A bullfighter and a politician meet in Halifax Harbour this week. Sort of. | News | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
The Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin vessel, as seen in Halifax in 2015.

A bullfighter and a politician meet in Halifax Harbour this week. Sort of.

Container ships, cargo carriers and more vessels bound for Halifax the week of Feb. 13-19.

One of Halifax’s greatest strange-but-true elements of local lore is that, somewhere at the bottom of the Bedford Basin, there are about 20 to 30 Volvos sitting on the harbour floor. There’s a lengthier story to be told about how they got there—one that Jalopnik’s Máté Petrány gets into here—but the short (and unconfirmed) version is that in the 1980s, a container ship didn’t have the right papers prepared for its Volvo shipment. Instead of turning around with its cargo, the crew opted to dump the cars in the harbour instead.

This week’s harbour arrivals and departures aren’t quite as sexy a story, but how’s this for intrigue? A one-time prime minister and a bullfighter meet in the harbour, and there’s an STI involved.


A former prime minister arrived on Monday, spewing saltwater and leaving a trail of ripples in his wake—or rather, a ship named after one. The bulk carrier Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin came from Sydney earlier this week. (No word if the ship, like its namesake, also inherited a mess it didn’t create.)


Two container ships reached port in Halifax on Tuesday: The 294-metre NYK Romulus wrapped a near-four-day voyage from Caucedo, Dominican Republic, and—in the jeezus-that’s-a-long-time-at-sea category—the 90,300-tonne MOL Charisma finished a near-21-day journey from Colombo, Sri Lanka. It’s docked at Pier 41.

click to enlarge A bullfighter and a politician meet in Halifax Harbour this week. Sort of.
Buonasera / CC-BY-SA 3.0
The MOL Charisma arrived in Halifax on Feb. 14, 2023.

Also scheduled for arrival Tuesday: The cable layer IT Intrepid is slated to berth at Pier 9A near the MacKay Bridge after venturing up the Eastern Seaboard from Fort Lauderdale, and the chemical/oil products tanker Acadian will arrive at the Irving Woodside terminal. It docked last in St. John’s.


We have a winner—and loser—from last week’s high-seas race: Congratulations to the ZIM Luanda container ship, winner of the inaugural Valencia to Halifax to New York City derby, which is definitely a thing and not at all made up. Better luck next time to the Seaspan Loncomilla and its crew, which left Valencia on the same day as the Luanda and were scheduled to arrive last Friday in tandem with the Luanda, but are crawling into the harbour tomorrow. Somebody offer the captain and crew a beer. Or a bowl of chowder. Something.

In other news: In an obvious winner for “worst ship name of the week,” the STI Maverick chemical and oil products tanker is scheduled to arrive tomorrow from IJmuiden, Netherlands—a bit too late for Valentine’s Day, but absolutely on time for our annual Sex + Dating Survey results.

Also coming into port? The chemical and oil products tanker Algotitan is on its way to Halifax from Corner Brook, and the 100,400-tonne Atlantic Star container ship is scheduled to arrive from Liverpool, England. It will berth at the Fairview Cove terminal.

click to enlarge A bullfighter and a politician meet in Halifax Harbour this week. Sort of.
Hummelhummel / CC BY-SA 3.0
The Atlantic Star is scheduled to arrive Wednesday from Liverpool, England.


Guess who’s back? The bulk carrier Algoma Integrity is slated for its second Halifax arrival in two weeks, coming from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Last week, the Integrity stuck around our provincial capital for four days before hitting the seas—the longest of any of its recent stops, according to VesselFinder. Somebody must’ve heard that Salt + Ash Beach House finally opened its doors.


The undisputed “best ship name of the week” award goes to the X-Press Machu Picchu container ship, which arrives in Halifax later this week after stops in Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona, Genova and Cuba’s port of Mariel. Hot damn, that’s a run. Hope they brought parkas.


The vehicle carrier Toreador is en route from Belgium’s Zeebrugge. It’s scheduled to arrive at the Autoport in Eastern Passage this weekend. A member of the Wallenius Wilhelmsen fleet, it can hold upwards of 6,350 cars.

(What’s the difference between a toreador and a matador, you ask? Both are bullfighters, but there are two primary distinctions: Toreadors are more commonly on horseback, and a matador’s aim—unlike a toreador’s—is to kill the bull.)


Remember last week’s behemoth, the 396-metre CMA CGM Von Humboldt? This week’s “big friggin’ ship” entrants don’t come with quite the same bulk, but we’ll see a pair of weekend whoppers with the 131,300-tonne CMA CGM Andromeda container ship and the 284-metre MSC Anahita. The former is en route from Tanger Med, Morocco; the latter is coming from Sines, Portugal.

About The Author

Martin Bauman

Martin Bauman, The Coast's News & Business Reporter, is an award-winning journalist and interviewer, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Capital Daily, and Waterloo Region Record, among other places. In 2020, he was named one of five “emergent” nonfiction writers by the RBC Taylor Prize...
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