Life in the City of Halifax is all about the sea, but the Port of Halifax offers much more than fishing harbors and seafood restaurants. It's a city with a rich history and magnificent natural surroundings. The Port of Halifax is home to world-class convention and meeting facilities, accommodations to fit any budget, fascinating historic properties, and some of the most breathtaking scenery in North America.
Lying on Nova Scotia's Atlantic Coast, the Port of Halifax has a cooler milder climate than much of its neighboring inland territory. Like most coastal cities, the Port of Halifax gets plenty of rain throughout the year, slightly more from October through December. Temperatures range from an average high of 23 °C (73 °F) in July and August to an average low of -8 °C (17 °F) in January and February.Visitors to the Port of Halifax will want to check out the Halifax Citadel, an old British-built fort that overlooks the harbor. Today, the fort houses a museum. The museum is open from May through October, but visitors can tour the grounds throughout the year. The modern citadel was finished in 1856, although it was first founded in 1749. The British Army garrisoned in the fort at the Port of Halifax until 1906, and Canadian troops were stationed there during both World Wars. Although it was built to defend the city from land invasion coming from the United States, the huge star-shaped fortification was converted to protect both the land and the harbor until the turn of the century. Its major role was as a barracks during the 20th Century. Today, it is operated by Parks Canada as one of the country's most important historic sites, and it has been restored to the Victorian period featuring a living history program and guided tours.
Another treat in the Port of Halifax is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the waterfront of the Port of Halifax. The museum is chock-full of artifacts related to some of the devastating disasters of the early 20th Century as well as the regions maritime history. Highlights include the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic, the terrible munitions ship explosion of 1917, the 1913 hydrographic survey ship the CSS Acadia (moored in the harbor), and shipwrecks off Nova Scotia. Artifact collections focus on the maritime period from 1850 and include a wide range of items from sextants to binnacles and armaments.
The Port of Halifax's Pier 21 is Canada's version of Ellis Island in New York City where more than a million immigrants entered Canada between 1928 and 1971. Today, the modern museum covers all topics related to Canadian immigration and nation-building in the original building with cement floors and tall ceilings.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Halifax and Nova Scotia by sea can find a long list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.