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Coastal Gems of America (Southbound)

13 days with Hurtigruten   Rating: First Class

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DAY 1 An Urban Center, a Magnificent Seacoast, and Rich History
Location : Halifax
While the area around Halifax has been inhabited by the native Mi'kmaq peoples for millennia, modern Halifax was founded in 1749 as a British military outpost. Today it is Atlantic Canada’s entertainment and cultural capital, melding the old and new worlds. Modern office towers of glass and steel stand beside historic buildings that once stored the booty of privateers. Located on the second-largest natural harbor in the world, life here revolves around the sea and the surrounding areas offer plenty of fun activities on land, water, and in the air. Spend some time exploring this vibrant urban center resting on the edge of nature before embarking on MS Fram to sail south along the North American coast.
DAY 2 When in Maine…
Location : Bar Harbor
Adventure, romance, rocky coast, and soaring granite cliffs … there is a special mystique to Bar Harbor. Surrounded by Acadia National Park and perched on the edge of the sea, this little community offers tons of charm. Bar Harbor is the artistic, culinary, and social center of Mount Desert Island. Around the turn of the last century, the island was known as a summer haven for the very rich because of its cool breezes. Today, Bar Harbor´s shops are clustered along Main, Mount Desert, and Cottage streets. Take a stroll down West Street, a National Historic District, where you can see some fine old houses. One of Bar Harbor’s many attractions is its close proximity to Acadia National Park, which has over 50 square miles of mountains, lakes, hiking and biking trails, amazing views, and dramatic coastline. We aim to catch the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the east coast of the US, which offers magnificent views of the glaciated coastal and island landscapes.
DAYS 3-5 Two Typical Small Towns in Maine
Location : Rockland/Bucksport
As we continue sailing south, we reach Bucksport, located on the Penobscot River and home to approximately 5,000 people. Across the bay is Fort Knox, one of the largest fortifications on the New England seacoast. A major feature of Bucksport is the Downtown Waterfront Walkway and an old railroad station that now houses the local Historical Society. Here you can learn about the town’s eventful past through photos, exhibits, and lore, including the legend of a witch’s curse placed upon the town’s founder, Jonathan Buck. To this very day, evidence of the curse can be seen on the Buck Monument located on Route 1. Take a stroll in this typical American small town and enjoy its charming atmosphere. Sailing farther down the coast, we come to Rockland, a beautiful coastal town in Maine situated alongside Penobscot Bay. Rockland is known for its lobster-fishing industry and deep harbor, dotted with hundreds of inlets and coves. Downtown Rockland’s historic homes and charming shops feature great architecture. There are plenty of tasty cafés and restaurants here serving fresh, local seafood, of course. Rockland is also home to the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center, with an impressive collection featuring the beauty of Maine. With beautiful mountains, scenic waterways, charming wineries, and pristine Atlantic beaches, Rockland also offers many options for outdoor activities.
DAY 6 The Cradle of Liberty and Beantown
Location : Boston
Boston can be described as one large outdoor museum. As we arrive, Boston Harbor provides a spectacular scenic backdrop to the city, and its 34 islands provide an exciting urban-adventure destination. Walk the Freedom Trail and you'll quickly get a sense of the city's revolutionary spirit and history. As you follow the red-brick road, from the Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument, you’ll pass 16 sites where dramatic history was played out. Be sure to explore some of Boston's fine museums and old neighborhoods. The city´s most magnificent architecture is clustered around Back Bay, symbolic of the culture and learning that gave Boston its nickname: the ‘Athens of America’. Harvard Square is a rich source of colonial and revolutionary history. Lined with mansions that were once home to royal sympathizers, it earned the nickname Tory Row. This is where you find Harvard, founded in 1636, the oldest university in the US. Throughout Harvard Square, street musicians perform on the sidewalks and in the parks, and there are live performances in many of the clubs. Follow the brick sidewalks to see an eclectic mix of book stores and music stores, performing arts theatres, and museums. Exploring on an empty stomach is never a good idea. Luckily, Boston is America’s seafood capital, famed for clam chowder and lobster, and a rich mix of ethnic flavors from all corners of the world.
