Halifax, the capital of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, is a delightful port of call on a Canada / New England cruise! And there’s no better way to spend an afternoon then a stroll along the waterfront boardwalk. This charming foot path is always buzzing with people and activities! It
stretches along the waterfront for 10 city blocks from the Casino Nova Scotia to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. You can meander from one end to another in under half an hour, but with all there is to see and do, it may take you the entire day to fully explore all it has to offer!
The north end of the boardwalk starts at Casino Nova Scotia. The casino has 650 slots and table games as well as several drinking and dining facilities.
The first landmark you’ll see along the boardwalk are the Historic Properties, also called Privateers Wharf. It was built in the late 1700's to safeguard booty captured by legalized pirates called privateers. Halifax seafarers also used these buildings to sell and store their goods. Today you will find will find restaurants, bars, boutiques, coffee shops, a bookstore and even a barber shop.
Uncover Halifax’s seafaring history through exhibits at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. This is a great museum with lots of interesting exhibits about the sea-faring lifestyle. They also have permanent displays about the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the Halifax Explosion in 1917.
The HMCS Sackville and CSS Acadia are docked just outside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Both of these historical ships are open for tours. The HMCS Sackville is one of many convoy escort vessels built in Canada during WW II. She is Canada’s oldest fighting warship.
The Cable Wharf is a great place to check out if you want to go on a tour of the harbor. There are whale watching trips, deep-sea fishing excursions, tall ship cruises, and the tour I enjoyed with my son many years ago- a land and sea jaunt with the amphibious vehicle called the Harbor Hopper! And it’s hard to miss Theodore Tugboat, the large yellow tugboat with the goofy face and a red baseball cap. Tours of the harbor are available with Theodore.
Arrival at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 marks the end of the Halifax harbor walk. Here you can step into the past and experience what it was like to immigrate through Pier 21 between 1928 and 1971. The facility is often compared to Ellis Island, in terms of its importance to mid-20th century immigration to Canada.
Be sure to explore the many eclectic shops and galleries, as well as some of the city’s best restaurants. There are food trucks, casual eateries, candy stores, ice cream shops and buskers entertaining. From one end to the other, this boardwalk has something to offer everyone. It is definitely a highlight of a Canada / New England cruise.