DOWN EAST TOURS

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Come Experience Nova Scotia and Her Beauty
1.902.222.2934

DOWN EAST TOURS offer Private Guiding Services to allow you to explore and experience the Best of Nova Scotia and the Maritimes. We will show you all the ‘must see’ sights and allow you to explore many of the Hidden Gems that others miss.

Down East Tours is based out of the Halifax area in Nova Scotia. We offer Shore Excursions for Cruise Guests ensuring you will be back in plenty of time before departure. Pickup is also available from Hotel, Train Station and we can arrange other pick up locations based on your specific needs. All of our tours are customizable and we also offer long day tours of 8 hours+ as well as multi-day trips to areas such as Cape Breton and all areas of Nova Scotia as well as Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

The majority of our tours are 5 – 6 hours and take you to our most popular sites such as Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, Annapolis Valley and Fisherman’s Cove. In 2017 we added a new tour to Oak Island ! (History Channel – The Curse of Oak Island).   All tours are PRIVATE which means we do not fill seats.  No other group/persons will be joining your tour.

Experience what others miss as well as enjoy the locals, the food and the drinks. We often run into people who love to chat about their way of life. There are many great food choices from locally caught fish, fresh salads made from locally grown foods to our famous Nova Scotia Lobster and Seafood Chowders. Additionally, there are plenty of choices of locally made beverages, such as amazing wines, tasty ciders, craft beer and distilled rum, vodka and liquors.

2023 is expected to be VERY BUSY and we are actively taking bookings for the season and do sell out, specifically during the high cruise ship season. Don't be disappointed, BOOK EARLY ! Most tours start in the morning with mid/late afternoon tours available. Pricing is hourly based at $100/hr (includes local taxes 15%) for the Vehicle (not per person). All pricing is in Canadian Funds

The vehicle is very comfortable Dodge Grand Caravan commercially inspected and licensed as per the requirements of the Motor Carrier Licensing & the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. All required Commercial Licensing & Insurance to operate in Nova Scotia and Interprovincially to Prince Edward Island & New Brunswick is in place.

All Nova Scotia Health & Safety protocols are followed to ensure a safe experience including cleaning/sanitation of vehicle before and during tour. Hand sanitizer and extra masks are available for our guests who wish to wear them. As of March 21, 2022 Nova Scotia has lifted all restrictions including mask mandates, other than in Hospital settings.

Mel Zilkowsky, AKA Mel Z, is the owner/operator of Down East Tours, is a Nationally Certified Tour Professional, Certified by the Tourism Council of Canada and has been guiding since 2013. Based out of Eastern Passage (Halifax), Nova Scotia, Mel Z has guided many guests from all over the world and loves meeting new people. He holds a Class 4 Commercial Drivers License and has received COVID-19 Vaccinations/Boosters (3 doses).

There is lots of information on our website outlining the Private Tours we offer and now you can Book Your Tour online as of Jan 9, 2023. We have a growing Gallery of Photos that we add to from time to time, and we tried our best to answer the commonly asked questions under our FAQ's.

Lastly, make sure you check our our reviews under the Testimonials from some of our many guests.  If you have toured with us, we would love your feedback ! Visit our Review Your Tour page or feel free to leave your review on FaceBook, Trip Advisor and now Google (NEW!).

Please contact us with any questions that you may have. We look forward to helping you start to plan your adventure!

1-902-222-2934

All tours are Private and can be Customized

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse

Peggy's Cove is Nova Scotia's most popular tourist attraction and is a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margaret's Bay in Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality, which is famous for the Peggy's Point Lighthouse. This private tour features a drive from Halifax to Peggy's Cove along the Lighthouse Trail. You will stop in Peggy's Cove and tour a variety of surrounding areas.

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Halifax Titanic & Fisherman's Cove

Halifax Titanic & Fisherman's Cove

Historic Halifax connection to the Titanic & Discover a local fishing village with our Private Tour from Halifax. Visit the historic Fairview Lawn cemetery, Titanic Graveyard site and learn the Halifax connection and history of Halifax including the 1917 Halifax Explosion. Experience amazing views from high above as you travel across one of the two bridges connecting to Halifax to Dartmouth, traveling to Eastern Passage and Fisherman's Cove.

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Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy

Explore the beauty of Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. Home of amazing wines and some of the highest tides in the world! There is so much to see and explore its truly a site to see. You will see how the tides cycle the Minas Basin from a low to a high of over 50ft as we tour throughout the day.

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Lunenburg and the South Shore

Lunenburg and the South Shore

Explore the history and beautiful site with your Private Tour & Guide from Halifax. Picturesque Lunenburg lies nestled along the scenic shores of southern Nova Scotia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, National Historic District, winner of the Communities in Bloom most beautiful small town in Canada. Home of the fishing schooner Bluenose II Travel from Halifax to Lunenberg with return travel via Mohone Bay, Chester Basin and a mix of coastal and highway driving.

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Oak Island and South Shore Coastline Tour

Oak Island and South Shore Coastline Tour

Your Private Tour from Halifax exploring the South Shore & Oak Island. Depending on tour pickup times & operational hours for the Oak Island Interpretation Centre, we will adjust our route to maximize our time in the Interpretation Centre. Driving will mix highway & coastal making our way to the Famous Oak Island, location for the popular TV series, 'The Curse of Oak Island'. Could it be ?!

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Experience Both Lunenburg & Peggy's Cove

Experience Both Lunenburg & Peggy's Cove

A full 8 hour day to visit both picturesque Lunenburg and beautiful Peggy's Cove. This is a perfect way to experience two of the top attractions of Nova Scotia. Also great for artists & photographers as we will make various stops throughout the day to take in all in.

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Customized & Multi-Day Tours

Customized & Multi-Day Tours

What do you want to see and do ? We have listed our main popular tours below but we can combine tours and customize one just for you. Perhaps you are up for a full day of touring to Lunenburg and the South Shore, working our way back to Peggy's Cove. Maybe it's an over-night stay ... or even longer. We can customize multi-day trips to various areas of Nova Scotia (including Cape Breton), New Brunswick (including Hopewell Rocks) and Prince Edward Island.

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Just some of the many reviews from our wonderful guests.

ART H.M.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove to Experience More - DATE: Nov 4/22. - Mel was very considerate of our sites that we wanted to visit. He also threw in a couple we didn't expect. Would definitely recommend him highly.

BARBARA F.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove to Experience More - DATE: Oct 29/22 - Mel is an outstanding guide! He's thoroughly knowledgeable about the history as well as the current affairs of Halifax and Peggy's Cove. We (a group of 6) asked for any background or information he might have about the Jewish history of the area and he took the time to prepare as much as he could, even taking the trouble to bring us copies of original land grant records showing several grants made to Jews! We really appreciated that effort. You will thoroughly enjoy your tour if you book it with Mel!

DOLORES R.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove to Experience More - DATE: Oct 28/22 - Our guide Mel Z was excellent. Kind, humorous, knowledgeable, great driver, and all around caring. WE would go with him again.

JOYCE H.

United States

     

Experience Peggy's Cove and Coastal Sites - DATE: Oct 21/22 - Fun, informative and personal! A return visit to Halifax "inspired" by Mel!

LANE R.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove to Experience More - DATE: Oct 17/22 - Time flew by! Mel was amazing and the consummate professional. Very attentive to our personal needs and flexible. So impressed with his local knowledge and took us place the Tour buses don't go. Highly recommend this service!

BARBARA B.

