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6 of the best in New England

New England – that six-state huddle in America’s northeastern corner – retains all of the rural charm that first greeted the pioneers some 400 years ago. Dense forests carpet reaching peaks and ring shimmering lakes – scenery that’s particularly pretty in autumn’s bright reds and deep browns. It’s a region that wears its rich history with pride, complete with charming colonial towns, crucial American Revolution sites and grand mansions that remember the advent of the Industrial Revolution. It all makes for perfect cruises, with over 5,000 miles of coastline host to everything from white-sand beaches to lighthouse-dotted fishing villages. It’s not just for show either; New England is famous the world over for its fresher-than-fresh seafood. Expect buttery lobsters, just-steamed crabs and world-renowned oysters. Provincetown Found at the extreme tip of Cape Cod, New England’s great, beach-lined curve that juts into the Atlantic, Provincetown has long been an idyllic artists’ retreat. And, its superb collection of galleries evidences a certain open-mindedness that has made Provincetown a favourite among the gay and lesbian community. Look beyond its colonial-revival centre – all high gables and picket fences – and you’ll discover vast beaches and wild coastal landscapes that frame some of the world’s finest whale-watching opportunities. Rhode Island As the smallest of the American states, it takes less than one hour to cross Rhode Island. But, just as it’s firmly attached to the mainland, don’t be fooled by its size as well as its name – it certainly packs a lot in. Get your fill of hidden coves, jagged cliffs and lonely lighthouses before resting up with its golden sands and turning inland for some of New England’s finest rural scenery. Quaint, half-timber villages look out over terraced vineyards and rolling farmlands, while its cities, Providence and Newport, entice with river walks, hipster enclaves and historically colourful architecture. Boston New England’s largest city is also one of America’s oldest, a claim showcased in everything from harboured tall ships and Romanesque churches to cobblestone streets and that world-famous, 17th-century institution – Harvard. Take it all in on fascinating city walks, including the Freedom Trail which highlights many of the key events and sites of the War of Independence. You also can’t miss out on its seafood delights, all- American sports passions and arts scene that’s thrived since the 1800s. Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park Bar Harbor is the pretty gateway to Mt. Desert Island, its weatherboard houses and welcoming pubs a civilised contrast to the wild delights of Acadia National Park. Here, seals, beavers, black bears and even bald eagles animate a stunning range of geography, with whole mountains and lakes split by Somes Sound – a rushing, narrow fjord. As New England’s only national park, it’s a perfect answer to any overindulgence, with the likes of kayaking, horseback riding, hiking and sailing all on offer. Portland Unlike Rhode Island, Portland has a name you can believe in; this is a typically historic port town, complete with merchants’ houses, an energetic waterfront and miles upon miles of centuries-old redbrick. And, aside from its historic charm, this leafy city is a foodies’ dream. Here, seafood delicacies are washed down with a resurgent obsession for craft brews. Sydney, Nova Scotia OK, this certainly isn’t New England – it’s not even in the same country – but Canada’s Sydney is a natural endpoint for cruises up the American east coast. To get here, you’ll enjoy a scenic jaunt along the wild Atlantic coastline, watching as fissured cliffs give way to picturesque bays of white sands. As Nova Scotia’s English capital, Sydney is home to an attractive waterfront, perfect for evening walks that take in the to-ings and fro-ings of its historic harbour. It’s also a gateway to Atlantic Canada, where whales, national-park drives and pretty beaches compete for your attention. Who to cruise with Many of the world’s leading cruise lines sail to New England, often tying in the likes of New York and Montréal. Here are our recommendations: Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea. Scott Anderson is General Manager at The Luxury Cruise Company. The Luxury Cruise Company is your port of call for incredible cruise holidays. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Scott Anderson

Scott is one of the most well-travelled people, having visited more than 70 countries and counting. He has worked in the cruise industry since he was 19 years old, beginning as a cruise ship photographer and duty free shop manager, and knows more than most how enjoyable cruising can be.

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  1. There’s no doubt that New England is a bucket-list destination. Of course, the time to get there is for the multi-coloured fall. Sadly, I can’t get away from work in either September or October. Once I retire it will certainly be at the top of my travel list.

    1. Hi Steve! Yes fall is a great time to go of course and don’t rule out a cruise to follow the colours up the coast! Plus you get to see so many places in one trip!

  2. Boston is one of my favourite USA cities. I prefer it to New York, with the Tea Party background and all the War of Independence heritage it’s history goes back even further than New York. Also, it’s a lot easier to walk around.

  3. I am something of a cruise addict. I’ve cruised many of the great routes in the world but was quite unaware of what the New England coast has to offer. I’m also a seafood addict so it does sound like the dream destination for me. Thanks for the alert.

    1. Hi Chris H – yes it will be the perfect cruise destination for you! There are a number of departures either from New York or sailing south from Montreal. Great for whale watching too!

  4. Some of the photos here are absolutely incredible, so very beautiful. I always hear of the likes of Boston and Rhode Island in films and books, but you only get a narrow view of New England. It’s interesting to learn more about the architecture, beautiful scenery, coves, beaches and the history behind the scenes. I find the idea of living somewhere like Rhode Island really appealing, perhaps because it’s quaint and a bit quieter but surrounded by colour and nature.

    1. Hello Lisa – you need to explore this area and you will find is really is and beautiful as the photos! The scenery is indeed stunning and lets not forget the foodie scene too! Try a cruise to get the most out of your time as you’ll see many places on just the one trip!

  5. My parents took me on a holiday to Rhode Island long ago and I’ve got good memories of it. We were on an East Coast fly-drive holiday so from what I can remember it was just a one or two night stop but it’s time that I visited again. Now as a grown-up adult it would probably mean a lot more to me.

    1. Hi Fred – yes its time to relive those childhood memories on another fly-drive vacation or even better let a cruise ship do the travelling for you whilst you enjoy the places and scenery!

  6. Well I’ve been to Sydney, Australia several times but I’d never even heard of Sydney, Canada. Sounds an interesting place. Maybe I should see if I can get the Sydney double sometime soon.

  7. I didn’t know that these states were considered and titled as ‘New England’. Although, I could agree that the atmosphere or the environment of these states somehow resemble the different cities of England. The look of the streets and the structures are quite the same and from the view of the pictures, the government really put a lot of effort in making the city as vibrant as the colours of the rainbow. The architecture of the houses and the buildings are also quite alike, a sort of rustic theme from my perspective.

  8. Hello Yvette
    Thank yoyu for your comment. New England is a region composed of six states in the northeastern United States comprising of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and many of the English names in New England came from East Anglia, England!

  9. Really good post though I can’t help but be mesmerised by the photos – they’re so good! New England always seems so colourful and charming. Never been but I wouldn’t say no to going one day. Probably somewhere like Rhode Island or Portland as they have a bit more of a relaxed feel to them than Boston. I was a bit confused by Sydney in this list but now it makes sense with cruise trails. There are supposed to be lots of gorgeous places in Canada too.

  10. In decribing Rhode Island not to mention it as “Port” is ignoring NEWPORT note the “port” “city by the sea” yesteryear is all around you from plaque homes in the 1700’s,
    gas lighted street lights ,cobblestone street/walkways,
    “Foodie” not mentioned I’m sure was an oversight as Providence is home to one of the top culinary colleges in the country along with historic Federal Hill known for its authentic Italian restaurants and fine food stores.
    I’ll come back to “Ports” Slater Mills the beginning of the Industrial Revolution .
    Rhode Island small state BIG Historical impact.l

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