The Brooklyn Bridge is coming to Halifax Harbour this week (just not the one you’re thinking of) | News | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
The Oceanex Sanderling, seen in Halifax in 2018, returns to the Halifax Harbour on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

The Brooklyn Bridge is coming to Halifax Harbour this week (just not the one you’re thinking of)

Container ships, cargo carriers and more vessels bound for Halifax the week of Mar. 20-26.

St. Patrick’s Day weekend was bound to end in a hangover, wasn’t it? It certainly feels that way looking through the Port of Halifax’s expected arrivals this week. Take a glance, and you’ll spot a whole flotilla of familiar names that were supposed to reach port last week, only to run into slowdowns and other snafus en route: Here’s looking at you, Violet Ace, Grand Pavo, MSC Sena and Atlantic Sun. (The former two—both vehicle carriers—-arrive today from Emden, Germany and Gothenburg, Sweden, respectively. Volvos and Volkswagens, anyone?)

Last week’s leftovers aside, Halifax Harbour will see a flurry of activity throughout the week—from oil tankers, to cargo ships, to the Brooklyn Bridge itself. Move over, Macdonald.


The 274-metre oil tanker SFL Thelon reached port just after 9am on Monday morning, inbound from the Al Muajjiz Crude Oil Terminal in Saudi Arabia. The ship’s parent company, SFL Corporation, owns and operates 17 oil tankers as part of its 75 global shipping vessels. In addition to its tanker fleet, it also owns two offshore oil drilling rigs—one in the North Sea, and one in the Atlantic Ocean below Iceland. In November last year, one SFL rig worker lost an arm after it was crushed by the rig’s cables in an incident near Norway. That same month, ExxonMobil Canada struck a deal with SFL Corp. for one of its rigs—the semi-submersible Hercules—to operate in Canada.

click to enlarge The Brooklyn Bridge is coming to Halifax Harbour this week (just not the one you’re thinking of) (4)
SFL Corporation
The semi-submersible Hercules offshore oil rig, owned by SFL and chartered by Exxon Canada, will operate in Canada in 2023.

In other news: The 160-metre Tropic Hope container ship was slated to arrive at noon from Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, but don’t expect it until Tuesday morning. The ship’s last satellite coordinates came on Friday, when it was still between Sint Maarten and the British Virgin Islands.

The 300-metre CMA CGM Nerval container ship is expected to reach port around 10pm Monday night. It wraps a nine-day Atlantic Ocean crossing, inbound from Bremerhaven, Germany. Both the Tropic Hope and Nerval are scheduled to dock at the South End Container Terminal.


It’s a busy day for container ships, with five scheduled arrivals—and many of them are delayed from last week. The aforementioned Atlantic Sun and MSC Sena are first on the docket, expected at the Fairview Cove Terminal and South End Container Terminal at 6am and 10am, respectively. The Sun is on its way from Norfolk, Virginia, via New York City. The Sena is delayed from Sines, Portugal.

Later, the Atlantic Star and NYK Constellation container ships (think we’ve exhausted enough astronomy-themed ship names for a week?) are scheduled to make their arrivals at 2pm at 6pm, respectively, at the Fairview Cove Terminal. The Star is on its way from Liverpool, UK and will sail onward to New York City. Meanwhile, the Constellation is inbound from Antwerp, Belgium and will head next for Port Everglades, Florida.

Rounding out the day’s arrivals, the 171-metre UBC Santos cargo ship and 340-metre Hyundai Courage container ship are expected to reach port in Halifax at 11am and 8pm, respectively, inbound from St. George’s, Grenada and Norfolk, Virginia. The Courage—currently eight days behind schedule on its route—will sail onward from Halifax to Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.


What’s the most reliable ship arrival in Halifax Harbour? That’d be the Oceanex Sanderling ro-ro/container ship, making its weekly run from St. John’s to Halifax and back. The Sanderling has a carrying capacity of 1,125 20-foot containers and transports containers, trailers and vehicles. It’s scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning at 4am at the South End Container Terminal.


The Great Epsilon oil/chemical tanker is projected to complete its 12-day Atlantic voyage from Antwerp, Belgium on Thursday. Built in 2020, the 183-metre tanker is operated by the Navig8 Group, headquartered in Singapore.

click to enlarge The Brooklyn Bridge is coming to Halifax Harbour this week (just not the one you’re thinking of)
Wolfgang Fricke (CC BY 3.0)
The Mol Experience, seen in Hamburg in January 2023, arrives in Halifax on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

Over at the Autoport in Eastern Passage, the 200-metre Bess ro-ro/vehicle carrier (owned by Wallenius Wilhelmsen) is scheduled for a 10am arrival. It’s inbound from Southampton, UK. At the same hour, the Mol Experience container ship is expected to reach the Fairview Cove Terminal after its crossing from Caucedo, Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile, it’s a full slate of arrivals at the South End Container Terminal: The MSC Zlata R, ZIM Shekou and AS Felicia container ships are all expected to berth in the morning. The Zlata R is inbound from Sines, Portugal, while the Shekou and Felicia are en route from Valencia, Spain and Kingston, Jamaica, respectively.


What’s the other most reliable arrival in Halifax Harbour? That’d be the Nolhan Ava ro-ro/cargo ship, plying its route between Halifax, Argentia and St. Pierre & Miquelon. It’s scheduled for an 8am arrival at the Fairview Cove Terminal. (The CBC wrote about the Nolhan Ava and its owners, Dartmouth-based shipping company TMSI, when the company launched its Halifax-Argentia service in 2019.)

Elsewhere, the Grande Torino ro-ro/vehicle carrier is pegged for a morning entrance into Halifax Harbour, along with the MSC Manzanillo container ship. The former—operated by Italy’s Grimaldi Lines—is en route from Valencia, Spain. The latter is currently docked in Montreal.


Remember these bad vessel names? Our former “worst ship name of the week” winners have nothing on this week’s entrant, the Humen Bridge, which sounds less like a 336-metre container ship and more like a sequel to Human Centipede. Before you go too far down that particular rabbit hole, take this bit of comfort: There is an actual namesake for this vessel, and yes, it’s a real bridge—even a gorgeous one. The Humen Pearl River Bridge crosses the Humen strait (otherwise known as the Bocca Tigris) in China’s Pearl River Delta. It’s lovely, really. Just sounds a bit off—like learning the French word for “seal” in elementary school.

click to enlarge The Brooklyn Bridge is coming to Halifax Harbour this week (just not the one you’re thinking of) (2)
Hinnne (CC BY-SA 2.0)
The Humen Bridge in Dongguan, China, seen in 2010. The bridge shares a name with a container ship arriving in Halifax on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Rounding out Saturday’s arrivals are the CMA CGM Laperouse and Lagarfoss container ships, scheduled to reach the South End Container Terminal at 8am, along with the Vayenga Maersk container ship, which is currently en route from Antwerp to Montreal.


Back to the Brooklyn Bridge: It’s coming to Halifax on Sunday. No, not the actual bridge—the container ship named after it. Sorry to disappoint you. I know it’s a bit like Elton John playing soccer for HFX Wanderers FC, or Iain Rankin’s six-month stint as premier—a fun naming coincidence, but not quite as titillating as it would have been, had it involved their celebrity counterparts. Such is life: There’s only one Rocket Man. But the ship—if you’d like to see it—is slated to arrive from Rotterdam, Netherlands around 9:30am.

Last but not least, the August Luna container ship is expected to berth at the Ocean Terminals, adjacent to the South End Container Terminal, at noon. It’s currently docked in Mariel, Cuba.

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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