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Halifax/Sydney/Charlottetown/Saguenay with Kid


gemduncan
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I’m traveling with my husband, daughter (age 11), my father (age 73), and me in early September 2020 on NCL cruise line out of Boston and ending in Quebec City. We are planning to stay 1 night in Quebec City before flying home.

 

What are some excursions you would recommend that are good for history buffs like my dad but also fun for 11 year old girl who is bored by museums?

 

I’m looking for specific places or companies to use for excursions in Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, and Saguenay.

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I would seriously consider splitting up for your excursions in these ports with one parent accompanying your daughter and the other accompanying your father. Having been on this itinerary, there’s really nothing I could recommend which would appeal to both a history-loving adult and a museum-adverse pre-teen.

 

Then you can rejoin at dinner and have lots to talk about!

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GradUT - this is very discouraging. This is our very first family cruise with my dad. It’s to celebrate his birthday, too. I do not want to do separate excursions. There has to be something at each port that we can all do together as a family, right?

 

Here are some options that my dad wants to do at each port. Obviously, we can’t do all of these, but I’d appreciate any help narrowing down the list to only 1 excursion per port. All of these excursions are offered via NCL.

 

Bar Harbor - (1) Acadia National Park or (2) Lighthouse & National Park cruise 

 

Halifax - (1) Peggy’s Cove & City bus hop on and off, (2) Coastal Drive Peggy’s Cove, (3) Peggy’s Cove coach bus tour with stops at lighthouse and maple syrup 

 

Sydney- (1) Heart of the Island tour 

 

Charlottetown - (1) Best of PEI tour. It is 6 3/4 hour long (2) Horse Trolly in downtown. It is only 1 hour (3) Walking guided tour. It is only 1 hour (4) Double Decker bus downtown tour. It is only 1.5 hour tour

 

Saguenay- (1) Cultural stage show with horses and actors (2) Discover the Fjords secrets on land/sea tour. It is 5.5 hour tour

 

Quebec City -walk around on our own and stay night 

 

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I so disagree.

 

In Sydney you can visit Fortress Louisbourg which is a partial reconstruction of the fortified town as it was in 1744. If you are there before Sept. 15, especially, there are costumed live animators to bring the history to life. There are two places to eat 1744 style and so much more.

 

See this link for what there is to do in Sydney are area. Three other great museums (but either animated or interactive) are the Highland Village Museum, The Cape Breton Miners Museum, and the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. All of these have things that should keep an eleven year old interested.

 

In Halifax you can visit the Citadel and see the dry moat and fortifications and perhaps hear the cannon fired at noon hour. Also check out the Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and the Maritime Museum with artifacts from the Titanic. You could have a great day just in Halifax with a taxi to the Citadel and the two other things  mentioned a few minutes walk from your ship.  See this link for more information about Halifax.

 

Quebec is the oldest city in North America and has lots of history. I am not an expert for there but a bit of googling should find you tours that go into the history.

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

A visit to the home of Anne of Green Gables is a rite of passage when visiting PEI. You will need to travel to Cavendish, approximately 45 minutes from Charlottetown. Charlottetown is a very walkable city and there is lots to see and do while in port. The Father’s of Confederation will be walking around, have ice cream at Cow’s and go on a hunt for all of the “mice” hidden in and about. There’s an art gallery and Victoria Row is a great spot to eat and shop.

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Does your daughter enjoy sea life? It might be fun for her to check out the tide pools in Acadia. I think the free bus is still running in September, so you can do a little research on the area you’d like to focus on in the park, then hit the bus when you get off the tender. http://exploreacadia.com/index.htm
 

In Charlottetown, I’d personally rent a car and make my own “best of PEI” tour, to suit both your daughter and your dad. In fact, I think I’d recommend that for every stop except Bar Harbor. In Sauguenay, the musée du fjord has an aquarium as well as historical displays, so that might hit all the right notes for your group.

 

We have enjoyed many years of three-generation travel, sometimes to places people told us would be boring for our son, sometimes to places people told us would be too hard on my mother-in-law. We have always had a wonderful time, and learned so much about our world in the process. Kudos to you for getting the family together, and enjoy!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/19/2019 at 4:35 PM, HarpHarp said:

With an 11 year old girl, I'd sure want to do the Ann of Green Gables farm in Charlottetown. In Halifax maybe a city tour & ride on the Duck amphibious vehicle. or the Citidel & Maritime museum. Good luck.

I agree. Anne of Green Gables homestead for an 11 year old and also for some of us old timers that remember the beautiful stories of Anne when we were young. We guys also liked knowing about Anne's difficult adventure. I would suggest that a car be rented in Charlottetown as everything on PEI is far flung. Also the Green Gables Homestead can get crowded when the tour buses stop there. If you go by yourself it's much easier to manage your time.

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On 9/16/2019 at 10:14 AM, gemduncan said:

GradUT - this is very discouraging. This is our very first family cruise with my dad. It’s to celebrate his birthday, too. I do not want to do separate excursions. There has to be something at each port that we can all do together as a family, right?

