Pilgrimage to the New World
|Resort:||Spirit of Discovery|
A cruise 400 years in the making….
This is an East Coast US cruise with a difference, allowing you to immerse yourself in the foundations of modern America.
On this cruise of a lifetime, follow in the historic wake of the Pilgrims who sailed from Plymouth aboard the Mayflower in search of the New World. To mark the 400th anniversary of their epic voyage and the founding of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, join the commemorations on both sides of the Atlantic and relive the story which shaped the foundations of America. You will get the chance to spend the anniversary of the departure in Plymouth, along with visiting world leaders, dignitaries and a stunning flotilla of international warships. Fear not, for you there will be no arduous two-month crossing in cramped conditions; you will cruise in the lap of luxury to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and pay Sagas first-ever visit to Provincetown Harbor on Cape Cod. You can look forward to an overnight stay in New York City, plus a visit to Marthas Vineyard, known as a playground of the rich and famous from the Kennedys to the Obamas. On an overnight stay in Baltimore, youll have the opportunity to visit the capital of the United States. Home to an abundance of stunning architecture, moving memorials, government institutions and history, Washington DC will leave a lasting impression, and our Explore Ashore team are on hand to help you make the most of your visit. You will also stop overnight in Bermuda and visit Madeira on your way back to the UK.
Plymouth , England
After sailing along the south coast, look forward to joining in the grand commemorations to mark 400 years to the day since the Mayflower set sail. Today is the culmination of the nine-day Mayflower Muster festival in Plymouth part of the Mayflower 400 programme of events which has been underway for nearly two years. Enjoy naval pageantry in the company of former US Presidents, UK dignitaries and military leaders from both sides of the Atlantic, with naval warships from both countries at anchor close by. This evening bid the UK farewell, just as the Pilgrims and their crew did four centuries earlier, and watch land disappear beyond the horizon.
Land ahoy! Cruise into Boston this morning, one of the oldest and most historic cities in the US, having been founded on the Shawmut Peninsula by English settlers in 1630. It was the setting for several of the crucial events which led to the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party, and its rich history attracts millions of visitors each year. Once on dry land, one way to immerse yourself in the history of the city is to follow the Freedom Trail, a two-and-a-half-mile long route, following a red line on the pavement, which guides you to 16 historically significant sites. The trail starts in Boston Common, Americas oldest public park, and takes in museums, churches and meeting houses including Faneuil Hall, one of Americas most popular tourist attractions, and the site from which several important speeches encouraging American independence were delivered on its way to the famous Bunker Hill Monument. If youve had enough history then you might wish to seek out the sporting mecca of Fenway Park, iconic home of the Red Sox baseball team, or venture to the Boston Public Garden, Museum of Fine Arts or Public Library.
Provincetown , USA
This morning you will sail into Provincetown Harbor, where the Pilgrims first dropped anchor to end their epic voyage. You will be tendered to shore at MacMillan Wharf, home to the local fishing fleet which ensures the local eateries are well-stocked with fresh seafood, and a popular departure point for whale-watching expeditions. Just a few steps away is the towering Pilgrim Monument, which looms over the bay and boasts superb views from the summit, and the interesting Provincetown Museum.
Just like the colonials did, you can travel around Cape Cod to reach the site of their first settlement of Plymouth, where you can look forward to immersing yourself in history at the Plimoth Plantation, a living museum which allows you to step back in time to 1624. It is also home to the Mayflower 2, a replica built in the UK as a symbol of post-war Anglo-American solidarity, which completed its own transatlantic voyage in 1957. You can also see the working Plimoth Grist Mill, built on the site of a mill originally constructed in 1636 and which has been faithfully restored to provide a glimpse into daily colonial life. If you prefer to explore at your own pace, you might opt to join a bike ride or hike the Capes scenic Province Lands Trail.
Marthas Vineyard , USA
After a short cruise south of the Cape, spend a day on the island which is renowned as a haven for the rich and famous due to its beautiful beaches and pleasant climate. In summer the population of around 15,000 swells by as many as eight times, with tourists and owners of holiday homes flocking to escape the oppressive heat of the major US cities. The island is a favourite of the Kennedys, Clintons and Obamas while Steven Spielbergs hit movie Jaws was filmed there in 1974. The name was coined by English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold, who sailed to the island in 1602. Martha was the name shared by his daughter and mother-in-law. It is one of only five place names in the US which takes a possessive apostrophe.
