Sydney, Nova Scotia

Introduction to Sydney, Nova Scotia

Sydney, Nova Scotia lies in an inlet on the northeast shoreline of Cape Breton Island and acts as a perfect starting place from which to explore Nova Scotia.

Home to Gaelic-speaking descendants of Scottish settlers, the industrial town of Sydney is the ocean gateway to Cape Breton Island. With easy access to the highlands, the Bras D'Or Lakes and the Fortress Louisbourg National Park, Sydney is the perfect place to start your Nova Scotia adventure.

A guided tour of Old Sydney Town gives visitors the chance to visit the magnificent Fortress of Louisbourg, one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and beautiful Baddeck a small yet enchanting village nearby. The Petersfield Provincial Park is also well worth visiting, thanks to the array of monuments from various cultural eras and fantastic views of the harbour. 

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Shore Tours in Nova Scotia

A GUIDED WALK OF OLD SYDNEY TOWN (TOUR E)

  • Embark on a walking tour of Sydney’s old town
  • Discover St Patrick’s Church Museum
  • View the oldest house in the area
Price£20.00-£30.00
DurationApproximately 1.5 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Admire the highlights of Sydney as you embark on a guided walking tour.

Your tour begins with an approximate five minute uphill walk to St Patrick’s Church Museum. The oldest-standing Roman Catholic Church on the island was built in 1828 and now houses a collection of early Sydney artefacts. You will have a bit of time to explore the museum before heading to your next stop.

Once the home of a prominent merchant, Jost House was purchased by Thomas Jost, a Halifax merchant, in 1836. His family remained on the property until 1971, and today the house shows the evolution of a wooden dwelling in Sydney, and is full of Victorian artefacts. As you view the inside of the house, you will see that each room features a different theme.

Continue your walk to Cossit House. Built in 1787, it is believed to be the oldest house in Sydney, and was home to the Reverend Ranna Cossit. He lived with his wife and their family, and six of their children were born here. The refurnishing of the house is based on an 1815 inventory of Cossit’s estate, and illustrates the household effects of a family in the late 1700’s.

Homemade refreshments and local hospitality will provide you with a welcome break before the return to your ship. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR CANADA 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility. We recommend that participants wear comfortable shoes. At the end of the tour, guests who wish to walk into town may do so, but are responsible for making their own way back to the ship in time for sailing.


Shore Tours in Nova Scotia

BIG PINK SYDNEY – HISTORY, CULTURE & COLOUR (TOUR D)

  • Take in the main sights of Sydney
  • Discover the largest community and commercial centre of Cape Breton Island
  • Learn about the history of the area with a visit to Whitney Pier Historical Museum
Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApproximately 2 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sydney, situated on the east coast of Cape Breton Island.

Begin your tour in the historic North End, which was settled in 1785 by British Loyalists from the New England colonies, and pass by Victoria Park, the site of the original garrison camp. You then continue through downtown Sydney with a brief stop at Wentworth Park for an impressive photo opportunity.

Proceed to Whitney Pier, the former site of Sydney Steel Mills, which dates back to 1900. Visit the Historical Museum and learn about the importance of the Sydney Coal Fields to the economy. These industries brought immigrants from many parts of the world, giving Sydney a multicultural mix of more than 50 ethnic backgrounds. Another photo stop will be made at The Melting Pot monument, honouring these people, their strong work ethic and cultural pride.

You then continue to the First Nations community of Membertou, a modern day blueprint for all Aboriginal communities in North America, before returning to the quayside. 

 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR CANADA 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves leisurely walking at each of the stops, however there are approximately 50 steps to negotiate at the Whitney Pier Historical Museum. Please note that the only internal visit on this tour is the Whitney Pier Historical Museum – all other sights will be seen from the outside only.
 


