Day 9: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Unfortunately, upon arrival in Halifax it was pouring rain, so we took the advice of a performer friend who happened to also be sailing on the Veendam and checked out one of the close-by breweries. We shared a flight of different-flavored beers (one was lemon, one was something fruity and pink called Pucker Up), which ended up being really great!
My favorite was definitely the cider, but I’m hardly a beer connoisseur. After our flight, we wandered around in the rain a bit, then came back and bought some souvenirs from the identical booths throughout the pier. That night, we were greeted by a new towel friend and a gorgeous sunset that contrasted the dreariness of the day before it.
Day 10: Bar Harbor, ME
Our second-to-last stop was Bar Harbor, Maine, a classic harbor town with lots of fun little shops and restaurants and an ice cream shop that let you sample lobster ice cream (yes, there’s actual lobster in it). Something very cool that Bar Harbor does is a free shuttle that will take you into different areas of the Acadia National Park, which is gorgeous no matter where you’re dropped off. We chose to visit and walk around Jordan Pond, though the pathway ended at a certain point, so we didn’t make it the whole way. Either way, it was beautiful.
Bar Harbor and Acadia were some of the coolest stops on the trip, perhaps because of the lovely weather, but mostly because of the ease and openness there was at this port. And just like that, we were off to our final destination!
Day 11: Boston, MA
We arrived in Boston in the morning and checked into our hostel, 40Berkeley, which was affordable for Boston and actually a pretty nice private room. My best friend lives in Boston, so we spent the day hanging out with her, walking up and down Newbury Street and hitting a couple of cool bars (the standout was a bar called Drink, where you don’t order drinks, you just tell them what you generally like and they make one based on that).
And just like that, it was onto the next adventure! Overall, we had a fantastic time with Holland America; they had constant fun activities and entertainment, even for a cruise that has a slower pace. The bar crawl is still the most fun thing I’ve ever done or seen happen on a cruise ship; I wish they had it on every cruise. While Canada & New England may not sound like the most exciting destination for a cruise, it is a lovely and relaxed itinerary with lots of cool architecture, beautiful natural sights, and often overlooked destinations that don’t have those pesky crowds.