Let’s face it. Six hours is not much time to enjoy any destination. Especially Halifax. Our cruise port day in Halifax was shortened last-minute and was a huge disappointment. We made the best of it though. Here is how we spent an amazing, but short, six hours in beautiful Halifax on our cruise!
Assuming you are cruising in, first and foremost, rent a car. Ignore the brochures, the ads, the announcements, that the cruise line will pile upon you to take one of their tours. With only a limited amount of time you do not want to waste it waiting for 500 people to load buses, and you certainly do not want to waste your time touring someone else’s way!
By all means, do only what your are comfortable doing! I have rented a car in various cruise ports and find it to be one of the best ways to tour, but do not do it if you do not feel confident doing so!
Renting a car in Halifax is easy! I am a member with Dollar which made things even quicker! Walk out of the cruise terminal, cross the road, and head right towards the Westin Hotel. Enter the hotel through the back parking lot entrance, go up the stairs into the lobby, and you will find the Dollar Rent-A-Car counter. There are other rental car companies nearby as well, you do not have to stick to Dollar. I travel on a budget and have never once had an issue with Dollar, so I always use them if they are available. Our hours in Port were 10:30 – 4:30.
When renting a car at a cruise port, I tend to find a ship, or local, tour that interest me. I then use GPS to create my own self-tour going to the same destinations. Sometimes I may add or take away depending on my interest. We decided on doing a tour of Peggy’s Cove and the Titanic Grave Site.
It was an easy, around an hour, drive from the Westin Hotel to Peggy’s Cove. The drive was pretty scenic, especially with the fall colors. Peggy’s Cove was crowded, as I had heard. If you head along the coast, away from the light house, it is actually quiet and peaceful. You may have to do some climbing around on the rocks, but if you are able, it’s worth it. The bus loads of people on tours quickly check out the area around the light house and maybe do some gift shopping. Thankfully, you are not on their schedule. We stayed for about an hour here just taking in the views. Parking at the Cove was free and easy. As “touristy” as it may be, Peggy’s Cove is beautiful and I would definitely say it is worth the trip:
I could have spent several hours there. My kids really enjoyed climbing around on the rocks as well! They did not want to leave.
After an hour we drove about 45 minutes to the Titanic Grave Site at Fairview Lawn Cemetery.
While the Titanic Grave Site takes up just a small section of the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, it was still a neat, historic, experience. You can drive your rental car into the cemetery, right up to the grave site. Thirty minutes is plenty of time to look around the grave sites.
You can’t miss it.
With only six hours in port, and with Peggy Cove being an hour drive away, Peggy’s Cove and the Titanic Grave Site were all that we had time for in Halifax. It was easy to get gas on the way back to the rental car place, return the car, and get back to the ship. The whole rental car process was very easy in Halifax!
I always plan to get back to the ship early when venturing out on my own as you never know what could go wrong. There was plenty of time to do some shopping at the pier as well. I could have easily spent another 30 minutes at Peggy’s Cove, but did not want to risk it with it being our first time in Halifax and having a cruise ship that would most definitely leave without us!
Halifax was a wonderful stop on our cruise! Have you been? What would you do with only 6 hours in port there?