Pennsylvania and New Jersey travelers are snapping up fall cruises to Canada and New England, as a way to avoid rising gas costs, faltering exchange rates, and increased border security.  To meet this demand, CruisePhilly is offering seven day sailings to Canada and New England aboard the Norwegian Majesty beginning October 4th.

One of the most popular cruises ever offered at the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal, the Canada/New England sailings are back with featured stops at Halifax, Bar Harbor, Bay of Fundy/St. John, and Boston.

Pennsylvania has always been a key point of origin for Canadian travel, ranking seventh among U.S. states (Source: Statistics Canada 2006).  However, visitation has been declining due to the troubled economy and enhanced border security.  Consider this - if a couple were to drive to Halifax from Philadelphia, stopping in Bar Harbor, Bay of Fundy and Boston (following the cruise route), they'd pay upwards of $467 on gas alone (based on 2,334 miles at 20 miles to a gallon and a gas price of $4.00 gallon). Then, visitors would need to layer on hotel costs, entertainment and food, all with an exchange rate that has dropped to almost 1:1 proportions from $1:$1.21 just three years ago (source:x-rates.com).

"Cruising has long been a fun, stress-free and affordable alternative to air travel but has increasingly become a welcome relief from rising gas prices," said John J. Matheussen, CEO of the DRPA, the parent agency of the Port of Philadelphia and Camden. "We're pleased to give regional residents an opportunity to cruise from their own backyards."

Kate McNamara, Director of the Port of Philadelphia and Camden noted: "We have definitely noticed an increase in inquiries for Canadian cruises and we encourage passengers to book early for the best available deals and packages."

While in Canada, passengers can enjoy the many shore excursions available in Halifax and Bay of Fundy/St. John. The Cycle and Hop in Halifax offers passengers a guided, relaxed cycle tour of one of Canada's oldest parks, Point Pleasant, in addition to a pass on board Halifax's double-decker bus. The Ride the Rapids shore excursion in Bay of Fundy/St. John takes you on a jet boat ride through the famous Reversing Falls rapids.

In addition to Canada/New England sailings, Norwegian Cruise Line will make another six sailings from the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal in 2008. Beginning on August 30th, the Majesty will make five seven-day trips to Bermuda, calling at the picturesque port of St. George. The Majesty closes out its Philadelphia season with a grand fourteen-day repositioning cruise through the sunny heart of the Caribbean.

The Philadelphia Cruise Terminal is operated by the Port of Philadelphia and Camden, a department of the Delaware River Port Authority. DRPA also owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges, PATCO and the RiverLink Ferry.