Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Where You're Docked
The cruise ship dock is at Pugsley Terminal, at the waterfront in the heart of Saint John--a new terminal is planned. It's a convenient walk to most of the town's sights (except for the Reversing Falls).
Where to Eat and Drink
Steamer's Lobster Company couldn't be more convenient. It's on Water Street, across from the ship terminal. You'll get an authentic seaboard spread, served outdoors on picnic-style tables with umbrellas. Lobster is the house specialty, but don't miss the bucket o' mussels, served with a platter of lemon wedges and drawn butter. There's even a "lounge singer" that serenades customers during their meal.
If you really want some traditional food, peruse the stalls at the Saint John City Market. Several vendors have set up small dining areas with tables and counter service. Fish and chips and all types of chowders are the most popular offerings. But you'll also find crepes and traditional British fare, such as pasties and sausages.
Most shore excursions in Saint John take no more than four hours, so there's time to explore the town on your own before the ship departs. Pick up a map at the Welcome Kiosk in the ship terminal, or the Visitor Information Centre a few blocks away, at Market Square. There are over 100 retail shops within a 10-minute walk of the terminal, including Market Square and Brunswick Square, which are modern, indoor malls linked by a pedestrian walkway. The King Street area is lined with quaint shops, cafes, and galleries. Germain Street and Prince William Street are known for historic churches and architecturally significant buildings. But you may get no further than Water Street, across from the terminal, which is home to a few inviting pubs.
What to See and Do
The Reversing Falls is an amazing natural phenomenon that results from a confluence of two distinct forces: the highest tides in the world, courtesy of the Bay of Fundy, and the origination point of the St. John River. When the two meet in a rocky gorge, the high tides overpower the river, causing it to reverse its flow twice a day. Fallsview Park, as its name implies, is the lookout point to observe the churning waters below. You can experience the falls by jetboat or simply watch from the observation point.
The Saint John City Market on Charlotte Street is the oldest farmer's market in Canada. The market's roof is shaped like an inverted hull of a ship, a testament to the city's shipbuilding history. A stroll through the market is a true sensory experience, with stalls of produce, fresh fish, meats, cheeses, flowers, and prepared foods lining the building. There's also a stand selling a local specialty, dried seaweed, called dulse.
If you've already experienced the town's highlights, visit Canada's oldest independent brewery. It's the home of Moosehead Beer, and has a great country store, filled with one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
Saint John is very pedestrian-friendly, with most of the tourist spots and the historic "uptown district" no more than a 1205-minute walk from the ship terminal. Taxis are available for trips to the Reversing Falls, though nearly every shore excursion includes a stop there, so you don't have to worry about getting there on your own if you don't want to go independently. For sightseeing fun, it's hard to beat a horse-drawn trolley. You'll find them near the terminal, waiting to take passengers past town landmarks, such as the Old Country Courthouse, the Loyalist Burial Grounds, Loyalist House, and King's Square.
Staying in Touch
There are several internet cafes within walking distance of the terminal. Java Moose in the Saint John City Market is a good place to stop for an espresso and check your email. Gallaghers on the second floor of Market Square is a block away from the ship, and you can't beat the price (free) at the Saint John Regional Library, also on the second floor of Market Square.
If you want to call the States from a pay phone, the cheapest way to go is to buy a NB Tel phone card, available at vending machines in Market Square.
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