Saint John, NB, Canada | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
No votes yet

Saint John, NB, Canada

Saint John is the second-largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, located in the south of the province on the Bay of Fundy.

Saint John is a city whose population is composed almost entirely of the descendants of Irish immigrants and British loyalists. Canada's oldest incorporated city, Saint John routinely plays host to cruise ships and individual tourists from all over North America. (Note: Saint John is never spelled St. John - locals will be very quick to point this out).

The port is Canada’s third largest port by tonnage with a cargo base that includes dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise. In 2016, after a decades-long decline, the city fell from being the most populous city in New Brunswick to the second most populous city in the province for the first time. The Saint John metropolitan area covers a land area of 3,362.95 square kilometers... Read more

Saint John, NB, Canada

Saint John is the second-largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, located in the south of the province on the Bay of Fundy.

Saint John is a city whose population is composed almost entirely of the descendants of Irish immigrants and British loyalists. Canada's oldest incorporated city, Saint John routinely plays host to cruise ships and individual tourists from all over North America. (Note: Saint John is never spelled St. John - locals will be very quick to point this out).

The port is Canada’s third largest port by tonnage with a cargo base that includes dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise. In 2016, after a decades-long decline, the city fell from being the most populous city in New Brunswick to the second most populous city in the province for the first time. The Saint John metropolitan area covers a land area of 3,362.95 square kilometers (1,298.44 sq mi) across the Caledonia Highlands. After the partitioning of the colony of Nova Scotia in 1784, the new colony of New Brunswick was thought to be named 'New Ireland' with the capital to be in Saint John before being vetoed by Britain's King George III. Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada. During the reign of George III, the municipality was created by royal charter in 1785.

Samuel de Champlain landed at Saint John Harbour on June 24, 1604 (the feast of St. John the Baptist) and is where the Saint John River gets its name. After over a century of ownership disputes over the land surrounding Saint John between the French and English, the English deported the French colonists in 1755 and constructed Fort Howe above the harbor in 1778. Saint John, as a major settlement, was established by Loyalists when two fleets of vessels from Massachusetts, one in the spring and a second in the fall, arrived in the harbor carrying British subjects who, wishing to remain loyal to Great Britain, fled their U.S. homes during the American Revolution. In 1785, the City of Saint John was formed out of the union of Parrtown and Carleton. Over the next century, waves of Irish immigration, namely during the Great Famine via Partridge Island, would fundamentally change the city's demographics and culture.


Predated by the Maritime Archaic Indian civilization, the area of the northwestern coastal regions of the Bay of Fundy is believed to have been inhabited by the Passamaquoddy Nation several thousand years ago, while the Saint John River valley north of the bay became the domain of the Maliseet Nation. The Mi'kmaq also ventured into the territory and named the area ''Měnagwĕs'', which means "where they collect the dead seals."

Samuel de Champlain landed at Saint John Harbour in 1604, but the area was in English hands by the end of the Seven Years' War. After being incorporated as a city in 1785 with an influx of Loyalists from the Boston States and immigrants from Ireland, the city grew as a global hub for shipping and shipbuilding. In 1851 the city cemented itself internationally when the Marco Polo, built from a Saint John yard, became the fastest in the world.

However, the city would also experience much struggle with its success. From 1840 to 1860 sectarian violence was rampant in Saint John resulting in some of the worst urban riots in Canadian history. The city experienced a cholera outbreak in 1854 with the death over 1,500 people, as well as a great fire in 1877 that destroyed 40% of the city and left 20,000 people homeless.


Temperatures in Saint John vary by season. In the summertime temperatures are usually around 22°C, and in the wintertime, they usually dip to around 3.9°C. Rain is common in the spring and autumn, but it usually doesn't rain much in the summer. Fog is not uncommon during the summer months. There is the occasional heavy snowfall in the winter; however, snow is usually moderate.

Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Saint John, NB, Canada: Port Information

There are two main cruise terminals. Both of them are located in the downtown area:
  • Marco Polo Cruise Terminal
  • Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal
Almost everything is within walking distance (including the Reversing Falls). 
Taxis are available (no meters).

Get around Saint John, NB, Canada

Buses are available from approximately 6 AM to Midnight for public transport within the city. Schedules are available on the buses themselves and in information booths throughout the city.
Taxi service in Saint John is run on a zone to zone basis (no meters). There are several companies available in Saint John for this service.
  • Diamond Taxi: +1 506 648-8888.
  • University Cab: +1 506 631-1111 (offers student discounts to UNBSJ).
  • Coastal Taxi: +1 506 635-1144.
  • Simonds Taxi (often found parked outside McAllister Mall): +1 506 696-8294.
  • Royal Taxi: +1 506 652-5050.
  • Sunrise Taxi: +1 506 638-8888.
Some Companies offer both debit and credit in their cabs, but you have to ask for this service as it is not available in all Cars. 

