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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Sydney (Can)

Situated on the shores of a picturesque harbour, Sydney is primarily an industrial centre and Nova Scotia’s third largest city. It’s a place that is synonymous with the legendary Cape Breton and has heritage buildings that date back to the 18th century. Sydney, along with North Sydney, Sydney Mines, Glace Bay and New Waterford form the region of Industrial Cape Breton. You can be transported to the past through various historical museums and archaic structures that are scattered around the city or simply enjoy the marvellous coastline.  

Col. Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres founded Sydney in 1785 and for a brief period in the late 18th century it served as the capital of the British colony of Cape Breton Island. The city began to take shape as a booming industrial district in the 1850’s, when the General Mining Association undertook industrial development work there. By the early part of the 20th century it had one of the world’s largest steel plants and the harbour played an important role during Second World War as a Royal Canadian Navy base.

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Cruise Companies that sail to Sydney (Can)


Why visit Sydney (Can) ?


Sydney (Can) location iamge - CruiseDirection

A picturesque harbour

A diverse mix of annual cultural events

There are two splendid lakes on the Cape Breton Islands, Bras d’Or Lake and Lake Ainslie. Sydney’s elevation is 100m above sea level and it experiences stormy winters and warm summers, typical of an Atlantic climate. You’ll find the city strewn with trees such as red spruce, balsam fir, red pine, white pine and maple.  

A great place to visit is the Cabot Trail, which is half an hour’s drive from Sydney town. There are breathtaking views of the ocean and the rugged coastline and the trail also passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence give tourists a great opportunity to spot pilot whales, fin whales, cormorants and bald eagles. You should also visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, which showcases an amazing collection of the great man’s inventions. Besides a gamut of boardwalks and marinas, you’ll also come across the world’s largest fiddle, which can be found at the Sydney waterfront. Between them the Sydney Shopping Mall and the sprawling Mayflower Mall provide a complete shopping experience for visitors. The city is also home to the Fortress of Louisbourg and the Glace Bay Miners Museum.  

Sydney also features a diverse mix of annual cultural events. A mixed nationality comprising of Scottish, Acadian, African Canadian and Eastern European contribute to the eclecticism of the festivals.  

There are other notable attractions, such as the Jost House, a two century old wooden house that displays fascinating marine collections; the Patrick’s Museum, which was formerly a Roman Catholic Church; Sydney’s oldest house, the Cossit House and the Grand Lyceum, a former opera house, which is currently home to the Cape Breton Center of Heritage and Science.  

The city can be easily reached through Sydney Airport, which offers direct services to and from Halifax and Montreal. Most sights in Sydney are within walking distance, but pre-arranged tour buses or rental cars are other options to consider if you want to travel to out of town locations.

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