Within Walking Distance
Trace the history of Halifax and Canada at Pier 21 and the Canadian Museum of Immigration on Halifax cruises. This former ocean liner terminal was the main point of entry for immigrants to Canada through much of the 1900s. More than a million refugees, returning soldiers, orphans, and immigrants from around the globe passed through here. Stroll north on the waterfront to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, a fascinating collection of relics from Halifax’s port history. Ships from Halifax led the rescue mission for the RMS Titanic and this museum displays a few artifacts from the ship, including an intact deck chair.
Contemporary Canadian art is on display at the nearby Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, partially housed in the home of the late Maud Lewis, a regional folk artist. A few blocks up is St. Paul’s Anglican Church from 1750. Take a look inside to spot the broken window and a chunk of debris lodged in the wall—evidence of the catastrophic Halifax Explosion of 1917.
The British built an imposing star-shaped fortress in Halifax in the 1800s to guard against potential U.S. attack. Today, you can walk along the ramparts, duck inside the barracks, and visit collections of military artifacts in the original building at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. From there, enjoy a walk through the formal Victorian-style Public Gardens. Step through the elaborate wrought-iron gates onto paths lined with rainbow-colored flower beds and placid ponds.
Beyond the Port Area
Across the harbor from Carnival cruises to Halifax is Dartmouth, a relaxed town with a slower pace than the city. Cycle or walk along the trails by the Shubenacadie Canal, which connects the area to the Bay of Fundy, or go for a lake canoe ride. Pastoral McNab’s Island is also a ferry ride away. The island’s wandering paths lead to the lighthouse or to McNab’s pond, a prime place for bird watching.
Another charming seaside outpost near your Halifax cruise is the tiny fishing village of Peggy’s Cove on a craggy coastline. Bring your camera: The white octagonal lighthouse with its red top overlooks a picturesque point of rocks and foamy waves, and colorful boats bob in the small harbor. A bit further away, the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lunenburg is filled with historic European-style architecture painted in pastel colors, cool galleries, and the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
Shopping in Halifax
Browse for souvenirs from your cruise to Nova Scotia at Halifax’s Historic Properties at Privateers Wharf, a series of restored 18th-century harbor buildings. The interconnected waterside warehouses burst with local boutiques, crafts galleries, and bustling restaurants. You should have good luck, too, at the gift shop at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, or in Lunenburg’s old town.
Dining in Halifax
Halifax, Nova Scotia, has plenty of pubs and cafes to call in on when thirst and hunger arrives. Check out the offerings along Grafton and Argyle streets, and Spring Garden Road. Many serve hearty pub grub and daily seafood specials.