Sunday, September 27 - BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
New England's largest city, Boston, Massachusetts, is home to historic sights and modern neighborhoods; stores and restaurants with old-time character; and gracious green spaces as well as a beautiful waterfront. Legendary figures of the American Revolution come alive at buildings and attractions along Boston's Freedom Trail, including the Paul Revere House and Old South Meeting House, and in Lexington and Concord just outside Boston. Pay homage to great U.S. Presidents at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and in the town of Quincy, birthplace of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
Monday, September 28 - PORTLAND, MAINE
Squint your eyes and admit it: Doesn't that skinny, bearded hipster walking down the cobbled street look a lot like a 19th-century sea captain heading to the wharf to check his ship? Modern Portland, first settled in 1633, carries the marks of both subsets of Mainers. The restored brick buildings and warehouses of the Old Port and the fine upright houses of prosperous captains, merchants and shipbuilders make the city's past a living part of its present. And the waterfront is a going concern, not a museum: Fishing boats chug into and out of their berths, buoys clang, harbor seals bark. Those shop windows aren't displaying hardtack, rope or hand salve, though. Joice joints, art galleries, bookstores (and comic-book stores!), worshipful temples to cofee, locavore bistros with national press, bespoke menswear designers and gelato shops all jostle for attention. Don't limit your visit to the Old Port, though. Wander through the terrific art museum or take a tour of one of the city's historic homes, Jump on a ferry or whale-watching boat and get out into the busy harbor. Head to the coast-craggy, windswept, dramatic-a glorious and undeniably New England panorama. Get out and take it all in. Welcome to Vacationland.
Tuesday, September 29 - HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
Located on a rocky inlet on the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax-Nova Scotia's provincial capital- is defined by its maritime geography. It's spirited mix of world-class history and nautical-themed museums alongside bunkers and fortresses that guarded the harbor, plus striking public art and sights, funky shops and excellent pubs serving up folk music (and good pints).
Wednesday, September 30 - AT SEA
Thursday, October 1 - ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA
Closer to London than it is to Canada's west coast, the capital of Newfoundland, St. John's, has long looked east and across the Atlantic. It is the easternmost city in North America, excluding Greenland, and has its own time zone, a half-hour ahead of the rest of eastern Canada. Long before there was a permanent town, established around 1630, British fishermen would set up camp here in the summer. To this day the harbor remains the center of the city, with its oldest buildings and streets (including Water Street, the oldest street in North America) nearby. And although it was primarily fishing and whaling that drove the economy of St. John's for centuries, today the oil and natural gas found beneath the ocean floor is increasingly important.
Friday, October 2 - ST. ANTHONY, NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA
Near the northern tip of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula, tiny St. Anthony (population: 2,418) predates even the famed navigator and explorer Jacques Cartier. Though he gave the town its name, it was already a seasonal camp used by French and Basque fishermen when he arrived in 1534. St. Anthony's fortunes have long been tied to the sea: those fishermen were followed by whalers, and now tourism has become increasingly important, with whale-watching expeditions among the principal draws. Other opportunities for sightings include moose (the area has one of the world's largest populations of them), polar bears in the spring, and icebergs as they drift south along the Newfoundland coast. For many travelers, however, St. Anthony is the gateway to one of North America's most intriguing archaeological sites. While Christopher Columbus is popularly credited with being the first European to "discover" the New World, Viking explorers were there before him - more than four centuries earlier. The remains of an 11th-century village at L'Anse aux Meadows, located less than an hour north of St. Anthony, are the oldest evidence of a European settlement in North America. Today, the reconstructed sod houses at this UNESCO World Heritage Site give a sense of the hard lives of those early settlers.
Saturday, October 3 - AT SEA
Sunday, October 4 - HAVRE-SAINT-PIERRE, QUEBEC, CANADA
Havre-Saint-Pierre (Harbour St. Pierre in English), is a small town of 3,300 inhabitants, situated along Quebec's North Shore. It was settled in 1857 by six Acadian-French families originally from the Iles de la Madeleine. Here they found a land rich in lumber and a sea rich in fish. Today's inhabitants speak a dialect of Acadian French different from the French spoken in the rest of the Province of Quebec.
Monday, October 5 - BAIE-COMEAU, QUEBEC, CANADA the ship and bid farewell to Baie-Comeau is beautifully located on the banks of the Mancouagan and Saint Lawrence Rivers. Stroll the lovely quartier Sainte-Amelie. Learn about regional wildlife at the Maison de la Faune. Or visit the new Centre Boreal, a fascinating Glacier Center where visitors can walk through a manmade glacier, experiencing its temperature, sound and movement.
Tuesday, October 6 - QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC, CANADA (OVERNIGHT)
Monday, October 7 - QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC, CANADA
Few places in North America are as steeped in history as Quebec, City, Canada. Older than Jamestown and founded before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, it is the only city north of Mexico whose original fortifications remain intact. The Quebec City historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is still home to religious orders and hospitals that date back to the 17th century. Its Place-Royale would look familiar to the explorer Samuel de Champlain, even with its modern attractions of gift shops and cafes. On the Plains of Abraham, you can walk the battlefield where, in 1759, the French forces under General Montcalm were decisively trounced by the British, led by General Wolfe.