United States

     

The Curse of Oak Island, Could It Be ?! DATE: Oct 12/22 - Really enjoyed the tour. Original tour was suppose to be to Oak Island, however, the island was closed to visitors. Mel was able to find out that it was because they (Oak Island) were taking extra precautions due to Covid. We still had an amazing time, learning about the local history, seeing the best views of our destinations and stopping by some extra places like the Titanic graveyard and ... the Oak Island Causeway. Thanks Mel for making this trip extra special!

TERRY P.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove to Experience More - DATE: Oct 11/22 - We very much enjoyed the tour given by Mel. He was very knowledgeable on all the areas of the tour given.

DANIEL L.

United States

     

Halifax, The Titanic & Fisherman's Cove - DATE: Oct 3/22 - Mel provided an excellent tour - he is knowledgeable, personable and a pleasure to be with. We highly recommend him for any tour of Halifax.

KERRY L.

United States

     

Valley Wine Tasting & The Bay of Fundy - DATE: Sep 16/22 - Nice choice of winery and spot for lunch. Mel is very responsive to requests to personalize the tour. Highly recommend Mel for any tours in the Halifax/Nova Scotia area. Thank you!

DARYL D.

United States

     

Experience Peggy's Cove and Coastal Sites - DATE: Aug 26/22 - Mel was a wealth of knowledge and entertaining. He took us to all of the popular sites in addition to less popular sites that were very interesting. He was very accommodating and flexible in structuring the tour. We highly recommend Mel and would use him again if returning to Halifax.

CHRIS B.

United States

     

Experience Peggy's Cove and Coastal Sites - DATE: Sep 14/22 - Mel is an absolutely fantastic tour guide. He's very personable and incredibly knowledgeable about the history of Halifax and Nova Scotia, and presented it in an informative and exciting manner. He was also adept at timing visits to local sites so that we avoided the large tour busses as much as possible, and at finding interesting places off the beaten path. The Titanic cemetery and Peggy's Cove in particular were highlights. We very much enjoyed out day with Mel and would recommend him highly.

SUE & VINCE B.

United States

     

Experience Both Lunenburg & Peggy's Cove - DATE: Sep 9/22 - Fantastic! We saw so many lovely places & learned so much about the culture & history of Nova Scotia.

KATHRYN S.

United States

     

Experience Both Lunenburg & Peggy's Cove - DATE: Aug 29/22 - We had a great day with Mel. He was willing to adjust the schedule to accommodate us. We were able to see all the amazing sites of Halifax and still have time to look around on our own before having to board our ship. A great day!

JANET R.

United States

     

Lunenburg and the South Shore - DATE: Aug 16/22 - We had an outstanding experience with Mel on our tour from Halifax to Lunenberg and the South Coast. He is very knowledgeable about the history of Halifax and the entire region and shared wonderful stories and insights. He's highly professional and very personable, and it was a pleasure to spend the day with him. Highly recommended!

MARSHA P.

United States

     

Oak Island and Mahone Bay Boat Tour -Customized Tour - DATE: Aug 11/22 - Mel made this tour extraordinary! Even though the island was closed, he planned a fabulous boat tour around island, we ate at the Mug and Anchor and we drove across the causeway!! Mel had many great stories about the island and Halifax. He was great company and very knowledgeable. When the island opens I will definitely book another tour with Mel. Great tour, great guy, great day! He really went over and above! Best Tour Guide EVER! Thanks Mel!

KARLA T.

United States

     

Lunenburg and the South Shore - DATE: Aug 5/22 - Mel was really great, very knowledgeable, enjoyable and he tailored the tour to us. Thank you Mel, we had a great time!

MELINDA T.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove to Experience More - DATE: Aug 1/22 - Mel was a very gracious and informative guide. We felt we were visiting a friend & enjoying his home town and we loved it. We would highly recommend Mel as a guide as I feel sure he would be intuitive and respond positively to your interests and level of activity as he did with us. Thank you Mel for a great day.

Mr. & Mrs. Claus (and sister Trenette)

Cincinnati, Ohio United States (Summer Home) - North Pole (Winter Home)

     

Customized Touring of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island - Multi-day - July 12 - 28, 2022 - Mr. & Mrs. Claus and Trenette - This multi-day tour was in the works for almost three years with rescheduling many times due to Covid 19. Mel was always reachable as we planned the touring. The focus was on Oak Island and when we finally rescheduled for last time, our days on tour went from 12 to 17 days. Mel didn't skip a beat ! He made all the arrangements, including accommodations. Mel even presented us with a 50+ page itinerary booklet with daily information, maps and photos. So many highlights to mention. From the Fortress Louisburg and meeting locals upclose with lobster and snow crab to Prince Edward Island with its beautiful countryside. The highlight for us was Oak Island itself with chartered boat tour around oak island with Tony Samson. Later that day we visited New Ross Farm and spent close to 45 minutes chatting with Carmen Legg. Mel ended up treating us like family, including hosting a Family BBQ to celebrate our anniversary. The whole time was special beyond words. Such a high recommendation for any tour. GUIDE NOTE: Please see the gallery for this special tour ... coming soon. !

Jim & Laura G.

California, United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Prince Edward Island - Customized Multi-day - June 30 - July 8, 2022 - Mel designed and organized a comprehensive tour of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island for us taking into consideration our interests and desires. He drove us in his comfortable van and was charming and entertaining throughout. During the tour, he was always thoughtful and considerate of our needs, and we enjoyed our time with him very much. We would recommend him highly. GUIDE NOTE: More Tour Photos coming soon in the Photo Galley .... in the meantime please see the photo gallery link for guests tour photos on their own website.

Customer Tour Photos

MELISSA G.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove to Experience More - DATE: Jun 16/22 - Awesome experience!!! Mel was so knowledgeable of the area and took us off the beaten path. Definitely would recommend a private tour with him over the crowded bus tours.

MARK F.

United States

     

Lunenburg & Peggy's Cove Customized Tour - June 15, 2022 - Did a sibling vacation in Halifax and toured with Mel , on a private guided tour with Down East Tours! Absolutely amazing! Beautiful scenery and Mel fit right in with our Family! 😊 Highly recommend Down East Tours! We couldn’t find a car rental but this was much better! Mel knows the area . We didn’t have to worry about a thing! He was very knowledgeable and knew exactly where to take us! We will definitely be back and will definitely call on Mel! Thank you Mel for such a wonderful experience! He can also customize your tour! Since it was our first time we just let him take us where he thought we would enjoy! It was perfect! I would say don’t rent a car! Call Down East Tours instead! Worry free!

JEFF C.

United States

     

Experience Peggy's Cove and Coastal Sites - DATE: Jun 9/22 - Mel Z. was prompt, professional & super friendly with a sense of humor and wit that'll slice you like warm butter on a freshly steamed lobster, if you let him! Communication before the tour was quick and concise. Car was clean, had bottled water ready and his knowledge and stories, 1st rate! Personality, fugetaboutit, AWESOME. Even had parting gifts for us, are you kidding me!!?? Stop reading, book the man, have a blast.

KATHLEEN ANN C.

Maryland, USA United States

     

Lunenburg and the South Shore, Halifax - DATE: Jun 4/22 - We had a great trip to Lunenburg with Mel. His local knowledge of this beautiful town made our visit most memorable. Our stops included the Ironworks micro-distillery located in a 19th. century marine blacksmith's shop and the fabulous Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. On the way back to the hotel, Mel took us by the Halifax Public Gardens and the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Mel is a highly competent, knowledgeable, and friendly guide who was very accommodating to all our needs!

KATHLEEN ANN C.

