“Land of emeralds, rubies and sapphires” was the description of the beauty of Prince Edward Island given by author Lucy Maud Montgomery, famous for having narrated the adventures of red-haired Anne of Green Gables in many of her novels. It is precisely here, in the land that is home to many events focused around this literary character – celebrated by festivals and places to visit – that Charlottetown is found, a stop not to be missed on your MSC cruise.
Colonial architecture, elegant Victorian-style buildings, tree-lined avenues, perfectly manicured parks and gardens: the capital of Prince Edward Island is a typical example of an urban English checkerboard layout with a central square with public buildings and four other smaller squares arranged symmetrically around it.
On your MSC cruise, you can take an excursion that passes through the most famous, characteristic places in the city: in Victoria Park, you can enjoy the beautiful view across the sea to Fort Amherst, erected by the British on the remains of Port la Joye to keep watch over the entrance of the bay. Only the embankments of the fort remain, but visitors can enjoy a wonderful view of the city and an information center where the history of the site is told. Victoria Park is also home to the dignified, white, Neo-classical building known as Government House, one of Charlottetown's most prestigious buildings designed by local architect Isaac Smith.
The most interesting building in Charlottetown, however, is actually the Provincial House National Historic Site, considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the Maritimes. Completed in 1848 by Isaac Smith, it is the headquarters of the provincial parliament and was the scene, in 1864, of the negotiations that then led to the formation of Canada as a single state. It was at this stage that the city assumed a key role in national federal history, so much so that it was given the nickname of Canada's birthplace.