Cruises to Saint John (New Brunswick)

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

About Cruising to 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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Emerald Princess
Emerald Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

11 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

1,872 Reviews
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MSC Meraviglia
Pool deck aboard MSC Meraviglia (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

7 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

821 Reviews
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Vision of the Seas
Vision of the Seas

9 Night
Canada & New England

1,209 Reviews
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MSC Cruises

Enchanted Princess
Enchanted Princess (Image: Princess Cruises)

7 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

143 Reviews
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9 Night
Canada & New England

2,646 Reviews
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8 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

821 Reviews
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10 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

1,872 Reviews
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9 Night
Canada & New England

1,209 Reviews
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7 Night
Canada Cruise

1,640 Reviews
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11 Night
Newfoundland & New England Discovery

590 Reviews
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11 Night
Canada & New England - Other

2,151 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

10 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

1,872 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Canada & New England Discovery

1,028 Reviews
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11 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

11 Reviews
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9 Night
Canada & New England

2,646 Reviews
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More about Saint John (New Brunswick)

Why Cruise 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
Spent a couple of hours at the mall getting a new iPhone. Canadians by nature are a friendly bunch and the salesman was very nice, thanks Rogan! Downtown Saint John is very nice but I can't do the hills like I couldRead More
Rex1965
This was a really boring shore excursion: St John Bay of Fundy and St. Martins. The seafood chowder that was included was very good, the restaurant should have a LOT more bathrooms if they plan to serve multiple toRead More
AVLTravelers
St. John itself can probably be seen in about 1 to 2 hours. It is not very large, but it is not very clean either. There is a lot of new construction going on, so I am sure when they are done things will improve. Read More
SeaMaverick
St. John is a nice port and an easy area to walk through and around. We like the city market and found some nice butter tarts there. We did not purchase anything other than the tarts, but enjoyed our stroll through tRead More
kaydeefl

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