DAY 7 The Ocean State
Location : Newport
Founded in 1639, Newport, Rhode Island, is considered to be a shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. It is home to spectacular coastal scenery, awe-inspiring architecture, a thriving waterfront downtown, and welcoming hospitality. Tour the famed Gilded Age mansions that once were the summer playground for socialite families with names such as Astor and Vanderbilt, or enjoy wine-tasting at Newport's three scenic vineyards. Hop on a ride through Newport’s downtown and along iconic Ocean Drive, discover Colonial architecture or explore the tunnels at Fort Adams – America’s largest coastal fortification. Experience the world-renowned Cliff Walk, a path tracing the edge of the Atlantic Ocean offering views of opulent Newport mansions, or stroll the city’s historic Old Quarter. Join fascinating walking tours or experience natural wonders such as Hanging Rock, where American author, poet, philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau found inspiration. The Norman Bird Sanctuary boasts 325 acres and seven miles of trails that wind through diverse habitats. Newport has also earned an enviable reputation as a culinary hot spot. Newport chefs create local delicacies by working with area farmers, foragers, and fishermen, making amazing dishes that highlight seasonal ingredients, so take this opportunity to enjoy a wonderful meal here.
DAYS 8-9 The Big Apple Never Sleeps
Location : New York
For the many immigrants who flocked from Europe to New York, the Statue of Liberty was the first image they saw in the US. The statue was a gift from the French government for the 100th anniversary of America's Independence. We sail past this icon of freedom on our way into New York, where we will dock for the next two days. Use MS Fram as your base camp when exploring this bustling city. You might choose to cross the Brooklyn Bridge by foot. The bridge was built between 1869 and 1883, connects Brooklyn with Manhattan, and is one of the most famous and magnificent landmarks in New York City. While you are here, you will see that New York is indeed a melting pot of many cultures. You'll find neighborhoods filled with people of various ethnic backgrounds. One of the most popular areas with visitors is Little Italy, where you can experience the sights and smells of the ‘old country’. Right next to Little Italy you will find one of North America's largest Chinatowns. The Chinese immigrants who decided to call the burgeoning city their new home founded this neighborhood in the 1870s. Farther north in Manhattan is Times Square, the nexus of New York, known for Broadway theatres and huge electronic billboards. This is one of those places that makes New York ‘the city that never sleeps’. More than any other, the Empire State Building embodies the ambition of humans to build towers that reach for the skies. This skyscraper is probably New York's best-known building. At the beginning of the 20th century, the race for the world's tallest building started in earnest with several developers in New York vying for the coveted title. The Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the world for a short period of time, beating out the then-tallest structure, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. Another famous structure is the Flatiron Building. This iconic, twenty-one-story building, best known for its triangular shape, was one of the spectacular early high-rises that has come to define Manhattan. New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is often considered the most important museum of its kind in the world. Its collection includes works from a wide range of celebrated modern artists, including Andy Warhol, van Gogh, and Picasso. Central Park is one of those places that make New York such a great place to live. The huge green space, over 800 acres in size, is located in the center of the city, and its design has served as the model for city parks around the world. New York's Fifth Avenue is best known as an unrivaled shopping street, with almost every upscale retailer hosting a prestigious store here. But not all of Fifth Avenue is shopping-centric, as along Central Park, Fifth Avenue becomes a residential street with interesting museums. New York Public Library’s main building is worth visiting as one of the most magnificent early 20th century architectural landmarks. Enjoy some of the wonderful things that New York has to offer. Fitting it all in two days is impossible, but it´s great fun to try.
