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Fossils, Minerals, Tides and Culture: Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy

Program Number: 12425RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/15/2013 - 9/20/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Price starting at: $1,199.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Science & Nature; Natural History
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; None; Vegetarian; None    

Join us for an exceptional geological adventure and follow the shore of the Minas Basin to Parrsboro, where the world's highest tides have produced sandstone formations, deep ravines and caves, and beaches that are a rock hunter's paradise. Learn about the natural history of Nova Scotia, with the oldest rocks in the world, and see how the ice age formed Peggy's Cove 20,000 years ago. Explore local history and pay tribute to the rich heritage of the Mi’kmaq, Acadians and Loyalists. Witness the power of the Fundy tides, walk the ocean floor, learn about the first animals on land, and see where the land masses came together to form Nova Scotia.


• Enjoy an expert-led visit to Wasson Bluff, where bones from some of Canada’s oldest dinosaurs have been discovered in the tide-washed cliffs.
• Experts at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) will discuss the Bay of Fundy’s phenomenal tidal energy.
• At Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a UNESCO World Heritage site, explore what has been called a “Coal Age Galapagos.”

Activity Particulars

Walking 1-2 hours with stops; terrain can be slippery, uneven on daily beach excursions.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Halifax, 1 night; coach to Peggy’s Cove, Parrsboro, 4 nights; coach to Halifax, departure.


Nova Scotia’s capital is a modern port city with 18th-century elegance. Once the prime fortress in British North America, this vibrant destination on Canada's east coast offers architectural and cultural reminders of Halifax’s early European days, and also boasts a gorgeous harbor, quaint jazz clubs, live theater and abundant fresh seafood.

Halifax: Full-service hotel. Parrsboro: Lakeside hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn - Harbourview
  Halifax, NS 1 night
   The Sunshine Inn
  Parrsboro, NS 4 nights
 Holiday Inn - Harbourview
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Holiday Inn Hotel in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, a 100% non-smoking facility, features superior service, the area's premier conference facilities and the best views of Halifax Harbour.
  Contact info: 101 Wyse Road
Dartmouth, NS  B3A 1L9 Canada
phone: 902-463-1100
  Room amenities: Complimentary high speed Internet, 2 telephones, key card system for security, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, cable TV, hair dryer, vanity mirror, individual climate control, private bath with full size tub, shower and sink.
  Facility amenities: Health & Fitness Center (On-Site), Housekeeping & Laundry Services, Travel Services, Hotel Shops, Business Services, and Public Space Data Services
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rates. Please call hotel directly for rates & availability and to make reservations.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 The Sunshine Inn
Type: Motel
  Description: The Tourism Ambassador Winning Motel is situated on Hwy. 2 adjacent to a 40 acre lake in scenic countryside which affords an opportunity to fish or hike over 68 acres of open fields and woodland.
  Contact info: 4487 Highway 2
Parrsboro, NS B0M 1S0 Canada
phone: 902-254-3135
  Room amenities: Private bath, television, radio/alarm clock, small refrigerator
  Facility amenities: Restaurant on site, 11 rooms/1 floor. currency exchange, gift shop,beach, fishing
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel for rates. Please contact hotel to make arrangements in advance if you wish to stay on in Parrsboro after the program ends.
  Check out time: 11:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals in the afternoon. Check-in after 4:00 the hotel. Welcome dinner at the hotel at 5 p.m. You will be staying at Holiday Inn - Harbourview that night.
  End of Program:
Coach transfer to Halifax International Airport; approximate arrival 12:00 noon. You will be staying at The Sunshine Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. PASSPORTS: Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit for up-to-date info.
  Parking availability:
Parking at the Holiday Inn is $13 per day.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Halifax, NS
  Nearest city or town:  Truro
  Nearest highway: 102
  Nearest airport:  Halifax International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Halifax, NS
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Airport




Public Transportation
Metro Transit


Per Person/One Way:


$3.25 adult/$2.50 senior
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


45 - 60 minutes 


Metro Transit operates its MetroX service Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) to downtown Halifax. The #320 bus operates every 30 minutes during peak (6 am to 9 am) and (3 pm to 6 pm). Regular schedule every 60 minutes. $3.25 for adults/students; $2.50 for children/seniors. Arrive Dartmouth Bridge Terminal - Bay 10 (320 To Hfx. Walk to Holiday Inn Harbourview (about 5 minutes)




From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$60 - $65
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


45 - 60 minutes 


Taxis available curbside at the Halifax International Airport to take you to your hotel.




To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Minas Basin Transit
phone: 902-348-2350


Shuttle from Parrsboro to Halifax on the final day of the program is included in the total price per participant. Approximate arrival in Halifax is 12:00 noon. Coach stops at Halifax International Airport and at the hotel.