Maryland, USA United States

     

Experience Peggy's Cove and Coastal Sites - DATE: Jun 3/22 - Our tour to Peggy's Cove with Mel began with stops at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery (final resting place for victims of the Titanic sinking) and the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower. On the way to Peggy's Cove Mel suggested that we visit the S.S. Atlantic Interpretation Center at Terrence Bay. What a great experience we had there! Throughout the entire tour, we found him to be extremely accommodating, knowledgeable, friendly and courteous. We highly recommend Mel!!

TOM M.

United States

     

Experience Peggy's Cove and Coastal Sites - DATE: May 30/22 - Mel did a great job for our group of 6. Especially enjoyed the little fishing villages along the way and the lunch stop for some lobster rolls. He definitely knows his stuff.

AMELYA S.

United States

     

Halifax, The Titanic & Fisherman's Cove - DATE: May 10/22 - Mel was wonderful and very attentive to our custom tour. He thought of everything. We would highly recommend him for any group tour.

PAUL B.

Canada

     

Valley Wine Tasting & The Bay of Fundy - DATE: Oct 7/21 - Mel was everything we hoped for and more. He worked with us before our tour to ensure it worked for us, and make all the necessary bookings. He arrived right on time, and provided us with lots of interesting info on our way to wine country - not all factual, but he confessed later LOL. He had the day organized perfectly and we had the best time. He recommended a cidery and a vineyard to us, and both were great picks. I would unhesitatingly recommend Mel to others, and would book him again. Thanks Mel!

APRIL P.

Canada

     

Experience Peggy's Cove and Coastal Sites - DATE: Sep 27/21 - Mel was very knowledgeable, funny and considerate. The tour was easily adjusted to our preferences. Highly recommended!

PAM R.

Canada

     

Experience Both Lunenburg & Peggy's Cove - DATE: Sep 17/21 - Thanks Mel we really enjoyed out tour!

MARTINE D.

Canada

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Nov 13/19 - Beginning with the initial contact and continuing throughout the trip this small company provided amazing guidance and service. Our group of six adventurous women selected the Extended Peggy's Cove and Lighthouse Route. Mel our guide was outstanding and engaging and provided us with in-depth information. All of our questions were met with enthusiasm and professionalism. A fun and great way to spend the day!

RANGER R.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 24/19 - Mel was amazing!! This was my parents 1st cruise and Halifax was the highlight of our trip cuz it was my dad's birthday... Mel volunteered to get a small personalized cake and brought it to Shaw's Landing to surprise him after lunch. His knowledge of the area as well as his engaging personality and humor made the tour fun. He also had a mic that hooked up to his audio system so everyone could hear his commentary. he truly cares about his clients experience. definitely whole heartedly recommend!!

GISELLA B.

Italy

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route, Halifax - DATE: Oct 22/19 - Mel proved to be very professional and reliable. He was flexible despite not having lost sight to be back on time to the ship. Mel, thank you so much for letting us enjoy our hours in Halifax!

JOSEPH B.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove Customized Coastal Tour - DATE: Oct 18/19 - We spent a great day with Mel yesterday. He was filled with good humor and good information, having lived in Nova Scotia for most of his life. Our visit to the Titanic graveyard and sites of the 1917 Halifax Explosion and memorial were deeply moving. Then driving down the coastline perfectly concluded our 2-week vacation. We stopped at Acadian Maple for treats, at story time with a colorful faux-mariner and for photos along the way -- especially at Peggy's Cove. It was a wonderful day in every way.

GEORGIA S.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 16/19 - Very knowledgeable and professional. Had a great sense of humor. He got us to our tour destination and took us to some very picturesque spots along the way. Would highly recommend.

THOMAS S.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 13/19 - Mel met us at the dock and over the next 5 hours we covered a lot of ground. We visited the 1917 Explosion Memorial, the cemetery holding the remains of over 100 passengers from the Titanic, and other interesting sites. Highlights included the beautiful leaves on the trees and the visits to two lighthouses, including Peggy's Cove. Mel gave us interesting and knowledgeable commentary wherever we went and was a pleasure to tour with. We would recommend Mel as your tour guide when you visit Halifax.

JOHN K.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 10/19 - We very much enjoyed our tour with Mel to Peggy's Cove with stops along the way as outlined in the tour description. Prior to leaving Halifax there was a stop at the Citadel as well as the ship yard. Mel provided a very interesting narrative of the Halifax Explosion, an event about which we were previously completely unaware. At Peggy's Cove we saw all of the big busses with the cruise ship excursion passenger crowd...and were glad that we had chosen a personal tour instead.

JOHN L.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove; Customized Private Tour - DATE: Oct 7/19 - Very fun tour with Mel. He knows the area and is very flexible depending on our needs.

SANDRA F.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 5/19 - Mel is knowledgeable, attentive, and adaptive. I had such a good time on our tour. I also appreciated his sense of humor. I will be telling everyone to book a tour with him.

PHIL R.

Canada

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 3/19 - We had a very good tour with Mel today. My wife and o rate him a 5 out of 5 . He is very knowledgeable on the history of the region. We had mentioned that we where interested in the harbour explosion that took place in First World War. He gave us a tour of the memorial and explained the layout of it and what it represented. We truly appreciate the thought and attention that made for a good day around Halifax .

CELIA A.

United Kingdom

     

Halifax Titanic & Fisherman's Cove - DATE: Sep 28/19 - Mel is an excellent, knowledgeable, flexible and lots of fun. We had a great day - would thoroughly recommend him as a guide.

CINDY F.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 23/19 - Mel was a great guy. He was comfortable with himself, and exhibited a very real interest in his town and province. He does a lot of reading on his own to be well informed. He was relaxed, did not rush us, let us determine what was most important--in other words, very adaptable and enjoyable to be with.

MARIA P.

Canada

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 19/19 - Our group thoroughly enjoyed our tour with Mel. He was very knowledgeable, easy going and accommodating. He truly made it our experience as we could stay as long or short at any stop he made. He also diverted from any problems on the road so that we would not waste any time. He also had a great sense of humour. He is a definite 5 star tour guide.

GRETA R.

United States

     

Halifax Titanic & Fisherman's Cove - DATE: Sep 16/19 - Mel was an amazing guide. He showed us the most wonderful places in Halifax and showed us out of the way hot spots. His knowledge and they way he told stories made it very entertaining. After talking with others from the ship that did other tours, I feel we had the best deal. If I go back or have friends that do I will definitely recommend a tour with him!!!

JAMES E.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 14/19 - Mel Z provided a entertaining and knowledgeable day. Definitely worth it. We were able to see some spectacular views while learning about local culture, area history and events. We were able to tour some areas not typically visited by group tours where we took some priceless photos. If you want to stop for a bite to eat during the tour ask about Shaw's Landing. Food and service were excellent.

ROCKY L.

United States

     

Lunenburg and the South Shore - DATE: Sep 13/19 - Mel is an excellent guide. He spent time explaining various sites and adjusted the schedule based on our needs. He also stopped multiple times for photos. He is highly recommended!

GERRY A.

Canada

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 11/19 - Informative and entertaining tour. Saw some things we don't think would have possible without Mel's help.

MARIA L.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 9/19 - What can we say except, Mel was a fabulous guide! He kept in contact with us ahead of the tour and on the day of our tour, Mel was waiting with our name on a BLUE sign as he had said. The colored sign was easy to sot among all the white ones on the pier! Mel was professional, courteous and extremely knowledgeable of the area. While tropical Dorian had done some damage to the area, Mel took us to all areas as promised! From the Titanic graveyard to Terence Bay, Peggy's Cove. Personable tour guide!

