Mrs. Modernlifeisgood and I have had a dream of touring around Canada in a campervan. Unfortunately, disorganization and the mild fear of actually driving a campervan has meant the dream has never been realized. However, we have eventually now visited Canada. Admittedly a day trip on a cruise was not our original intention, but from our short trip, we can’t wait to go back. Today we stopped at Saint John New Brunswick and rode the Big Pink Bus.
Regular readers of this blog will have noticed our posts are a little out of date, and we actually visited Saint John in late October. Unfortunately, yet again, we have failed to keep up with our daily live blogs. After the turmoil of tendering the day before at Bay Harbor, it was fantastic to be docked inside the port. The Anthem of the Seas was docked right within the historic town of St John, and it was only a short walk to the Big Pink Bus.
The Big Pink Bus is a Hop-On Hop-Off tour around Saint John which is available only on days when cruise ships are in town. Buses are easily identifiable as they are all colored pink. The bus promotes and raises money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Buses are classic London Routemasters.
The Big Pink Bus takes one route around the town, which makes 14 stops. A loop takes around 90 minutes to complete. Buses are regular but depend on the number of ships in town. Live commentary is provided throughout your tour, and we found most guides both knowledgeable and entertaining.
The Big Pink Bus was a great way of exploring Saint John, and we completed a full loop without stopping before hopping off at several stops. In the past, we have found Hop-On Hop-Off buses variable in quality, but overall this was an excellent tour.
Saint John has a population of 68000 and is the 3rd largest port in Canada. It is located on the Bay of Fundy in the province of New Brunswick. In 1785 Saint John became the first incorporated city in what became Canada. Saint John has recently been overtaken by Moncton as New Brunswick’s largest city.
Perhaps the highlight of Saint John for most guests is the coastline. Saint John is located on the Bay of Fundy, which is famed for having the highest tides on earth. Twice daily, 160 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy. The tides are greater than the combined flow of the world’s freshwater rivers. The Reversing Falls Rapids is a unique highlight you can see at Saint John where the high tide reverses the flow of Saint John River.
Historically, shipbuilding played a significant role in Saint John’s economy. However, during the 21-century shipbuilding has significantly declined. Today research and information-technology play an essential role in the city’s economy. There is also a growing tourism industry with cruise passengers being an important sector. The increasing tourism has driven new businesses into the “uptown” area of the town.
The “uptown” area contains Victorian architecture, churches, and squares. There is an increasing selection of shopping and dining options. One particular highlight is O’Leary’s Pub which was top of Grandma’s must-do list! Grandma had decided she wanted to try the local Moosehead Bear. The pub is a popular stop for cruise passengers and has live entertainment.
Tomorrow we have a day at sea before our next stop, in Canada, Halifax.
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