Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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St. John’s, Newfoundland

St. John’s, Newfoundland


The eastern-most city in North America mixes Victorian charm and the dramatic seacoast of a rocky island. As only one large ship is in port at a time, visitors can enjoy the area’s compact downtown and relatively few major sights without being overwhelmed by crowds.

Newfoundland

AMBIENCE

Flags fly from Signal Hill’s Cabot Tower, greeting ships to a small harbor set amidst glacier-rounded hills that, at its widest, is just twice the length of your ship. Capital of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, downtown St. John’s is a mix of colorfully painted brick and clapboard Victorian buildings, punctuated by modern high-rises. The rugged coastline, lighthouse, and WWII bunkers at Cape Spear mark the continent’s farthest reach. Tiny Quidi Vidi Harbour, a mile from downtown, captures the charm of a Down East fishing village. Icebergs may be seen from the shoreline beginning as early as late May, a reminder that the Titanic sank about 400 miles south of St. John’s.

HISTORY

North America’s history of European visitation began here, when the Norse arrived 500 years before Columbus. John Cabot put the island back on the map in 1497. Europeans soon returned to fish the nearby Grand Banks, and St. John’s harbor was in use by 1519. In 1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland, making it the first possession of the British Empire. The British, Dutch, and French battled over the fortified town, culminating in the final battle of the French and Indian War in 1762. Reconstruction after the Great Fire of 1892 gave the city its Victorian style. Marconi received the first Transatlantic radio signal here in 1901, the first non-stop Transatlantic flight left here for Ireland in 1919, and the port paid a key role in antisubmarine warfare and Transatlantic air traffic during WWII.

FACTS

Size: 172 sq. mi. (446 sq. km.) (city) 42,030 sq. mi. (108,860 sq. km.) (island)
Climate: Humid Continental Temperatures: 35°F (1.7°C) to 69°F (21°C)
Population 106,172/479,105 Busy Season Summer
Language: English Money: Canadian Dollar ($)
Time Zone: NL Daylight (EDT +1.5) Transportation: Walking, tour bus, train
Phones: Area code 709, dial 911 for emergencies
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