This story was updated in June 2023. It was first published June 21, 2022.
The weather in Halifax has finally let up, and with the warm temperature comes the opportunity to get outdoors this summer. Hiking is one thing, but seeing Halifax and Nova Scotia from the water gives you a whole new perspective on just how beautiful our province truly is. Whether it's in a kayak, on a ferry or with a guided tour, our list of rentals and bookings available in HRM will surely have your sea legs in working order by the end of the summer.
HARBOUR KAYAKS & WATERCRAFT
Harbour Watercraft Tours & Adventures
Rent a Sea-Doo ($135) or a sea kayak ($55) at this waterfront kiosk, which began in Dartmouth in 2018 and moved to Halifax the following summer.
East Coast Watercraft Rentals
Choose from a Sea-Doo for a speedy tour ($135), or a pontoon boat rental ($400) for an afternoon oasis party with a larger crew. Or choose the speed boat option ($80/hr). Because the rental kiosk is located in Eastern Passage, that also means you can explore both the Halifax or Dartmouth waterfronts and McNabs Island.
St. Mary's Boat Club
The municipally-run facility offers the cheapest kayak rentals in the city, for just $24 on paddle nights, and free one-hour rentals of either kayaks or stand-up paddle boards on weekends.
Offering two-hour tours of either the Northwest Arm or Halifax Harbour, in single- or double-occupancy kayaks. Ages six and up, no experience necessary but book well in advance.
Halifax Transit Ferry
If you haven't taken what city councillors call the "corporate yacht," it's one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get across the harbour in the heat of the summer. Just $2.75 or a bus transfer will have you seeing downtown from a brand-new angle. This year, from July 1 to August 31, the Alderney ferry will be free every Saturday.
McNabs Island Ferry
Taking you to the island of the same name, the McNabs Island ferry runs out of Eastern Passage, and captain Mike Tilley's prices start at $25 a person, or $15 for kids and seniors, for a round trip.
Georges Island Ferry
Open to the public since last summer after being private for decades, Georges Island tours book up fast, but give a one-of-a-kind day trip experience starting at $24.05.
WATER TAXIS & TOURS
Sea Halifax Jet Boat Tour
Enjoy the water with the city's first-ever jet-boat tour company. Opt for a 1-hour beautiful tour of the Halifax Waterfront ($325 up to five people) or chose to experience a 2-hour tour of George’s Island ($500 up to five people).
McNabs Island Shuttle
A more private way to get to the island than the larger ferry, shuttle prices with captain Dave start at $40 a person roundtrip, and private sightseeing tours are $145/hr. Pickups range from the bottom of Quinpool Road to Dingle Park.
A&M Sea Charters
If you want to come back from your boat tour with a souvenir, this deep-sea fishing expedition will satisfy your appetite for adventure (and seafood). Harbour tours are also available via their Eastern Passage location.
Taylor Made Tours
Offering shuttle service to McNabs Island out of Eastern Passage, this tour group will give you advice about exactly what to do while you explore the mid-harbour getaway.
Harbour Hopper Tour
If you're searching for a uniquely amphibian tour via both land and sea, and don't mind some "fun facts" along the way, the $42 for each ticket for a 55-minute ride is totally worth it.
LAKES & WATERWAYS
Long Lake Adventure Company
Kayak the day away without worrying about rising tides in Long Lake. Rent a kayak or paddleboard starting at just $20, and head for a dip after to cool down.
The Shubenacadie Canal offers a tree-covered stream to cruise down in a kayak or canoe on a hot summer day for only $15/hr. Find the rentals at 54 Locks Road in Dartmouth.
Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club
While Mic Mac AAC may seem anything but amateur, the "Masters" group for those aged 25+ caters to new paddlers and those with any level of experience. Membership is $375 for the entire season, May to September.
Banook Canoe Club
Banook has a few levels of membership for ages 20+, the Masters program, ranging from $105 to $305. Plenty of watercraft are available to rent, summer 2022 membership runs from May 1 to April 30 2023.
Maskwa Kearney Lake
Offering recreational dragon boat ($210) or Masters paddling for adults ($600), the price includes a full season of practices, coaching and rentals.
East Coast Surf School
The most popular beach for surfing in Nova Scotia is surely Lawrencetown, and many nearby shops like this one offer $20 board rental, $20 wetsuits and are just a walk away from the beach.
Surfboard rentals at the Lawrencetown shop start at $20, with paddleboards $30, and all the equipment you'll need available as well. Or get a full lesson, with board and suit rental included, for $75.
Lawrencetown Surf Co.
This spot near the beach has board rentals as well as lessons every Wednesday and Saturday for those who need to get better acquainted with the water or want to perfect their skills.
Happy Dudes Surf Emporium
Based in both Lawrencetown and Martinique, Happy Dudes has boards starting at $20 for four hours, as well as wetsuit rentals and everything else you need to take a day at the beach to the next level.
Lessons and rentals at the beautiful white sand Martinique Beach are offered at East Coast Surf School's sibling location starting at $20.
Halifax Surf School
Catch some waves at Martinique with this surf school, which offers easy online booking in advance and free car straps to get your board to the beach. Surfboard and wet suit rentals start at $20 or chose a $70 surfing lesson.
SEA KAYAKING & BOAT ADVENTURES
East Coast Outfitters
Situated in Lower Prospect, it's easy to pair a kayak adventure with a day trip to Peggys Cove or Terrence Bay Wilderness Park. With half-day, full-day and sunset tours of the beautiful coastline ($89), add a picnic or BBQ to the end of your tour for true indulgence.
Norse Cove Camping
This Eastern Shore campground provides kayak rentals, lessons and tours of the nearby rugged coast and untouched 100 Wild Islands. Tandem and single kayaks are available starting at $25 an hour, but a guide is recommended if you're a beginner.
Murphy's Camping on the Ocean
Get your fill of the 100 Wild Islands by kayaking around them or taking an up-close scenic 1.5-hour boat tour. Whether it's a sea kayak or a leisure kayak, all levels are welcome, and the journey outside the city will bring you a feeling of serenity.
Updated with files from Matt Stickland