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Shore Excursion

Chicago, Illinois
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Shore Excursion

I know I should be asking this question on Cruise Critic but Sydney is a new stop for some of the lines and there is not that much info about it. WE will be in port the beginning of October. There is one ship excursion that is supposed to last 4 hrs and includes the foothills of Cabot Trail and then shopping in Baddeck. Then there is a longer excursion (7.5) hours which goes along the east coast route of the Cabot Trail with a buffet lunch at Keltic Lodge and then a quick stop at Ingonish Beach. Any suggestions or should I be looking at something else entirely for this port stop? Thanks in advance

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Sydney
Sydney
Cape Breton Island, Canada
Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail
1,505 Reviews
Cape Breton Island, Canada
Baddeck
Baddeck
Cape Breton Island, Canada
Ingonish Beach
Ingonish Beach
187 Reviews
Cape Breton Island, Canada
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Nova Scotia
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1. Re: Shore Excursion

Sydney is not a new stop. I have been posting about it on Cruise Critic for years.

The first excursion would be terrible in my opinion (showing little of the most scenic parts) and the second is not much better. The Trail gets quite scenic going along the ocean after Keltic Lodge but instead you stop there.

It depends upon when you are going what the best options are, but they all involve renting a car or taking a private tour. There is only one private tour operator getting any reviews and he gets booked up well ahead so I would go with renting a car. The driving is not in the least challenging.

1. Louisbourg - This is a world class partial reconstruction of the fortress town. However it is only fully animated (staffed)in July and August.

2. Drive around Bras D'Or Lake including stops in Baddeck and Iona.

3. Partial drive of the Cabot Trail. If you do not dally or take time for lunch you can get as far as Neil's Harbour. Buy a sandwich there perhaps.

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map of partial Cabot Trail drive: https://goo.gl/maps/QPxQB

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Sydney
Sydney
Cape Breton Island, Canada
Baddeck
Baddeck
Cape Breton Island, Canada
Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail
1,505 Reviews
Cape Breton Island, Canada
buffalo
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515 posts
22 reviews
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2. Re: Shore Excursion

Hi Marianne - you gave 3 choices for driving.Which is your favorite? or which would be best October 10th, we are in port from 10am-5pm. I'm not sure how much driving is involved?

buffalo
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3. Re: Shore Excursion

Whoops - Monday October 9th not the 10th

Nova Scotia
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4. Re: Shore Excursion

Either #2 or #3. The leaves are starting to turn colour now and they should be quite colorful by Oct. 9. Both drives would allow you to see them. Oct. 9 is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. It is not as big a holiday as in the US but general shops will likely be closed, so buying a sandwich at the Coop Grocery store in Neil's Harbour will not be possible.

The partial Cabot Trail drive is five hours without traffic or stopping so it would be a tight fit. Decide once you have the car how much time you will have before you would need to return it and that may help you decide.

The drive around Lake Bras D'Or is shorter, likely just over three hours of driving. https://goo.gl/maps/5KtkLV7yYt42

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Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail
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Cape Breton Island, Canada
Nova Scotia
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5. Re: Shore Excursion

If you do the Cabot Trail drive just as far as Ingonish Beach you will get to see the fall colours. They will not be at their peak on Oct. 9 but they will be close.

Tom's Port Guides give you some excellent maps and information:

https:/…sydney-ns-02-05-2013.pdf

https:/…capebretontours-02-05-2013.pdf

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Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail
1,505 Reviews
Cape Breton Island, Canada
Ingonish Beach
Ingonish Beach
187 Reviews
Cape Breton Island, Canada
buffalo
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22 reviews
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6. Re: Shore Excursion

Awesome - Thank you so much, perfect advise! I will assume Cabot Trail might be more interesting but I won't push it if we don't have 5 hrs of driving time!

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Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail
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Cape Breton Island, Canada
West Simsbury...
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7. Re: Shore Excursion

I vote for the drive up the Cabot Trail to Neil's Harbor!! We just came down that way & just visited Baddeck...just our honest opinion that Cabot Trail scenery is so much nicer, but bear in mind we are huge nature /national park lovers vs towns such as Baddeck...wish we were still up in the National Park!! Enjoy!!

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Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail
1,505 Reviews
Cape Breton Island, Canada
Baddeck
Baddeck
Cape Breton Island, Canada
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