 

Here are some options that my dad wants to do at each port. Obviously, we can’t do all of these, but I’d appreciate any help narrowing down the list to only 1 excursion per port. All of these excursions are offered via NCL.

 

Bar Harbor - (1) Acadia National Park or (2) Lighthouse & National Park cruise 

 

Halifax - (1) Peggy’s Cove & City bus hop on and off, (2) Coastal Drive Peggy’s Cove, (3) Peggy’s Cove coach bus tour with stops at lighthouse and maple syrup 

 

Sydney- (1) Heart of the Island tour 

 

Charlottetown - (1) Best of PEI tour. It is 6 3/4 hour long (2) Horse Trolly in downtown. It is only 1 hour (3) Walking guided tour. It is only 1 hour (4) Double Decker bus downtown tour. It is only 1.5 hour tour

 

Saguenay- (1) Cultural stage show with horses and actors (2) Discover the Fjords secrets on land/sea tour. It is 5.5 hour tour

 

Quebec City -walk around on our own and stay night 

 

I am sorry but I just look up Peggy's cove on google maps. I zoomed in very close and then walked the town with the little google man. To me it looks like a run down little town on the water. Please let me know what I am missing because we were thinking of going their when we get off the ship. Is it worth a 3 hr round trip drive? TIA

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On 2/23/2020 at 10:59 AM, Topdog52 said:

I am sorry but I just look up Peggy's cove on google maps. I zoomed in very close and then walked the town with the little google man. To me it looks like a run down little town on the water. Please let me know what I am missing because we were thinking of going their when we get off the ship. Is it worth a 3 hr round trip drive? TIA

I think the idea is the big granite rocks and the lighthouse. It's a pretty contrast. If that's not your thing, maybe you would rather spend the 3 hour round-trip drive to go to Lunenberg? It's a UNESCO site so it has to be impressive. I did just what you did and the town looks so pretty. There's another pretty site on the way, called Mahone Bay, really pretty churches. Looks like you can take the coastal road to Lunenberg, then take the highway back; if you're curious enough about Peggy's Cove to take the detour off the highway (and the extra 45 minutes). I've heard that Peggy's Cove is a lot less busy in the afternoon since it's every tour's first stop. If, however, you are not interested in driving and pretty scenery, you would probably do better to stay in Halifax. There seems like a ton to do right in town. Here is a link to a quite comprehensive port guide. Hope this helps! https://www.tomsportguides.com/uploads/5/8/5/4/58547429/halifax-06-15-2011.pdf

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On 2/23/2020 at 11:59 AM, Topdog52 said:

I am sorry but I just look up Peggy's cove on google maps. I zoomed in very close and then walked the town with the little google man. To me it looks like a run down little town on the water. Please let me know what I am missing because we were thinking of going their when we get off the ship. Is it worth a 3 hr round trip drive? TIA

It looks like a nice lighthouse, but as it's always mobbed with cruise pax, it doesn't seem like a great destination IMHO.

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  • 1 month later...

I second Peikris for Charlottetown. You can walk around from the port. There is two funny scavenger hunts. Good for the kids and you'll discover some historical landmarks. (https://www.downtowncharlottetown.com/eckhart-in-the-city).

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Ok, so I took my son to Halifax, St John & Sydney when he was 12.  We went to Peggy's Cove which wasn't the highlight of the trip but that's where you see people standing with their finger on a lighthouse (popular a while back).  We stopped on the way to eat the best lobster in our life! We also went to the Titanic cemetery which may interest her (there is a grave of J Dawson - not really Jack but girls like to pretend). He was interested in the Titanic a bit so he enjoyed at part.  We actually had befriended people in our cruise so there were people of all ages in our group (mostly 60s)   In St John we did a tour of the island as well as stopped to Zipline. My friend who had traveled with us (mid 50s) - she attempted but got scared. I figured if I was going to let him zipline ANYWHERE - canada would be as safe as the US (this was around the time when a woman had fallen in Honduras/Mexico/somewhere).  In Sydney - the thing to pay attention to is time zone. Our sailing had issues leaving Boston so we were always late arriving to ports.  So when we arrived in Sydney it was noon (?) ship time but 2 pm in Sydney and everything closed at 5.  I had rented a van to drive to Baddeck to see Alexander Graham Bell Historic site.  We had some of the same tagalongs we'd met onboard so it was an eclectic group. My son and I decided to just walk around while the older tagalongs went thru the museum. He and I enjoyed our time alone. And it was nice to stretch our legs.   We were headed to a historic village (not Fort Louisberg) but I cant remember or find the name.  Check out Novascotia.com for suggetions.  I think your father will enjoy doing what she wants to do.  We used to take a family trip with my siblings, kids, my parents. My parents did not enjoy Atlantis but enjoyed the memories they were making and doing things they wanted to do. And throwing in a joint activity for them helps.  (We went to Alaska with my sisters, their kids and my mom - going to the family onboard activities are fun. Like trivia. Bring Uno cards or other travel games you three can enjoy. There will be a Library that should have games to use like dominos)   The trip will be what you make of it. I'm sure you can accommodate all three of your interests!

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