Halifax is a major port city and among Canada's most popular cruise ports of call on itineraries from the USA to New England. The city is also the capital of the Canadian province Nova Scotia (NS) - one of the "Canadian Maritimes" provinces, together with New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The city's population is around 320,000 (metro over 400,000). Traditionally for Canada, official languages are English and French. The city is Halifax is among Canada's largest economic centres on the Atlantic Coast. Among its major employers / companies are the Port of Halifax, Halifax Shipyard, Department of National Defence, the universities of Dalhousie and St Mary's. The city's main resource industries are commercial fishing, agriculture, mining, forestry, natural gas extraction, also tourism. As premier Canadian tourist destination, the city attracts over 1,2 million visitors a year.
The seaport is officially known as Halifax Harbour (natural deep waterway). Port Halifax generates over 11,800 local jobs and contributes over USD 1,7 billion to Canada's economy. Halifax is connected to 150+ international ports. The port has capacity to handle world's largest boxships (container carriers) and bulk cargo ships of the world's largest marine shipping companies.
The 1959-founded company Irving Shipbuilding Inc (subsidiary of J.D. Irving Ltd) has in Halifax Harbour a wide range of facilities serving shipbuilding and repairs, as well as pre-fabrication and vessel conversion projects. In May 2019, the shipyard was contracted by the Government of Canada to build two AOPS (Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships) for the Canadian Coast Guard: The shipbuilder also works with the Royal Navy to build country's newest CSCS (Canadian Surface Combatant Ships).
As cruise port, Halifax handles around 200 ship calls annually. Liners from the fleets of all major passenger shipping companies visit on roundtrips leaving from US East Coast homeports (mainly out of NYC New York and Boston MA).
In 2002, the port received two awards - “Most Receptive Port” (at Canada-New England Cruise Symposium Marketing Awards) and “Best Port Welcome” (by Dreamworld Cruise Destination Magazine). The traditional cruise passenger greeting includes live performance by 78th Highlanders Regiment of Foot (bagpipers band).
Statistics on season 2014 revealed that cruising industry's local economic impact is USD 104,3 million. This included tourist money spend in local shops, restaurants, museums, galleries, as well as the money from resupplying berthing cruise vessels. Locally provided supplies include wines, seafood, bathroom items.
In 2015, the cruise port received 141 ship calls and 222,309 passengers. In 2016 were handled 238,217 passengers and 136 ship calls. The busiest day (October 11, 2016) was 5-ship day. The increase in passengers was 7% (over 2015).
For season 2017 (April 24 - October 31), the port reported a record year in both ship calls (175) and passengers (292,722). Season 2017 featured 6 maiden calls, over 30 shore-power connections, 4 visits by Cunard's RMS Queen Mary 2 (maiden call on June 13), Disney Magic (1 call on October 26). The busiest day (Sept 14) was 5-ship day, with over 11,000 passengers plus crew.
Season 2018 (April 22 through November 6) started with MS Fram (Hurtigruten). The seaport reported a record season with handled 198 ship calls and 316,869 passengers. Among season's highlights were 10 maiden port calls (including NCL's Norwegian Bliss on April 30) and 3x Disney Magic visits (September 17, 22, October 2). Port's busiest day was October 9 - a 5-ship day with over 11,000 passengers.
In 2018, the port joined TradeLens - developed by Maersk-IBM digital platform promoting global sharing of shipping trade information for reducing costs (and paperwork), improving productivity and security, increasing delivery speeds and providing transparency. This blockchain system integrates seaports, containership terminals, shippers and forwarding agents.
In 2018, Halifax cruise industry's annual economic impact was estimated around USD 123 million (a sudy based on 250,000 cruise ship passengers per year). The cruise port handled 198 ship calls and 300,000+ passengers. The busiest day was October 9 (5 liners with over 11,000 passengers).
On October 30, 2018, started berth extension works on South End Container Terminal, wit hplanned completion in 2020-Q1.