New York City, USA
Start spreading the news… you will arrive in one of the worlds greatest cities this morning for 24 hours you will surely never forget. Whether you are itching to hit world-famous department stores like Bloomingdales, Saks or Macys, see the sights from iconic skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre or One World Trade Centre, pound the pavements of Fifth Avenue and window shop in Tiffany & Co, stroll in Central Park or see the Statue of Liberty up close, there is no shortage of ways to spend your time in the Big Apple. After dark the citys already electrified air is supercharged by the neon glow emanating from Times Square and the billions of bulbs advertising Broadway shows. You might prefer to take your pick of some of the greatest restaurants on earth, explore some of the planets most significant art galleries and museums, or just stroll the streets, soaking up the buzz of the city that never sleeps. Youll set sail once again over breakfast as the Downtown skyline is swallowed up by your wake.
Home to the oldest US naval port and largest naval station in the world, the Virginia city of Norfolk has many historic sites and monuments. Spirit of Discovery will moor alongside the battleship USS Wisconsin, which was in service from World War II until the Gulf War, while one of the citys most prominent landmarks is the MacArthur Memorial in homage to highly-decorated US General Douglas MacArthur. Nauticus is a maritime-themed science centre and museum located on the downtown waterfront while the Chrysler Museum of Art and Norfolk Botanical Garden are also well worth a visit.
This morning youll cruise into Chesapeake Bay on Sagas first visit in 14 years to the historic Maryland seaport of Baltimore. From here you are well placed to make the short trip to neighbouring Washington DC, just under an hour away by road or rail, and which you can visit on an excursion. As in New York, a visit to DC feels like stepping onto the set of a film or TV programme. You can take the opportunity to see the White House and explore the numerous striking memorials along the National Mall, spreading from the imposing Lincoln Memorial to the west through to the US Capitol building to the east, and featuring many of the most recognisable monuments in the world, including the vast reflecting pool in the shadow of the towering obelisk monument to George Washington. The Mall is flanked by Smithsonian museums including the National Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery of Art, the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History. Baltimore itself has a wealth of attractions to explore too; at the mouth of the citys famous Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry is an historic coastal bastion which is now designated a National Monument and Historic Shrine. The hexagonal fort successfully defended the city from an attack by the British Navy in September 1814 and famously flew a huge American flag during and after the bombardment. The morning after the battle, Francis Scott Key spotted the enormous woollen flag boasting only 15 stars and 15 stripes at that time which inspired him to write the words to the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. That flag is displayed in the National Museum of American History in Washington DC.
Baltimores harbour boasts numerous shops, restaurants and attractions, including the Civil War-era warship the USS Constellation part of the Historic Ships maritime museum and the iconic National Aquarium, showcasing thousands of marine creatures. Other attractions include the Top of the World Observation deck at the World Trade Center Institute, boasting panoramic views of the city and harbour, and the Washington Monument in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighbourhood.
St Georges, Bermuda
Pink sand beaches and azure waters this weekend you get to enjoy a taste of paradise.
Bermuda is Britains oldest remaining overseas territory, lying just over 650 miles off the US east coast. It was claimed in 1609 when a flotilla of English ships bound for Virginia was hit by a storm. As it was taking on water, the flagship, Sea Venture, was deliberately run onto Bermudas reef, allowing the 150 passengers and a dog on board to safely reach land. The dramatic scene is said to have inspired William Shakespeares play The Tempest.
The group of around 180 islands was claimed for the crown and in 1612 St Georges was settled and designated as the islands first capital. It is the oldest continually inhabited English town in the New World, as reflected by its place on UNESCOs World Heritage list. Perhaps wander among the narrow alleyways in search of historic buildings, or seek out the Royal Naval Dockyard, which includes the Bermuda Maritime Museum. You might prefer to play a round of golf on one of the islands many courses, venture into the warm and infinitely clear waters in search of tropical fish and sea turtles, or just relax on a picture-postcard beach.
After days at sea you can look forward to seeing the volcanic archipelago of Madeira emerge on the horizon, just as several Portuguese islands did from the waves of the northern Atlantic millions of years ago. Along with Rio de Janeiro, the approach to the harbour in the capital Funchal is considered one of the most spectacular in the world. Spirit of Discovery will sail into the deep harbour in the heart of the city, which sits in a natural amphitheatre fringed by mountains draped in lush forests. Stretch your legs with a stroll through the historic heart of the city, first discovered in the early 15th-century, with its sun-bleached buildings, monuments and museums, or perhaps relax at a pavement cafe with a glass of the renowned Madeira wine. The Botanical Gardens just outside the city are home to more than 2,000 exotic plants and boast breathtaking views over the capital and the ocean beyond.