Metro Transit Commuter Ferry. An affordable alternative to a Murphy's tour is to take the ferry from the boardwalk terminal at Lower Water Street across the harbor to downtown Dartmouth. Inaugurated in 1752, it's North America’s oldest saltwater ferry service, and offers a 20-minute ride across the harbor to Dartmouth. 902/490–4000; 311; www.halifax.ca/transit. C$2.50 each way.
Murphy's The Cable Wharf. Narrated tours include bus tours throughout Halifax, including their parent company’s Gray Line hop-on, hop-off service aboard double-decker buses and trips to outlying communities like Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg. Murphy's also runs the broadest selection of boat tours, sailing various vessels from mid-May to late October, among them a 75-foot ketch and a Mississippi-style stern-wheeler. Murphy’s even has an amphibious Harbour Hopper for those who want to tour by land and water. If you’re traveling with kids, try a Big Harbour tour aboard Theodore Tugboat, a seafaring version of Thomas the Tank Engine, and even children unfamiliar with the Canadian character will get a kick out of the tugboat’s broad grin and bright red cap. Dinner cruises and party boats are also available, and private charters can be arranged. 1751 Lower Water St., Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3E4. 902/420–1015; www.mtcw.ca. From C$19.99 plus fuel surcharge.