Within the Uptown, it is possible to travel on foot between the

City Market

, Brunswick Square Mall, Market Square, the Canada Games Aquatic Centre, Mercantile Centre and Harbour Station via underground and pedway connections without venturing outside. (The "Inside Connection".) This is very useful during the winter. During the rest of the year, Uptown Saint John also offers a very pleasant and fairly accessible walking experience, with clear, well-maintained sidewalks and crosswalks, and fairly straightforward navigation. (Unlike many older cities, Saint John's Uptown is laid out in a simple, grid design.)

What to see in Saint John, NB, Canada

  • Fort Howe

    - Located in the city's North End, Fort Howe offers a panoramic view of the city and harbor as well as being a historic attraction.
  • City Market - The city market is located in the Uptown, with entrances on Charlotte and Germain Street. Local businesses, craft workers, artists, farmers, bakers, and grocers sell a wide array of unique foods and crafts, native both to New Brunswick and around the world. The building is a historic site with amazing period architecture.
  • New Brunswick Museum

    - Located in Market Square in the city's Uptown. The museum boasts a wide array of local historic information and artifacts, artwork, scientific exhibits and displays, and a Discovery Centre with many interactive and educational activities. Museum has a to scale plaster of a mastodon skeleton and skeletons of whales.
  • Rockwood Park - Located in the North End, admission is free and the park offers a wide variety of walking, biking, and horseback riding trails. Rockwood Park is landlocked but its paths weave around both natural and man-made lakes (public swimming is free, but no Lifeguard service is available.)
  • Irving Nature Park - Located on the West Side, admission is also free. A variety of walking trails lead travelers through woods, guide them into marshes, and bring them to beaches and lookout points on the sea.
  • King Square - In the heart of the Uptown, King Square is home to gardens, monuments, and the trademark Bandstand / Fountain at its center. Adjacent to King Square is the Loyalist City Burial Ground, whose cobblestone paths lead past graves over two centuries old.
  • Reversing Falls - As the Saint John River flows into the Bay of Fundy, whose tides are the highest in the world, strong rapids form as the tide rises and clashes with the flow of the river below the Reversing Falls bridge. During the summer months, a Jet Boat offers tourists the thrill of tackling the rapids up close. A pulp and paper mill is located in the area near the bridge.
  • Carleton Martello Tower - The Carleton Martello Tower was originally built for the War of 1812. However, by the time of its completion in 1815, the war was completed. It became used for military in 1866 and was used on and off by Canadian troops for nearly eighty years. It is now a Canadian National Historic Site.

What to do in Saint John, NB, Canada

  • Cherry Brook Zoo - Located in a northern section of Rockwood Park. Home to numerous endangered species as well as other exotic animals. Lovely natural setting. Great area for interesting walking. Open 364 days per year until dusk. Also included is Vanished Kingdom Park featuring life-sized statues of extinct species. Tiger Claws miniature Gold also located on site along with gift shop and canteen.
  • The Imperial Theatre - Located Downtown near the Market Square Mall, this historic theater features everything from plays to rock concerts.
  • Harbour Passage. Harbour Passage is a red paved walking path that runs from the Boardwalk Uptown to the Old Museum on Douglas Avenue. It's a great walking, biking or skating path in the summertime. Word of caution, while it is well lit at night, the occasional mugging has been known to happen in the past. Stay in groups at night and you will be fine. Also, a great way to make it from Uptown to the North End of the city. Very close to the holiday inn express. 

