Road Scholar : Home
Nova Scotia Discovery: Tides and Culture

Program Number: 21434RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/12/2014 - 9/18/2014; 9/11/2015 - 9/17/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Price starting at: $1,795.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Set off on a scientific and cultural expedition in Nova Scotia, following a path from Halifax, the current capital, to Annapolis Royal, the former capital on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. Hear the ancient geologic tale of this Maritime landscape of sandstone, beaches and the oldest rocks ever discovered, and see how the ice age formed Peggy's Cove 20,000 years ago. Also examine the rich heritage of the aboriginal Mi’kmaq and delve into the history of the Acadians and British Loyalists who fought for control of this corner of the New World.


• Learn about Acadian history and heritage as we travel the Evangeline Trail, immortalized in Longfellow's epic poem.
• 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.
• Join experts at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy to learn about the Bay of Fundy’s phenomenal tidal energy, and explore Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Activity Particulars

Walking and standing up to two hours with stops; uneven/slippery terrain on beach excursions.

Date Specific Information


The first 2 nights of the program will be in Halifax for this departure. See Daily Schedule for itinerary details.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Halifax, 2 nights coach to Parrsboro, 4 nights, coach to and depart Halifax.


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: Comfortable countryside inn.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Shelah Allen

Shelah Allen was born and raised in the picturesque World Heritage Site of Lunenburg. A seventh-generation Tanner on her mother’s side, she has a passion for genealogy, folklore, superstitions and stories. “I’m not so much a history buff … but I do love stories, and there’s a big difference.” Shelah loves to entertain Road Scholar participants on walking explorations of her town — and on her own time, loves road trips, music and a deep interest in Cuba.
Melissa Grey

Melissa Grey is a palaeontologist with a background in biology and zoology. She earned a doctorate in geological sciences at the University of British Columbia and has lived and worked across Canada. Away from her research, Melissa’s outdoor pursuits include hiking, biking, kayaking, snowboarding and cross-country skiing.
Meals and Lodgings
   Atlantica Hotel Halifax
  Halifax, Nova Scotia 2 nights
   The Sunshine Inn
  Parrsboro, NS 4 nights
 Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: A landmark hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the corner of Quinpool Road and Robie Street, the Atlantica provides a modern, urban hotel experience in the heart of Halifax while still offering the warmth of East Coast hospitality. 100% non-smoking.
  Contact info: 1980 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3G5 Canada
phone: 902-423-1161
  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: Leisure facilities (indoor pool, wading pool, sauna, whirlpool), outside deck, air conditioned fitness room, gift shop, ATM machine, on-site restaurant (Seasons), wine bar, seasonal concierge services, information on local tourist attractions, business centre services, credit card accessible computer and printer, heated underground garage, dry cleaning pickup, on-site guest self-laundry facilities, free local phone calls, safety deposit box available at Front desk, room service
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $124 + Tax per room Contact the Atlantica Hotel directly for availability. Road Scholar group rate applies to 2 days prior to scheduled program start and 2 days after scheduled departure. Participants can either call 1-888-810-7288 or email to make pre and post 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 3:00 the hotel. Welcome dinner at the hotel at 5 p.m. You will be staying at Atlantica Hotel Halifax 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.
  Parking availability:
Airport long-term parking or public lot across from hotel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Halifax, Nova Scotia
  Nearest city or town:  Halifax
  Nearest airport:  Halifax International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Maritime Bus - Airport Express Shuttle Service
phone: 800-350-6945
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$22 CAD/$40 CAD return
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


45 - 60 minutes 


Maritime Bus is proud to offer daily scheduled transportation from Halifax airport to downtown Halifax. Our Airport Express Shuttle Service. We are a reliable, dependable, affordable alternative to taxis or public transit.Make a reservation with us online, by calling 1.800.350.6945, or at the Ground Transportation Booth at the Halifax Airport. We offer one-way fares at $22/person tax included, or return-trip at $40/person tax included (we accept Visa and MasterCard only).




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 MetroX service from 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; $2.50 for seniors. Get off at the Duke & Albemarle stop, walk down Duke Street (2 minutes) to catch Bus #81 on Barrington St (Southbound) - bus drops you on Robie Street near the Atlantica hotel.




From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$60 - $65 (per taxi)
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


Per Person/One Way:


Included in program cost
Prices are subject to change.


