Tall ships sail to Halifax this summer

Nova Scotia is the place to be in late July, when more than 150 tall ships will fill Halifax harbour for Tall Ships 2000, the premiere event in tall ships racing. Halifax is one of seven stops during a four-month race across the Atlantic Ocean. Other ports of call are Southampton, Genoa, Cadiz, Bermuda, Boston, and Amsterdam.

Organizers in Nova Scotia say it is the largest single tourist attraction in the Maritime province’s history. More than 700,000 people are expected to take in the sights and a wide variety of activities from July 20-24. The event is expected to dwarf what many remember as the “magical summer of ‘84”, when 50 tall ships dropped anchor in Halifax.

Partially funded with your tax dollars through the Canadian Millennium Partnership, the event is managed by Tall Ships Nova Scotia, a volunteer board formed to focus on the Canadian portion of the race.

Educational component
Aside from creating an instant tourist attraction, the tall ships serve an educational purpose. At least half of all crew members must range in age from 16 to 25 years. The goal is to develop team-building skills, self-reliance and self-discline. Money raised by the Halifax event will lay the foundation for a legacy fund aimed at assisting youth in their sail training efforts.

Travellers with a little extra money and a thirst for adventure might consider a package put together by Down To Earth Adventures and VIA Rail. They’ve developed a unique 7-day sailing package on board 75-foot sailing vessels.These depart from the historic town of Lunenberg to rendezvous with the fleet of Tall Ships sailing from Boston to Halifax.

With only 6 passengers per sailboat, guests will have the opportunity to learn how to sail, observe the Armada of Tall Ships and whale watch. The cruise will wind its way along the South Shore of Nova Scotia, docking at fishing villages along the way. All transportation, gourmet food and accommodations are included at a price of $2900 per person, with return deluxe sleepers from Montreal on VIA Rail. Contact your CARPTravel rep for details.