New Brunswick Forum

Saint John, New Brunswick Itinerary Help, Please

Posted by MalibuCA on November 23, 2009

We are taking the fall foliage cruise on the Crystal Symphony next year. After much deliberation, we have put together a plan for our day in Saint John next October 6. Please advise! I welcome all kind tips and recommendations.

Our plan is to rent a car and drive to St. Martins to see the caves, visit the village of St. Martins, have the "world famous clam chowder" at the Cave View Family Restaurant, and drive the Fundy Trail Parkway. Crystal offered a shore excursion this year to St. Martins (which they will likely offer again next year), but it did not include the Fundy Trail Parkway, and it seems that we are so close to it in St. Martins, that it is not to be missed. Here are my questions:

1. Has anyone taken the Crystal shore excursion or any other ship excursion to St. Martins? What did you think? Is the "world famous clam chowder," really that good, or is it over-hyped? Is St. Martins the best use of our time (as opposed to staying within the city of Saint John?)

2. Has anyone driven the Fundy Trail Parkway? Your impressions and recommendations?

3. Has anyone rented a car and driven this route that I am proposing? My research revealed that Enterprise is located at 132 Station Street, and Avis is located at 4 Water Street. I think that Avis is closer to where the ship docks, correct? Has anyone rented from Avis or Enterprise in Saint John? Can I arrange for them to meet us at the ship with the rental car, or do I need to go to them? Are the cars located at these addresses on Station Street (Enterprise) and Water Street (Avis), or do we need to go somewhere else to pick up the car? Can we drop the car at the pier before re-boarding the Symphony, or do we return the car to the same location where we picked it up?

4. I have read that to see the caves at St. Martins, we need low tide. I researched the tide levels of October 6, 2010 when we are in Saint John. It looks like low tide is at 4:40 a.m. (.5 meters/1.6 feet) and at 17:08 (.3 meters/1.0 feet). Our ship is in dock from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This doesn't seem to coincide with low tide. Is there any way that we will be able to see the caves? Is it still worth going to St. Martins and the Fundy Trail Parkway? Or, with any luck, am I just reading the tide levels chart incorrectly?

5. I have considered the possibility of driving all the way to Hopewell Rocks, but I'm afraid that I will not get back on time. I would HATE to miss the ship! Has anyone gone this far? And made it back on time?! We are docked from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

I appreciate all of the advice you can give me.


Reply by wastle on February 20, 2010

1. Someone probably has. If you don't go to St. Martins there is lots of interesting stuff in Saint John. Lots of history and the Natural History Museum is very good.
2. Fundy Trail is super!!! Plan to spend a little time at Salmon River at the end of the "Trail".
3.Seems like you should ask the rental companies these questions.
4. You can see the upper parts of the caves anytime but to go in (they are only 30 or 40 meters deep) you need low tide. You do have to scramble over some rocks and the beach is rocky not sandy but still very pretty.
5. You are right, Hopewell is probably to far for the time you have.

Bill Astle

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