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Radisson Seven Seas.....


If you’re into history, it’s hard to beat a cruise that includes the northeast of the U.S. and Canada. History literally comes alive in a wide variety of ports that have seen centuries of historical events and shaped both nations. Whether it’s sailing past the Statue of Liberty or visiting one of Canada’s many historical coastline forts, you will enjoy these historic havens, even if you're not a history buff.

Radisson Seven Seas Cruises' ships ply the northeast coast of North America, sailing the same waters that brought settlers and immigrants to New England, New York and eastern Canada. The many ports and attractions along the coast are alive with the history of these early residents, as well as more recent times.

Oh, Say, Can You See.....Boston and New York?

Much of America’s history can be explored in New York City, thanks to the city’s early role in immigration and commerce. Of course, a visit to Manhattan wouldn’t be complete without heading out to (or at least past) the Statue of Liberty. This gift from France, unveiled in 1886, honors America’s historic role in freedom worldwide.

Nearby, Ellis Island now includes an interesting Immigration Museum that details the history of the island. The audio tour, as well as a great video, put the “liberty” part of the Statue of Liberty into historical perspective.

Back on the mainland, it’s hard to ignore Ground Zero, where the events of 9/11 will forever be etched in the souls of any visitor. A few blocks away, Wall Street continues to play a centuries-old role in global finance.

Up the coast to Boston, visitors can literally follow in the footsteps of the founding fathers. Here, the famed Freedom Trail (a red-bricked walking tour) leads past sites that tell the story of Revolutionary War-era events. The self-guided route is easy to pick up or leave anywhere downtown, but it’s definitely hard to forget once you’ve walked it.

The walk begins in Boston Common, near the Massachusetts State House, which was completed in 1798 and remains the state seat of government. Next, the Old Granary Burying Ground includes the graves of Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams.

The two most famous stops on the Trail are next. First, the Old South Meeting House is the building where Samuel Adams addressed the patriots who would eventually participate in the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. Next, the Old State House--built in 1712--features the balcony from which the Declaration of Independence was read on July 18, 1776.

The Trail then heads to Boston’s North End next, with draws including the Paul Revere House, Old North Church, and Copp’s Hill Burial Ground. Boston’s only surviving 17th century house was Revere’s abode for some 30 years. He embarked upon his famous ride on April 18, 1775, warning of British attack by hanging two lanterns in Old North Church.

Of course, there’s much more of historical interest to explore in Boston and the surrounding areas. The possibilities include: the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum (a replica of one of the three original ships involved); historic Cambridge, where the university was founded in 1636; or Lexington and Concord, through which much of Paul Revere’s ride took place and where Battle Road and Minuteman National Historic Park detail the events.

Oh, Canada

French history is seemingly in every port of call in eastern Canada. From Quebec and Montreal to historic seaports like Sydney, Charlottetown, Halifax, and Saint John, much of this country’s history can be explored on a cruise.

Quebec is so rich in Francophile history that many of Holland America’s itineraries include two full days in the city. Highlights of an historical stay might include: Muse’e de L’Ame’rique Francaise (French culture in North America); Muse’e de la Civilisation (an all-encompassing historical museum and more); Maison Chevalier (a 1752 inn that now serves as a Quebec history museum); Le Citadelle (North America’s largest fortifications still occupied by troops); and, of course, Chateau Frontenac, one of the world’s great historic hotels.

There’s more Canadian history in Montreal, in the city was founded more than 350 years ago and has always played a major role in the country’s growth. Must-sees in Montreal include: Muse’e McCord (the McCord Museum of Canadian History); Centre Canadien d’Architecture (a great review of the country’s architecture over the centuries); Pointe-a-Calliere (Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History); and Centre d’Histoire de Montreal (a complete history of the city, starting with the Amerindians).

Thanks to its location, Canadia’s eastern coastline has played a major role in the country’s history. For instance, Prince Edward Island’s Charlottetown was host of the 1864 conference that would eventually lead to the creation of the independent Dominion of Canada (in 1867).

In addition, Nova Scotia’s Halifax is home of the Citadel, which has been restored to look and function much as it did in 1856. Nearby, on Cape Breton Island, Sydney is the base for the stunning 175-mile Cabot Trail driving tour, which was named for John Cabot, who may have first set foot on North American soil there.

These regions of the United States and Canada bring history alive in many ways. Whatever your interest, you’re sure to enjoy these historic ports of call.