing returns us to Halifax and the Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk. Travelers are encouraged to “peel off” this guided event to explore the many Halifax attractions including: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, with a memorable exhibit on the Titanic disaster; Citadel National Historic Site, linchpin of the early British control over Halifax Harbour; and the excellent new Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, chronicling the dramatic story of New World immigration. All day is free to explore the many points of interest of this vibrant city on foot!

Day 3: Activities from Halifax (B)

Lunenburg UNESCO World Heritage Walk – 7 km, rated 2A

The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove claims to be the most photographed on the planet. To arrive before the paparazzi, we leave Halifax early today for your own iconic lighthouse photos and breakfast in this tiny fishing community. Lunenburg is the focus of the day with a walk through this charming, 18th century, bayside town recognized by UNESCO as the “best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America”.  Clipper ships, classic seafood restaurants, graceful and colorful 18th century wooden houses, and a fun Maritime-themed waterfront are some of the attractions on this trail.

Day 4: Halifax – Saint John, New Brunswick (B)

French immigrants were the first Europeans to settle in what is now Nova Scotia. These “Acadians” developed their own way of life, including the ingenious reclaiming of exceedingly fertile land from the Bay of Fundy. A clash of British colonial aspirations and ambiguous French loyalties within the Acadians resulted in the harsh deportation of Acadians during the French and Indian War of the mid-18th century. We learn this sad story at Grand-Pré National Historic Site, once the epicenter of Acadian culture, now a UNESCO listed site. Our afternoon visit takes us to Port Royal National Historic Site, where Samuel de Champlain established one of the first European settlements in North America in 1605.  The final activity of the day is an evening ferry crossing of the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, New Brunswick.

Day 5: Saint John – Charlottetown, PEI (B)

Fundy Trail Parkway Walk – 7 km, rated 2B

Fundy Trail Parkway opens a stunning window on the Bay of Fundy along a remote slice of New Brunswick coastline. Our walk here offers some of the best panoramas of the trip on a body of water renowned for its world record high tides. At Hopewell Rocks, we witness the erosive power of those tides as we walk the floor of the Bay amongst precariously perched sandstone columns sculpted over eons into odd shapes. We cross 8-mile-long Confederation Bridge this evening for a two-night stay in Charlottetown, capital of Canada’s smallest province.

Day 6: Activities from Charlottetown (BL)

Cavendish Anne of Green Gables Walk – 9 km, rated 1A

Prince Edward Island is known for its pleasing pastoral panoramas and outstanding seafood. It is also renowned as the setting for the beloved novel, Anne of Green Gables, the adventures and misadventures of irascible, red-haired Anne Shirley, created by Lucy Maud Montgomery. We sample all of these today, starting with a multifaceted field, forest, and seacoast walk. Following the walk, we visit nearby Green Gables Heritage Place where we tour the home that inspired the name of Ms. Montgomery’s book and visit several sites featured in the story, including “Haunted Wood” and “Lover’s Lane”. En route to Charlottetown, we visit the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company to sample their famous jams and enjoy lunch overlooking the Hunter River. The afternoon is free to explore Charlottetown on the local club walk. Be sure to take in Confederation Centre and the Building of Destiny film, an excellent portrayal of Charlottetown’s role in the founding of the Canadian nation.

Day 7: Charlottetown – Baddeck, Nova Scotia (BD)

Greenwich Dunes Trail – 7 km, rated 1A

A scenic drive along the northern fringe of the island takes us to Prince Edward Island National Park and a second peaceful PEI path on a picturesque elevated boardwalk with sweeping vistas of Greenwich Dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. Our coach continues south across more island vistas to the ferry terminal at Wood Islands. A 90-minute ferry crossing of Northumberland Strait returns us to Nova Scotia, where we continue by bus to Cape Breton Island. Once a separate British colony, Cape Breton Island is now considered one of the most scenic and culturally rich regions of Nova Scotia. We’re planning a lobster dinner this evening in Baddeck, our home for the next two nights.

