Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax, the capital city of Nova Scotia, was an 18th-century fishing station as well as a naval base, and now has a bustling waterfront promenade with seafood shacks, bagpipers, and outdoor sculptures — all easily accessible from the cruise port. Maritime history runs deep in the city and can be explored at the museums, including one dedicated to the many immigrants who passed through here. Halifax is also a jumping-off point for excursions to the seaside village of Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What We Love
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21: This is Canada’s version of Ellis Island and a celebration of the country's diversity through a collection of oral histories and multimedia exhibits.
Food: Lobster rolls, chowder, and oysters are on the menu here, and both high- and low-brow eats, including the donair (a local take on the doner kebab).
Best Known For
Citadel Hill: Some of the city’s best views are from this star-shaped fortress that once guarded Halifax Harbour. It also offers period re-enactments, rifle demonstrations, and evening ghost tours.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic: This institution explores Halifax’s history as a seafaring town, with displays on the city’s Titanic connection (many victims were buried in the city's cemeteries), the tragic 1917 Halifax Explosion, and the CSS Acadia, a 1913 survey vessel.
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Who It's Best For
Culture Lovers: The many museums, artisans with craft shops, and community-oriented arts scene (including folk music) are an expression of the Canadian Maritimes spirit and creativity.
Pub Hoppers: This town gives a hearty welcome to anyone looking for a frosty beer and friendship. Toast with the locals: Order an Alexander Keith (pronounced “keet”) and call out, “Sociable!” (cheers in Haligonian lingo).
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Weather Can be Gray and Rainy: Summers are short in Atlantic Canada. Fog is common, and sometimes drizzles turn into downpours.
Lisa Cheng is a New York-based writer for ShermansCruise who also writes for Travel + Leisure.