KAREN S.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 6/19 - We had a great day - the memorial on the Halifax explosion, the Titanic graveyard, the Swiss Air memorial, Peggy's cove , and more. What a sunset!!! Mel was able to change our tour at the last minute to avoid Hurricane Dorian and we sure appreciated his flexibility.

KATHRYN L.

United Kingdom

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 5/19 - Mel was a great tour guide. Emailed the day before to double check our arrangements and was on time for the pick up. He took into account the specific things we asked to definitely make sure we did and made them happen and took us to extra places that were great. He's informative and funny and made the day very worthwhile. He even dropped us off at a museum we wanted to go to on the way back to the ship and airdropped us pictures he had taken during the day. Highly recommend.

DANA K.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Aug 30/19 - Mel gave us an extremely enjoyable day, including some off-the-beaten-path stops that we did not expect. He is a terrific guide -- well spoken as well as a good listener. Highly recommend.

CAROL G.

United States

     

Halifax Titanic & Fisherman's Cove - DATE: Aug 21/19 - Mel was a great tour guide. He went out of his way to make our day enjoyable. I was with my family so the day was planned to keep them interested. Our first stop was at my request (visiting a synagogue) He then took us to the Titanic burial site and was able to get us into the Jewish site also. On our way to Fisherman's Cove he showed us his vast amount of knowledge of the region. His ability to communicate with my teenagers was a big bonus. The day was fantastic and I would recommend him as a guide

LAURIE S.

Canada

     

Lunenburg and the South Shore - DATE: Aug 16/19 - We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity of spending last Friday (08/16/19) with Mel Z as he took us around parts of Halifax, Oak Island and Lunenburg. Mel offered all sorts of pertinent information and conducted the tour in a safe and efficient manner which made our day extremely enjoyable. Mel was very accommodating and courteous throughout the day (6 hour tour) and allowed us to create our own tour (asked us what we wanted to see upon pick-up). We would give Mel Z the full 5 stars

GILA D.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Aug 15/19 - Great tour and excellent guide. Mel is knowledgeable, flexible, friendly, and really funny. Highly recommend!

MICHAEL F.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Aug 5/19 - Absolutely 5 stars from start to finish - very knowledgeable, personable, and fun to be with. Great choice for lunch. Can't recommend highly enough - should be 6 stars!

ELISABETH C.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Aug 1/19 - Mel was awesome! He is very knowledgeable about the important historical events of the area. He went out of his way to accommodate us making sure we were comfortable and gave us more time than he was required to give. He is also funny! We loved the tour!

ALECIA P.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Jul 31/19 - We had a wonderful time in Halifax with Mel Z!!!! Friendly, knowledgeable and customized the tour to our requests. Definitely a five plus star experience!!!! Highly recommend!!!!

MAUREEN C.

United States

     

Extended Lunenburg/Peggy's Cove and the South Shore - DATE: Jul 30/19 - This was a wonderful tour that allowed us to see many different attractions in one day. Mel was a knowledgeable, friendly and humorous guide who gave us so much insight into the south shore of Nova Scotia. Highlights of the tour included Peggy's Cove and Lunenburg. Mel was very accommodating and added a stop to Oak Island at our request. There was comfortable seating for the four adults that went on the tour. Highly recommended. You'll see things that would be difficult to find on your own.

JOHN S.

United States

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Jul 14/19 - What an outstanding time. This customized tour had something for everyone in our party. Mel was a great host and a lot of fun to travel with. The wines, beers and ciders were excellent and the Annapolis Valley was beautiful. Amazing to watch the tide shifts and learn bits of history about Nova Scotia and Halifax. This is our second time here and we have enjoyed it more than the first. We love the city, region food and people. Thanks Mel for a wonderful time. All 6 of us had fun!

PAMELA B.

United States

     

Extended Lunenburg/Peggy's Cove and the South Shore - DATE: Jul 12/19 - We had an exceptional day with Mel at Peggy's Cove and Lunenberg. We got in late to our hotel and was supposed to have a 9am pick up, Mel was very accommodating and picked us up, at 10 so we could get a little more rest. He was very knowledgeable about the area and accommodated all our needs along the way. We had to pick up our rental car and dropped us at the airport on the way back so we wouldn't have to make an extra trip. I would highly recommend Mel

PAUL B.

United States

     

Annapolis Valley / Lunenburg / Peggy's Cove - 2 Day Customized Touring - DATE: Jul 5/19 - We had a wonderful time with Mel. His knowledge of the area allowed us to see places we wouldn't have even thought to look for on our own. His friendly personality and sense of humor made for a fun-filled, joyous adventure.

BART V.

Belgium

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Jul 2/19 - Knowledgeable, likable, responsive, good driver driving good car. Good fun. You can put "very" in front of all of these. A joy.

AIMEE G.

United States

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Jul 1/19 - Great tour!!! Highly recommend Mel!

CHRISTINA K.

United States

     

Extended Lunenburg/Peggy's Cove and the South Shore - DATE: Jun 30/19 - What a special day and Mel even took me to the Peggy's cove authors house and I got to meet and hear about how the story was created. I had 2 amazing days with Mel and his knowledge of the area was amazing. He managed to even tell tall tales which added to the enjoyment of the day.

CHRISTINA K.

United States

     

.Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Jun 29/19 - Mel was enthusiastic and willing to take me off the beaten path and change things up. He took the time to make sure I was well hydrated and fed and educated me during the entire tour. I enjoyed the tour and would recommend him as a guide.

JAMES G.

Switzerland

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Jun 23/19 - Hooray! Mel brought the sun and gave us a great day viewing the Fundy low tide. We also got glimpses of the charming towns and farms outside of Halifax with a few stops for scenic photos along the way. However, beware of the dumpster detours (with a "u") and be grateful if you don't have to ride home with old windows in your laps. Mel's a fun guy (despite the corny jokes!) and showed us another great, fish n' chips day. Hope to see you again, Mel.

JAMES G.

Switzerland

     

, Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Jun 21/19 - Despite the uncooperative weather, a very nice day of foggy photo ops to and from Peggy's Cove. Mel's one of the good guys - easy to talk to, aims to please and takes you to great lunch places! Looking forward to Sunday, Mel. Bring the sun!!

JIN JIA Z.

Canada / China

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Jun 7/19 - Great time tour to Peggy's cove, Mel is best tour guide, he is very friendly, funny, helpful, very patient, very knowledgeable for all the history sites in Halifax. His vehicle very clean make sure every detail give customer a best comfortable experience. Thank you very much for the great tour!

GEORGE B.

PALM SPRINGS, CA, United States

     

Extended Lunenburg/Peggy's Cove and the South Shore - DATE: Jun 3/19 - Mel was an excellent guide, always looking out for our interests. He was flexible in modifying the itinerary due to weather conditions and never rushed us. He was very knowledgeable about the area and his love for touring made the tour special. I would recommend Mel to anyone who wants a personable guide with positive energy and professional attitude.

KRISTI C.

United States

     

Halifax Titanic & Fisherman's Cove - DATE: May 22/19 - GREAT TOUR!! We did this as a cruise excursion and all 6 of us enjoyed the tour. Mel is a funny & social tour guide but also very knowledgeable of the area. I would recommend this tour in a heartbeat. The private tours can't be beat especially when you have a tour guise like Mel! ::two thumbs up::

ALFRED D.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: May 9/19 - We had a great tour with Mel. Went to some neat out-of-the-way places and he timed our visit to Peggy's Cove to avoid the tour busses. Finished with lunch at a small spot with great food and a quick drive through some of the nice residential areas of Halifax.

