“Our only small group holiday covering Maine's littoral loveliness. Starting in Boston and crossing over the border to explore Canada’s east coast islands and highlands. ”
Boston | Baxter State Park | Fundy NP | Acadia NP | Prince Edward island | Cape Breton Highlands NP | Nova Scotia
Description of New England and Canadian east coast tours
This coastal odyssey takes you far off NE USA’s tourist trail through northern New England, and then into Canada where its most underrated Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island await. Travelling with a small group, by private bus, this is far from just a ‘coach’ tour, however, taking time to delve deeply into the cultural and natural heritage highlights en route.
For example, we spend two days in Maine’s Baxter State Park, where there are over 800km2 of hiking trails, canoe trails and peaks. It is also home to the highest summit in Maine, Mount Katahdin at 1,605m, the end point for those taking on the famous Appalachian Trail. Although thankfully, this is just the beginning of this trip for us. From here, we take you across the border to explore Fundy National Park famous for its conifer covered Caledonian Highlands that descend down to the Bay of Fundy. More beauty awaits on Prince Edward Island where, even though it is Canada’s smallest province, it is packed with prettiness. We spend two days exploring its stunning red sandstone coastal rock formations, glowing pink sandy beaches and cycling along its backroads. All very Anne of Green Gables. Which it should be. It was set here.
Just as you think the natural beauty can’t be surpassed we take you to Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Again, we have two days to explore in any way you see fit. Saunter along its dramatic cliff seascapes by foot, or take them in from the water going on a guided sea kayaking expedition. Or hike through the stunning Acadian and boreal forests, with trails that lead you into the landscapes of black bear and bald eagles.
For a bit of city culture, we spend two days in Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia province and a beautiful maritime city to lose yourself in, be it in museums, art galleries, waterfront restaurants or boutiques. For one last blast of nature before heading back to Boston, where the trip also began, there is nothing like Maine’s Acadia National Park. Because this national park is located on a collection of rugged islands, such as Mount Desert Island, where hiking is a treat following rocky shoreline trails, through littoral woodland and, for those who enjoy more of a challenge, up to some magnificent granite peaks.
Staying in small, locally owned hotels along the way, with superb maritime influenced food everywhere you go, this trip is a unique way to see stunning landscapes across both sides of the North American border.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Responsible tourism: New England and Canadian east coast tours
We are committed to offering low impact tours that benefit both the places and communities we visit as well as our travellers. It is important for us all to be aware of the delicate balance that exists in the variety of natural wonders you will visit. National Parks and monuments, archaeological sites and other sensitive areas should and must be treated with respect.
We have created a 'Travellers' Code of Conduct' to help prepare and inform our groups of the various positive or negative effects they could have on a destination. The code includes tips on everything from handling wildlife encounters to how you can help to conserve precious natural resources. Our tour leaders will explain this code of conduct during the first night’s orientation talk and encourage you to follow it throughout the tour.
This code includes following the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic, this is an international campaign that is designed to help us minimise the impact on the National Parks and other wilderness areas that we visit. Some key guidelines we follow include keeping to existing trails, staying in official campgrounds and disposing of all waste responsibly and recycling whatever we can.
We are proud supporters of Bay Area Wilderness Training (www.bawt.org) a charity based in Oakland California which works to connect disadvantaged children in the local urban area with the great outdoors. Their work helps to provide these young people with life changing experiences which they can apply to everyday life. Everyone booking with Grand American Adventures has the option to donate £1/$1/€1 to support this well-deserved charity and we will match this donation.
Whenever possible, we use local accommodation and activity providers. We also shop locally for groceries, eat in small family-run restaurants and visit local shops whenever possible. This all brings economic benefit to the local communities that we visit.
We spend a significant amount of time at various National Parks on this tour, the included entrance fees help to preserve the status and upkeep of the park on a continued and sustainable basis. Interaction with National Park Rangers helps to preserve this role as an employment opportunity for local people and future generations
Our tour leaders will educate travellers on how best to interact with the wildlife in the parks, for example advising people not to feed the animals to stop them becoming dependent on hand-outs from humans. They will also advise all groups to keep to the path to avoid upsetting the balance of nature.
Reviews of New England and Canadian east coast tours
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 19 Sep 2016 by Jill Powlettbrown
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Whale-watching in the Gulf of Maine ... amongst the most memorable of other memorable moments, including Pier 21 Immigration Museum in Halifax, the ceilidh at Cavendish, and the few birds that were around.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Be aware that - there are long days travelling between each location, and that the transport used may not be all that comfortable; in the kind of wonderful, hot and sunny weather that we were lucky enough to have throughout the trip, good-quality air conditioning is essential. - this is a very busy trip with little time in some locations. - the meal plan (breakfast only, and not in every location) is limited in some locations to continental provision (grudgingly provided in Cheticamp!) - the single supplement is very high.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
There was no overt focus on this, and I would question whether we reduced the environmental impact in any meaningful way, but as tourism is a central economy in Maritime Canada then I hope we made a small contribution.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Overall, excellent, especially the excellent leadership from Gem; but I would hesitate to recommend for the following reasons : - transport was inadequate for the long days' travelling - the timing of the whale-watching trip meant there was no time to visit Acadia NP. Extra time would have been good in Cape Breton to do more of the Cabot Trail (but please don't use Merry's Motel, where the owners are clearly disinterested in having guests) - the single supplement is punitive and discriminatory. Had I had to pay full single supplement (£739), I would not have proceeded with the booking.
Read the operator's response here:
As always we appreciate all feedback. It was great having you as part of this trip and are glad you enjoyed the trip.
The vehicle used on this trip was from our brand new fleet of luxury vans. Feedback from clients this year has been very good so we are sorry you found the transport inadequate.
Timings for the whale watching are less frequent outside the summer months, although there was still time to do a loop around Arcadia NP. According to the tour leader those participating in the whale watching chose not to opt for a quick visit to Arcadia. Anyhow your comments are welcome and have been noted by the operations team in the US.