Almost Free Family Fun in Halifax DIY Cruise Ship Excursion
It is expected to be a very busy cruise ship season in Halifax with more than 125 ship visits booked into this historic harbour. For you, a cruise ship passenger, it means that shore tour providers will be in short supply on many days due to early bookings and therefore unavailable to help you.
You could contact Blue Diamond Tours but we too may be unavailable.
So here is a “Low Cost” DIY Shore Excursion so you can be you own guide for a day-trip of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Your Almost Free Family Fun Day in Halifax begins as you depart the Cruise Ship Pavillion and turn right . You will pass the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on your left and the HMCS Sackville (the last remaining sub-hunting Corvette from WWII) on your right. You are looking for the Halifax Dartmouth Ferry Terminal just north of the museum and the “Murphy’s On The Water” complex on your right. The ferry system is the oldest continuously-operated salt water ferry in North America, dating from 1752. A one-way fare per person is $2.00 (or as we say in Canada, a “Twoonie”). Once you have arrived at the ferry terminal, take either ferry, Alderney or Woodside. This is the ‘harbour cruise’ portion of your Almost Free Family Fun Day in Halifax. Be sure to return back to Halifax on the same ferry (for another $2.00 per person).
Time for a break!
Once back at the ferry terminal, drop in to Perk’s for coffee, muffins, etc . You may wish to cross the street in front of Perk’s and go to the Montreal Grill located on the Lower Water Street level of the Bank of Montreal (BMO) office tower. It’s good inexpensive food.
Now for the ‘tour bus’ portion of your DIY Cruise Ship Excursion. Next to the front entrance of Perk’s (to the north), you will find a Metro Transit Terminal . Take either the #2 Wedgewood or #4 Farnham Gate Road bus .
Once again, the fare will be $2.00 per person. Inform the driver you are touring Halifax and wish to travel to the end of the line. People in Halifax are friendly, so if you tell others on the bus around you what you are doing, they may point out places of interest plus other interesting (or not) tidbits. At the end of the line, pay another fare ($2.00) to return back to your starting place - the Metro Transit Terminal alongside Perk’s.
Heading south, walk back to your ship by way of the Harbour Boardwalk. If you have the time and interest, visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. There is a fee to enter the museum exhibit areas, BUT, their washrooms are free and generally clean if all you are looking for is a quick ‘pit-stop’.
For your Almost Free Family Fun Day in Halifax, taking the #2 or #4 return portion of your bus tour, ask the driver for a transfer when boarding the bus. At the Mumford Terminal (ask your driver to point it out to you - or tell you when you have arrived at Mumford T - or simply look out for the Walmart) , switch buses and hop on the #1 Spring Garden going downtown.
This bus will take you back downtown, but via a different route where you will pass by the university area of the city, the shops and restaurants of Spring Garden Road, and the Public Gardens. You may choose to get off the bus in front of the Sacred Heart School on Spring Garden Road and then cross the street to stroll through the Public Gardens. It is the best example of a formal Victorian Garden in North America, and your ship is within walking distance once you leave the gardens. The #1 travels the length of Spring Garden Road passing the Public Library, Dal Tech, and Saint Mary’s Basilica & the Old Burying Grounds at Barrington Street. Exit the bus at the Basilica, it’s the last stop on Spring Garden Road before the bus takes a left onto Barrington Street.
At the corner of Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street, turn right. Ahead, on the left side of the street, you will see Government House which is the residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia (the Queen’s Representative in Canada who is appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada). Continue walking south to Morris Street, turn left and walk down the hill towards the Harbour. Once you have reached Lower Water Street, turn right, and you should see your ship nearby.