Day 8: Activities from Baddeck (B)

Middle Head Trail – 5 km, rated 2C
Lone Shieling Trail – 1 km, rated 1B
Skyline Trail – 7 km, rated 2B

Baddeck is the beginning and end of the Cabot Trail, considered one of the most scenic drives in Canada. Our objective today is to drive the loop, stopping for three diverse walks and a picnic lunch at beautiful Black Brook Cove Beach. Eagles were sighted when we walked the coastal headlands of Middle Head Trail; Lone Shieling is a magical glen of green bisected by a babbling brook; and Skyline Trail provides top-of-the-world views out over the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. We return to Baddeck, on the shores of lovely Bras d’Or Lake, one of the largest salt-water lakes on the planet.

Day 9: Baddeck – Liscomb Mills (BD)

Liscomb River Trail – 3 km, rated 1B

This morning we visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum to marvel at the contributions of a giant in the realm of inventions and technology who called the Baddeck area home for a good portion of his life. Our destination is the Eastern Shore, a delightfully isolated corner of the province frequented by less than 5% of Nova Scotia’s visitors. We arrive mid-afternoon at Liscombe Lodge, a hospitable setting to experience several options including: a boat trip out into the river estuary; canoeing or kayaking; a lovely swimming pool and whirlpool; and a short walk through the forest to upper reaches of the river. These lovely lodge environs offer an inviting setting for an early farewell gathering and dinner. Join us this evening to share your favorite memory from your adventure in the Maritimes.

Day 10: Liscomb Mills – Halifax airport (BL)

Today’s route winds through tiny hamlets, past fishing coves, and through vistas that, as much as any on this journey, qualify to be described as “Maritime.” Lunch takes place down the road in a 1940s lumberjack cookhouse in a lovingly homespun living history museum called Memory Lane. This evening we arrive at our airport area hotel in time to pack for tomorrow morning’s departure.

Day 11: Depart from Halifax (B)

Our Adventure in the Maritimes comes to a close this morning. As we depart for home, it is somehow comforting to know that in the midst of an increasingly abstract and digital world, simple and refreshingly old-fashioned corners of the planet still exist in the ever-charming Maritime Provinces of Canada.

More Details

Click on each heading for more details.

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

We are not accepting deposits on our 2021 tours at this time. We are waiting to finalize our 2021 Schedule till the Spring of 2021, and will send out an announcement then.

Combining Maritime Provinces & Newfoundland

Travelers may join us for just Maritime Provinces, or Newfoundland, or combine both tours into one longer, higher value Atlantic Canada Adventure. The flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia is included (not including fees for check luggage) for travelers joining us for both the Newfoundland and Maritime Provinces tours.

Tour Accommodations

Good quality, tourist-class accommodations are the standard for our Adventure. Most hotels on this tour are selected primarily as a practical base from which to pursue our itinerary. Because much of this Adventure is in rural and rugged Canada, a few of our properties are quality motels reflecting the spirit of our setting, which we think you’ll enjoy. Most, but not all, of our accommodations on this adventure are single-floor or have elevators. Travelers should be able to carry their luggage up a number of steps to get to a second-floor room if necessary.

How is airfare arranged?

The official start point for the Newfoundland tour is our hotel in St John’s, Newfoundland and the finish point is our hotel in Deer Lake, Newfoundland. The official start and end point for the Maritime Provinces tour is our hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Travelers joining us for both Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces will receive a complimentary flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia (not including fees for check luggage).  More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact details will be made available after this tour itinerary has been finalized.

Walk Ratings and Procedures

We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Because these are guided group walks, the success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness in order to ensure that we are walking at a somewhat similar pace.

Walks on this trip are predominantly nature walks, some of which are on ungroomed trails with challenging footing (particularly in Newfoundland). Please pay careful attentions to the walk ratings in the itinerary. One of the most challenging parts of a group walking adventure is managing needs and expectations for pace and trail difficulty across a range of walkers.

If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office.

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:

INCLINE

1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.