Cliffside Suites on the Bay of Fundy - Alma New Brunswick

Sustainable Holidays in the Bay of Fundy

As interest in environmentally friendly vacations continues to grow, the number of sustainable tourism experiences continues to rise and the province of New Brunswick is no exception. As the home of the magnificent Bay of Fundy, sustainable tourism is as important to locals as it is to tourists.

The concept of sustainable tourism isn’t merely a hot tourism trend, it is a practice that encourages visitors and tourism operators to minimize their impact on the places they visit in order to preserve the environment and cultural heritage of the destination for future generations. With so many of New Brunswick’s cultural and natural assets being a major draw for tourists, it is incredibly important that everyone plays a role in the conservation, protection, and management of these important resources.

The Bay of Fundy is one of these important resources being famous for having the highest vertical tidal range in the world. Visitors come from all over the world to walk along the ocean floor that was filled with 100 billion tonnes of seawater just hours earlier. The landscape surrounding the Bay of Fundy with its geological formations and marine ecosystems forms a unique region that is equally as rich in cultural heritage as it is in eco-diversity. The region is designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve and is a haven for tourists seeking sustainable adventures.

Sustainable Accommodations are Extensions of Nature

Designing a completely sustainable vacation is a breeze in New Brunswick. As many eco-conscious travellers are no longer placing luxury hotels at the centre of their stay, new opportunities are rising for hidden gems to be discovered. Travellers are now seeking such gems in locations that provide aesthetic gratification where they can enjoy the natural beauty of the region in its purest form and in the least obtrusive way possible. One of these hidden gems is Cliffside Suites, located in a natural forest setting overlooking the Bay of Fundy. The owners are pioneers of sustainable tourism development in the region. Listed in one of the best-selling travel books, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, Cliffside Suites is the ideal base for the sustainable traveller located within walking distance to the entrance of Fundy National Park and to the charming Village of Alma where you can experience New Brunswick culture in its purest form. Nestled above the cliffs of Alma, there is no better place to return to the roots of nature. The guest rooms offer incredible views of the beaches, coastline, and Bay of Fundy with its magnificent rising and falling tides. Storm watching is also a popular activity watching the waves crash against the coastline.

Enjoying the Natural Environment

Once you have established a base, there is no shortage of sustainable adventures or amazing places to enjoy in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. One of the best parts about visiting this region is that it is a year round tourist destination. For nature lovers, the Reserve is home to one of the most scenic trail systems in Canada enabling hikers to walk, snowshoe, or ski in Fundy National Park regardless of the season. The region is also a haven for bird watchers being home to a wide array of species including Blue Herons, Peregrine Falcons, and Bald Eagles. Another popular place to visit is the St. Martins Sea Caves which is a popular attraction for spelunkers and nature enthusiasts. The sandstone caves that were carved by the Bay of Fundy tides can be explored at leisure but only during low tide. Kayaking is also a popular unobtrusive way for tourists to enjoy the dramatic coastline of Fundy National Park. But of course, no visit to the region is complete without heading over to Hopewell Rocks during low tide where you can walk along the bay floor gazing up at the incredible sandstone towers until the tide comes crashing back in.

Appreciating the Cultural Heritage

For those who prefer to explore the cultural side of the Fundy region, there are a number of unique ways to explore the region’s heritage in its purest form. It might be hard to believe at first but the tiny village of Alma is actually the hometown of North America’s first female sea captain. There is no better way to celebrate the region’s historic relationship with the sea than to celebrate the life of one of its pioneers. The Molly Kool Centre is a rebuilt version of the childhood home of this famous sea captain believed to have been originally built in the 1850’s. It is located near the entrance of Fundy National Park and highlights the story of Molly along with the tiny fishing village that is home to nearly 300 residents. With fishing playing such a vital role in the culture of these local New Brunswick communities, there is no better way to experience the region than from a tour aboard a local lobster fishing boat during the summer. In addition to enjoying a scenic cruise of the Bay of Fundy, you will also receive a glimpse into the daily life of the local fishermen as you listen to local stories, learn about the history of lobster fishing, and attempt to haul in a lobster trap. This is just another example of the many unique ways that sustainable tourism is being created by encouraging visitors to take part in daily life. There are also a number of artisan studios and galleries in the region that are worth visiting to experience the local arts scene.

Getting Here the Sustainable Way

For travellers that have long been sustainability advocates, holidaying the sustainable way is non-negotiable. Such practices encompass all aspects of travel from accommodation to dining, and even tours and transportation. It’s challenging to minimize your footprint when getting to a destination and exploration can be challenging without a personal vehicle. While getting around New Brunswick may be best with a car, there are still a number ways to get to this beautiful province that will enable you to minimize your footprint. As the main gateway to the Bay of Fundy, many visitors arrive in St. John by airplane. But it is also possible to get to New Brunswick by train via Moncton. Ferries connect St. John with neighbouring Nova Scotia while many tourists arrive in the Bay of Fundy on board a cruise to St. John. Cruise ships have been under harsh criticism over the years for their large carbon footprint but things are slowly improving. According to Iglu Cruise, the cruise industry is working hard to reduce waste and carbon emissions to become more eco-friendly through a number of initiatives including the use of solar panels. While being a sustainable tourist isn’t always easy, following the basic principles will always help to ensure that you minimize your footprint in the communities that you visit.

As new travel opportunities are sought to flaunt eco-credentials, sustainable tourists will continue to push the boundaries finding ways to become living and breathing extensions of nature.

Melissa Harte


Our view of the Village of Alma and the Bay of Fundy


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Cliffside Suites on the Bay of Fundy, Alma  New Brunswick   1-866-881-1022 (toll-free)