Sailing with Kids in Nova Scotia, Canada: How To Obtain Your Visa

This article on sailing with kids in Nova Scotia is sponsored by

A young boy looks over the edge of a sailing boat into misty waters offshore from Nova Scotia.

With miles and miles of pristine shoreline, it’s no wonder Nova Scotia is a popular sailing destination in Canada for families! This scenic province on the Atlantic coast of Canada has endless coves, idyllic harbors, picturesque bays, sandy beaches, and small islands. In fact, sailing with kids in Nova Scotia is a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with your little ones! Children will build lasting memories, and you can pass your love for nature and the sea on to them. However, as exciting as it might seem, sailing with kids always requires a certain amount of preparation. Even if you are an experienced sailor, it’s essential to make sure you consider all the security requirements. 

In this article, you’ll find some advice to ensure your experience sailing with kids in Nova Scotia is a safe and enjoyable one, so you and your family can have an unforgettable experience. Also, you will find information about how to apply for an eTA Canada if you are coming from abroad. The eTA Canada is a mandatory travel authorization that you need if you want to enter Canada without a visa. EU and UK citizens can easily apply online for an eTA Canada 24/7.  

Why Go Sailing with Kids? 

A sail boat catches wind off-shore from Nova Scotia on a cloudy day.

Sailing is an excellent sport for families and a great opportunity for kids to discover nature, life at sea, and the culture of other countries. It’s also a great school for life, as kids can build important skills such as self-confidence, discipline, and patience. Plus, sailing is great exercise and can help develop their physical condition, as they must use their strength and endurance, as well as their balance and agility skills.

There are two things that you should take into account if you are sailing with kids, though. Children are curious by nature and can sometimes get reckless, so it is important that you implement some safety measures on the boat. This way, they’ll be able to move around the vessel safely. Also, remember that children get easily bored, so you should bring plenty of things to keep them entertained. 

Sailing with Kids in Nova Scotia

Several sail boats rest in the misty waters off-shore from Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia is a perfect area to introduce your kids to sailing. Due to its proximity to the ocean, it’s the warmest province in Canada. The climate on the peninsula is strongly influenced by the ocean, which provides mild temperatures in both winter and summer. Shallow water off the coast heats up relatively quickly in the summer, which also means the temperatures in the autumn are considerably higher than in other parts of Canada. You can swim here in the summer, even though the water temperature rarely exceeds 71°F (22°C). The peninsula is a very windy area, and severe gusts and storms regularly happen. Most storms occur in the winter and originate in the northeastern United States. Tropical storms in the summer are weakened by the cooler waters off the coast. 

Overall, this climate and environment are excellent for sailing with kids. There are several sheltered bays with natural harbors, picturesque coastlines, and gorgeous sandy beaches that your kids will love. There are also many small towns along the coast that live off of fishing and tourism, such as Hall’s Harbour, Blue Rocks, and Peggy’s Cove. These are wonderful places to moor and discover the local culture and cuisine. Of course, the most spectacular sights in Nova Scotia are the natural landscapes, such as huge pine forests, cliffs, rocks, and sandy beaches. 

Best Time to Travel to Nova Scotia with Kids

If you want to go sailing with kids in Nova Scotia, the best time to travel there is late summer. Although the air temperature can reach 68°F (20°C) in late May, it still takes some time for the water temperature to reach a pleasant level. Besides, spring is often foggy and on average, there’s slightly more precipitation than in late summer. August and September generally provide the best climatic conditions for sailing in Nova Scotia, but June and July also offer good conditions for visiting the region. 

Take your next family vacation to one of The Best Vacation Destinations For Families In Canada This Summer

Safety Tips for Sailing with Kids

A close up of ropes and drawn sails on a sail boat in the water.

Admittedly, sailing involves certain risks. So, when preparing for your sailing trip, one of the most important things you can do is to put safety first. Here are some important tips to consider when sailing with kids! 

  • Teach your children some basic security rules, like not to lean overboard or remain sitting down when you ask them to. 
  • Make sure you bring life vests onboard in their size. They should always wear them while onboard.
  • In order to prevent your kids from falling into the sea, it’s a good idea to put up safety nets, both on the front of the boat and the sides. 
  • Don’t forget to bring a first aid kit with medicine for headaches and stomachaches, as well as for seasickness. 
  • Last, but not least, bring sunscreen! 

Before you plan your trip, read our article on What to Pack in Your Family’s Travel First Aid Kit

How to Entertain Kids on a Sailing Adventure

A Cape Split winter sunset in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.

Entertaining kids on a sailing adventure is a big part of planning a successful trip. If your kids aren’t familiar with sailing, you shouldn’t overwhelm them with a full day of sailing on the first day. Try to make short routes and take plenty of time to visit beaches and play on them. It’s also important that they have a play corner where they can draw, color, or watch movies for a while. Engage them as much as possible in sailing activities, as this is something that will certainly help them to develop a passion for this sport. Let them take control of the rudder for a while, explain to them which are the different parts of the boat and the equipment on the deck, and comment about the scenery around you while you sail. 

Entry Requirements for Canada 

A striking shoreline featuring clear waters that meet rocky embankments at Cape Breton Island, with mountains in the distance.
Photo Courtesy: Michel Rathwell via Wikimedia Commons

Travelers heading to Nova Scotia from outside Canada or the United States should be aware of Canada’s entry requirements. In order to enter Canada by air, you must apply for an eTA for Canada. The eTA Canada is an electronic visa, as opposed to the traditional visas that are either stamped or glued on your passport. 

Electronic visas are becoming very popular, since the whole application process takes place online. You can obtain your eTA Canada in just a couple of hours without leaving your living room. This obviously simplifies the process substantially and saves you time for other important things. The only thing you have to do is fill out an online form with your data, pay the fee, and wait to receive your eTA in your mailbox. With this travel permit, you will be able to travel to Canada as many times as you want for a period of 5 years. Of course, there are a series of requirements you have to meet. For instance, you have to be a citizen of a country that signed a visa waiver program with Canada, and the purpose of your trip must be a holiday, a visit to friends, or a business trip. 

Another very important thing you should take into account if you are coming from abroad is the COVID-19 virus and the eTA Canada’s coronavirus entry requirements. Currently, only fully vaccinated travelers can travel to Canada. However, the rules for entering Canada can change rapidly, so it is advisable to check them again shortly before departure. 

Happy Travels!

A little boy wearing a life jacket smiles broadly while waves splash onside of the sail boat.

We hope you liked this article about Sailing with Kids in Nova Scotia, Canada: How To Obtain Your Visa by! Novia Scotia is a wonderful destination to spend quality time together as a family, and this article can help you plan your next vacation without any stress. Enjoy sailing with your kids! 

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This article was sponsored by, and may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles.


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