Steeped in his­tory,

Seabourn Club Herald - - ON THE HORIZON -

charm and in­cred­i­ble scenery, Prince Ed­ward Is­land is more than just a rou­tine port call. PEI, as the is­land is af­fec­tion­ately nick­named, is Canada’s small­est prov­ince, and while PEI beck­ons tourists from all over the world for its rolling hills, pris­tine beaches, rugged coast­line and scrump­tious fresh seafood, the is­land’s pre­em­i­nent fame lies in its lit­er­ary his­tory.

When Lucy Maud Mont­gomery pub­lished Anne of Green Gables in 1908, her heart­warm­ing story of a lit­tle red-haired or­phan named Anne Shirley be­came an in­stant best­seller. Prince Ed­ward Is­land was catapulted into world fame. Cu­ri­ous read­ers won­dered: Did such an idyllic place as de­scribed by L. M. Mont­gomery ac­tu­ally ex­ist? It did and still does, as mil­lions of tourists have dis­cov­ered.

MEET CHAR­LOT­TE­TOWN

Prince Ed­ward Is­land lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, nes­tled in the curve of Nova Sco­tia and New Brunswick, to the is­land’s south. Char­lot­te­town, the cap­i­tal, is the most-vis­ited city on the small is­land. From the His­toric Char­lot­te­town Sea­port and its mod­ern cruise ter­mi­nal, it’s a short walk to the quaint down­town area, filled with sou­venir shops, seafood din­ers and craft pubs.

Though the impact of Anne of Green Gables on PEI be­gan in the early 20th cen­tury, the is­land’s his­tory dates back to 1763 and the Treaty of Paris, fol­low­ing the Bri­tish de­feat of the French on what was then St. John’s Is­land.

In 1765, Char­lot­te­town was de­clared the cap­i­tal of the new prov­ince and nearly 100 years later, in April 1855, of­fi­cially be­came a city. Thirty years later, elec­tric­ity il­lu­mi­nated the is­land and growth as a tourist des­ti­na­tion be­gan.

Next to the sea­port, vis­i­tors can stroll brick paths through tree-lined Con­fed­er­a­tion Park to the cob­ble­stone streets that lead to the his­toric area. Vic­to­rian brick homes from the 19th cen­tury and flat-front wooden houses line the streets that lead away from port.

The his­toric district of Vic­to­ria Row stretches along Rich­mond Street, be­tween Great Ge­orge and Queen Street. Quaint ar­ti­san shops, restau­rants with lo­cally sourced seafood and craft pubs at­tract both lo­cals and tourists. Shops of­fer col­or­ful hand-knit woolens and flan­nels, from scarves and mit­tens to pash­mina wraps and stock­ing caps.

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