By Mike MacKenzie
If you take a walk on the Halifax waterfront at any point from April to October, there’s a good chance you’ll have some company.
Spring marks the launch of cruise season in Halifax, with large ‘floating cities’ docking at our Seaport to let passengers explore local businesses and activities that line the water’s edge.
In 2012 it’s expected that 130 ships will arrive in Halifax, bringing between 235,000 and 245,000 visitors. According to the Halifax Gateway, this huge influx of tourists contribute approximately $50-million in direct expenditures to Halifax's local economy each year.
This year two Titanic-themed commemoration cruises will visit the city to mark the centennial anniversary of the ship’s sinking, and both Disney Cruise Lines and Saga Cruises have added Halifax to their list of destinations.
And as episode 6 of Downtown Halifax Business Commission’s Big Day Downtown – The Series explored this week, when these ships arrive there will be no shortage of things to do on land.
Host Kristen Pickett visited Kristine Kovacevie at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, and explored the permanent exhibits that highlight its long-standing history as the first point of entry for many new Canadian immigrants. From 1928 to 1971, over one million people entered Pier 21 on their way to new lives throughout the country. Visitors can stop by the museum’s genealogy research centre to see if their ancestors were among those whose journey passed through Halifax.
Next, Kristen stopped for a chat with Colin MacLean, president and CEO of the Waterfront Development Corporation. Colin spoke of the important linkages that exist between our waterfront and Halifax’s history, and mentioned some of the events that help make the Halifax waterfront one of Nova Scotia’s top tourist destinations. With events like the 2012 Tall Ships Festival, the Halifax Jazz Festival, the Halifax International Buskers Festival and last year’s Junior World Beach Volleyball Championships, the waterfront is a regular hotspot for happening and fun activities.
Of course, you don’t have to be a cruise ship passenger to enjoy Halifax. What are your favourite things to do on the waterfront?
Author: Mike MacKenzie
Mike is the Communications and Marketing Assistant with Greater Halifax Partnership, currently working as a Bachelor of Public Relations co-op student. A lover of all things communications and strategy related, Mike is often known to spend his free time analyzing the latest-and-greatest PR/advertising campaigns. As a relative newbie to the Halifax scene, he can also be seen strolling the streets of downtown looking for the next cool thing that the city has to offer.