Seal Island Bridge, Nova Scotia

BRAS D’OR LAKES, HIGHLAND VILLAGE & BADDECK (TOUR C)

  • Explore the very heart of Cape Breton Island - Baddeck
  • Discover some of the island’s most beautiful scenery on the shore of the Bras D’Ors Lakes
  • Visit the village made famous by Alexander Graham Bell and learn about his outstanding achievements
Price£100.00 - £110.00
DurationApproximately 6.5 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Snack includedSnack included
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

‘Ciad mile failte’ – a hundred thousand welcomes await you! Nova Scotia is Latin for ‘New Scotland’, and nowhere is this more evident than on Cape Breton Island. Sydney was first settled in the mid-1700s by Loyalists from New York and New Hampshire; it is now Nova Scotia’s third largest city. In the early 1800s, the opening of coal mines attracted a large number of Scottish settlers to the area.

Departing the quayside, your first stop will be at the Nova Scotia Highland Village – a 50 acre historical site overlooking the Bras d’Or Lakes, in the heart of the island. Here you will take a journey through 180 years of Cape Breton’s Scottish heritage, hosted by costumed staff trained in conversational Gaelic and local history. There are period buildings to explore and artefacts to view. Cape Breton is one of the few places in North America where Gaelic is still spoken, a legacy of those who arrived here from the highlands of Scotland.

Lunch will be taken in the village of Baddeck, home of Alexander Graham Bell – inventor of the telephone and Cape Breton’s most famous resident. Afterwards you will enjoy approximately 70 minutes of time at leisure in the village, where there are several small shops to browse. Alternatively you may wish to walk along the boardwalk of Baddeck Harbour for photo opportunities of the lighthouse on Kidston Island, sailing boats along the waters of the Bras d’Or Lakes and views of the Alexander Graham Bell estate, which sits majestically on a hill above Baddeck Bay.

En route back to your awaiting ship, you will make a photo stop atop Kelly’s Mountain. Situated on St Ann’s Bay, Kelly’s Mountain offers panoramic views of the entire Bras d’Or Lakes as well as impressive views of the Seal Island Bridge. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANADA CRUISES
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over gravelled pathways and there may be some steps to negotiate, therefore it is not recommended for wheelchair users. Highland Village is built on a large hill; participants will leave the tour coach at the top and walk down through the site. The itinerary may operate in reverse order. Lunch will be buffet style.


Shore Tours in Nova Scotia

BRAS D’OR LAKES, HIGHLAND VILLAGE & BADDECK (TOUR CA)

  • Explore the very heart of Cape Breton Island - Baddeck
  • Discover some of the island’s most beautiful scenery on the shore of the Bras D’Ors Lakes
  • Visit the village made famous by Alexander Graham Bell and learn about his outstanding achievements
Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApproximately 5.5 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

‘Ciad mile failte’ – a hundred thousand welcomes await you! Nova Scotia is Latin for ‘New Scotland’, and nowhere is this more evident than on Cape Breton Island. Sydney was first settled in the mid-1700s by Loyalists from New York and New Hampshire; it is now Nova Scotia’s third largest city. In the early 1800s, the opening of coal mines attracted a large number of Scottish settlers to the area.

Departing the quayside, your first stop will be at the Nova Scotia Highland Village – a 50 acre historical site overlooking the Bras d’Or Lakes, in the heart of the island. Here you will take a journey through 180 years of Cape Breton’s Scottish heritage, hosted by costumed staff trained in conversational Gaelic and local history. There are period buildings to explore and artefacts to view. Cape Breton is one of the few places in North America where Gaelic is still spoken, a legacy of those who arrived here from the highlands of Scotland.

Afterwards you can enjoy approximately 70 minutes of free time in the village of Baddeck, where there are several small shops to browse. Alternatively you may wish to walk along the boardwalk of Baddeck Harbour for photo opportunities of the lighthouse on Kidston Island, sailing boats along the waters of the Bras d’Or Lakes and views of the Alexander Graham Bell estate, which sits majestically on a hill above Baddeck Bay.

En route back to your awaiting ship, you will make a photo stop atop Kelly’s Mountain. Situated on St Ann’s Bay, Kelly’s Mountain offers panoramic views of the entire Bras d’Or Lakes as well as impressive views of the Seal Island Bridge.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR DEEP SOUTH 2015 CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over gravelled pathways and there may be some steps to negotiate, therefore it is not recommended for wheelchair users. Highland Village is built on a large hill; participants will leave the tour coach at the top and walk down through the site. The itinerary may operate in reverse order. 


