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Sydney, Nova Scotia

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Has anyone done either of these tours and have an opinion of them? The Highland Village or the fortress of Louisborg? Both have characters in costume for explaining how things were in the 1700-1800's. We are debating on which one might be better. Any help? This will be early Oct '18.

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We haven't taken a cruise tour, but visited NS independently on a road trip. Louisbourg was a highlight (and is feasible to combine with the superb mining museum at Glace Bay in the same day if your port times work), but being native Scots we generally avoid like the plague anything pertaining to Scottish culture abroad as it's usually painfully bad - so we didn't bother with the highland village.

 

As always with specific tourist sites that are independently visited by other folks than cruisers, you'll likely find more info on general travel fora like TripAdvisor than on here, and NB: check the official websites for dates as I know that once you get past Labour Day many Canadians sites step back on how many staff are employed - the costumed 'interpreters' at Louisbourg definitely reduce in number compared to peak Summer season staffing levels.

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martincath has good advice regarding seasonal closings. I believe Louisburg still has costumed staff through mid October as I recall. It's just a bunch of empty streets and closed shops after that. Visit their website for specific dates.

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Highland Village shows how early Scottish settlers lived in Cape Breton. It is in a beautiful spot and pleasant to visit. However it is insignificant compared to Fortress Louisbourg. This is a partial reconstruction of the French Fortress (and the town was inside the fortifications) built according to the orginal plans archived in France. The costumed animators play the parts of actual people who lived there in 1744.

To see it at its best you have to come in July or August. In early October you would be best off with a ship's tour. I would suggest that if you think you will be back (and many people find the place and people here so special that they do come back) that you leave the Fortress to another time.

 

Consider renting a car and taking a scenic drive.

 

Check out the links and information here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SHnC1bdaKtBLTr9bcJShb3a0escYZQKLWkZF4seT14I/edit

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Just wanted to comment that we have been to Louisbourg, and it is so well done. Very impressive and comparable to the quality of Colonial Williamsburg.

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Just wanted to comment that we have been to Louisbourg, and it is so well done. Very impressive and comparable to the quality of Colonial Williamsburg.

 

Agree! We loved it, but our stay was too short and we want to go back again. (it was also a bit cool with a misty fog and light rain coming off the ocean.

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thanks, everyone. I believe we will do the shore excursion offered by Celebrity to the fortress. It all sounds wonderful so will just have to come back another time. (maybe in the summer!!) Thanks for helping make my decision!

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Our ship will be in Sydney in early May. It appears that a walk along the waterfront and the town would be interesting, and to our taste.

One thing we always like to do is visit a "thrift" shop that supports a local charity or church. Are there any within walking distance of the port?

Any other recommendations of things to see and do nearby?

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Love the "church" thrift/craft shop. There is also a huge craft market (antiques too) right at the port building near the big fiddle.

Got some of the best alpaca socks there! Most of what's in the craft market is truely artisan, no junk.

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Here’s a follow-on question. For a visit to Fort Louisbourg, is it worth hiring a private guide/car or just take the ship’s tour? We’d like to maximize our time at the fort, but the ship sales at 3:30.

 

We’ve already gone on a walking tour of town and out to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, so we don’t really need to add anything on to the Fort tour.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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If you are going in the off season you are best with the ship's tour. If you are going to Fortress Louisbourg in July or August there is no need for a guide as there are animators there to explain things. They do this in character as people living there in 1744.

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If you are going in the off season you are best with the ship's tour. If you are going to Fortress Louisbourg in July or August there is no need for a guide as there are animators there to explain things. They do this in character as people living there in 1744.

 

 

 

Well worth the visit. The drive there is not so pretty but very interesting when you get there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just tossing this out ... the restaurant at the top of the winding staircase inside the building behind the fiddle ... well, the food is excellent! As is the view. Going back in May.

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Are there any private tour operators in Sydney that have tours of the Fortress? We'd like to visit, but would also like time in the town and not sure that a ships tour will allow for this.

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I think a private operator could take you to the Fortress but they could not give you a tour there. The Fortress have their own tours in the shoulder season and they put on special tours for cruise ships (ships' tours) and in summer there is no need of a tour. If you want to go in summer and do not want to rent a car you could investigate a taxi and there may be some at the dock.

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SHnC1bdaKtBLTr9bcJShb3a0escYZQKLWkZF4seT14I/edit (A document with information for cruise visitors to Sydney)

 

 

More detailed general Cape Breton information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b_Z4QVTUgTeI4TKjGryhpj3NriWkouI4B87KXK02TMk/edit

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Just wanted to comment that we have been to Louisbourg, and it is so well done. Very impressive and comparable to the quality of Colonial Williamsburg.

We are thinking about doing this but see no excursion offered yet. May I ask if you rented a car? Was it easy to find?

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kccrzr, it would be great if you could report back on your experience with Budget as I have read no reviews. Have a wonderful day.

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kccrzr, it would be great if you could report back on your experience with Budget as I have read no reviews. Have a wonderful day.

 

Will do.

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Are there any tour companies in Sydney that do tours of Baddeck and the Bell Museum.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Are there any tour companies in Sydney that do tours of Baddeck and the Bell Museum.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

We have a private tour booked with Cabot Discovery Tours and have included Baddeck and the Bell Museum as part of our tour. We are picked up at 8am and dropped off at 3:30 pm back at the ship.

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We have a private tour booked with Cabot Discovery Tours and have included Baddeck and the Bell Museum as part of our tour. We are picked up at 8am and dropped off at 3:30 pm back at the ship.

 

Please come back and tell us all about it!

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kccrzr, it would be great if you could report back on your experience with Budget as I have read no reviews. Have a wonderful day.

 

Not the Op, but we used Budget in Sydney with no problems. They picked us up and returned us to the port afterwards.

 

Are there any tour companies in Sydney that do tours of Baddeck and the Bell Museum.

 

I would think that this would be one of those tours where you are paying for the transportation, not for an actual tour. The drive to Baddeck is beautiful, but I can't imagine that a guide would have much to tell you along the way. The Bell Museum requires no guide, so I would bet they drop you at the door and tell you when to get back on the bus.

You will save quite a bit by renting a car and driving yourself. Besides saving money, you'll be able to stay at the museum as long as you want. While the museum was okay in my eyes, I was ready to move on after about an hour. Also, there are numerous photo ops along the drive to Baddeck which you'll miss out on if you're on a bus.

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We rented a car and drove to Cabot trail. Didn't have a time to spend in National Park itself only went to entrance in Ingonish, but drive is interesting by itself.

 

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Some signs are in Gaelic

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You are very welcome! It was such an enjoyable day.

Photos don’t do justice. :)

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We went in early May and rented a car from Enterprise (highly recommended) and drove to Glace Bay to the Miner's Museum, then went and bought lobster at the dock, they boiled it for us and we devoured a lobster that was just hours ago walking along the ocean floor. It was delightful. I can't say enough good about the Miner's Museum and the retired miners that do the tours. Wonderful experience.

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