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Nova Scotia is best known for the tall sailing ship made famous on the Canadian dime, the legendary racing schooner Bluenose; both the original Bluenose and her modern successor, Bluenose II, were built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Each summer, Bluenose II tours Nova Scotia ports such as Halifax, Pictou, and Lunenburg. When she is in port, there is usually a period where the public is invited to take a free tour of her deck. Short (90-minute) cruises are also available; be sure to check the Bluenose II sailing schedule when planning your trip, because if she is in Halifax (or any other Nova Scotia port you're visiting) when you are there, a cruise aboard her is both inexpensive and unforgettable. Reserve your tickets well in advance, as the cruises are extremely popular.
A cruise on the Bluenose II can be initially disappointing; it is not safe, or practical, for the ship to sail away from the dock, so the ship's diesel engines will be started to motor away from the dock and clear of the harbour traffic. However, once she is well away, if the winds are favourable, the engines will be cut and the sails will be hoisted by the crew. Choose your spot for the cruise with this in mind; if you seat yourself on a cabin top, in the area where a sail's boom may swing, the crew will shoo you away when they prepare to hoist the sails. It is okay to sit on top of an inverted lifeboat (and comfy, too) but it's only short-term seating for this reason. Crew members may also ask for your cooperation in getting clear of some areas while conducting certain sailing operations. Please follow instructions promptly, for your own safety and for theirs.
Once the sailing portion of your cruise is over, the crew will lower the sails again, reef them, and the engines will be restarted to get you back through harbour traffic and onto the docks.
In the fall and winter, Bluenose II is usually in dry dock at the Lunenburg shipyard.
Bluenose II fans can buy souvenirs at the Bluenose II Company Store , with locations in Halifax and Lunenburg. Souvenir purchases at these stores, or from their website, support the Bluenose II Preservation Trust , which helps to keep Bluenose II sailing; other Bluenose souvenirs do not contribute to this cause.