Cruise Line: Princess Ship: Caribbean Princess Length of Cruise: 7 days Departure Port: New York City
Along downtown Halifax’s waterfront boardwalk were many interesting, historic places to visit as well as eateries and fun shops filled with local handmade items. Within walking distance of the ship was Pier 21/Canadian Museum of Immigration where the stories of the many people who passed through here were remembered. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic had relics from Nova Scotia’s maritime history including artifacts from the RMS Titanic. St. Paul’s Church, built in 1750, was the first Anglican Church in Canada and oldest building in Halifax. It survived the 1917 explosion but still has a broken window (“explosion window”) and a chunk of debris embedded in a wall as a result of the explosion.
Our excursion first took us on a tour through downtown Halifax with the guide explaining the historic buildings and sights. We briefly stopped at the Citadel National Historical Site. The British built this star-shaped fortress in the 1800’s to guard against attack. We were there long enough to observe the changing of the guard. Since the Citadel was not that far away from the ship, we could have gone back after the excursion to enjoy the interactive exhibits and portrayal of life in the fort.
Our second stop was at the Halifax Public (free) Gardens which were formal Victorian gardens of about 17 acres of floral displays, fountains, statues and a gazebo. Nearby to the gardens was the Spring Garden Road where shopping and eating lunch were available for a limited amount of time.
Our third stop was an hour drive to Peggy’s Cove which was a tiny but active fishing village that dates back to 1811. It is located on the rocky coastline near the famous and most photographed lighthouse in Canada. The lighthouse was built in 1914 and is still in use today. We were warned to be very careful walking out on the huge, slippery rocks surrounding the lighthouse!
After leaving Peggy’s Cove we drove along a very scenic route to get back to Halifax and our fourth and final stop – Fairview Cemetery where 121 victims of the Titanic are buried in a special section of the cemetery. Our tour guide walked the grounds with us and explained all the events surrounding the sinking of the Titanic.