DOUGLAS H.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Apr 12/19 - Mel was friendly, knowledgeable and went out of his way to make us comfortable during the tour.

STEPHEN H.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Nov 6/18 - We planned a full day's exploration with Mel but didn't plan on a day-long rainstorm. Mel improvised a new plan and showed us wonderful sights in and around Halifax and out to some charming fishing villages. A memorable day, even if a wet one. (Damp) hats off to Mel!

JEFFREY L.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 30/18 - Our tour of Halifax with Mel Z was wonderful. He was very informative and flexible. Some of our party had difficulty walking and he was able to accommodate us all. I would highly recommend him for your Halifax excursions. He knew exactly where to go to miss the crowds from the cruise ship and we got to see all of the sites before the ship's buses arrived. Thanks Mel - We enjoyed the lobster lunch! - Lisa and Jeff

MARY JO L.

Oceanport, NEW JERSEY, United States

     

Peggy's Cove Customized - DATE: Oct 25/18 - What an incredible day we spent with Mel! Mel made the the day so memorable and the knowledge he shared about the region was so interesting. We wanted to travel to Annapolis to visit some wineries but the 'pull' to visit the memorial for the Swiss Air crash victims was something we will never forget. The restaurant Mel selected for lunch was spectacular, He was so thoughtful . . . umbrellas to protect us and wine to share at the various breath taking views. Thank you Mel for the wonderful day!

MARY P.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route, Halifax - DATE: Oct 23/18 - Our tour guide, Mel was wonderful. Very knowledgeable about the history of the area. We had a last minute changes in plans, he was very accommodating in making it work. Well worth the cost. I was concerned about getting in and out of the vehicle because I have a bad knee. Contacted Mel ahead of time and he assured me he had a sturdy stool to use, it worked great. I highly recommend this tour. It was the highlight of our trip.

ANNIE W.

Singapore

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 18/18 - Mel is an excellent guide thanks

ANN P.

Leander, TX, United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 14/18 - We just got back from our tour with Mel and he was a fantastic tour guide! He is very knowledgeable and tailored our trip to our interests...we couldn't of had a better day! Mel you ROCK! Thanks for a wonderful day and wonderful memories! From the 4 crazy Texas ladies!

LINDA K.

Canada

     

Extended Day to Prince Edward Island - DATE: Oct 6/18 - Mel personalized this tour for us. It was a long day, but well worth the time. We toured PEI and thanks to Mel's vehicle we were able to see sights that no bus tour would be able to offer. We traveled over the Confederation Bridge, saw potatoes being harvested, visited Anne of Green Gables history sites, saw incredible scenery, learned many interesting facts..... and enjoyed many laughs. I would give more than 5 stars if I could!!!

LINDA K.

Alberta, Canada

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 4/18 - Mel was awesome! He went above and beyond as he took many photos of us at Peggy's Cove which he air-dropped to us later. Not only is he an fantastic tour guide, he is an accomplished photographer. We also appreciated his concern for our safety on the rocks and near the ocean.

RAYMOND S.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 4/18 - What a great day! Mel met us as we left the cruise ship and took us on a great local journey. He set up the day to avoid larger tours in key places like Peggy's Cove. We enjoyed all of his personal places to visit and lunch in a cozy harbor area. He is very knowledgeable about the area and enlightened us on all of the history of the Halifax area. Thank you for a great day!

LINDA K.

Alberta, Canada

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Oct 1/18 - We could not have been any happier with Mel! I would highly recommend Mel, as he was knowledgeable, courteous, punctual and FUN!

TETYANA N.

Canada

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 30/18 - This was absolutely spectacular, informative, fun tour! Mel has extensive knowledge of history, geography, and great sense of humor! 100% recommended.

JANIFER E.

Australia

Peggy's Cove Customized - DATE: Sep 28/18 - Tour was fantastic, Mel did a great job of taking us to lovely little beaches and coves and avoiding the crowds. He even managed to find us quiet spots at Peggy's Cove so we could experience the ocean and the Cove away from all the big Tour buses there that day. Delicious lobster lunch as well. We highly recommend Mel and his tours. Janifer and Beth from Australia

DIANA R.

Australia

     

Peggy's Cove & Lunenburg Extended - DATE: Sep 25/18 - We worked with Mel over a number of months to design a one day coastal tour of Nova Scotia. And the end result was perfect. We had a marvelous 8 hours touring in the Jeep to major towns and hidden coves with lunch at the lovely Kiwi Café in Chester (owned by a New Zealander!). Thank you Mel.

ANGELA D.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 22/18 - A fantastic day with Mel. We saw everything we wanted to see. He also showed us some out of the way locations. Highly recommend Mel for Halifax.

TERESA W.

United States

     

Lunenburg and the South Shore - DATE: Sep 21/18 - This was a great time. Mel showed us a lot of Halifax and was a very great person. Would recommend him to everyone.

SHARON B.

Alberta, Canada

     

Seven Day East Coast Highlight Tour - DATE: Sep 14/18 He was terrific! He took us where the normal person wouldn't go, saw lots of side roads, back roads, a great way to see the country. He truly exceeded our expectations. He was the number one man to do this for us!

SUSAN S.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 13/18 - Mel was extremely helpful to us. My husband uses a wheelchair and Mel made it easy or us to get around. He even pumped up the wheel chair tires for us when that became necessary. He also selected a delightful restaurant for lunch.

KENNETH H.

United States

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Sep 12/18 - Mel provided a great tour of Annapolis Valley. The timing of our trip gave us an opportunity to see the difference between low and high tide. It was a very enjoyable time. When we come back to the area, we will schedule another tour with him.

JULIE H.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 11/18 - Mel was the perfect tour guide! He responded quickly to questions and greeted us with a smile as soon as our cruise boat docked. He was attentive to our every need throughout the day and was a wealth of interesting facts about Halifax. My elderly dad had hurt his leg and was having some trouble getting around and Mel was so kind and helpful. He carried a chair around for my dad so that he could sit down whenever he needed to. It meant a lot to us. Thanks Mel! We enjoyed our day with you!!

CAROLYN M.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 7/18 - Great fun traveling in the Jeep and this is the way to get a local's perspective to experience stunning Halifax. We thoroughly enjoyed our day. Mel was a great guide and left us with great memories. Thank you!

JACKIE H.

United States

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Sep 3/18 - Such a lovely afternoon we spent in Halifax with our guide Mel! What a personable, courteous, informative & funny gentleman. He customized our tour and we saw exactly what we were interested in seeing. He also helped us with a dinner reservation and drop-off for that same evening. As we only had less than a day in Halifax, we feel we saw all of the highlights. Mel even emailed us with directions and sites to see along the way for our next day's itinerary! Thanks Mel! Highly to be recommended!

LINDA O.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Aug 27/18 - We hired Mel Z for a tour of Halifax. What a absolute gem! He is an excellent tour guide, both knowledgeable and experienced. Couple that with his entertaining personality - made this tour one to remember. Very flexible and accommodating. I would highly recommend him.

ARLENE A.

Australia

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Aug 15/18 - Mel was very knowledgeable and tailored the tour to our special needs. He was very courteous and considerate and we really enjoyed our tour and the selection of places to visit was perfect.

LINDA P.

Australia

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Jul 30/18 - My husband and I decided to book a private tour while on a cruise ship, hoping that we would see a little more than if we took a ship tour. Mel was very personable and worked hard to give us the tour we wanted. Could not fault the day. We enjoyed every place he showed us. He had a lot of local knowledge and was very informed about all the locations he took us to. Our seafood lunch was awesome. Highly recommend.

BRENT W.

