Halifax Sightseeing Drive to the Highlights
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Motorcoach tour: Hear the stories behind landmarks like Province House, the 1802 Old Town Clock, St. Paul's Church, and the Historic Properties (Privateers' Wharf).
- Fort George, Citadel Hill: This National Historic Site dates back to the city's founding in 1749 and has been restored to its full Victorian-era glory.
- Fairview Cemetery: Its tranquil grounds hold heart-rending stories of loss from the Titanic and the catastrophic 1917 Halifax explosion that killed almost 2,000 people.
- Public Gardens: Step back into the Victorian era and explore 16 acres of ornate fountains, statues, pavilions, bandstands, and over 140 different species of trees.
About this Halifax, Nova Scotia tour
Halifax has a rich maritime history that goes back centuries. But most of the world knows only one brief, tragic moment in that history.
It was from Halifax that the CS Mackay-Bennett, loaded with embalming supplies, undertakers, and clergymen, set out two days after the Titanic sank to recover bodies still floating in the water. And it was in Halifax, at Fairview Cemetery, that 121 of those bodies found their final rest.
Including Ernest Edward Samuel Freeman, secretary to the chairman of White Star Lines. Though not officially a Titanic crewmember, he stayed onboard and was credited with saving dozens of passengers.
There's also Joseph Dawson, a coal man in the ship's boiler room whose "J Dawson" gravestone inspired countless pilgrimages from mostly female filmgoers who thought he was the movie's ill-fated Jack.
But for over nine decades, the most famous grave belonged to the "Unknown Child." His recovery by the sailors of the Mackay-Bennett left them so grief-stricken that they paid for his funeral and burial at one of Fairview's most beautiful spots. In 2007, genetic scientists identified the remains as Sidney Leslie Goodwin, just 19 months old when he, his parents, and five older siblings died.
About 40 Fairview graves contain unidentified remains, but only Sidney's yielded an intact DNA sample: a tiny bone fragment that had been protected from decay by a bronze amulet. It had been the final gift of the Mackay-Bennett crewmen.
As one of the scientists said, "Someone really wanted us to know who this child is."
The Halifax Explosion
Less than six years after the Titanic disaster, the French cargo ship SS Mont-Blanc, loaded with explosives for the Western Front, collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in Halifax Harbor. The resulting fire led to the largest man-made explosion until the atom bomb, flattening half the city, swamping a Native American village in a tsunami, and killing nearly 2,000 people. Most are buried in a mass grave at Fairview Cemetery.
Please proceed to 1675 Lower Water Street, and look for the gray kiosk set up near the front entrance of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
See the city sights with less walking. Afterwards, consider staying in town to sample local favorites such as lobster and Annapolis wines. Halifax even has a its own microbrew.
To see all sites fully, plan to walk for 1.5 miles over gravel/paved paths. You must be able to get on/off the bus without assistance. If your mobility is limited, no worries. The majority of walking is at your discretion.
Scenic, Cultural, Family Friendly, Bus Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
We can accommodate you if your mobility is limited and you use a folding wheelchair with at least 7 days' advanced notice, providing you are not travelling solo and have someone along to assist you. Please contact the GoBe Crew.
This experience is operated Gray Line.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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