Cruise into th­ese safe, peace­ful ports

The Niagara Falls Review - - LIFE -

OUT TO SEA

In a world where ten­sions are ris­ing, cruise trav­ellers are look­ing for a safe haven.

Cana­di­ans don’t have to search too far as a sur­vey finds Canada’s Mar­itimes is the safest cruise des­ti­na­tion in the world.

“This peace­ful cor­ner of Canada of­fers bu­colic pas­tures, ex­cep­tional seafood and scenery galore,” writes Chris Gray Faust, se­nior ed­i­tor of the Cruise Critic web­site.

She ac­knowl­edges that cruises do go to places “that some con­sider risky,” such as Euro­pean cap­i­tals, the Mid­dle East, Africa and Asia.

Even Alaska has the risk of bears but her list of the safest cruise des­ti­na­tions is “where you can leave most of your wor­ries be­hind.”

Cruise va­ca­tions are among the safest but even so, to­day’s “safe haven may be to­mor­row’s ugly head­line,” she com­mented.

The Mar­itime prov­inces are down­right friendly with many ports such as Char­lot­te­town, Saint John and Hal­i­fax be­ing small, and some, such as Sydney, N.S., hav­ing lo­cal greeters meet the ship.

The big­gest risk in this part of the world is “fall­ing in love and not want­ing to leave,” she sug­gests.

The list of seven safe cruise ports con­tin­ues with the Baltic in sec­ond place.

Coun­tries such as Swe­den, Nor­way, Fin­land and Den­mark are “fa­mously pro­gres­sive and mostly im­mune from gun vi­o­lence.”

New Zealand ranks third where it’s said there are more sheep than peo­ple and even the largest cities “seem quaint and down to earth.”

The Global Peace In­dex ranks the coun­try fourth most peace­ful be­hind Ice­land, Den­mark and Aus­tria, with tourists less likely to be scammed.

In this sur­vey, the U.S. does OK with Costal Cal­i­for­nia and the Pa­cific North­west rank­ing fourth.

Take a laid back sail­ing along the West Coast and visit the vine­yards in Santa Bar­bara, ex­plore Can­nery Row in Mon­terey and check out the Lewis & Clark his­tory in As­to­ria, Ore­gon.

An­other op­tion is an ex­pe­di­tion cruise in Wash­ing­ton State’s re­mote and safe San Juan Is­lands.

Wast­ing away

Many cruis­ers like the idea of wast­ing away on some “de­serted is­land” far from the madding crowd.

Pri­vate cruise line is­lands in the Caribbean come in at fifth place.

Th­ese un­in­hab­ited sandy beaches with crys­tal-clear waters are where safety-minded cruis­ers are “iso­lated within a bub­ble of ca­banas, shore­line and ac­tiv­i­ties.”

There’s no traf­fic, taxis, hus­tlers hawk­ing mer­chan­dise, just a Gil­li­gan’s Is­land get­away.

Bri­tish Isles’ cruises are sixth at such spots as the Orkney and Shet­land Is­lands, Isle of Man and the Chan­nel Is­lands of Guernsey and Jersey.

Visi­tors can roam free but “you should still leave valu­ables on the ship.”

The sur­vey is rounded out with Ja­pan in sev­enth spot where gun own­er­ship is against the law, so vi­o­lent crime is “ex­tremely un­usual” and cruis­ers should feel safe on shore ex­cur­sions and city tours.

One of the most pop­u­lar ports of call for cruise pas­sen­gers is Hal­i­fax, as the city’s pop­u­la­tion will grow by 11,120 on Oct. 3.

This is the re­sult of the busiest cruise pas­sen­ger day with four mega-ships dis­charg­ing pas­sen­gers.

Ar­riv­ing that day is Royal Caribbean’s An­them of the Seas with 4,180 pas­sen­gers; TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 6, 2,500; Nor­we­gian Dawn, 2,300; and Royal Caribbean’s Ser­e­nade of the Seas, 2,140 pas­sen­gers.

This year’s cruise sea­son from April 24 to Oct. 31 is the busiest ever, said Lane Far­gu­son of the Hal­i­fax Port Author­ity.

The record num­ber of visi­tors to­tals 274,000 from 173 “ves­sel calls,” he added.

There have been five in­au­gu­ral calls, four vis­its from Queen Mary 2 and one from Dis­ney Magic on Oct. 26 while Sept. 14 is a five-ship day.

JIM FOX/SPE­CIAL TO POST­MEDIA NEWS A young fiddler en­ter­tains the cruise ship crowds at Peggy’s Cove, N.S.

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