In January 2018, as containership port, Halifax reported a record year with containerized cargo shipping volume 559,242 TEUs (containers), or 16% increase over 2016. The port's previous record was in 2005 (550,462 TEUs). The non-containerized cargo volume was 371,913 tons3. Port's total cargo tonnage in 2017 was 5,010735 million tons3 (or 12% increase over 2016). Cruise port's stats showed 173 ship (27% increase over 2016) and 292,722 passengers (23% increase).
For season 2019, the cruise port had scheduled 190 ship calls (berth bookings) with expected ~320,000 passengers. However, the season ended with handled 179 ship calls and 324,828 tourists (passengers plus crew) - or 2,2% increase over 2018.
Halifax cruise terminal
Port Halifax has 2 dedicated cruise terminals. Both are part of the Cruise Pavilion Complex, and named "Pavilion 22" and "Pavilion 20". Their principal berths are, respectively, Pier 22 and Pier 20. Both berths are connected to their terminal buildings via hydraulic gangways (mobile covered passenger bridges). Some ships amy dock at Pier 31.
When the port is visited by more than two cruise ships, additional ships dock at the container port and their passengers are transported to the Cruise Pavilion Comlpex by complimentary shuttle buses.
The port's cruise terminal buildings are regularly renovated and offer as amenities tourist information, local merchants stalls (Canadian-themed souvenirs, hand-made arts and crafts), phone, Wi-Fi Internet, restrooms. In front the Pavilion 22 cruise terminal there is a taxi rank with available taxis and tour buses.
The seaport's waterfront area features the Halifax Harbourwalk. This boardwalk has length of approx 3 km (2 mi) and is among the city's best known attractions. As there are many wharves along the boardwalk, many mid-sized cruise ships often are docked here. At the boardwalk are located the Halifax Transit ferry terminal, numerous shops, historic and office buildings, also Casino Nova Scotia.
Halifax tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Halifax Harbour: the most popular way to explore the harbour is the Murphy’s signature Harbour Hopper tour.
- Canadian Museum of Immigration: located at Pier 21, a National Historic Site. It is the only national museum in Atlantic Canada.
- The Living Halifax Citadel: National Historic Site. The Citadel was built in the period 1828-1856. The naval station is in the middle of the city and has the shape of a star. You can explore the museum alone or join costumed animators for a guided tour.
- Alexander Keith’s Brewery: India Pale Ale is one of the world’s oldest beers. It’s been produced since 1820 and is know as the unofficial brew of Nova Scotia. Tour the brewery and taste the original ale at Keith’s Brewery.
- Public Gardens: one of the formal Victorian Public Gardens is located next to the Spring Garden Road’s shops and spread over 17 acres. The gardens are beautiful city centerpiece with their amazing rare flowers and tree. There are also historic statuary and fountains. You can also enjoy free performances.
- Maritime Museum of the Atlantic: discover the legend of Titanic in the interactive exhibit.
Port Halifax cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|5 October, 2019|
- Cruise Industry
Halifax's cruise ship season boasts another record year. Port Halifax NS reported for 2019 a 2,2% growth in cruise passengers over 2018. A total of...November 30, 2019
- Cruise Industry
Victory Cruise Lines, which is committed to small-ship cruising on the Great Lakes and along the North American coasts, announced their 2020 cruise...June 17, 2019
- Cruise Industry
Monday, April 8, marks the start of 2019 cruise season in Halifax, with the arrival of Oceania Cruises ship Marina at Pier 31. In 2019, the port...April 6, 2019
- Cruise Industry
It was a busy weekend at Halifax Seaport. More than 9,200 passengers arrived via cruise ship on Friday, September 21. Norwegian Escape was the...September 24, 2018
- Cruise Industry
2018 cruise ship season in Halifax officially started on Sunday, April 22, with the arrival of Hurtigruten's ms Fram, according to Halifax Port...April 23, 2018
- Cruise Industry
Cozumel, Mexico scored a win as one of the most popular cruise ports in the world. The sunny island, together with Halifax and Cologne, are the...June 14, 2017
- show more news