The first stop on our latest journey is Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having been here once before, we’ve already seen the number one dark tourism site, The Fairlawn Cemetery.

This time, we decided to stick to the centre of the city, specifically the Five Fishermen Restaurant. 

Along the boardwalk

Halifax has clearly chosen to capitalise on the cruise market. Every ship is greeted by a kilted piper, helping them to claim the ‘most welcoming port in the world’ title.

Disembarkation is smooth, and the cruise terminal has a very useful tourist information desk. You can ask these local experts anything – including which public bus to catch to any destination – and they will help you out with a free city map.

Leaving the terminal, turn right and start walking to reach the city centre. Once past the statue of Samuel Cunard (yes, he of cruise line fame), you will reach a boardwalk lined with trendy restaurants and varsity. Further down you can find food stands, handicrafts and a couple of museums – including a weird blue-and-white corvette retired from the Canadian Navy.

A picture of the retired Canadian Navy corvette anchored at Halifax boardwalk
An arctic paint job

Top tip: Lobster rolls are much cheaper here ($25 CAD) on the boardwalk than in any of the American states ($50 USD).

It’s all uphill from here

The Five Fishermen restaurant is not far from the end of the boardwalk – but it’s all uphill. And the hill is quite steep. 

A map showing the walking route from the Halifax Cruise Terminal to the Five Fishermen Restaurant
The walk from the Cruise Terminal to the Five Fishermen isn’t too bad really

Thankfully it is Sunday so there’s not much traffic or pedestrians around, making it quite easy to get around with the mobility scooter.

Why visit the Five Fishermen Restaurant?

The Five Fishermen Restaurant isn’t all that much to look up, but it has a unique place in dark tourism history. Back in 1912, this shiplap building was occupied by Snow & Company Undertakers. In the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic, this was where victims were processed – either to be sent back to their families or for burial in the Fairlawn Cemetery. 

The Five Fishermen Restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Five Fishermen Restaurant used to be a funeral home

Five years later, the undertakers was again overwhelmed after the infamous Halifax Explosion which killed nearly 2,000 local people. Photographs published in the Halifax local newspaper of the time show coffins stacked in the street as undertakers rushed to deal with the sheer number of dead.

Unsurprisingly, some claim the Five Fishermen is haunted…

Back to the ship

Thankfully, the journey back to the ship is all downhill. Better still, there’s a Tim Horton’s on the way. We stop in for a doughnut and milkshake each, shocked again by the amount of sugar in each – far more than we get in the UK branches!

Despite the constant rattling and bumping being quite uncomfortable, we opt to make the return trip along the wooden planked boardwalk. Along the way we spot a seal just off shore, stealing fish from a local fisherman. He seems quite amused, like this is not the first time he has had this problem.

We also manage to grab a geocache (GCZ4QV) near the cruise terminal, dropping off the travel bug we collected in Puerto Rico last year. Oops.

Did we get passport stamps in Halifax?

I asked at tourist information whether we could have passport stamps. The helpful gent behind the desk says that normally you can get one from the immigration/post office. But they are not open on Sundays. 

So no, we did not get our passports stamped.

Overall

Halifax is a perfectly pleasant city and well worth a visit if you are in the area. Linda says she would be tempted to make a specific trip to visit, particularly when she’s fully mobile again.