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 Trans Canada Hwy Take the exit onto Trans-Canada Hwy entering Nova Scotia. Take exit 15 to merge onto NS-102 S toward Halifax/Truro. Keep left to continue on NS-118 S, follow signs for Nova Scotia 118/Nova Scotia 107/Nova Scotia 111/Dartmouth/Halifax via Bridges. Take the Wright Avenue exit toward Burnside Park. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Halifax and merge onto NS-111 N (partial toll road) Take the exit toward Robie Street and then a slight right onto Massachusetts Ave. Continue onto Robie St. Atlantica Hotel will be on the right
  Halifax International Airport (YHZ) From the airport start going SOUTH on Bell Blvd / Boulevard Bell toward Silver Dart. Stay right on Bell Blvd/Boulevard Bell. Take the Highway 102 S ramp towards Halifax/Dartmouth. Take the Highway 118 exit on the left towards Highway 103/Dartmouth/Highway 111/Halifax. Turn left onto Victoria Rd/Highway 322. Turn right onto Nantucket Ave. Nantucket Ave becomes Angus L Macdonald Bridge, which then becomes North St. Turn right onto Agricola St, and then left onto McCully St.; left again at Robie St. to the Atlantica Hotel Halifax.
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: Arrival and Check-In/Welcome Dinner/ Orientation
(Friday, September 12)
 Arrive To: Arrivals and transfers to the hotel. Check-in after 3:00 p.m. Registration and introduction at 4:00 p.m. with opening dinner at 5:00 p.m. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Introductions and orientation to the program at 7:30 p.m.
Accommodations: Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Peggy's Cove/Lunenburg Guided Walk/Fisheries Museum
(Saturday, September 13)

Note: You should wear sturdy footwear and layered clothing for the trip at Peggy's Cove.

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: This morning we travel to scenic Peggy's Cove. Learn about one of the most interesting aspects of the Cove, 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.

Then explore historic Lunenburg's narrow streets on foot, visit its historic churches and examine the Victorian architecture of the Old Town. The town's picture-postcard harbor, its colorful waterfront and the homes of flamboyant sea captains reflect its seafaring heritage. Many of these beautifully maintained homes were on the original town plan, established in 1753, the first British colonial settlement in Nova Scotia outside Halifax. Later, a vibrant economy was built on farming, fishing, shipbuilding and trade, particularly with the West Indies. The renowned fishing and racing schooner Bluenose was built here in 1912, as was the replica Bluenose II in 1963.

 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the Old Fish Factory in Lunenburg.
 Afternoon: On a field trip to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, a local expert will give us an introduction to fresh and saltwater marine life as we explore aquariums and identify native fish. Several tanks allow us to get up close with freshwater and saltwater species. Participants will learn about shipbuilding, marine vessels of the past and maritime fishing communities. A number of authentic fishing vessels are moored along the wharf for us to explore. We head back to Halifax for the night.
 Dinner: Dinner in Halifax.
 Evening: Free time after dinner.
Accommodations: Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: The Acadians/Grand Pre National Historic Site/The Evangeline Trail/Geology and Natural History of Nova Scotia
(Sunday, September 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart for Grand Pre National Historic Site to learn about the settlement of the Acadians in Canada from 1682 to 1755 and the events leading up to the famous Deportation. Grand-Pré commemorates the strong attachment among Acadians throughout the world to this area, the heart of their ancestral homeland. The area around the Minas Basin was a centre of Acadian settlement from about 1682 until 1755. In 1755, on the eve of the Seven Years’ War, the acting governor and the Council of Nova Scotia decided to force the Acadians to take the oath of allegiance and, if they refused, to deport them. The Acadian representatives refused. In all, some 6,000 Acadians were deported from Nova Scotia in 1755. In 1764, the British authorities finally permitted Acadians to return to Nova Scotia. Their former lands, however, had been settled by New England Planters, and they were forced to settle elsewhere – in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Québec. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow chose it as the setting of his epic poem Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie, published in 1847. Longfellow’s poem became a rallying point for the Acadian people.
 Morning: Visit Grand Pre Winery for a presentation; it is Nova Scotia's first operating winery; with award-winning wines, cobblestone courtyards and beautiful gardens.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant near Wolfville. Wolfville is separated from the Minas Basin by agricultural dykes which were built by Acadians in the 17th century. Wolfville experiences the Bay of Fundy's record setting tides each day as water fills and drains from the Wolfville Harbour, which is the world's smallest harbour.
 Afternoon: We continue our travels along the Evangeline Trail to the shores of the Minas Basin and into Parrsboro. The Trail parallels the Fundy coast, passing through some of North America’s earliest European history. It’s a journey that spans 400 years of settlement, a journey that will take you past farms and fishing villages, a journey rich in culture, diversity, charm and natural beauty.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in Parrsboro - it has been described by National Geographic magazine as "the prettiest place to watch the Bay of Fundy tides sweep in and out."
 Evening: An evening 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: The Sunshine Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Fundy Geological Museum/Wasson Bluff Site of Canada's Oldest Dinosaurs/Free Time
(Monday, September 15)

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: 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: A presentation will be conducted by the Curator/Director Ken Adams at the Fundy Geological Museum. 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 the Fundy Geological Museum.
 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.
Accommodations: The Sunshine Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Age of Sail Heritage Centre/Cape D'or and Horseshoe Cove/Joggins Fossil Cliffs
(Tuesday, September 16)

Note: Sturdy footwear.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel to 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.
 Morning: 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.

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: 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: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: The Sunshine Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Ottawa House by the Sea Museum/Fundy Tides/Fundy Ocean Research Centre/Beach Walk
(Wednesday, September 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: 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: 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.
 Afternoon: 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. 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: Lobster dinner and farewell evening and activities.
Accommodations: The Sunshine Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Coach Departs for Halifax/Program Concludes/Departures
(Thursday, September 18)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: 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. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
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, Nova Scotia 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
  Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Located in the heart of Halifax’s 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. 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
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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