Sydney, Ova Scotia question---the big fiddle

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#1
Monticello, NY
2,158 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
We will be doing a Holland America cruise in July from Boston to Montreal.

I was intrigued when looking at the HAL excursions by Spirit of the Fiddle: Kitchen Party Experience. It includes Celtic Music and is supposed to be by a "big fiddle". I also read it was right by the port. I was wondering if we really need to do the excursion or can just go to the attraction, pay whatever the entrance fee is, and stay as long or short as we wish. (The excursion is listed a an hour and a half.)
#2
671 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
The Big Fiddle is indeed right at the port within 100 yards of where we docked. I would assume that any musical performance would be inside the cruise terminal since there is no formal performance venue near the fiddle. You can see the fiddle for free, so the question would be whether the music portion of the excursion is worth the price. As I recall, there were a couple of street performers playing local music and singing nearby, so maybe that would be enough for you to gain a glimpse of the culture. The excursion does have good reviews though.
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#3
Monticello, NY
2,158 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by FredZiffle
The Big Fiddle is indeed right at the port within 100 yards of where we docked. I would assume that any musical performance would be inside the cruise terminal since there is no formal performance venue near the fiddle. You can see the fiddle for free, so the question would be whether the music portion of the excursion is worth the price. As I recall, there were a couple of street performers playing local music and singing nearby, so maybe that would be enough for you to gain a glimpse of the culture. The excursion does have good reviews though.
Thank you for replying. I did read the reviews, and they were generally excellent with each and every one recommending the excursion. It is something I know my DW and I would enjoy. My only real question is do we need the HAL excursion to see the performance.
#5
Nova Scotia Canada
4,857 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Yes I believe it is cruise only. It is pricey, but there is little live entertainment outside of this during the day. You can get more information about Cape Breton here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...ZF4seT14I/edit


https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g1...pe.Breton.html

The second link contains a link to live music listings which will be perhaps useful closer to when you are there.
#9
13 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
There is live entertainment outdoors by the Fiddle ... weather cooperating ...
The excursion doesn't sound interesting to me. I made that cruise going the other direction - last September. Not a whole lot in the area.
(You really can't miss the fiddle. It's right there!)
#10
Washington State
301 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
My mom and I did the music excursion a couple of years ago and may do it again this summer when we go on our next cruise. The music was wonderful... very different from what I'd heard before. We also went out to Fort Louisburg (??) and that was wonderful too.
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#11
Monticello, NY
2,158 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Radbooks
My mom and I did the music excursion a couple of years ago and may do it again this summer when we go on our next cruise. The music was wonderful... very different from what I'd heard before. We also went out to Fort Louisburg (??) and that was wonderful too.
Thank you, that sounds encouraging.

Several years ago we saw and very much enjoyed Celtic Women in concert. Is this anything like them?
#12
Nova Scotia Canada
4,857 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
It will be Celtic music, featuring at least one fiddle as that is the traditional music in much of Cape Breton.
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#13
Nova Scotia
96 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
We live in Cape Breton and did this cruise last summer. This was the only excursion we booked and it was wonderful. It included a fiddle player, a piano player and a guitar player, and 2 of the 3 were great singers. The show lasted about 90 minutes and consisted entirely of Celtic music, one of the mainstays of Cape Breton culture. There was a brief intermission where tea and oatcakes were served. This would be the traditional fare at a Cape Breton ceilidh. Near the end, they asked people to get up and learn how to do a square set - one part of a traditional square dance. This was a great deal of fun and the performers made it real easy to learn. I would highly recommend this excursion. It is right in the cruise pavilion, so no travel or transportation required. We had a meeting spot near the pavilion and a bagpipe player piped us into the venue. At the end we were all given a certificate enrolling us in the Big Fiddle Society.


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