What to eat and drink in Saint John, NB, Canada


A variety of locations for dining in are available in Market Square. For the more thrifty traveler, an eatery is located in Brunswick Square, or try the side aisles of the City Market for fresh salads, sandwiches, and another local fare.
  • Billy's Seafood (near the Front gates to the City market.)Seafood of all kinds is what you can find at Billy's. Locally owned and operated by Billy himself. Offers up great seafood dishes with a reasonable price. This restaurant is a favorite of both locals and Cruise tourists, some of who make the trek from the United States each year to come and sample the tastes!
  • Alley Gria, 126 Prince William Street. Spanish Tapas Bar. Serves up all kinds of delicious plates for you to share with your friends. Best if more than two people go, that way everyone can order something Different. Open in the Afternoon-Evenings. 
  • Thandi's, 33 Canterbury Street, +1 506-648-2377. Thandi's is great for Thai and Indian Cuisine.
  • Big Tide Brewing Co., 53 Princess Street. Nice little brewpub with some great Microbrewed beer. Everything from IPA's to Hemp Ale, there is something for everyone. Big Tide offers up some pub favorites. Not too expensive. Great mixed drinks too!
  • Lemongrass/Pepper's Pub, Brunswick Square. The Lemongrass Restaurant is a great Thai place offering upscale food at a reasonable price. Very good pad thai and "money bags" (Appetizer). Pepper's Pub, which is located in the same venue offers up unique pub fare for just about anybody. Great Sauce Selections. Service can be a little slow on this night, but only because the place is jam-packed with regulars who flock to Pepper's for the best wings in town! They often host "IPN- Indie Pop Night". Great selection of live bands and a heated patio make Lemongrass/Pepper's Pub a great place to eat and drink. 
  • Cora's Breakfast & Lunch (Located in Brunswick Square). Great breakfast, A la Cora! Cora, a Quebec native began a chain of Breakfast restaurants which are now popular all over Atlantic Canada! Impressive fruit plates, delicious crepes, and huge portions. Inexpensive. Try the crepes of any kind. They're all delicious! 
  • Vito's. With three locations in the greater Saint John area, this locally owned family restaurant was founded in 1972 by four Greek immigrant brothers and is very popular for pizza and spaghetti. Locations: Rothesay Ave (East) 324 Rothesay Avenue, Saint John, NB 506-634-1300 / Hazen Avenue (Uptown)1 Hazen Avenue Saint John, NB 506-634-3900 / Hampton Road (KV) 111 Hampton Road Rothesay, NB 506-847-4400.
  • Urban Deli/Italian By Night, King's St. Urban Deli has fantastic lunches. Pulled Piggy and Slaw is highly recommended, as is the Cordon Blu (not on the menu). At night, for expensive, but good Italian eats, Italian By Night is great. 
  • Vegas Bar and Grill, 10 Portland Street, (506) 674-5287, e-mail: Located inside the Howard Johnson Fort Howe Plaza. Try the B-Eat the House burger, which is 35 oz of ground beef and trimmings. Eat the whole thing in 45 minutes and it's free. Your photo also goes on their wall. 


  • Saint John Ale House, 1 Market Square, (506) 657-2337, e-mail: Located on the Boardwalk, inside Market Square. Great Selection of Beer both local and international. Good eats! You can get the Ale Sized fish and chips which is practically a whole side of haddock! Good value for the money. Has a bar downstairs and a fine dining establishment upstairs. 
  • 3 Mile Entertainment Complex, Located on Saint John's East side. Home of Tonic, a spacious dance club, for patrons 21+. Also home to the 3 Mile Steak & Rib House. Great Steaks, Ribs and Wings (with over 36 different sauces) Also home to Legends Bar & Grille, where Casino Style meets delicious food and a good place to drink. 
  • O'Leary's, 46 Princess Street, (506) 634-7135. A Popular Irish Pub, located in Uptown.
  • Callahan's, 2 Princess Street, (506) 634-0366, e-mail: 2 PM Tues to Sat. Friendly pub located at the foot of Princess Street, near the cruise terminal. The establishment has an unusual vaulted ceiling having once served as the mail room in Canada's oldest post office. Free Wifi / ATM.

Shopping in Saint John, NB, Canada

The City Market uptown is the oldest operating farmers market in Canada, with fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood, Java Moose (a local brewed coffee house with good take-home coffee beans), and on Saturdays, various vendors with foods from around the world. Uptown is also home to hundreds of independent shops with a wide variety of food and merchandise. A stroll down King Street finds stores selling local arts and crafts, while across the street the Brunswick Square Mall offers commercial stores (clothes, shoes, cards, books, music, Laura Secord chocolates). On Germain and Canterbury Streets (both off King Street), independent merchants offer used books, records, and international cuisine.
There are eight local shopping centers of varying quality; a few are mere strip malls or have fallen into the "dead maĺl" pattern of discount stores, vacancies or non-retail uses such as telephone call centers. The largest local malls are McAllister Place and East Point Shopping Centre in the east end, or Brunswick Square and Market Square uptown. The city's east side is also home to numerous big-box stores, mostly chains ranging from clothing to hardware to electronics.

