March 19, 2020
With its endless coastline, dynamic cultures, and a front row seat for the highest tides in the world, the Maritimes have a lot to do with Canada being named 2017’s top travel destination by Lonely Planet. Whether you’re a road tripper, a nature lover, a thrill seeker, or someone in between, you’ll find plenty to love as you make your way through our region—and now is the perfect time to visit! Once you arrive, you’ll quickly discover that there’s a new adventure waiting around every corner.
When European explorers first arrived in the Maritimes, they did so by ship. A voyage on the Atlantic Ocean aboard The CAT is the perfect way to channel their spirit of adventure! The CAT offers stunning views of the Maritime coastline that you simply can’t find looking out your car window. Catch a glimpse of local ocean life, including whales, seals, and dolphins, sample local food and music with The CAT’s Seaside Experiences, and plan the next steps of your adventure at the visitor information centre. Of course, you could also simply choose to go where the wind takes you when you arrive in Yarmouth; with so much to do throughout the region, we wouldn’t blame you!
You really haven’t experienced the Maritimes until you take a drive along the stunning coastline. Nova Scotia alone has over 7,500 kilometres (about 4,600 miles) of coastline, with spectacular sites to see every inch of the way. Start with the Lighthouse Route, which runs up Nova Scotia’s rugged south and eastern shores from Yarmouth to Halifax. Along the way, you’ll come across several beautiful lighthouses, including the towering Cape Forchu lighthouse in Yarmouth, and the iconic Peggy’s Cove lighthouse.
You also won’t want to miss the Cabot Trail, which is often referred to as the most scenic drive in the world. Along this 300-kilometre (185 miles) route, which takes you through the Cape Breton Highlands, you’ll see ocean vistas, find incredible panoramic views, and come face-to-face with majestic wildlife (keep your eyes peeled for moose!). You’ll also have the opportunity to take in a Cape Breton ceilidh, try delicious local seafood, and, if you’re lucky, you might even be invited to a legendary east coast kitchen party.
The Maritimes are home to several absolutely wonderful national parks—including the Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site. This gem of the Annapolis Valley offers 426 square kilometres (264 square miles) of diverse landscapes and habitats for you to explore. As you make your way through the park, you’ll discover hundreds of different species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and more.
Keji (as the locals call it) is also home to the rich heritage of the Mi’kmaw people. Throughout the park, you’ll find petroglyphs, artifacts, and interpreters that shed greater light on their four-millennia old history.
If you’re spending the night, you’re in for a real treat, as Keji is home to Nova Scotia’s only Dark Sky Preserve. This means when the sun goes down, you’ll have an absolutely breathtaking panoramic view of the night sky—complete with thousands of twinkling stars.
You can find a complete list of Maritimes’ National Parks here.
The Bay of Fundy is home to many things, rare whales, ancient dinosaur fossils, and the highest tides in the world. It’s no “wonder” the Bay of Fundy was named one of North America’s 7 Wonders in 2014.
There are many ways to experience the tides of the Bay of Fundy. For example, you can watch the tidal bore come in on the banks of the Petitcodiac River in Moncton, New Brunswick, and thrill seekers can take a Bay of Fundy rafting adventure. One of our favourite ways to grasp just how impressive the tides in the Bay of Fundy are is by checking out Hopewell Rocks in Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick. During low tide at Hopewell Rocks, you can actually walk on the ocean floor, discovering coves, caves, and pathways usually hidden by the water. After you’ve finished your exploration, stick around to watch the tides come in—returning all your new findings to their underwater hiding places. There’s no other way quite like this to see just how high and quickly the tides in the Bay of Fundy come in.
If your adventure on The CAT has you craving another trip across open waters, why not hop aboard the mv Fundy Rose to continue your journey in New Brunswick? This ferry takes you from Digby, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick by way of the Bay of Fundy. While aboard the ferry, you can relax and recharge, or step out on the viewing deck to take in spectacular views of the water (and its inhabitants!).
Once you arrive, your adventure can continue with a memorable trip to Saint John Adventures, where you’ll have the opportunity to zip line high above the city’s Reversing Rapids. Alternatively, you may want to return home with a story of how you climbed a 542 million-year-old volcanic rock wall, which you can do when you visit Inside Out Nature Centre.
If you’d rather take your adventure to scenic Prince Edward Island, you can do so aboard the mv Confederation or the mv Holiday Island, which connect Caribou, Nova Scotia with Wood Islands, PEI.
Here in the Maritimes, your next adventure is waiting to be had—and it starts on The CAT! Whether you’re the type of traveller who likes a carefully laid out plan or someone who thrives on spontaneity, we have something for everyone. Book your voyage to Canada’s ocean paradise today and discover what’s beyond the horizon for yourself.