The state capitol of Rhode Island is known as the “Renaissance City," with a host of attractions for visitors to enjoy including acclaimed theaters, fine arts and Philharmonic performances. Over three centuries of fascinating history are preserved in Providence from Benefit Street’s “Mile of History” to the immaculate examples of Colonial and Victorian architecture.
In the mid-19th century, New Bedford was the whaling capital of the world, and became the inspiration behind Herman Melville's classic American novel, Moby Dick, in 1841. Today, New Bedford is still known as "The Whaling City," with an authentic seaport village, large fishing fleet and working waterfront.
Once anchored in the port of New Bedford, the ships will host an evening event with a local Port representative who will tell of the city’s rich marine history, specifically its deep roots in the once lucrative whaling industry. His tales and local knowledge help set the tone for the morning’s festivities. After breakfast, you will be greeted by the local Park Ranger - Lucy, who will provide commentary on whaling as she escorts you on a brief walk from the ship to the Whaling Museum. Your tour will feature a short film about whaling, and a variety of interactive exhibits that highlight the whaling industry that once crowned New Bedford as “the wealthiest city” in the world.
Acushnet Harbor Cruise
After a hearty East Coast-inspired breakfast, the harbor cruise captain will greet you at the ship and take you on an intimate historical New Bedford / Fairhaven harbor cruise. You’ll explore the popular Palmer’s Island Lighthouse, Fort Phoenix, a working fishing fleet, and the largest hurricane barrier on the East Coast. Your captain will also share insights into the local fishing industry and their focus on scallops. After you arrive back to the ship, you’ll enjoy a seafood dinner made from the locally sourced scallops and fish.
Nantucket Island, MA
Be transported back to the 18th century as you step off your ship onto the timeworn cobblestone streets of Nantucket. Discover how this delightful island evolved from a small farming community to be the center of the American whaling industry and then to a popular resort community. Nantucket is a world unto itself, with towering church steeples and old-world architecture.
Nantucket Island Tour
As we approach the tranquil shores of Nantucket, the captain will set anchor in the calm sound for a breathtaking view of Nantucket. In the morning, we’ll tender into shore where you'll be greeted by our native Nantucket guide who will serve as our island escort. During a private charter, your engaging guide will share stories of the island’s early history, the popular rose-covered cottage style homes, and intriguing art community. We’ll stop to explore the cranberry bogs and local lighthouses before allowing free time in the popular downtown to shop or dine at your leisure. In the afternoon, our onboard guest lecturer will enhance your visit, by leading you on a guided walking tour to explore Brant Point Lighthouse.
Martha's Vineyard, MA
Martha's Vineyard was once a hub for whaling fleets and merchant ships, with exotic cargo from far corners of the world arriving on her shores. Today, the island is one of the most popular vacation spots in New England, comprised of six distinct towns, including Chilmark and Vineyard Haven. The most genteel town on the island is historic Edgartown, prim and proper with its freshly painted colonial homes and manicured gardens.
As we dock in Vineyard Haven, you’ll be immediately surprised by the charm of the quaint seaside village. Our local island guide will greet us at the harbor and take us on a personalized tour of Martha’s Vineyard. You’ll visit the many historic towns, including, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, and West Tisbury. You’ll enjoy ample free time to explore the village and local shops of Edgartown. Once back at the ship, you’ll meet up with our onboard lecturer who will take the group to Oak Bluffs for a narrated tour of the gingerbread cottages. Your tour will conclude with a visit to Bill Ewen’s gingerbread home for freshly made lemonade and cookies. In the evening, musical great, Mark Alan Lovewell will entertain everyone onboard with popular sea chantey sing-a-long songs.
Stroll along Mohegan Bluffs and admire the Southeast Lighthouse, located along the southern shore of the island. The bluffs rise 200 feet above the ocean and stretch 3 miles along the shoreline. This small island off the coast of Rhode Island has become a popular summertime destination, adored for its easy-going attitude, splendid nature trails and breathtaking views.
As you ride along the scenic Mohegan Bluffs gazing upon the colorful sails which illuminate its harbors, it will come as no surprise why this area serves as inspiration for many artists. Known simply on the island as “Howie,” your private guide for the day is nothing short of a local legend. Along with Howie, we will visit all the main attractions of the island, while also showing you its treasured nooks, of which only the most experienced locals are aware. As your tour winds along the scenic bluffs on the way to Old Harbor, you will make a stop at the famous Southeast Lighthouse before having time to peruse the quaint boutiques of the harbor. While in Old Harbor, sip on a glass of refreshing Del’s Lemonade, a local Rhode Island summer treat for over 70 years, before rejoining the ship for cocktails and a seafood-inspired feast.
Nestled within Narragansett Bay is Newport, the yachting capital of the world. As you stroll along the beautiful beaches, historic neighborhoods, bustling wharves and scenic waterfront, you'll find Newport offers something for everyone. Visit the Herreshoff Marine Museum and America's Cup Hall of Fame. Explore Newport's fabled past with glimpses of opulent seaside estates along the "Avenue of the Mansions."
