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Saint John (New Brunswick) (Photo:Albert Pego/Shutterstock)
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of 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.

About Saint John (New Brunswick)


Pro

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

Con

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


Find a Cruise to Saint John (New Brunswick)



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.

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.

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.

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.

Shopping

Stroll down side streets in uptown Saint John to find one-of-a-kind art, books and vintage items. For the beer-lover in your life, snag a memento from Moosehead Brewery. Or, if you prefer more Canada-themed souvenirs, try Java Moose Coffee Roasters, where you can also grab some java.