Returning to one of our most popular destinations we’ve recaptured all the highlights that made this journey so popular previously. A comprehensive tour featuring the highlights of the great cities of Washington, New York and Boston with their bounty of historical sights, structures of significance and abundant nod to the arts. We’ll also explore the quaint settlements predominant in the American Civil War such as Williamsburg and Harpers Ferry, retracing a route similar to the one taken by confederate soldiers marching to Gettysburg through the Shenandoah National Park. We’ll introduce you to the Amish and Mennonite lifestyles in Lancaster, and indulge our vices at Hershey’s Chocolate World. In Boston our magnificent cruise ship awaits to pamper us for seven glorious nights as we cruise the eastern seaboard, visiting fascinating ports in New England, Nova Scotia and on the mighty St Lawrence River with a bounty of wonderful amenities at our disposal aboard the ms Zaandam. In Canada we’ll soak up the French influenced ambience of Quebec and Montreal before experiencing one of the world’s greatest spectacles up close, as we sail on the ‘Hornblower’ below the thundering Niagara Falls. If it’s the definitive USA & Canada East Coast experience you’re seeking, look no further.
"There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign." - ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
9 June – 5 JUly • 27 DAYS
NEW ZEALAND – HOUSTON – WASHINGTON
Day 1 Flying directly from New Zealand to Houston, where we connect with our onward flight to Washington. Arriving in the evening we’re met and transferred to our very comfortable hotel, perfectly located close to many of the capital’s notable landmarks.
WASHINGTON three nights Washington
Days 2–3 Over the next two days we’ll experience the best sights of Washington DC including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the White House, Capitol Hill, Library of Congress and entrance to the Smithsonian Institute National Air and Space Museum. Washington is also well known for its remarkable monuments to the many battles it has been engaged in over the years and we’ll see the best of these, Including WW II, Iwo Jima and Vietnam. We’ll also visit one of the worlds most recognised memorials and the USA’s most hallowed ground at the Arlington Cemetrey, where we’ll be present for the changing of the guard.
WASHINGTON – YORKTOWN – WILLIAMSBURG two nights Williamsburg
Days 4-5 A fascinating couple of days begin with a visit to Jamestown, the first successful English settlement on the mainland of North America. Named for King James I of England, and intended as a prospect for gold mining offering handsome returns for its investors. Appropriately costumed residents keep the settlement alive and there’s an opportunity to wander through an authentic recreation of a sailing ship typical of those used by the early settlers. We’ll also visit Yorktown, site of the last major land battle of the American revolution, where you’ll experience life in an army tent camp, hear of military tactics, see musket loading and firing, campfire cooking and typical civilian life in the 18th century. In Colonial Williamsburg you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, walking the shingle and dirt streets, having a drink in the rickety wooden floored tavern, and experiencing the gas-lamp lighting in the evening.
WILLIAMSBURG – RICHMOND – SHENANDOAH one night Shenandoah
Day 6 A beautiful drive lies ahead as we make our way to one of the most famous parks in America, the Shenandoah National Park, with further historical significance in the American Civil War, and immortalised by singer John Denver in his hit ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ with reference to Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River. The air is clean, the scenery spectacular and keep your eyes open, for wildlife in these parts is not uncommon. En route we stop in Richmond for a look around the museum and White House of Confederacy.
SHENANDOAH – GETTYSBURG two nights Gettysburg
Days 7–8 We begin the day with a scenic drive through the splendour of the National Park before arriving at historical Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was a crucial turning point in the American Civil War, a conflict that determined the fate of the United States and in which the largest number of casualties was inflicted. As part of our sightseeing we’ll visit the Battlefields of the famous Gettysburg Campaign with a knowledgeable Park Ranger. We’ll also visit the National Civil War Museum, and in the evening we dine at a very unique restaurant with a significant place in history.
GETTYSBURG – LANCASTER – PHILADELPHIA one night Philadelphia
Day 9 Today we make our way east, stopping at some of the greatest points of interest including the iconic Hershey Chocolate World for a factory tour and sampling of chocolates, before continuing to Lancaster, where the highlight will be a visit to an Amish Country Homestead. We’ll learn a little of their lives, without the benefit of modern technology, no electricity, running water, telephone service or appliances, and try to understand more of their beliefs, in a community that grows year by year. Lunch will be at the quirky ‘Kitchen Kettle’ before we arrive at the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, later in the afternoon.
PHILADELPHIA – NEW YORK three nights New York
Day 10 Philadelphia is famous for the Liberty Bell, Constitution Square and Constitution Hall. We’ll see these and more as we explore this fascinating city. We’ll stop at the colourful Reading Market, one of the best stocked markets in the US, with possibly an example of every kind of meat, cheese, vegetable and fruit you can imagine. Lunch here is always a fine affair! We continue through the state of Pennsylvania through New Jersey to the one and only Big Apple … New York.
Days 11–12 We’ll spend the next two days sightseeing including some of the most visited sites in New York City. We begin with a relaxing ferry ride out to the incredible Statue of Liberty, the first symbol of a new life awaiting immigrants crossing the Atlantic. We’ll also pass Ellis Island where new immigrants were processed before being permitted to enter Manhattan. On our return we’ll walk from Battery Park via the historic, Charging Bull of Wall Street to the sobering Ground Zero where once stood the World Trade Centre, better known as the Twin Towers. Also during our time in New York we’ll see Central Park, Broadway and one of the greatest views in the world from the rooftop of the Rockefeller Centre, known locally as The Top of the Rock. We’ll also have the opportunity to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. For shoppers, there’ll be time to browse some of the world’s best fashion houses on Fashion Ave or for more simple souvenirs, one of the many local shops near our hotel. We’ll see Times Square at its best, in the evening when the neon comes to life, and take in a show on Broadway for those who are keen, after which you might like to enjoy true New York cheesecake at Perrys.
