Travel back in time to the community of New Waterford, the 40th town in North America to be incorporated. It was here that Dominion Coal Company opened four pits in quick succession, and the town settled into a busy era of producing coal.
Your next stop is at Collier Lands Park, the site of the former No. 12 & No. 16 Collieries, as well as the Miners Monument. The Miners Monument is composed of eight grey granite markers and is inscribed with a total of 307 names, one for each miner who lost his life in the surrounding coal mines. The series of flags here represents each country that saw one of its citizens emigrate to find work in the Cape Breton coalfields.
Next, travel through the communities of Dominion and Lingan while hearing about local heroes and the miners' strike of 1925. At the village of Glace Bay, you will visit the Cape Breton Miners Museum, situated on the picturesque coastline of Cape Breton Island. The museum pays tribute to the region's long and rich history of coal mining.
"Your wife and children expect you home this evening -- don’t disappoint them, be careful," says the sign at the entrance to the Ocean Deeps Colliery coal mine located beneath the museum building. Put on some pit gear and a hard hat; then, walk down a steep incline into the heart of the Ocean Deeps Colliery on a 30-minute underground journey. You'll see firsthand what it was like to extract coal and learn all about the various techniques used to mine these seams since 1720. Your retired-miner guide offers daring tales of triumph, tragedy and everyday life in the pit.
Back on the surface, stop by the gift shop to pick up a special memento, or stroll through the miners' village with its period buildings. Returning to the ship includes a drive past some of Sydney’s highlights.