Smooth Sailing for Associated Grocers
At the beginning of this month we talked about our travel plans for this busy season. As we welcome back Kathleen from the Associated Grocers 2018 Retailer Cruise Trip, we’re excited to share the ports of New England and eastern Canada with everyone!
The group of 40 guests arrived throughout the day in private transfers from the Montreal Airport to the InterContinental Montreal Hotel where they were staying. While waiting for everyone flying in from New Orleans and Lafayette to make their way, the attendees had the night on their own to explore Montreal and enjoy dinner in the city.
The guests were able to see some action as the Montreal Grand Prix was also in town this weekend for different car shows and activities all around town. The InterContinental Montreal had a virtual reality racing game for the hotel guests and a selection of authentic tires used for racing in different track conditions!
After a night on the town, the attendees began their trek to the cruise port late morning. A private transfer drove through Old Montreal to show guests the quaint city that ran between the water and main road that filled the area with shops and cafes.
After checking in and settling into their cabins, the attendees set sail for Quebec City on ms Maasdam! An exclusive Associated Grocers Bon Voyage Cocktail Party was held at the Crow’s Nest with appetizers and an open bar to kick off their first night on the ship.
After breakfast, the ms Maasdam docked in Quebec City and the attendees were able to pick their excursion for the day at their leisure. Guests were able to partake in the Walk Around Old Quebec City, Montmorency Falls & the Island of Orleans, or the Ste-Anne Canyon & Winery. Whichever excursion the attendee went on, everyone raved about their day in Quebec City.
After the eventful afternoon, the ship departed with Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island as their next stop.
For a full day at sea cruising the St. Lawrence River, our attendees spent the day relaxing onboard and explored the ships amenities on their own. The ms Maasdam offered many relaxing treats for the guests to indulge in such as a spa and salon, afternoon tea and wine tastings, shops and art galleries, and much, much more! After a very laid-back afternoon, the guests were ready to get dolled up for their big evening Gala Dinner. Our attendees were dressed to the nines with a professional photographer to capture all of the glam moments! Ending the night, the group attended a “Classique” show where Maasdam singers and dancers entertained the crowd with their wonderful performances of classic and modern productions.
Finally docking in Charlottetown, everyone unloaded into the scenic waterside town of Canada ready for their day. The group was able to enjoy Fun with Falcons, where trained falcons landed on the guests’ arms, the Ultimate Anne of Green Gables Experience, where you took a tour of the actual town and houses, and a culinary taste of Charlottetown- the lobster is a must-have here!
Cruising into Sydney, Nova Scotia, the group was able to enjoy more excursions off the boat on their own time. Before making their way off of the boat, a giant fiddle of the Celtic culture welcomed them, and everyone took their picture to start the day.
The group was able to experience the Alexander Graham Bell Museum or the Hike to Uisage Ban Falls. The prominent Irish ancestry influence in Sydney reminded many guests of their previous trip to Dublin or Killarney last year, but realized they were in the home of North America’s only living Celtic culture.
The trip so far had gone smoothly with sunny and cool weather, until the guests reached Halifax. The cold, windy weather didn’t stop the guests from going on their excursions though! The group enjoyed the Walk through Historic Halifax and the Tour of Peggy’s Cove- until there was a small forest fire while touring the cove and our group had to be redirected to another beach. Everyone was okay! As their final day in Canada came to an end, the guests realized they hadn’t stocked up enough on their Canadian Maple Syrup and souvenirs! In Halifax, everyone made sure not to come back aboard the ship emptyhanded.
To close out this busy day, our group had their second and final Gala Dinner, complete with more picture-perfect moments and a steak and lobster dinner!
The ms Maadam headed back to the US with Bar Habor as end route. Bar Harbor is extremely shallow and in order to dock, the ship had to hunker down about a mile or so out and take “tenders” (which are tiny boats) to shore. Once in town, the guests never wanted to leave! Bar Harbor offered many shops and tasty places to eat, with a beautiful view at all times. The favorite excursion of the day had to be Acadia’s National Park & Lobster Bake and Bike through the park. Everyone kept raving about how beautiful the park was and how delicious the lobster bake was!
After a sad goodbye to Bar Harbor, the group attended their Farewell Cocktail party back at the Crow’s Nest and enjoyed their final evening together.
Docking in Boston, Massachusetts, you can say our guests were leaving this trip with an adventure in their books. Sailing into our travel season with this trip only excites us for our upcoming plans!