Fortress of Louisbourg, Sydney, Canada

FORTRESS OF LOUISBOURG (TOUR B)

  • Explore the site of the first lighthouse in Canada
  • Step back in time to the year 1744 with a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg
  • Stroll the lively streets and meander through the beautiful gardens
  • Enjoy hands-on workshops with period-costumed interpreters portraying historic characters
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApproximately 3.5 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

On your journey today, visit the spot of the first lighthouse in Canada and the second lighthouse in North America, before experiencing life in the 18th century with a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg.

The remnants of the Louisbourg Lighthouse foundation, built by the French in 1734, are still visible today. The current lighthouse has been standing on the site since 1924. Photo opportunities here are very unique, so a camera is a must!

Continuing on, you will mingle with period-costumed interpreters portraying historic characters as you journey into the past with hands-on workshops and activities inside the walls of the Fortress.

Meticulously restored to its original appearance, Louisbourg is Canada’s most ambitious attempt to recall the past relationships between France and the American colonies, and is the flagship of the Parks Canada system. Your visit will begin with a 30 minute guided tour of the restored buildings, including the Chateau St Louis with its beautiful furniture, tapestries and paintings. Time at leisure will be given to explore this fascinating site independently. Live the excitement of a day in 1744 as you stroll the lively streets, perhaps stopping for a snack (at your own expense) or taking a leisurely walk through the gardens. Re-enactments erupt at every turn as you explore the city.

Have your camera at the ready as you admire the many buildings furnished to period, or browse through the myriad of exhibits.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANADA CRUISES
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately 30 minutes of compulsory walking over some hilly, cobbled, beaten pathways and steep inclines, therefore it is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual. As the Fortress of Louisbourg is a faithful reproduction of an 18th century town, many areas require caution when visiting. Some buildings are dimly lit, therefore guests are advised to exercise caution. Ramparts and walls are unprotected by guardrails or barricades. There will be some steps into the buildings. You may see both domestic and wild animals on site – do not try to pet or feed them. Guests are advised to wear good walking shoes and warm clothing – a jacket is recommended. Please note that the number of period-costumed interpreters cannot be guaranteed. 
 


Shore Tours in Nova Scotia

FORTRESS OF LOUISBOURG (TOUR BA)

  • Explore the site of the first lighthouse in Canada
  • Step back in time to the year 1744 with a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg
  • Stroll the lively streets and meander through the beautiful gardens
  • Mingle with period-costumed interpreters portraying historic characters

 

Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

On your journey today, visit the spot of the first lighthouse in Canada and the second lighthouse in North America, before experiencing life in the 18th century with a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg.

The remnants of the Louisbourg lighthouse foundation, built by the French in 1734, are still visible today. The current lighthouse has been standing on the site since 1924. Photo opportunities here are very unique so a camera is a must!

Continuing on you will mingle with period-costumed interpreters portraying historic characters as you journey into the past to 1744 at the Fortress of Louisbourg.

Meticulously restored to its original appearance, Louisbourg is Canada’s most ambitious attempt to recall the past relationships between France and the American colonies, and is the flagship of the Parks Canada system. Your visit will begin with a 30 minute guided tour of the restored buildings, including the Chateau St Louis with its beautiful furniture, tapestries and paintings. Free time will be given to explore this fascinating site on your own. Live the excitement of a day in 1744 as you stroll the lively streets, perhaps stopping for a snack (at your own expense) or taking a leisurely walk through the gardens. Re-enactments erupt at every turn as you explore the city.

Have your camera at the ready as you admire the many buildings furnished to period or browse though the myriad of exhibits.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR DEEP SOUTH 2015 CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves approximately 30 minutes of compulsory walking over some hilly, beaten pathways and steep inclines at the Fortress of Louisbourg, therefore it is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. The amount of walking during the period of free time is at the discretion of the individual. As the Fortress of Louisbourg is a faithful reproduction of an 18th century town, many areas require caution when visiting. Some cobblestone walking areas are uneven and buildings dimly lit. Ramparts and walls are unprotected by guardrails or barricades. There will be some steps into the buildings. You may see both domestic and wild animals on site – do not try to pet or feed them. Guests are advised to wear good walking shoes and warm clothing – a jacket is recommended. Please note that the number of period-costumed interpreters cannot be guaranteed.


