Sydney, Nova Scotia

Canada New England cruise

Veendam in Sydney

Sydney seems to be a popular thing to name a city.  There’s Sydney, Australia of course, and on the west coast of Canada, Sidney B.C. on Vancouver Island.  Maybe Canada has a thing for Sydney on islands because they also have Sydney, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island in the Maritime provinces on the east coast.  Perhaps the different spelling in BC is to make sure the mail goes to the right coast.

old house and church

Sydney has a lot of interesting buildings

Our early season cruise on Holland America Veendam brought us to Sydney before the town seemed quite ready for the tourist season.  The greater percentage of the area’s tourist attractions hadn’t opened yet, or could be seen by appointment only.  We didn’t book a shore excursion, which would have been the only way in to see some things.  Instead we opted to just get off the ship and see what we could find.

Sydney, Nova Scotia

giant fiddle in scaffolding

A giant fiddle, the main attraction at the port, sat right next to the ship covered in scaffolding.

tourist attraction

giant fiddle almost scaffolding-free

When we finished walking around town and returned to the ship we noticed a crew starting to remove the scaffolding.  They had it fairly close to all the way off when our ship left port, but not quite.

old church

St Patrick’s church museum

We looked at some old churches in the town.  A tour group happened to come in one of them.  When they all sat down to listen to their guide, we sat too.  It would seem rather odd to be the only ones wandering about while someone was speaking.

church museum

inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral

We learned that the former church which is now a museum was built from bricks taken from a French fort after the French lost their territory in Canada to the British.  The original congregation eventually outgrew the church and built a bigger one.

the new church

Sacred Heart – where the congregation moved to

We didn’t find a whole lot in town and wandered down to the boardwalk.  Sydney has a nice boardwalk along the water’s edge with some great vantage points for ship and fiddle photos, or in our case ship and scaffolding around the fiddle photos.  I have no idea if the scaffolding was there to protect the fiddle from winter storms or if it needed some work done.


Sydney’s boardwalk

Sydney has a lot of historic buildings and museums.  Excursions from the ship venture farther out into parks and natural areas of the island or to historic places like an old fort or a mining museum that includes a tour through an actual former coal mine.

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2016


About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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7 Responses to Sydney, Nova Scotia

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    We enjoy going into churches when travelling. Love the opening pic!

  2. Ruth Roberts says:

    It is nice the church kept their old building for a museum instead of tearing it down when the new church was built..

    • It is nice that it was still there. Initially another church used the building and I think it might have had some other uses over the years before becoming a museum, but luckily nobody ever tore it down.

  3. Art Downing says:

    If the local people want the tourist business I am surprised they don’t make tours available for those who don’t book them on the ship, no matter what time of year the ships come in.

  4. chris says:

    The Durnham museum in Omaha used to be a train station and the Ocean Star drill rig museum in Galveston is in an old jack up drill rig. It might be interesting to see what other interesting structures have been repurposed as museums.

    • I guess there are lots of museums where the museum itself is the main focus of the museum. There’s a shipwreck museum in Key West, but it is in a building on land and not in an actual shipwreck under the sea. If it was it would be the best of them all.

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