United States

     

Oak Island and South Shore Coastline Tour - DATE: Jul 10/18 - Mel was a complete gentleman and we very much enjoyed our trip to Oak Island. He was very knowledgeable and had a joke for everything. If you do take the tour stop by the Mug and Anchor for lunch, spectacular harbor views from the patio.

LORI M.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Jun 25/18 - Mel was a great tour guide. He was very knowledgeable about Peggy's Cove and it was fun riding in his Jeep. He recommended a great place for lunch called Shaw's Landing. The lobster grilled cheese and lobster bisque was awesome. He was very accommodating and friendly. His Jeep tour sure beat any bus tour we took the rest of the week! Thank you Mel!

ARTIE T.

United States

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Jun 26/18 - Our group of four truly enjoyed the tour of the Annapolis area with our guide Mel. He planned the tour according to our wishes taking into account his vast knowledge of the area. He was extremely knowledgeable, very cordial and had a great sense of humor. He made the day go by in a most enjoyable way. We would recommend him without any reservations. Gail & Artie

DAWN T.

United States

     

Oak Island and South Shore Coastline Tour - DATE: Jun 18/18 - Our tour was amazing! Mel and Karl accommodated all 8 in our group, ranging from ages 68 to 14. The jeeps were comfortable and fun. Both guides were informative, relaxed, and a joy to be around. They had great personalities and they worked specifically to ensure we received a personalized tour based on what we requested. Oak Island was neat to see. We would love to come back and be able to tour the dig site. Lunch was phenomenal and the Titanic burial site was a cool piece of history. Thanks again!

FILIPPO M.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route, - DATE: May 10/18 - This was by far the best guided tour my wife and I received. We decided to have the tour just for the two of us. Comprehensive, professional, great car, we stopped for an amazing lunch location suggested by our guide Mel and it was amazing, absolutely the best fish and chips as well as the rest of the lunch. Greatly recommend Mel. NO COMPLAINTS AT ALL, NOT EVEN A SUGGESTION. It was the best * * * * * stars absolutely.

STEVE A.

United States

     

Extended Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: May 6/18 - Great tour! Mel knew all the facts, history, lore and even the tall tales of the area. A pleasant day long excursion.

RALPH B.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 29/17 - We had the highlight of our Silversea cruise with Mel. Great 6 hours. Mel very knowledgeable about Halifax and took us to the real Halifax wonderful stops. Highly recommend Mel when in Halifax.

LARRY P.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 18/17 - Mel was great

DON A.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Oct 13/17 - Great guide, funny and personable. I would highly recommend him to anyone wanting a great tour.

FRANK S.

North Port, FL, United States

     

Fisherman's Cove - DATE: Sep 14/17 - Thank you Mel for showing us the Halifax and Fisherman's village area. We enjoyed meeting you and spending the day with you as you showed us around Halifax and the drive to Fisherman's Village. Nice lunch in a local restaurant and time in the Fisherman's Village area felt part of the area. Thanks to your keen eye sight you were able to spot and get us up close to "Murray the Moose". Thank you and here is to many happy tours in the future.

JUDY H.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 13/17 - Tons of fun!! Mel and Karl "caravanned" our party of 6, three in each jeep. It was obvious from the time we stepped off the cruise ship that this was very much our personal tour with 2 very fun and happy guys!! Wonderful conversations, Mel had many stories to share and it was a blast. We saw much more than Peggy's Cove since we took fun side trips along the way helping us to understand a lot about Halifax!! Mel Rocks!!

LYNETTE S.

United States

     

Peggy's Cove & Lighthouse Route - DATE: Sep 11/17 - Mel met us as planned at the port building with my name on a sign. Since the day was windy and a touch overcast, he has the top on the Jeep. We discussed our plan and headed out. He did a great job of mixing regular tourist stops with out of the way, uncrowded spots, for us to visit. He called ahead for our table at a superb local spot for lunch. Mel was full of information on the area. We had a great tour and returned on time to our drop off spot. Thanks again!

SHARON B.

United States

     

Annapolis Valley / Wine Tasting / Bay of Fundy - DATE: Aug 28/17 - Mel did a great job and helped customized our experience.

Send us a message and we will respond within 24hrs. Thanks ! Mel Z.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered Here

March 18, 2022 - Restrictions lifted 

On March 21, most province-wide public health restrictions will be lifted, including gathering limits, physical distancing and mask requirements. Some measures will remain in place for high-risk settings, such as healthcare and long-term care.

For full press release and details follow the link --> HERE


July 8, 2021 - Getting back to business.

We are pleased to announce that as the province of Nova Scotia opens its borders to Canadians that we will be offering our services based on availability in September and October this year, 2021.

It is looking like the international borders and cruise ships will be back in the Halifax Port for next year and we are expecting a VERY BUSY 2022. We are actively taking bookings for the 2022 season and do sell out, specifically during the high cruise ship season. Don't be disappointed, BOOK EARLY !

Down East Tours will be following Health & Safety measures for all of our tours for the comfort of our guests


February 12, 2021 - COVID-19 Update on operations for Down East Tours.  Hitting the ‘Pause” Button

Back in April 30, 2020 we suspended all touring services due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) and the world-wide pandemic, as that was the right thing to do. On July 10, 2020 we released an update on resuming activities where at the that time travel restrictions were easing within the Atlantic Provinces and we were hopeful, as all tour operators were, that we would have some sort of season. Health and Safety Best Practices were put into place and outlined, as that was the right thing to do.

We held out the hope of some tours from the Atlantic Bubble. Eventually, the bubble collapsed. Very little travel between the provinces and the USA Borders were stilled closed. This meant for many operators, including Down East Tours, zero tours/activity.
Hope that was held out since March 2020 was now that hope was being refocused for the 2021 season and for things to get back to normal. Still, not knowing what will happen.

Earlier this month the Federal Government announced a Cruise Ship Ban into Canada Waters until February 2022. Additionally, there are still travel restrictions for entry into Canada, including 14-day self isolation and negative COVID testing requirements. The USA Border still is still closed and likely will be for the foreseeable future. These restrictions are necessary to help stop the spread of COVID 19. It is unknown at this point how future travelers entering Canada for tourism will be affected or any documentation to be expected. Or when this will be allowed.

85% of Down East Tours guests are travelers arriving in Halifax by cruise ship with the majority of these tours having American Guests. The balance is from Hotel Guests and guests from around the world. The world-wide pandemic still ongoing and still evolving. There are now vaccines but there are some new variants to COVID-19 leading to other unknowns. With this information, I do not see any return to tourism activity here in Nova Scotia until April 2022 at the earliest. Additionally, a more sustainable activity in offering tours may not happen until June 2022. Again, this is still an unknown situation and a fair distance into the future.

Having said that, I have come to the reluctant but necessary decision to put on ‘Pause’ all Down East Tours operations indefinitely, as this is the right thing to do. I will re-evaluate in the future the finger can be taken off the ‘Pause” button. This will be based on when things get back to a new normal from the Cruise Ship ban to be lifted to the international border being reopened to the United States and internationally. Tourism can and will rebuild but it will take time.

Until then I will continue respond to inquires and to post Tour Photos to keep the hope alive. I appreciate all the support and well wishes.

In the meantime, I will focus my attention on my off-season activity of Home Improvement Services. Please visit www.fb.com/ziltech for more information.

Take care and stay safe.

Mel Zilkowsky
Owner/Operator
Down East Tours


July 24, 2020 - Update from the Province of Nova Scotia.

Province Announces Mandatory Masks in Indoor Public Places

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, announced today, July 24, that masks will become mandatory in most indoor public places starting July 31.

