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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Canada &
New England: the Northeast Passage
Sights to see & things to do

St. John, New Brunswick - Canada

Saint John, Canada's oldest incorporated city, has welcomed immigrants from Eastern Europe, England, and Ireland for centuries. Each group has added their unique imprint on the culture, architecture, and language of the area.


The most well known of Saint John’s attractions is Reversing Falls. The Bay of Fundy water mingles with the St. John River in Saint John Harbor. Due to the height of the tides and geography of the mouth of the river, twice daily the mighty river is pushing backward creating the phenomena known as the Reversing Falls or rapids (pictured above).

The lush river valleys of Saint John are so beautiful that they are called the Rhine of North America. This is perfect fall foliage-viewing country.  Additionally, panoramic views of Saint John and the Bay of Fundy reward visitors to Carleton Martello Tower and Fort Howe. Rockwood and Irving Nature Parks offer naturalists the opportunity to examine the region’s flora and fauna.

The Uptown section of Saint John has numerous museums, galleries and historic sites. The New Brunswick Museum at Market Square (new in 1996); Barbour's General Store; Loyalist House; Saint John Jewish Historical Museum; and the Saint John Firefighter's Museum each offer a unique perspective on the heritage and culture of Saint John. The Old City Market is the oldest of its kind in Canada.

The Trinity Royal area is the traditional city center of Saint John. Completely rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1877, this twenty-one-block area contains a remarkable display of 19th century architecture. Orange Street is a residential area where most houses were built just after the 1877 fire, while the rest date to the early 1900s.

On the corner of Germain and Union Streets the old Loyalist House stands as a strong reminder of Saint John’s British loyalist heritage. It was built in 1817 for David Daniel Meritt, an American Loyalist who left New York to escape percussion for his loyalty to the British crown. Converted to a house museum, it serves as a tribute to Saint John’s early loyalist founders.

In addition to being Saint John’s original suburb, Douglas Avenue is notable for the social significance of its homes. Constructed between 1840 and 1915, workers’ tenement houses stand in close proximity to the mansions of wealthy industrial leaders, sea captains, lumber barons, and business owners.


Head for the Old City Market but look up—way up—before you turn your attention to shopping. The market’s ceiling is modeled after an inverted hull of a ship, a fitting design for a city that was once a leading shipbuilding center. Built in 1876, just a year before the Great Fire, it was one of the few buildings in the heart of uptown that survived the inferno.

Wander among stalls overflowing with fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, cheeses, flowers and baked goods in the oldest continuously operating farmers market in Canada. For gifts and souvenirs, craft stalls offer a variety of handmade items. No visit to the market is complete without sampling dulse. It’s the purple stuff you’ll see everywhere—edible seaweed. A New Brunswick delicacy, it serves as a snack food, seasoning for soups and salads, and is reportedly better for you than vitamins.

For more shopping, stroll through the boutiques and galleries of nearby Trinity Royal in the heritage preservation area.

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