Safety in Saint John, NB, Canada

Saint John is safe compared to most cities; however, it is a good idea to walk on well-lit busy streets after dark and not on darker side streets. Street crime is rare but not unheard of. You are relatively safe in the commercial/retail area of Uptown, where the hotels are located. The South End, an area just next to Downtown, can be dangerous.

Language spoken in Saint John, NB, Canada

New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that is officially bilingual (English and French). Francophones speak a dialect known as Acadian French. Acadian French is distinct from Quebec French, since Acadia's history is separated from the one of Quebec. Acadian French speakers are instantly recognizable by their charming and strongly trilled r.

Near Moncton and in other urban areas, a distinct English-French creole language known as chiaque is spoken. It's frowned upon as "bad French" by Francophones and "bad English" by Anglophones, but it's popular among young people. Some effort is being made to rehabilitate chiaque, with nascent literature and support organizations.

The English/French split within the province is approximately a northeast/southwest split. Despite the split, English is spoken throughout the province. French speakers may struggle to find fluent French speakers in the southwest of the province.


6:44 am
May 23, 2022


16.72 °C / 62.096 °F
light rain

13.98 °C/57 °F
sky is clear

14.66 °C/58 °F
few clouds

12.07 °C/54 °F
overcast clouds

11.74 °C/53 °F
light rain



Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests

Saint John City Market, NB, Canada
Average: 9.8 (11 votes)

The Saint John City Market is the oldest continuing farmer's market in Canada, with a charter dating from 1785. Located in Saint John, New Brunswick and completed in 1876, the current market building has a unique roof structure that resembles an inverted ship's keel. Made of wooden trusses, the structure was reportedly built by unemployed ship...
New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

The New Brunswick Museum, located in Saint John, New Brunswick, is Canada's oldest continuing museum. The New Brunswick Museum was officially incorporated as the "Provincial Museum" in 1929 and received its current name in 1930, but its history goes back much further. Its lineage can be traced back another eighty-eight years to 1842 and to the...
Reversing Falls, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9.7 (10 votes)

The Reversing Falls are a series of rapids on the Saint John River located in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, where the river runs through a narrow gorge before emptying into the Bay of Fundy. The semidiurnal tides of the bay force the flow of water to reverse against the prevailing current at this location when the tide is high, although in...
Imperial Theatre, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9.4 (10 votes)

The Imperial Theatre, in Saint John, New Brunswick, was designed by Philadelphia architect Albert Westover and built in 1912 by the Imperial Theatre by the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation vaudeville chain of New York City and their Canadian subsidiary, the Saint John Amusements Company Ltd. It opened to the public on September 19, 1913. One of...
Rockwood Park, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9.6 (11 votes)

Rockwood Park is a city park in Saint John, New Brunswick. It is located in the eastern area of the North End and is one of Canada's largest urban parks. The park encompasses 890 hectares of upland Acadian mixed forest, many hills and several caves, as well as several freshwater lakes, with an extensive trail network, a golf course and the city's...
Fort Menagoueche, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9 (10 votes)

Fort Menagoueche (French: Fort Menagouèche) was a French fort at the mouth of the St. John River, New Brunswick, Canada. French Officer Charles Deschamps de Boishébert et de Raffetot and Ignace-Philippe Aubert de Gaspé built the fort during Father Le Loutre's War and eventually burned it themselves as the French retreated after losing the Battle...
Carleton Martello Tower, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9.5 (11 votes)

Carleton Martello Tower in Saint John, New Brunswick, is one of the nine surviving Martello Towers in Canada. The tower dates from the War of 1812 and was played a significant role in conflicts up until the Second World War. The site now features a restored powder magazine, a restored barracks room, and exhibits in the tower and in the visitor...
Partridge Island, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9 (10 votes)

Partridge Island is a Canadian island located in the Bay of Fundy off the coast of New Brunswick on the west side of the mouth of the Saint John River and Saint John Harbour. The island was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1974. It is also a provincial historic site. It lies within the city of Saint John's Inner Harbour....
Fort Howe, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

Fort Howe was built by the British during the American Revolution shortly after the American Siege of Saint John (1777), to protect Saint John from further American raids. The 18th and 19th century British Army fortification is built in present-day New Brunswick, Canada at the mouth of the Saint John River where it empties into the Bay of Fundy....
Reversing Falls Bridge, Saint John, NB, Canada
Average: 9 (10 votes)

The Reversing Falls Bridge is a two-lane highway bridge crossing the Saint John River at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. It carries New Brunswick Route 100 (Bridge Road) across the river and there is no toll for its use. History The Reversing Falls rapids are a notoriously dangerous stretch of water passing through a gorge which creates a chasm...