“As we open our economy, our schools and our communities, we must continue to be vigilant to minimize the impact of a second wave of COVID-19,” said Premier McNeil. “Wearing a non-medical mask in most indoor public places is a key part of how we protect each other and support our local businesses so they can stay open for the long run.”

Full details here - NEW RELEASE

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July 12, 2020 - SAFE & HEALTHY TOUR EXPERIENCE 

At Down East Tours, we will always put health and safety first. With the COVID-19 outbreak, it has become essential to take consistent, careful, and deliberate actions to ensure a safer touring environment for all. We expect every guide and traveler to act responsibly to protect the health and safety of themselves, their companions, and the wider communities in which they live, work and travel.

Health & Safety Best Practices for All Tours:

  • Travelers should not go on tour if you, or someone with whom you have been in contact, are sick or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (such as cough, fever, shortness of breath). Travelers can contact us if they need to cancel their tour at the last minute.
  • Avoid physical contact between guide and traveler; no hugs/handshakes.
  • Hand sanitizer, spare masks and wipes will be available at all times.
  • Wear masks while in enclosed spaces such as in vehicles and suggested in other enclosed spaces such as museums.
  • Be aware of and respect local health and safety regulations and advisories.
  • Vehicles will be deep cleaned/sanitized before and after each tour, including all surfaces to be properly sanitized.

We will keep travelers informed prior to the date of the tour to:
  • Confirm ground rules, to make them aware of local regulations and advisories, and to gauge their level of comfort with any associated risks.
  • Provide travelers with the information and time they will need to make any necessary preparations for the tour (e.g. arranging personal supplies such as water, food, sanitizer, masks, wipes).
  • Arrange meeting locations which allow for optimal physical distancing - for instance, open areas free from crowding.
  • Actively protect travelers from others who are not respecting their space or adhering to safety measures.
  • Plan routes and itineraries to avoid crowds and busy periods.
  • Schedule regular hand washing breaks.

As we embrace the “new normal” we recommend to continue to:
  • Wash/sanitize hands frequently;
  • Cough or sneeze only into a closed elbow
  • Avoid shared items
  • Maintain physical distance between yourself and those outside your bubble.

Our goal on tour is to have the best experience and being prepared with best practices. 

We hope that providing this reassurance to travelers will get us one step closer to returning to the “normal” all of our livelihoods depend upon.

Mel Zilkowsky
Owner/Operator
Down East Tours


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July 10, 2020 - Update on Resuming Touring Activities

It has been a challenging year for many tour operators in Nova Scotia and indeed in Canada and the rest of the world. COVID-19 has prevented travel and has brought tourism to a halt. With things continuing to improve here in Nova Scotia, some restrictions are easing and travel is slowly resuming, especially for the Atlantic Provinces with the Atlantic Bubble being in place July 3, 2020. This means travel within the four Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador are allowed without the need for 14 day self-isolation.

Down East Tours will resume taking Tour Bookings for 2020 active touring for Aug 17, 2020 to the end. We will be putting in additional measures to ensure a Safe & Healthy Tour Experience to be published shortly. Note that we are still actively taking tour bookings for the 2021 season.

We also encourage our guests to stay up-to-date through Canada’s Public Health and Nova Scotia’s Information websites.

Mel Zilkowsky
Owner/Operator
Down East Tours

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April 30, 2020 - Temporarily Suspending all Touring Services  due to Corona Virus / Covid-19

The declaration of COVID‑19 as a worldwide health pandemic is having an impact on our lives, business operations and the way we interact with one another. With this in mind, we continue to monitor and assess the updates provided by the Government of Canada and Public Health. This information guides our approach and helps ensure we take the steps that best protect our guests, reduce risk and ensure we continue serving your needs.

Things are changing rapidly and we’re reaching out with an update about our commitment to safety and well-being. We’ve decided it is in the best interest of all to suspend all touring services and availability until April 29, 2020 and reassess at that time.  We will still be taking touring inquires/bookings and work with travelers to ensure flexibility to make any required changes if services continue to be interrupted beyond April 29, 2020.

We will be continuing to monitor the ongoing changes and update as required. Rest assured this will pass and when it does we will be ready to return with our services and explore this great province with you.

Thank you for all the support and understanding in these unprecedented times we are all facing.

Mel Zilkowsky
Owner/Operator
Down East Tours

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March 17, 2020 - Regarding the Corona Virus / Covid-19

We understand that COVID-19 is the primary thought on the minds for travelers and we are all concerned about this very fluid situation. This is true for all forms of traveling, including smaller private tours. Currently, there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Nova Scotia at this time. We feel we can all still have the enjoyment to experience and exploring this vast province of Nova Scotia and we wish to ensure the safety and comfort of all guests and visitors.

For Down East Tours, there has always been in place a cleaning protocol after each tour and at the end of the touring day for the touring vehicle. This includes all surfaces with particular focus on high traffic and high contact areas. Corona viruses are easily eliminated by routine surface cleaning. This practice will continue as per normal. Additionally, we will continue to have communications and reminders with our guests and partners and on important health and safety measures.

Currently, we are still plan on operating when the Tourism/Touring season begins in April. All tours are very flexible and we can have a very enjoyable tour avoiding any highly crowded areas. To protect yourself and others, we ask that anyone who is feeling unwell refrain from following through with a tour booking with us. So that together we can ensure a safe and comfortable experience for everyone. For cases where travellers wish to reschedule or possibility cancel their tour due to any concerns, please contact us. We will be happy to offer reschedule or offering a full refund for those who have pre-booked with deposit or full payment up 24hrs before a starting time of a tour. This policy will be in place until May 1,2020

We continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide ongoing updates as needed. We also encourage our guests to stay up-to-date through Canada’s Public Health and Nova Scotia’s Information websites.

Thank you and we look forward to welcoming you soon.

Mel Zilkowsky
Owner/Operator
Down East Tours
902-222-2924
www.DownEastTours.ca
info@downeasttours.ca
NEW ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM IS NOW ACTIVE - This secure online booking system is handled by Acuity Scheduling/Squarespace !

After reviewing our Private Tours click on the BOOK YPOUR TOUR NOW link and follow the steps with the Secure Online Booking Page.  If you any questions at all or need to have a customized tour, please fill out the form on the CONTACT US page. 

We will respond within 24hrs.

You can also contact us directly at 1-902.222-2934

If there is no answer, please leave a brief message with your name, phone number and message with regards to booking a tour. We will respond within 24hrs.

Thank you.
Tour pricing is listed with each tour and based on a rate of $100 per hour which includes H.S.T. (tax).   All pricing is in Canadian Funds.

The rate is for the whole vehicle and not a per person price. Typical tours are 5 to 6 hours and longer.

For overnight and multi-days we can create a customized tour itinerary with pricing taking into considering routes and length of touring.

H.S.T. - stands for Harmonized Sales Tax and in Canada vary from Province to Province.

In Nova Scotia the H.S.T. is 15%
NEW ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM IS NOW ACTIVE - This secure online booking system is handled by Acuity Scheduling/Squarespace.

We accept all major credit cards and take payment at the time of booking. All payments are processed in Canadian Dollars.

For customized overnight and multi-day touring a deposit would be require to secure and confirm the tour and a payment schedule sent, including cancelation policy.


PAYMENTS
NEW ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM IS NOW ACTIVE - This secure online booking system is handled by Acuity Scheduling/Squarespace. 

Accepted are the following payment methods:
Credit cards: VISA – MasterCard - American Express

For most tour bookings (5 – 8 hours) we require full payment at the time of booking to secure the tour date.

