HALIFAX: Nova Scotia’s iconic Bluenose II will sail into ports and harbours around the province this summer in a unique tour fit for the times dubbed Sail Past Summer.

“Ninety-nine years ago, Captain Angus Walters took up the mantle of the Bluenose, representing the hopes and pride of Nova Scotians,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine. “Today, the young crew aboard Bluenose II aims to again help Nova Scotians and Canadians remember their strength and resilience. We hope that seeing the ship sail along our sea-bound coast will help communities remember that as with all storms, the sun will shine again.”

The tour will be coming to the Strait area from August 28 to September 11, with Whitehead, Canso, Port Hood, and Arichat on the schedule.

Due to COVID-19, the 20-person crew has created a Bluenose bubble for training, maintenance and sailing the vessel this season. Visitors will not be permitted onboard and there will be no harbour cruises with passengers.

Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador is scheduled to depart Lunenburg in late July and visit 26 communities in southwestern Nova Scotia, the South Shore, the Halifax Regional Municipality, and Cape Breton. Bluenose II will also sail along parts of the coast of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island but will not dock in any ports.

“Through our teamwork onboard we hope to embody the unity that is being shown ashore,” said Phil Watson, captain of the Bluenose II. “It is the crew’s belief that seeing Bluenose II sailing in our waters will inspire communities to remember their strengths as they work together for a better future.”

The original Bluenose, designed by William Roué and built by the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard, was launched as a Grand Banks fishing and racing schooner on March 26, 1921 in Lunenburg.

Starting in 1921, Bluenose won the International Fishermen’s Trophy and brought it home to Nova Scotia for the next 17 years

Celebrations are planned to recognize the Bluenose’s centenary next year.

Built in 1963, Bluenose II is a replica of the famed schooner.

On April 6, Transport Canada issued an interim order prohibiting the operation of commercial vessels carrying more than 12 passengers for non-essential purposes, including tourism, until June 30, and Bluenose II cancelled scheduled passenger cruises and issued refunds to those who had purchased tickets.

To read more about the history of the original Bluenose and Bluenose II, visit the Nova Scotia Archives at: https://archives.novascotia.ca/.

For Bluenose II’s full 2020 schedule, visit: https://bluenose.novascotia.ca/schedule.

Follow Bluenose II on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/sailbluenoseii/.