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Fast Facts on Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia, our departure port, is a lovely, clean and friendly city.

This Semester at Sea (Fall 2012), we are exploring ports around the Atlantic Ocean. Since the MV Explorer has never made this exact route in its 111 voyages, we thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss the different ports we are docking at, and their significance to the Atlantic.

Our first port was Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here are some fast facts on Halifax:

1) Halifax has one of the most moving and intimate connections with the Titanic disaster, playing a key role during the tragedy’s aftermath and becoming the final resting place of many of her unclaimed victims.

2) The Citadel is the highest part of downtown Halifax; it is a fortified location that looks out over the harbor. It was built by the English in the 1700s as the key defense to guarding the St. Lawrence River from invasion from the Atlantic Ocean.

3) As the primary base of the Royal Navy’s North Atlantic squadron, Halifax was the key to the defense of British North America in 1812.

4) Halifax, as an international city, is ranked as one of Canada’s top five ‚Äúsmart cities‚Äù: It is home to seven degree-granting universities, eight major hospitals, and Canada‚Äôs second largest scientific center.

5) Halifax sits halfway between Europe and the west coast of North America, which made it a perfect launching port for Semester at Sea. It also sits halfway between the equator and the North Pole.

6) Halifax is the capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia

7) A person from Halifax is known as a Haligonian

8) The Honorable Edward Cornwallis of Britain founded Halifax in 1749 when he landed with some 2,500 settlers to establish a permanent British settlement. It was named in honor of Lord Halifax, head of England’s Board of Trade.

9) The Halifax explosion of 1917 was the 9th largest explosion, right behind the 8th, Chernobyl.


The Titanic memorial in Halifax is moving, to say the least. Several graves mark remains that were never identified.




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