Best of the Canadian Maritime 27-Day RV Caravan
Our adventure begins in Bar Harbor, Maine, a well-known New England vacation spot located close to Acadia National Park’s 50-square miles of mountains, lakes and amazing views. Naturally, our welcome dinner will be delicious and famous — we’re having Maine lobster (‘lobstah’ in this part of the world), and we meet our fellow travelers and Fantasy Ambassadors as well as have our orientation. Fantasy will hand out your Canada Discovery Passes that will provide access to Canadian National Parks.
We set out for New Brunswick, Canada, the next day, stopping for several nights in beautiful St. Andrews-by-the-Sea to enjoy ocean-front camping. We have a bus tour of the town and stop for lunch at Kingsbrae Gardens – 27 beautiful acres of themed gardens, streams, ponds and sculptures. There’s time for those who choose to drive to Minister Island, but check the tides first! During high tide, it is an actual island, however during low tide you can drive or walk directly to the island and visit the summer ‘cottage’ of railroad baron Sir William Van Horne, consisting of 50 rooms, including 17 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.
Our New Brunswick adventures continue when we move on for two nights of camping in Saint John. We enjoy a guided bus tour of the area, visiting what’s left of Fort Howe, built in 1777 by the British to protect locals from marauding Americans. Next stop is the oldest continuing farmers’ market in Canada – the Old City Market. And then we experience the phenomenon of the Reversing Falls. During low tides, the 450-mile-long Saint John River runs into the Bay of Fundy. Every 12-1/2 hours, the bay’s tides begin to rise, slowing the course of the river until it stops completely. Once the bay tides become higher than the river level, the river begins to flow upstream, creating rapids. After the tide subsides, the upstream flow decreases and the normal flow out to the bay resumes.
Next stop is Hopewell Cape and the Bay of Fundy. We view the Flowerpot Rocks – at low tide we can walk around them on the ocean floor. But once high tide returns, the same rocks become small islands in the sea. As we cross into Nova Scotia, we learn more about the Bay of Fundy and the unique seascape it creates as 160 tons of water move in and out of its Tidal bore twice every day. That evening, we enjoy a delicious campground cookout.
At Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, we camp for three nights with ocean views and take a bus tour to Fort Anne, built by the Scots in 1629. We also explore the quaint settlement of Port Royal, established by French fur traders to resemble the fortified farm hamlets of France in the 1600s. We then enjoy a delicious local lunch and the Annapolis Royal Gardens.
The following two nights are spent in Lunenburg, a meticulously planned British settlement that still retains centuries-old layout and appearance. We visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, where we see a living fish exhibit and learn about life in a small fishing community. There’s plenty of time for those who wish to drive to the Blue Rocks, Mahone Bay and Peggy’s Cove – home of the iconic Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, which has kept watch over the seas since 1915.
Our next stop, Halifax, is the capital of Nova Scotia and has a rich and exciting history. We spend several nights here, cruise the harbor on a Tall Ship and enjoy yet another delicious campground dinner. On a city bus tour, we learn the history of the city as well as some interesting details about the Titanic. When the ship tragically sank in 1912, the remains of those who perished were brought to Halifax, and we view their graves at Fairview Cemetery. At the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, we discover the lifestyle aboard the Titanic and view many artifacts salvaged from the ship – considered the most luxurious vessel of all time.
We enjoy three nights in North Sydney, located on Cape Breton Island. Here, we explore the Fortress of Louisbourg and take a leisurely drive along the spectacular Cabot Trail, stopping at small communities, local restaurants, hiking trails and creative craft shops along the way. We stop for the next night in Elm River and travel on to Prince Edward Island (or PEI as the locals call it). To reach the island, we drive across the Confederation Bridge – eight miles long and the longest bridge over icy waters in the world. Our PEI home is Cavendish, where we stay for the next four nights with plenty to do. We enjoy live musical theatre at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown.
Our North Shore tour takes us to PEI National Park with pristine beaches, where we discover the proud fishing traditions of North Rustico and view an actual lobster-fishing demonstration. We enjoy a special tour of Green Gables farm, the setting for the popular novel Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908 by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
We all agree that we’ve experienced the best of the Canadian Maritimes – the friendly people, the amazing tides of the Bay of Fundy and so much more. We will definitely have memories to last us a lifetime.