HIKE TO UISAGE BAN FALLS (TOUR I)

  • Get up close to nature
  • Enjoy a four kilometre trail through the beautiful Canadian Forest
Activity Tour
Price£40.00-£50.00
DurationApproximately 5 Hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

Located at the foothills of the famous Cabot Trail lies Uisge Ban Falls – Gaelic for “white water”. This four kilometre trail will bring you up close and personal with nature, as you pass through hardwood forest comprised of sugar maple, yellow birch and beech woods – some of the oldest forests in the province. Interpretive panels, benches and bridges dot the trail en route to the stunning 16 metres (50-foot) waterfall where the walls of the gorge tower 150 metres (500 feet) on each side.

Description Correct for 2015 Canada Cruise

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU?  This tour will operates rain or shine. Please be advised that the traveling time from the port of Sydney to the Trailhead is approximately one hour each way. The hike is approximately two hours in duration and will include inclines, gravel and beaten pathways so we recommend wearing hiking/trail shoes. The tour is fully guided.

Strenuous Walking

Steps


Whitney Pier Community Houses, Sydney, Canada

PANORAMIC SYDNEY (TOUR H)

  • Enjoy a scenic drive around Sydney
  • Experience the colourful character of the city and its surrounding communities
  • Understand the history and many influences upon the city
Price£25.00-£30.00
DurationApproximately 1.75 Hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

This panoramic tour is the perfect way to enjoy the highlights of Sydney from the comfort of your coach.

Enjoy a tour which encompasses the Sydney area and also introduces you to the many smaller communities in and around the centre. Discover the many influences that have given the city its colourful character, from its founding by Loyalists in 1785 to the present day. You will learn why its harbour is among the most strategic on the Atlantic, playing a major role in both World Wars. You will also see the former “company community” of Whitney Pier where employees of the steel and coal industries forged their lives for many years. Enjoy a scenic drive along the coast, through mining towns, and the wind farm at Lingan before returning to the pier.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANADA CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU?  The itinerary is subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control and may operate in a different order to that described. There is minimal walking involved in this tour, however all guests must be able to board the coach unaided.
 


Shore Tours in Nova Scotia

SAILING ON THE BRAS D'OR LAKES (TOUR F)

  • Join the captain and crew aboard The Amoeba for a unique sailing experience
  • Marvel at the pristine waters of the Bras d’Or Lakes
  • Visit the village made famous by Alexander Graham Bell
Boat Tour
Price£65.00 - £75.00
DurationApproximately 4.5 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

On this tour you can enjoy a visit to the heart of Cape Breton Island and the picturesque village of Baddeck, home of Alexander Graham Bell, where the highlands meet the lowlands along the shores of the island’s beautiful inland sea – the Bras d’Or Lakes. French for ‘Arm of Gold’, these lakes offer an ever-changing panorama of woodlands and waterscapes.

Upon arrival in Baddeck you will board the Ameoba sailing boat, before embarking on an approximate one hour and 45 minute sail around the Bras d’Or Lakes. Sit back and relax on the boat as you admire views of the beautiful Baddeck shoreline, Kidston Island and Alexander Graham Bell’s mansion Beinn Bhreagh (Gaelic for ‘beautiful mountain’). You should also keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, which are often visitors to the area!

Following your sailing experience, enjoy some time at leisure in Baddeck, to perhaps explore the shops and galleries of this quaint town. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FORCANADA 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a minimal amount of compulsory walking. For reference, there will be approximately 30 minutes of free time, where walking is at the discretion of the individual. This tour may operate in a different order to that described. Please note that we cannot guarantee any sightings of the bald eagle. Guests must be able to board the coach unaided. 