Driving Directions
  From Halifax Int'l Airport to Dartmouth Hotel Take the 102 Hwy to the 118 HWY. The 118 Hwy will turn into Woodland Ave. At the bottom of Woodland Ave take a left on to Victoria Rd. At the second set of Traffic Lights, take a right on to Boland Ave. At the bottom of Boland Ave take a left and follow Wyse Rd to the Hotel.
  Halifax Train Station Head N on Hollis St toward South St. Take 1st right onto Terminal Rd. Take 1st left onto Lower Water St. Continue onto Upper Water St. Slight left at Barrington St. Exit onto North St. Continue onto Angus L. Macdonald bridge (toll). Turn right on Wyse Rd.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome Dinner and Orientation/Geology and Natural History of Nova Scotia.
(Sunday, September 15)

Note: During the program there will be an opportunity to view the high and low tides and walk on the bottom of the ocean floor! Schedule is dependent on tides.

 Arrive To: Registration and introduction at 4:00 p.m. with opening dinner at 5:00 p.m. Check-in after 3:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Geology & Natural History. Conducted by the Curator of Geology for the Nova Scotia Museum, a presentation will introduce you to Nova Scotia, basic geology and the natural history of the area. Learn how the geology not only shaped the landscape but its people.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn - Harbourview
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Peggy's Cove/Coach to Parrsboro Along the Shores of the Minas Basin
(Monday, September 16)

Note: You should wear sturdy footwear and layered clothing for the 1 1/2 hour guided trip at Peggy's Cove.

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Peggy's Cove. Leaving Halifax we travel to Scenic Peggy's Cove wehre you will meet your guide from the Department of Natural Resources. One of the most interesting aspects of the Cove is the local geology. A large number of huge boulders, scattered at random, cover the hills in the immediate vicinity of the village, making this area unique. The boulders are 415 million years old Devonian granite, deposited by the last of the retreating glaciers.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delightful lunch at the famous Sou'Wester restaurant at Peggy's Cove.
 Afternoon: After lunch we depart for Parrsboro. We wind our way along Nova Scotia’s coastline then head north to Parrsboro. The road runs along the north side of the Minas Basin, crossing the slopes of the Cobequid Mountains to Parrsboro. Here, in addition to the impressive tides which characterize this arm of the Bay of Fundy, agates and amethysts can also be found. Look for folks digging for clams on tidal Mud flats at low tide and travel through coastal communities with breathtaking scenery.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Nova Scotia dinner at a local restaurant in the Parrsboro area.
Accommodations: The Sunshine Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Fundy Geological Museum/Wasson Bluff Site of Canada's Oldest Dinosaurs/Free Time
(Tuesday, September 17)

Note: Good sturdy foot wear is required. A walk down and up a steep hill, as well as some rough terrain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Wasson Bluff. Head out into the field to Wasson Bluff to hear about the discovery of dinosaur bones in the tide washed cliffs. Marvel at the Jurassic-age red beds, basalt lava flows, river channels and wind-blown sands. The rocks tell a story of ancient seas and coal swamps, the collision of continents and formation of Pangea, and the development of a rift valley which contains the foot prints and bones of animals from the Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Bones from some of Canada's oldest dinosaurs have been discovered here at Wasson Bluff.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Fundy Geological Museum. The morning begins at the Fundy Geological Museum in a session conducted by the Curator/Director Ken Adams. See some of the oldest dinosaur bones in Canada, examine the origins of the planet and learn more about rockhounding and minerals. Triassic and Jurassic fossils excavated from the Minas Basin are on display. Meet some of the ancient creatures that lived here millions of years ago: the world's first reptiles, early dinosaurs, giant dragonflies, an ancestor of frogs and a sow-bug-like creature as long as a baseball bat.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon and dinner on your own. Arrangements can be made to attend a live theatre performance at the Ship’s Co. Theatre where you will find a unique performance venue and a theatrical experience like no other. The stage is a ship: the MV Kipawo, last of the Minas Basin ferries. A highly acclaimed and innovative professional company, the productions are Canadian plays with an emphasis on new works from Atlantic Canadian playwrights.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to try one of Parrsboro's fine dining restaurants.
Accommodations: The Sunshine Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Ottawa House by the Sea Museum/Fundy Tides/Fundy Ocean Research Centre/Beach Walk
(Wednesday, September 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP:Ottawa House by the Sea. Explore the local history on a field trip to Ottawa House by the Sea Museum, a heritage building that is over 200 years old. The museum’s exhibits interpret the original native occupation, the Acadian contribution, the seafaring, lumbering and shipbuilding of the region, as well as the lives of the succession of owners of the house, including Sir Charles Tupper, once Premier of Nova Scotia and Prime Minister of Canada. In fact, it was Sir Charles who named his summer residence the Ottawa House By The Sea while negotiating the articles of Canadian Confederation. The images, artifacts and documents reflect the social and economic history of this region.
 Lunch: Lunch at Ottawa House.
 Afternoon: EXCURSION: Rock and Mineral Shop Museum. Time permitting we will stop at The Rock and Mineral Shop Museum, a gallery of rare fossils from prehistoric dinosaurs, reptiles, and amphibians. The owner, Eldon George, is a renowned fossil collector. Eldon has discovered the world's smallest dinosaur footprints that date back 220 million years ago, a rare horseshoe crab from 300 million years ago and a track from a large crocodile type animal. INERAL SHOP:
 Afternoon: PRESENTATION: Fundy Tides. Experts at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) will discuss the Bay of Fundy’s phenomenal tidal energy. FORCE is Canada’s leading research centre for in-stream tidal energy. Nova Scotia continues to be a world leader in tidal energy -from shipbuilding to marine sciences to tidal energy, and is becoming known the world over as a centre of marine excellence. FORCE has also received approximately 7 miles of subsea cables which, when connected, will give the centre the largest transmission capacity for tidal power in the world -- a total capacity of 64 megawatts or roughly equivalent to the power needs of 20,000 homes at peak tidal flows. The momentum around tidal energy continues to build; harnessing the immense tidal power potential in the Bay of Fundy. Each day, 100 billion tonnes of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy - more than the combined flow of the world's freshwater rivers.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: The Sunshine Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Age of Sail Heritage Centre/Cape D'or and Horseshoe Cove/Joggins Fossil Cliffs
(Thursday, September 19)

