Highlights From Our Visit to Prince Edward Island Via Cruise Ship

by Janis on August 24, 2015

Point Prim, Prince Edward IslandDuring late June we visited Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island via a 7- Day Canada and New England cruise on Holland America’s ms Massdam. While Mr. Jones had visited as a child, it was my first visit to Prince Edward Island, allowing me to add another destination to my progress on The Travelers’ Century Club List of 324 Destinations.

Maasdam in Charlottetown, Prince Edward IslandWanting to make the most of our visit, we rented a car so that we could explore the island. We walked about 15 minutes from the port to the Avis car rental location at 215 University Avenue in Charlottetown. To avoid the crowds heading to Cavendish for the Anne of Green Gables farmhouse and related attractions, we headed to the Eastern Coast of Prince Edward Island. We were in search of lobster rolls, but not many establishments serving them are open at 9:30 am.

Point Prim Lighthouse, Prince Edward IslandOur first stop was at the Point Prim Lighthouse, the first and oldest lighthouse on Prince Edward Island. Built in Built in 1845, it is open for tours during June – September. We arrived right as it was opening at 10 am.

Point Prim Lighthouse, Prince Edward IslandI paid the $3.50 admission to climb to the top of the lighthouse. The three levels of steps get steeper the higher you go.

Inside the Point Prim Lighthouse, Prince Edward Islandthe bathroom facilities at stairs from the top of Point Prim Lighthouse, Prince Edward IslandOn the second level, you see how the light keeper likely lived.

at the top of Point Prim Lighthouse, Prince Edward IslandLevel 3 offers an amazing view.

view from the top of Point Prim Lighthouse, Prince Edward IslandI had to take a selfie to remember the view from the top of Point Prim Lighthouse.

 

stairs, Point Prim Lighthouse, Prince Edward IslandGetting back down is a little trickier than going up. The steps are steep.

Point Prim Chowder HouseThe Point Prim Chowder House looked like a fabulous place for our first lobster roll, but it sadly wasn’t open until later in the day. We got back in our car and headed out to explore more of the Eastern Coast of PEI.

wildflowers, PEIThe island is beautiful everywhere you look, including the wildflowers blooming along the roads.

red soil of PEIWe drove through the backroads, taking in views of the farmland, with its iron-heavy reddish soil known for growing potatoes.

farmland in PEIPrince Edward Island is lush and green in the summer. Judging from the tightly-wrapped hay bales, the winter landscape and weather is likely very different.

Lobster Shack, Souris, Prince Edward IslandWe were ready for a lobster roll. After finding several places not open, we headed to Souris in search of a lobster shack that we’d read about.

Lobster Shack, Souris, Prince Edward IslandInside they sell three items: lobster dinners, lobster rolls and oysters. There is no indoor seating and the outdoor picnic tables were being revarnished.

Souris, Prince Edward IslandWe sat on a bench nearby and enjoyed this view while we ate our food. While we did not venture into the small town of Souris, we later learned that it was founded by Acadians as a fishing settlement in 1727, and it has several well-preserved historical buildings. The early settlers named the town Souris — the French word for “mouse”– after experiencing several plagues of field mice in the surrounding areas. Souris is also the departure point for ferry service to Quebec’s Magdalen Islands.

lobster dinner, The Lobster Shack, Souris, PEIWe will remember Souris as the place for fresh lobster. Mr. Jones’ had the lobster dinner (served with a unique plastic lobster pick.)

The Lobster Shack, Souris, Prince Edward IslandI went for the lobster roll, which was a great decision. Later, we rated this as our #1 best lobster roll of the entire Canada and New England cruise.

Rick’s Fish ‘N’ Chips, St. Peters Bay, PEIBack in the car, we headed to St. Peter’s Bay, in search of Rick’s Fish ‘N’ Chips, another food establishment that came up during our advance research. We nearly missed it, but noticed the crowd of vehicles in the parking lot as we passed by. After turning around, we had to park across the road as the parking lot was full.

Blueberry Ale, PEIWhile our mission was to find the best lobster roll, we couldn’t resist trying a few other things on the menu, starting with this locally-brewed Gahan Blueberry Ale. It was tasty, especially with the seafood we tried.

Rick's Fish N Chips, PEIThe lobster roll and the clam strips were good, but star was the curried seafood chowder, brimming with fresh mussels, shrimp and other seafood. The huge platters of fish and chips seemed to be very popular, as did the giant bowls of steamed mussels. Plus, Rick’s Fish N Chips has free Wi-Fi, always a nice addition for those of us who like to stay in touch.

St. Peter's Bay, PEIStuffed, and back on the road out of St. Peter’s Bay driving back to Charlottetown, we once again marveled at the views.

Prince Edward IslandLook closely and you can see the mussel beds in this photo.

We were happy that we allowed plenty of time for the drive back into Charlottetown, as we experienced several significant construction delays as we got closer to the capital city.

Holland America's Maasdam in PEIAfter returning our car, we explored downtown Charlottetown briefly before re-boarding our ship just before departure. It seemed that many cruisers wanted to stay in PEI until the last minute.

You could have a great visit just staying near the port, but if you get the chance, try to explore some of the more rural areas of Prince Edward Island.

Here are some resources to help you plan your visit to Prince Edward Island:

Trails of Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island – Road Map

Or reminisce about being on Price Edward Island with these:
Color the Classics: Anne of Green Gables: A Coloring Book Visit to Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Dreams (3 Book Series)

What’s your favorite spot to explore in Prince Edward Island? 

Check out these other posts related to our Canada and New England cruise:

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