We are booking our fourth Canada new England cruise tomorrow.It sails from New York .
Halifax also has a wonderful waterfront area. You can walk through"The Historic properties" area and also visit Pier 21 whis is history of immigrants who landed on teh shores from many other countries. Usually a shore excursion is offered to Peggy's Cove. I highly reccomend it. Wonderful picturesque village. I have never heard anyone say they did not like Peggy's Cove.
As far as Portland is concerned, I went to a shore excursion to a shopping area but my husband went to a railroad museum within walking distance of the dock.
I love Bar harbour. It is a lovely town full of very nice shops and has a picturesqu view. You can also take a shore excursion to Acadian National Park. .
Matha's Vineyard is another very pisturesque town. it had wonderful latticwork houses that would could walk through that area.
I hope that helps a little.
We just love this area for cruising and can't seem to stop going there. We have cruised the area with Cunard NCL , HAL. and are booking tomorrow with NCL on their new ship
Jewel which comes out in August.