Following your harbour cruise (the ferry boat rides) and your snack time, walk west (or up the hill, if you will) on George Street . The BMO tower should be on your right side. Once you reach the corner of George Street and Hollis Street, you will see Province House across the street and to your left. This where Canada’s first elected assembly government meets. Continue west (or up the hill), and you’ll arrive at Barrington Street. Across the street you will find Grand Parade, Halifax’s traditional historic gathering place. You will see Saint Paul’s Church located at the south end of the Grand Parade. It dates from 1750 - Halifax was founded in 1749. Our historic City Hall is located at the north end of the Parade and dates from the 1880's and was the original site of Dalhousie University.
On the same side of Barrington Street as the Grand Parade, look for a Metro Transit sign which lists the #1 bus as stopping there . Take the #1 (marked Mumford or Spring Garden Road - approximately $2.00 fare per person) and ride the bus to the end of the line at Mumford Center (look for the Walmart). You may return downtown via the same bus (for another $2.00 fare), or at Mumford Center, you may opt to take a #2 or #4 downtown (check with the driver to make sure you are going in the correct direction) for a different route back to the ferry terminal area. Exit at Perks (#2 & #4) and walk south to your ship. On the #1 Spring Garden Road bus return trip, exit at Saint Mary’s Basilica as in Alternative #1 or continue on to the Grand Parade area and exit there on Barrington Street and walk to the Perk’s area, then go south to return to your ship.
If you’ve got kids, then you may be interested in getting off the #1 Spring Garden bus on Barrington Street in front of the Discovery Centre (corner of Barrington Street and Sackville Street) where you and your kids (for an entrance fee) can explore and enjoy the fascinating and interactive world of science!
So, your Almost Free Family Fun Day in Halifax or DIY Cruise Ship Shore Excursion comes to a close. And we believe it was almost free!We are Blue Diamond Tours, and if you can’t tour with us, we hope you enjoy Halifax on your own with our suggested Almost Free Family Fun Day in Halifax or DIY Cruise Ship Shore Excursion!
Addition to Blue Diamond's "The Almost Free Family Fun in Halifax, Nova Scotia - DIY Cruise Ship Excursion"
One aspect that wasn't in our original offering was F.R.E.D. now Fred can make getting around in the "core of the olde city of Halifax " very easy. And , for some, Fred will offer the ultimate in touring in Halifax, especially if the weather is not ideal. Fred's route will fit in very well with our " the Almost Free Family Fun in Halifax Nova Scotia - DIY Cruise Ship Excursion " . Shortly, we will have snapshots of the area where Fred operates. For now, the following is the information directly from the Fred web-site, for your convenience. Thank you to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission!!
Brought to you by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Fred (free rides everywhere downtown) is Halifax's FREE shuttle service operating in the downtown area during the summer months.
When does Fred Operate?
For the 2008 season, Fred will begin service Saturday, July 5th, until Friday, October 24th 2008.
The service will run 7 days a week from 10:30 a.m. until 5:03 p.m.
What is the route?
Only services specially marked stops, on a 40 minute frequency.
- Pier 21 Museum Entrance .
- Marginal Rd .
- Lower Water St .
- Water Street Terminal .
- Water St . Marriott Harbourfront Hotel .
- Casino driveway to stop .
- Upper Water Street .
- Barrington St .
- Spring Garden Rd .
- Brunswick St .
- Sackville St .
- Citadel Hill .
- Sackville St .
- South Park St .
- Spring Garden Rd .
- Barrington St .
- Hollis St .
- Terminal Rd .
- Marginal Rd .
- Pier 21 Museum entrance.
If you have any questions about this service, please contact the Downtown Halifax Business Commission at #423-6658, or visit their website at www.downtownhalifax.ns.ca
"The Almost Free Family Fun in Halifax, Nova Scotia - DIY Cruise Ship Excursion"
Don't want to do it yourself?
Consider the pre-planed excursions on the Halifax Shore Excursion page. Blue Diamond Tours has designed shore excursions for cruise passengers and private groups seeking a more personable service, or a more upscale way of enjoying the must see sites of Halifax and Nova Scotia.