For longer Multi-day touring a deposit of 20% is required to secure a booking. The deposit is calculated based on 20% of the overall tour price. An additional 30% is due 6 months prior to the tour date and the balance is due min 30 days before the tour date. Full payment can be made at any time.


REFUNDS
You may be eligible to receive a full or partial refund depending upon:

• the reason for your cancellation
• the number of days prior to the start of the tour your cancellation request is received by Customer Support
• the amount of non-refundable upfront costs that Down East Tour has incurred as a result of preparing for your tour

Any cancellation by you must be initiated by telephone to Down East Tours at 1-902-222-2934 or via e-mail info@downeasttours.ca

In certain cases you may be eligible to receive a full or partial refund depending upon:
• the reason for your cancellation or
• the number days of prior to the start of the tour your cancellation request is received or
• the amount expended by Down East Tours to prepare for your tour

Down East Tours is not responsible for any incidental expenses you may have incurred as a result of the purchase of your tour such as visas, vaccinations, non-refundable flights or loss of enjoyment, etc.

Please contact us if you have any questions about our cancellation policy.


Standard Cancellation Policy

If you cancel or cannot take your tour as a consequence of force majeure, Down East Tours will refund the amount you have paid for your tour to a limit $1000 CND. If you have paid more than $1000 for your tour, Down East Tours will refund the amount you have paid less any non-recoverable out-of-pocket costs Down East Tours has incurred on your behalf - car rentals, admissions, hotel reservations, tickets etc. We may require you to provide verification to
confirm that you were unable to take your tour if you request a refund under this provision.

Force Majeure includes impersonal events such as war, civil insurrection, strikes, volcanoes, extreme weather, earthquake or natural disaster that makes it dangerous or impossible to safely undertake the tour. The determination of what constitutes 'Force Majeure' is at the discretion of Down East Tours. However, a travel warning issued by the Canadian Government or US Department of State AFTER you book your tour invokes 'force majeure', you are covered under this 'Force Majeure' provision.

For cancellation due to any other reasons (such as illness, change of personal circumstances), the date on which the request to cancel is received by Down East Tours will determine the refund due as follows:

If you cancel 60 days or more before the start of the tour: No cancellation fee. We will refund the amount paid less any non-recoverable upfront costs incurred by the Tour Guide on your behalf. These upfront costs represent out of pocket expenses of Down East Tours for tickets, transportation deposits and other non-recoverable tour expenses.

If you cancel 59 to 30 days before the start of the tour: 10% administration/cancellation fee applies.

If you cancel less than 30 days before the start of the tour: 50% cancellation fee.

If less than 14 days before the start of the tour: 100% cancellation fee.

Send us a message with what you have in mind.  We can customize an existing Tour with a few changes or create one from scratch based on your interests.  We can communicate these changes via phone or email and will send a Customized Tour for your review before confirming your booking.
Hotels – We offer pickup directly at your hotel location and will generally meet you in the lobby.

Rail - Bus Station - We offer pickup directly at the Via Station/Bus Station -- Your guide will have a sign with your name on it and are usually easy to find.

Cruise Ships – Please note that ships time and local time may vary (we are on local time). Your guide will be waiting for you in a designated area and we keep up to date for docking piers and times. Your guide will have a sign with your name on it and are usually easy to find.

Other Locations – We are extremely flexible in pickup and drop off locations please contact us  directly to arrange a suitable location.
This is a great question.  The time a ship is in port various from cruise ship to cruise ship.  

With all tours we aim to have guests back 1.5 hours before departure (1 hour before last call).

This is for a couple of reasons.
- Allows us 'flex time' to take into consideration of any unforeseen delays such as traffic.
- Allows any last minute shopping in the port.
- Allows you to board early and beat the rush of people returning

So if your ship in in dock from 9am to 5pm, we would aim return time for 3:30 PM. Last call for boarding would be 4:30 PM.

I generally recommend starting the tour as soon as possible. This allows us to sometimes miss the first rush of buses going to the most popular sites. (especially if there are multi ships in port)

Once docked, typically guests are receive within 15 - 30 mins, depending on when passengers are released. This can be longer if there are delays with customs or long line ups. (or confusing what time it is)*

So for the above 9am to 5pm, receiving guests at 9:30 AM gives us a maximum time of 6 hours on tour to return back to port for 3:30 PM. Therefore, any of my 5 or 6 hour tours would be suitable.

If guests are a little earlier, then we will get on the road a bit earlier. If slightly later, then it may be possible to take into consideration some 'flex time' ...keeping in mind the last thing we want to do is rush back to port. We will not push time limits like other companies may do and wheel into port at last call.

If you have any questions at all, please reach out though our Contact Page.

*Final note:   All tours are based on LOCAL TIME not Ship Time.


In all pickup locations your guide will be in a visible area with a BLUE SIGN with your name on it.

Cruise Ships – Please note that ships time and local time may vary (we are on local time). Your guide will be waiting for you in a designated area and we keep up to date for docking piers and times. Your guide will have a sign with your name on it and are usually easy to find. If you don’t see one of us right away, don’t worry we may just be parking the vehicle.

Note the following:
Docking at Pier 19, 20 or 21
Guide is normally waiting to the left as you exit the main glass building doors showing Pavilion 20

Docking at 22
Guide is generally directly across the street in the parking lot as you exit the main glass building doors showing Pavilion 22

Docking at 23
Guide is generally direct across the street in the parking lot as you exit the main glass building doors showing Pavilion 23. It is possible that you may be required to walk around the back side of the building and exit the gated/fenced area. Your guide will be in a visible area for you to find, either on the other side of the fenced area or by front of main building.

Docking at Pier 31 or 34
These piers generally requires you to be shuttled to the main port area. Please take the shuttle bus. Your guide will be waiting for you in the designated shuttle drop off area with a sign with your name on it.

We recommend starting the tour within an hour of the ship’s arrival. If your ship is late, don’t worry. We will still be waiting for you.


Spending money can vary depending on if you are shopping for gifts, etc.  I would budget up to $25-$50 for meals/drinks as meal prices vary from an average of $15 for fish and chips to market prices for lobster/meal averaging $30 plus.  Don't forget that Nova Scotia has local tax on most items of 15%

Local currency is in Canadian funds. Most places take US Currency.

**Note many places offer an exchange rate on the US dollar and will likely give change back in Canadian Funds, while other places take funds on par .... which means your one US Dollar is taken as one Canadian Dollar. Most places also take credit cards.  Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.  Not all places accept American Express or Discovery.   Best to ask and confirm beforehand.
Our vehicle is a very comfortable Dodge Grand Caravan with seating for up to 6 passengers.
- Clean, Comfortable & Sanitized
- Air-conditioned
- USB Ports for phones/tablets
- Free WiFi on board
- Booster seat available upon request
- Seating arrangement - 1 in the front passenger: 2 in middle via captain chairs , up to 3 in the rear bench seat.

Max seating based on typical sized adults/children. The number of passengers would be reduced for over-sized/taller passengers to ensure comfort & accessibility.

Please note that there is limited storage in the rear. I may or may not be able to accommodate persons with a walker.

I am unable to accommodate wheel chairs.

I am unable to accommodate child/baby car seats.

*Please contact for larger groups based on availability
All passengers must be able to enter and exit vehicle on their own.  

Please note that there is limited storage in the rear. I may or may not be able to accommodate persons with a walker.

I am unable to accommodate wheel chairs.

I am unable to accommodate child/baby car seats.
Have a question not listed here ?  Please send to us and we will respond and perhaps even add it here !
Thanks !

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