HALIFAX -- Parks Canada’s tours to Georges Island are proving to be extremely popular, with all of the tour tickets sold out just one weekend into operations.

Ticket sales for the tours started on Thursday and already 2,300 tickets have been sold.

“By midnight that night, ticket sales had exceeded 1,000 tickets sold,” said Ambassatours Gray Line president, Dennis Campbell.

On Sunday, the tours were already sold out and wait-lists have started.

“We decided to come down and take a chance on trying to get tickets,” said Anthony LebLanc. “They told us at first it was sold out and to try back in a half-an-hour and we did. We were lucky. We got a couple of tickets.”

The tours are a bright spot in what has been a bleak tourism season across the Maritimes. Ambassatours says it will help, but only a little.

“It’s about the same amount of sales as on really large cruise ship arrival in Halifax or in the region, and if it weren’t for Covid, we would’ve had 66 cruise ships of that same kind of magnitude,” said Campbell.

“We’ve lived here our whole lives and this is the first time we’ve gone to Georges. The group over there that does the tours, they were amazing,” said Kathy Harris, who was able to attend a tour to the island.

“Two of my ancestors were quarantined for about a year and I thought it was cool to go over and check that out. I’ve never been,” said Catherine Joudrey, who attended a tour to the island.

One person who didn’t rush to buy a ticket was Dale Veinot. Veinot says she and her family lived on Georges Island from 1946 to 1964.

“I was the lighthouse keeper with my father,” said Veinot.

Veinot says even though tickets are sold out, she won’t have any issues getting to the island.

“See somebody just driving their boat and I’d say, ‘Take me out!’ ‘Okay, I’ll take you out because I know you’re from there’,” said Veinot.

For those still hoping to catch a rare glimpse of the island, organizers are currently trying to add additional tour days to allow more visitors.

“We’ve reached out to Park Canada and Develop Nova Scotia to ask them if they’ll allow us to add on Fridays from now until Labour Day,” said Campbell. “They haven’t said no. They’re considering it.”

As of right now, tours will continue every weekend until Labour Day weekend.


A previous version of this article erroneously stated that 23,000 tickets have been sold. In fact, 2,300 tickets have been sold.