Avenue of the Mansions
Travel back in time to the epicenter of 19th century opulence as a knowledgeable guide takes you down one of the most architecturally impressive avenues in the world. Learn about the owners of the homes and their monetary successes as you travel along the spectacular Ocean View Drive and Bellevue Avenue, before concluding at the “grand dame” of them all, The Breakers Mansion. A portrayal of the social and financial prominence of the Vanderbilt family at the turn of the century, the architecture of this seventy-room Italian renaissance-style palazzo is remarkable. Take a leisurely audio tour of the home and learn about the Vanderbilt family and their inspiration behind building this impressive summer “cottage.” At the conclusion of the tour, you will have time to explore the bustling Newport waterfront at your own pace.
Guided Tour of Fort Adams
Newport, RI boasts one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The night before your arrival, engage in an enlightening lecture of how Newport’s earliest settlers protected the harbor from intruders and also used it to achieve monetary successes. The intimate size of our ship allows us to dock right at Fort Adams, the well-known fort used to protect the harbor, and puts us just a short ride away from Newport’s bustling riverfront. Our onboard lecturer will walk you over to the fort and answer any questions you may have before leading you to a knowledgeable park ranger who will delve deeper into the history of the fort and the military and naval strategies implemented there.
Visit Battleship Cove, a unique "floating" museum recognized as the world's largest collection of 20th century U.S. naval fighting ships. Relive childhood memories on the magnificent, fully-restored carousel at Battleship Cove, the oldest functioning carousel in America. Explore the collection of intricate model ships and other nautical keepsakes at Fall River's Marine Museum.
Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame
As the ship pulls into port, the Herreshoff Marine Museum can be seen from the comfort of your private balcony. A guide will greet you at the ship and walk with you across the street to the museum which features some of the finest yachts built during “The Golden Age of Yachting.” The museum also features the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, which honors those who have competed in the most renowned international yachting event in the world. In the afternoon, you’ll take a trolley to the Blithewold Mansion for a private tour of the mansion and grounds. With magnificent views of Narragansett Bay, the 33-acre summer estate also features several exquisite gardens. Finally, you’ll have plenty of free time for an afternoon of exploration. You can take a brief stroll or ride our shuttle into Bristol to visit the many local shops.
Providence offers a number of shore excursions that will delight any member of your travel group. Simply take a walk through Waterplace Park to the River Walk, or admire the architecture of the Cathedral of Saints Paul and Peter. No matter what type of activity you are looking for, Providence has it all.
Other Providence Attractions
Holocaust Memorial Museum
The mission of Rhode Island's Holocaust Memorial Museum is to honor the memory of the victims and to pay tribute to the survivors, rescuers, liberators, and witnesses of the Holocaust. The Museum teaches the painful lessons learned from racism, bigotry, and genocide to the next generation in order to promote tolerance, mutual understanding, and respect. Website
John Brown House Museum
Considered to be “magnificent and elegant” by John Quincy Adams, this house-turned-museum was the first mansion built in Providence. After being donated by the Brown family in the early 1940s, the home was restored and preserved by the Rhode Island Historical Society. Tour the Brown House to learn about Rhode Island’s cultural and social climate in the 18th century.
Featuring the fourth-largest self-supported marble dome in the world, the Rhode Island State House is the workplace of many state and local government officials. The State House features a number of interesting items, including a replica of the Liberty Bell and a portrait of George Washington painted by Gilbert Stuart. Website
Governor Henry Lippitt House
Take a tour of this well-preserved home, built for textile merchant Henry Lippitt in the late 19th century. Guided tours will illuminate the history of this building, showcasing the elaborate woodwork and Victorian-era furnishings.
Cathedral of Saints Paul and Peter
This Romanesque cathedral was designed in the late 19th century by Patrick Keely. On a tour, you will see a number of amazing features, including a 36-foot-tall organ, a tabernacle created by hand and a bell weighing 3000 pounds.
The Roger Williams Park & Botanical Center
This center, which is the largest public indoor display garden in New England, features two greenhouses and 150 species and cultivars of plants. This is the perfect excursion for anyone who loves escaping into natural settings within urban areas. Website
Waterplace Park and River Walk
Romantic Venetian-style footbridges, cobblestone walkways, and an amphitheater encircling a tidal pond set the tone at this 4-acre tract, which has won national and international design awards. The Riverwalk passes the junction of three rivers -- the Woonasquatucket, Providence, and Moshassuck -- a nexus of the shipping trade during Providence's early years. However, the area had been covered over by highways and parking lots in the middle of the 20th century. An urban-renewal project uncovered the buried rivers, rerouted them, and surrounded them with amenities for pedestrians rather than cars. Waterplace Park is now a gathering for the city. Website
Roger Williams Park Zoo
Featuring a host of interactive exhibits, this zoo’s mission is focused on the conservation of wildlife and providing a wide range of education to its visitors. See more than 100 species of wide-ranging animals, including harbor seals, red pandas and carpet pythons. Website