Note: Sturdy footwear.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Age of Sail Heritage Centre. Today we visit the Age of Sail Heritage Centre. Overlooking the tidal Grenville River, the centre pays tribute to the heritage of the communities along the Minas Channel. The area boasts a rich history from the time of the dinosaurs to the Mi’kmaq and Acadians, to Loyalists and shipbuilders. Parrsboro is a serenely picturesque place that was once a flourishing port during the Golden Age of Sail. The rich heritage of the Minas Basin’s timber and shipbuilding industries are depicted in its archives and professionally designed exhibits. The site features a restored Methodist Church, built in 1857, a working blacksmith shop and a lighthouse. EXCURSION: The Mary Celeste. At Spencer’s Island, we stop to view the Mary Celeste monument. One of the greatest legends of the sea is the mystery of this Canadian built brigantine, which according to common knowledge was discovered at sea totally deserted. The master and crew had suddenly vanished into thin air.
 Lunch: Lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Cape D’or and Horseshoe Cove. Depart for Cape D’or and Horseshoe Cove where we will look for zeolites and stop for a boxed lunch in the field. There are about 35 different types of zeolites that can be collected around the Bay of Fundy. French explorer Samuel de Champlain named Cape D’Or (Cape of Gold) when he sailed by in 1607 and noticed glimmers of gold in the basalt cliffs. Turns out the metal in the cliffs were copper rather than gold, but the name stuck.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Joggins Fossil Cliffs. Join trained staff in a presentation at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the Bay of Fundy, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Walk through Coal Age fossil forests, discover ancient river channels and trace fossils made by meter long insects. The cliffs are home to some of the world’s oldest reptile fossils, which were found in the upright trunks exposed by the tides of the Bay of Fundy. The Interpretation Centre features the world’s largest collection of 300-million-year-old fossils as well as exhibits of trilobites, brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods and fish fossils from around the world.
 Dinner: Lobster dinner and farewell evening and activities.
Accommodations: The Sunshine Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Coach Departs for Halifax/Independent Departures from Halifax
(Friday, September 20)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: COACH TRANSFER TO HALIFAX: After breakfast board bus at 8 am departure to the Halifax International Airport. Coach return to Holiday Inn, Halifax with drop off at the airport on the way. Approximate arrival around 12:00 Noon. Participants should make flight arrangements for mid afternoon in case of delays on the coach back from Parrsboro.
 Afternoon: Independent departures from Halifax/Halifax airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Parrsboro, NS Parrsboro
During your free time in Parrsboro enjoy nature walks, bird watching, local entertainment or attend live theatre at the Ship's Company Theatre. For additional information, visit
  Halifax, NS Pier 21
Pier 21 is a National Historic Site which was the gateway to Canada for one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. It also served as the departure point for 500,000 Canadian Military personnel during the Second World War. Today, Pier 21 hosts the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 —Atlantic Canada’s only national museum! Learn about the experiences of immigrants as they arrived in Canada, the vital role of immigration in the building of Canada and the contributions of immigrants to our country—all at one unique place. For additional information, visit
  The Citadel
The present Citadel was completed in 1856 and is the fourth in a series of British forts on this site. Today, the restored Citadel is a national landmark, commemorating Halifax’s role as a key naval station in the British Empire and bringing history to life in Atlantic Canada’s largest urban centre. For additional information, visit
  Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Located in the heart of Halifax’s historic waterfront, there’s no better place to immerse yourself in Nova Scotia’s rich maritime heritage than the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. From small craft boatbuilding to World War Convoys, the Days of Sail to the Age of Steam, the Titanic to the Halifax Explosion, you’ll discover the stories, events and people that have come to define Nova Scotia and its relationship with the sea. Take a seat in a replica Titanic deck chair or step aboard CSS Acadia and have a front row seat to history. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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