On Saturday, May 25, 2013, Holland America Lines’ ms Maasdam arrived in Boston for the first of her seasonal, weeklong cruises to Montreal. This begins the tenth consecutive year that Boston is her home port for the spring, summer, and early autumn months. For 2013, Maasdam is the only ship that offers Canada/New England cruises from Boston throughout the entire summer.
The ports of call on Maasdam’s Canada/New England itinerary are:
- Bar Harbor, Maine: Located on Mount Desert Island, the key attractions are Acadia National Park, 19th century summer retreats, and many restaurants offering fresh Maine lobster and other local delicacies.
- Halifax, Nova Scotia: Popular attractions in or near this capital city include the quaint fishing village of Peggy’s Cove, a 19th-century Citadel, several Titanic-themed excursions, the renowned Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
- Sydney, Nova Scotia: This small city on the eastern tip of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island is a gateway to myriad scenic shore excursions, including the Cabot Trail, the village of Baddeck (a home of Alexander Graham Bell), and the 18th-century Fortress of Louisbourg.
- Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: Canada’s smallest province is also its most historically significant, as it hosted the 1864 meeting that led to the formation of Canada three years later. It is also known as the setting of the children’s novel Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery, and for the red sand beaches of its north shore.
- Québec City, Québec: Founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1608, Québec City has an abundance of attractions. The Old Québec section is surrounded by a fortified wall that dates back to the 17th century. Below the walled city, near the cruise terminal, are numerous historical places of interest as well as shops, restaurants, and art galleries. There are also many attractions outside the city along the St. Lawrence River, including the 272-foot-high Montmorency Falls.
- Montreal, Québec: This modern city of 1.6 million residents also offers numerous historical sites. The Old Montreal section of the city is adjacent to the cruise terminal, and the stunning Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde is located a mile away in the downtown area.
Ports of call are reversed on the return trip to Boston.
Maasdam departs from Boston’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal on alternate Saturdays from May 25 to September 28. This year, for the first time, Holland America Line will base two ships in Boston as ms Veendam will carry passengers on the reverse route from May to June and from mid-August to early October.
Maasdam entered service in December 1993 and underwent a significant refurbishment in May 2011. She measures 55,575 gross tons, is 720 feet long, and carries 1,258 passengers and 580 crew members. Her onboard amenities include four restaurants, a culinary arts center, an Internet café, an entertainment area consisting of three bars (martini, champagne, ales), and two swimming pools. There are also designated facilities for children (ages 3-12) and teens (ages 13-17). For more information, contact your travel agent or Holland America Line.