Shore Tours in Nova Scotia

SCENIC BADDECK & ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL (TOUR A)

  • Explore the charming streets of Baddeck, in the heart of Cape Breton Island
  • Visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and learn about his outstanding accomplishments
  • Discover the picturesque village of Baddeck and the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes – one of the world’s scenic gems.
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included
Suitable for wheelchairsSuitable for wheelchairs

The picturesque little village of Baddeck is situated on an inlet of the lovely Bras d’Or Lakes. It was here that Alexander Graham Bell spent the last 37 years of his life. “I have travelled the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps and the highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all.”

Departing the quayside, you can enjoy soaring panoramic vistas and gentle, serene coastal scenery as you drive to the heart of stunning Cape Breton Island – Baddeck. Upon arrival here, you visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, which does full justice to the outstanding accomplishments of the man best known for the invention of the telephone. He also made remarkable contributions to the fields of medicine, genetics, electricity, sound and speech, as well as aeronautics and marine engineering. The Museum itself is architecturally striking, as its design is based on the tetrahedron form Bell used for his flight test kites. This complex, with its three exhibit halls, contains the largest collection of Bell’s artefacts and inventions, including replicas of the first telephones and a full scale model of the HD-4 hydrofoil craft. Bell’s estate, Beinn Breagh (Gaelic for ‘beautiful mountain’), can be viewed in the distance from the rooftop gardens.

Following your visit here, you can enjoy approximately one hour of free time to explore the charming streets of Baddeck independently, visit the quaint shops or relax in a street-side café prior to the return journey to your awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR DEEP SOUTH & CANADA 2017 CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? At the Alexander Graham Bell Museum there is a walk of approximately 70 metres (229 feet) from the coach park to the entrance of the complex and vice versa, as well as walking once inside. Your guide will give an introduction to the museum, and then you will have time to explore independently. There will be time at leisure in Baddeck, where walking is at the discretion of the individual. 


SPIRIT OF THE FIDDLE - THE SOUNDS OF CAPE BRETON (TOUR G)

  • Cape Breton is world renowned for reviving, preserving and promoting Celtic music
  • Enjoy a traditional musical performance unique to the area

 

Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApproximately 1.5 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Cape Breton Island has been the hub of the Celtic music revival in recent years, and the area’s folk musicians, singers and dancers are world renowned. A ‘Ceilidh’, (“Kay-lee”) or ‘kitchen party’ provides an opportunity for you to share in this culture by witnessing lively dances, jigs and haunting airs.

The Marine Terminal houses a landmark giant fiddle, a symbol of Cape Breton’s heritage. Complete with bow and strings, the fiddle was forged out of solid steel and weighs ten tonnes and measures 54 feet high and over 14 feet wide. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a kilted bagpiper, who will escort you to the location – the beautiful Kavanaugh Room - for your personal performance. Here you can experience traditional Celtic music performed by local entertainers, along with demonstrations and explanations of the various forms of Celtic dance as they share the history and folklore of the area. During the performance, you can enjoy refreshments and will have the opportunity to participate if you wish!

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2015
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that this performance is exclusive to our group – it is not possible for guests to attend independently. The walk from the quayside to the Kavanaugh Room takes approximately five minutes each way. There are steps to encounter at the Kavanaugh Room, however a lift is available. Refreshments comprise of tea or coffee and oatcakes. The performance will last for approximately one hour and 15 minutes.
 


SYDNEY - INFORMATION

With a population of approximately 26,000, Sydney is the third largest city in the province of Nova Scotia – also known as the ‘Steel City’. Situated on a large harbour, this historic city is the commercial centre of Cape Breton Island.

Sydney has many buildings and landmarks that date back to the late 18th century, including St George’s Anglican Church and Cossit House – the oldest house in Sydney, which was home to Cape Breton’s first Anglican Minister, the Reverend Ranna Cossit. Along the Esplanade, a street that parallels the waterfront, there are monuments and plaques that commemorate some of the city’s most famous people and events.

Cape Breton is home to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, in the charming village of Baddeck – once his summer home. Best known for his invention of the telephone, but also for his remarkable contributions in the fields of medicine, genetics, electricity, sound and speech, Bell once said, “I have travelled the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton rivals them all.” Why not join the Scenic Baddeck & Alexander Graham Bell Museum tour (Tour A) to allow you to explore this building, which is steeped in history.

The official currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar.


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