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Cruises to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Saint John (New Brunswick) (Photo:Albert Pego/Shutterstock)
Saint John (New Brunswick) (Photo:Albert Pego/Shutterstock)

About Saint John (New Brunswick)

Located on Canada's Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, where the Bay of Fundy meets the mouth of the Saint John River, Saint John is a quaint harbor town of nearly 130,000 residents. A 90-minute drive from the U.S. border in Maine, "the Fundy City" offers 400 years of history, exciting nature excursions and Canadian hospitality, with British and French influences. Cruise ship passengers in particular are made to feel welcome as they dock; a "greeting committee" of volunteers welcomes visitors.

Saint John is Canada's first incorporated city, a celebrated wooden shipbuilding center with a colorful history. A great fire in 1877 destroyed almost the entire city center. Today, the quaint "Uptown" area is laden with Victorian-influenced architecture, brick walkways, historic churches, town squares and flowers blooming around old-fashioned lamp posts. There's a storybook quality about the town that's a nice respite from bustling, overly touristy cruise ports. Saint John also has a bohemian flair, with lots of street musicians, funky galleries and independent record stores.

But the town is best known for its Bay of Fundy-related attractions. The Bay of Fundy is world-renowned for its extreme tides -- twice daily seawater rises (and then falls) about four stories high! As a result of the tides, the region is incredibly rich in scenic vistas (cascading waterfalls and cliffs carved out by water) and in sea-life, the latter of which draws folks interested in spotting rare whales and interesting shore birds.

The most exotic -- and fabulous -- experience that you shouldn't miss in this port of call is a look at the Reversing Rapids. At low tide, the rapids are turbulent and there's a bottleneck gorge at the falls. At high tide, the waters are pushed upstream, so the river runs in reverse.

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DAY 1: New York

14 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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DAY 1: New York

7 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Portland, Bar Harbor ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: New York

10 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Boston, Portland ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: New York

53 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Montreal
Visiting:
Quebec City, Sydney ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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9 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Baltimore
Visiting:
Boston, Portland ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Newport, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Portland, Bar Harbor ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Cobh, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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7 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Bayonne
Visiting:
Newport, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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9 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Bayonne
Visiting:
Portland, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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5 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Bayonne
Visiting:
Halifax, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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11 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Bayonne
Visiting:
Newport, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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4 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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6 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Portland, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Newport, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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26 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Bayonne
Visiting:
Halifax, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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5 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Halifax, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Disney Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Newport, Isle of Portland ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Portland, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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94 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Martha's Vineyard, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Martha's Vineyard, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Newport, Provincetown ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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6 Night
Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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Why go to Saint John (New Brunswick)?

Pros:

With its art galleries and indie music scene, Saint John is a nice change of pace from more typical cruise towns

Cons:

Saint John is a city, so you'll want to be cautious of your valuables

Bottom Line:

There's a lot to choose from in Saint John and you'll typically have plenty of time to explore

Saint John (New Brunswick) Cruise Port Facilities?

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 more than 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.

Good to Know?

Saint John is a relatively safe city, but it's always smart to be aware of your surroundings, and be sure to leave any unnecessary valuables in your stateroom's safe.

Getting Around?

Saint John is very pedestrian-friendly, with most of the tourist spots and historic uptown Saint John no more than a 15-minute walk from the ship terminal. Taxis are available for trips to the Reversing Rapids, 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.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The Canadian dollar is the official currency of Canada. Many of the shops and restaurants near the pier take American dollars, though they will give you back change in Canadian dollars. There's an ATM at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal that dispenses Canadian currency.

Language?

English is spoken in Saint John, although you will find signage in both English and in French. Saint John is the only officially bilingual province in Canada.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock at Port Saint John in the heart of the city, which is known as uptown Saint John to the locals. The port is home to two terminals: Marco Polo and the newer Diamond Jubilee. On days when three ships are in port, a tent is erected at Long Wharf Terminal, also in the heart of the city.


Saint John (New Brunswick) Cruise Reviews

MSC Meraviglia
Rome Again
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Always enjoy walking the streets of St John - our 5th time there But it is not Canadian Law that spirits cannot be served while ship is in port - MSC is too cheap to pay the port of call % of the tax... Read More
Carnival Sunrise
Casino Player
Sail Date: Oct 2019
The first day at St. John it was a religious holy day for me. My wife got off the ship. The second day we were there it wasn't a holy day for me so I got off the ship. Went to Java Moose. Looked inside a few... Read More
Norwegian Escape
unionhall
Sail Date: Sep 2019
We rented a car from Avis which was across the street from the dock. It came with a navigation system and we drove up to the sea caves in St Martin and then unto the Bay of Fundy trail. It is a beautiful drive. When... Read More
Norwegian Gem
chankahon
Sail Date: Oct 2018
The "Saint John Highlights and the Fundy Shore" tour that I booked with an independent operator was a little disappointing for the US$86 price tag. The reversing rapids was alright, but the touristy light house... Read More
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