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Long time cruiser Ralph Grizzle, shares his love of cruising the beautiful region of Atlantic Canada, reminding us all that Atlantic Canada offers much, much more than the blazing colors of the fall foliage.

Don’t think of cruising this region only during the fall. Atlantic Canada is an exciting destination at any time with Norwegian Cruise Line.

First and foremost, this is a region of extremely hospitable people. I was once told before disembarking a ship in Halifax that the people there were among the world’s friendliest. That sentiment was validated when I sneezed stepping off the ship and five people responded to my sneeze with “Bless you.”

The warmth and friendliness of the people in Atlantic Canada is just one reason to visit this beautiful region. Another reason to visit is the rich history, culture and scenic beauty — plus, it’s simply a fun place to explore.

You can get your adrenaline going on ziplines, kayaks and jet boats. Or for a more relaxed adventure, board a boat for lobster excursions in Charlottetown or for sailing adventures from Sydney.

You’ll find that while the fall leaves get the notoriety for color, it abounds in the in the Victorian architecture, spring flowers and even the food from lobster to raspberry jam.

I did all of this during my visit to Atlantic Canada and loved it.

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You can relive history at sites operated by Parks Canada, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg, Carleton Martello Tower, or the Halifax Citadel, where you can dress up to be a soldier for a day. I put on the soldier’s uniform and even got to fire a vintage rifle.

Of course you don’t need to dress up to feel the history here. Founded in 1749, Halifax will take you back in time as you climb Citadel Hill to Fort George, named for Britain’s King George II and finished in 1856. Watch the hourly guard change, explore the fort and take in the views of the city below.

Snap a photo of the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove, reputed to be the world’s most photographed lighthouse.

Hike in beautiful forests, travel along scenic coastlines, witness the world’s highest tides and walk on the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks. Ride through the rapids created by those tides on a jet boat in Saint John. You’ll never forget these experiences and that’s just part of what you can find to do.

There’s much more. Marvel at majestic Gros Morne National Park. Watch eagles soar. Dine on delicious lobster. Eat a timbit. Don’t know what a timbit is? You need to go to Atlantic Canada.

Atlantic Canada comprises four provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Plus, there are many other smaller ports in the region. All can be reached on an easy cruise from New York City or Boston. I love the idea of sailing past the Manhattan skyline or Boston’s cityscape to a place as picturesque as say, Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

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