NEW YORK – BOSTON one night Boston
Days 13-14 Leaving the Big Apple today won’t be easy, but Boston beckons and has so much to offer. Our journey takes us via some fascinating countryside so the journey will be anything but dull. In Boston itself we’ll see the famous Quincy Market, and home of the place “where everybody knows your name”, Cheers Bar. We’ll see the elegant townhouses and red bricked sidewalks of chic Beacon Hill, and walk some of the Freedom Trail offering the best opportunity to see some of pioneering Americans most notable sites. There’s also free time so you can do more of the things you like to do, before we make our way to the waterfront area on the second day to join our cruise ship.
HOLLAND AMERICA MS ZAANDAM 7 Nights
Days 15–21 Our 55,000 tonne floating hotel is capable of carrying 1,432 passengers and has a crew of 615 to attend to our every need. Refurbished in 2016 she cruises at 22 knots and has a vast array of onboard facilities and activities including several restaurants, cafes and bars, a comprehensive fitness center, Lido pool and Thermal room, a beautiful spacious theatre and an imposing glass and brass atrium to name just a few. Over the next week our cruise days will be as shown in the column at right.
Day 15 Bar Harbor – Beautiful Bar Harbor is a popular New England holiday spot for locals and tourists alike. The town itself has a number of fascinating little boutique shops, some brightly coloured and all an easy walk from the Port. What most visitors are drawn to though is the spectacular Acadia National Park which surrounds the town and the incredible panoramic vista from atop Cadillac Mountain.
Day 16 Halifax – One of the more beautiful ports we visit is at Halifax. The boardwalk from the ship leads you past a number of wonderful little cafes and bars, perfect for those particular to the art of people watching. The town itself is easily explored by foot. You can learn more of their unique history at the Canadian Museum of Immigration and for those who like to see the traditional fishing villages that are synonymous in this part of the world, a day trip to Peggy’s Covewouldn’t be wasted on you.
Day 17 Sydney – The third largest city in Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Cape Breton with a revamped port area consisting of boardwalks and numerous tourist traps. Day trips to The Bird Islands to see Puffins and Bald Eagles is popular, so too a trip to the Nova Scotia Highland village, a 50 acre ‘living’ museum overlooking the Bras d’Or lakes.
Day 18 Charlottetown – The largest city on Prince Edward Island in the heart of the St Lawrence. Take a leisurely stroll through the Victorian inspired quaint streets of the heritage district. Jump on the Hop on Hop off bus for a fascinating city tour, or go further afield and take a panoramic tour of the coastline to see some of Prince Edward Islands most notable landmarks.
Day 19 Cruising in the Gulf – Days at sea are always enjoyable, even more so when you’re surrounded by a beautiful and often rugged coastline. The St Lawrence Gulf is the outlet of the American Great lakes via the St Lawrence River, and is the world’s largest estuary covering an area of approximately 236,000 sq/km.
Day 20 Quebec – Walking the cobbled streets of the Upper town founded in 1608 is one of the best ways to get truly acquainted with some stunning architecture. No less than eleven architectural styles have been identified in Quebec making it one of the most diverse and interesting cities in the world. Also in the lower town you’ll find the market square, and for nature lovers a trip to Montmorency Falls should be on your ‘to do’ list.
Day 21 St Lawrence River – More stunning scenery today from the comfort of our floating hotel with our onboard naturalist drawing attention to points of interest along the route. The river is almost 1,200 km in length and covers an area of approximately 1.3million sq/km!
MONTREAL one night Montreal
Day 22 On disembarking our ship today we’ll be met by our local guide and coach to begin our sightseeing of beautiful Montreal. We’ll see the ornate Notre Dame Basilica, from the outside and within, we’ll also meander through splendid Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal) one of the best preserved old towns outside of Europe, and travel to the top of Mount Royal for a panoramic view of the city. At a mere 234m above sea level it’s something of a stretch to call it a Mount, but it is so, with affection by the locals. We’ll visit Olympic Park and take you shopping at one of the largest underground cities in the world.
MONTREAL – KINGSTON one night Kingston
Day 23 Travelling westward toward the Great Lakes our next stop is the charming city of Kingston, Ontario. On arrival we have a leisurely cruise around the 1,000 islands awaiting us, after which there’ll be time for you to look around at your leisure
KINGSTON – NIAGARA FALLS two nights Niagara Falls
Days 24–25 We depart Kingston in the morning to make Niagara in the best time possible to take full advantage of this picturesque city. Our hotel is located within easy walk of town and our rooms provide spectacular views of the Horseshoe Falls. There’ll be plenty of time to do your own thing, but we’ve included a cruise on the Hornblower beneath the roar of the mighty falls themselves to ensure you don’t miss the number one attraction, and an unforgettable experience.
NIAGARA FALLS – TORONTO – VANCOUVER – NEW ZEALAND
Days 26–28 Bidding farewell to such a great destination is never easy but alas homeward bound we must be. Our flights will connect conveniently via Vancouver and there’s an opportunity for those that wish to stop there longer, or alternatively join our Canada, Alaska experience before returning home. Our Tour concludes on arrival in New Zealand.