Starting in May, Nova Star Cruises will make it easier for Americans on the Eastern Seaboard to get to Nova Scotia. The company will offer daily roundtrips between Yarmouth in southwestern Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine. The 1,215-passenger ship will feature three restaurants, three bars, a fitness center, casino gambling room and a duty-free shop.
The province’s beloved sailing ambassador, Bluenose II is back! After a three-year restoration, the sailing ship – a reminder of the glorious age of sail – is back to her original splendor.
Visitors to the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores region can hear a “fish story” or two from local fishermen at one of the Living Wharves. Designed to tell the story of one of Canada’s largest fisheries which harvests more than 40 species of fish and employs thousands, the wharves are lively places where both active and retired fishermen and women of the community gather. Here they recount their yarns about storms and bravery and visitors can try their hands at splicing (braiding) rope and tying knots.
From Pier 21, Canada’s Ellis Island to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic with its Titanic exhibit, the Halifax waterfront is a great place to soak up Nova Scotia’s maritime heritage. Built by Halifax’s early settlers in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the wharves and warehouses later became known as the Historic Properties. Today they house shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs. The city will welcome two new hotels this year: a Homewood Suites and a Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton.
With the world’s highest tides at 53 feet, the Bay of Fundy offers experiences such as tidal bore rafting, walking on the ocean floor, kayaking among giant sea cliffs, whale watching and discovering 300 million year old fossils.
Nova Scotia’s wines have been wining international awards. The province now boasts more than 70 grape growers, 550 acres under vine and 15 wineries, with two new ones opening this year: Planters Ridge and Rines Creek. Only an hour from Halifax, the Annapolis Valley makes for a nice day trip of tastings and lunch at one of the vineyards. In the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lunenburg, the Ironworks Distillery is creating artisanal spirits and liqueurs. And on Cape Breton Island, the Glenora Inn & Distillery makes North America’s first single malt whisky. Now the craft beer scene is exploding with 16 microbreweries around the province and four more slated to open this year.
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