DAY 10 Lectures, Photo Courses, and Relaxing
Location : At Sea
As we continue sailing south the expedition team will start their lecture program, covering topics related to the areas in which we sail, but a central theme of these lectures is climate change and the environmental challenges of the world’s oceans. If you are interested in photography, the expedition photographer will show you the basics of expedition photography, and there might also be a chance to look behind the scenes and partake in our guest expedition staff program. You will also have time to relax and just enjoy getting to know and being on board the ship.
DAY 11 Indulge Yourself in the Old South
Location : Charleston
Charleston overflows with history. In this lovely city you can stand on the site where the first shot was fired during the Civil War. Take a horse-drawn carriage tour to evoke an earlier era, and[EM3] see the historic district and the great sites that have shaped Charleston. Discover this romantic and laid-back city, which is also quite sophisticated, and has an old Southern feel. Stroll down Rainbow Row, with its candy-colored houses, one of the most photographed areas of town. Visit Aiken-Rhett House – the only surviving urban plantation in Charleston. Here you get a fascinating, if disturbing, glimpse into antebellum life. The role of slaves is presented, and you can enter their quarters behind the main house. See Ryan's Mart, an open-air market that auctioned off African men, women, and children in the mid-1800s. It's now a museum about South Carolina's shameful past. For first-hand stories, listen to the oral recollections of former slave Elijah Green and others. Situated next to this museum you find the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, which was used as a prison for pirates and American patriots held by the British during the Revolutionary War. This cramped space sits beneath a stately Georgian Palladian Customs house that was completed in 1771. Charleston Museum was founded in 1773, and exhibits spotlight various periods of Charleston's long and storied history. Artifacts include a whale skeleton, slave tags, and the 'secession table' used for the signing of the state's secession documents, and even a polar bear! Check out ‘The Gateway Walk’, a little-known garden path between Archdale Street and Philadelphia Alley that connects four of the city's most beautiful historic churches: the white-columned St. John's Lutheran Church; the Gothic Revival Unitarian Church; the striking Romanesque Circular Congregational Church, originally founded in 1681; and St. Philip's Church, with its picturesque steeple and 17th-century graveyard, parts of which were once reserved for “strangers and transient white persons”. There are so many blossoming gardens, so many photo opportunities, so many sights to so, you are sure to enjoy your stay in Charleston.
DAY 12 Unwind with a View
Location : At Sea
A day at sea means you can join the lectures presented by the expedition team, or spend time on deck or in the Panorama lounge with fellow travelers. Enjoy a refreshing workout in our well-equipped fitness room with a panoramic ocean view or let your muscles relax in one of the outdoor whirlpools.
DAY 13 Beaches, Glamour, Art Deco, and Fusion Food
Location : Miami
Miami is known for its glamour, Art Deco buildings, and spectacular beaches. In this city, the multi-cultural environment creates a dynamic atmosphere with influences from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe. A heady mix of flavors from all over the world also makes dining out in Miami an experience not to be missed. Try giant crabs, pollo con platano, corn-fed beef, BBQ, gourmet burgers, or key lime pie, or a Cuban coffee in Little Havana to have a real taste of Miami. You can also venture outside the city to nearby Everglades National Park, known for its unique ecosystem and wildlife, before you fly home.
All This Included
This expedition, taking you along North America’s eastern seaboard, offers a striking variety of cultures, historic sites, and dramatic natural scenery. Starting in Halifax, Canada, we discover Maine’s magnificent coast and hike in the wilderness, visit Boston, sail into New York to experience the Big Apple, and visit Charleston before completing our journey in Miami, Florida.
  • Hurtigruten expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full-board basis
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Visit Boston, New York, Charleston, and Miami
  • Experience Maine and its charming small towns
  • Sail almost 1,400 nautical miles along the east coast of North America
  • Enjoy culture, history, and natural beauty
Cruising: Category I cabin onboard ms Fram
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Not Included: International flights, travel Insurance, luggage handling, optional excursions and gratuities.
  • All planned landings are subject to weather conditions.
  • All itineraries are subject to change.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Hurtigruten terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.