Visit New England In The Fall

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The Canada/New England fall cruises offer a variety of lengths and ports of call. Prime cabin location is selling out fast. Since all these cruises stop in several Canadian ports, like Halifax and Quebec City, passports are required.

However, a more economical and in-depth tour of New England, without Canada, can be booked for as low as $1,095 per person, or approximately $1,575 including airfare to and from Boston. These fully escorted, leisurely paced tours of 44 people maximum travel by deluxe motor coach and stay in quality hotels like Hilton and Radisson. Every breakfast and several dinners are included in the price.

You will see the standard Boston attractions, stopping at the Old North Church and Fanueil Hall Marketplace — a true Boston experience for over 250 years — and driving past the state capitol and Boston Commons before proceeding to Lexington. Here the “shot heard around the world” was fired on the Battle Green where the Minutemen had their first skirmish with the British — the start of the American Revolution. Along Paul Revere’s route from Lexington to Concord, you will stop at the North Bridge. Next is a stop at Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims from the Mayflower landed in 1620. This is followed by a drive to Hyannis where you will stay two nights on Cape Cod.

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Photos courtesy of Carol Watts

Paul Revere statue

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Courtesy of Carol Watts

Hyannis Harbor

A morning ferry takes you across to Martha’s Vineyard, a haven for poets, artists and celebrities. An island tour visits Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.

The historic whaling town of Edgartown affords you an opportunity to wander its narrow streets, visiting art galleries and quaint shops.

When the tour leaves Hyannis it travels to the sailing capital of the world, Newport Rhode Island. You will visit the Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance palace which was the “summer cottage” of the Vanderbilts. Next is Mystic, Conn. for a visit to Mystic Seaport, home of the nation’s leading maritime museum and tall ships.

The following day you will drive through the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts and stop in Stockbridge at the Norman Rockwell Museum and studio, which is preserved as it was when Rockwell painted there the last 25 years of his life. Overnight will be in the scenic Green Mountains of Vermont.

Fall colors reign on a scenic drive to Plymouth Notch, birthplace of President Calvin Coolidge. Next you stop in Woodstock, Vt., known as the prettiest small town in America. There will be a photo stop at a covered bridge. Drive over Quechee Gorge, the Grand Canyon of New England, then through the White Mountains of New Hampshire to Franconia Notch. A notch is a narrow pass through steep mountain cliff walls. Follow the Kancamagus Highway, known as the best fall foliage trip in the US, through the White Mountains National Forest to Conway, N.H.

The following morning your coach passes Maine’s lakes on the way to Portland on the rocky Atlantic seacoast. After viewing the waterfront, you continue to Kennebunkport. You will have time to explore this quaint resort before your farewell Maine lobster dinner. The next morning your coach transfers you to Boston’s Logan Airport.

Having grown up in Albany, N.Y., my family always traveled to Vermont to view the fall foliage. The time for peak fall color may vary from year to year because of temperature and moisture. The above circular route through six New England states ensures that you have many fall foliage viewing opportunities. Now is the time to start thinking about a New England land tour or Canada/New England cruise.

Found money

If you are like me, you have a bunch of reward points sitting around on various credit cards. Unless you have been using one card exclusively for a long time, the rewards usually don’t amount to much. But for those of you that use an American Express card, those points can be found money. Maybe even enough to pay for a cruise.

Thanks to our affiliation with Americas Vacation Center, we are able to offer to our customers a “pay with points” program. American Express card members should be enrolled in the membership rewards program under a personal card (corporate cards are not eligible unless they are linked to a personal card). The minimum amount of points that can be used is 1,000. Card members must have a minimum of 5,000 points. Pay with points can be used for a deposit, partial or final payment, but can be used only once per booking. This offer extends until Nov. 30, 2010 and is available for the following cruise lines: Carnival, Celebrity, Holland, NCL, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Uniworld River Cruises, and Disney. Why not come in and plan a future cruise. We can tell you how much your American Express reward points will be worth toward the cruise of your choice.

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