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Newfoundland Circumnavigation

Aboard the Ocean Endeavour

Overview

On this exciting voyage aboard the expedition vessel Ocean Endeavour, circumnavigate the island of Newfoundland, with stops at picturesque villages, a reconstructed Viking habitation (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and to linger at Red Bay on Labrador, another World Heritage Site, to learn about the whaling industry in the 1500s. Active explorations include a hike at Gros Morne National Park, home to incredible geological formations, and you'll explore the First Nations community of Miawpukek, where you'll experience the traditions of the Mi'kmaw culture. All along the way, Zodiac excursions bring you close to the wildlife—whales, plentiful birds, and more. Your voyage concludes with a visit to the French town of Saint-Pierre, capital of the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, islands lying off the coast of Newfoundland. They are the last piece of French territory in North America, and the quaint shops and charming cafes bring a taste of Europe to this far-flung corner of the world. An Expedition Team of expert naturalists accompanies you on the voyage, enhancing your experience of this easternmost part of Canada.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1
St. John’s, NL, Canada

Welcome to St. John’s—the vibrant capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, a cultural hotspot and North America's oldest city. Board the Ocean Endeavour for an evening departure and sail out of the historic port, looking out for Signal Hill as you exit the world-famous Narrows. Along the way, photograph the charming houses of the Battery, always a hit with shutterbugs. Watch for icebergs, whales, and seabirds as you sail!

Days 2-4
Northeast Coast / Visit Picturesque Villages and Charming Communities

Look forward to a characteristically warm Newfoundland welcome upon your arrival in the picturesque villages and unique communities that dot the rocky shores of the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Have your camera at the ready—photographers will have their work cut out for them capturing all the special charm of classic island communities and rambling coastlines.

Day 5
L’Anse aux Meadows / Viking Archaeology

Wander through the reconstructed Viking habitation at L’Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only authenticated Norse settlement in North America. Learn more about the archaeological remains that date to approximately 1000 CE, and how—amazingly—the site was first found here in 1960 by a close reading of the Viking sagas. Be sure to visit the superb interpretation center and meet the actors in period costumes as you make your way through the reconstructed Norse-style sod buildings. This is a must-see for any visitor to Newfoundland and Labrador!

Day 6
Red Bay / Basque Whaling History

Make a stop in Labrador at the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013. Learn firsthand about how Basque whalers operated out of the harbor in the 1500s, creating what was to be North America’s first export industry. Browse through the excellent interpretation center to see the tools, personal items, and navigational instruments recovered from the wreck of the whaling ship San Juan, which was lost in a storm in 1565 and found centuries later submerged in the harbor. Visit nearby Saddle Island to delve even deeper into the history of the whaling industry.

Day 7
Gros Morne National Park and Woody Point / Hike through Incredible Geology

Stretch your legs with a walk or hike at Gros Morne National Park. Soak in the extraordinary views of beautiful Bonne Bay and be sure to take time to explore the park’s excellent interpretation center and the town of Woody Point. Witness for yourself the spectacular Tablelands, a six-hundred-meter plateau that forms one of the world’s best examples of exposed mantle. Normally found below the Earth’s crust, the mineral-rich rocks support very little life, making the Tablelands an eerie landscape.

Days 8-9
Southern Coast / Explore Scenic Coastlines and Remote Outposts

Journey through the beautiful and windswept coast of southern Newfoundland, dotted with bays, coves, and a few remaining remote outpost communities. Admire outstanding geology and gorgeous botanical life, and spot plentiful birds, whales, and other wildlife as you make the most of every opportunity for Zodiac and land excursions. A visit here will be a highlight of your trip!

Day 10
Miawpukek (Conne River) / Experience Mi'kmaw Culture

Receive a formal welcome from local leaders of the First Nations community of Miawpukek. Learn more about the history of the community, formerly called Conne River, which became a permanent settlement sometime around 1822. Before then, it was one of many semi-permanent camping sites used by Mi'kmaw people, who traditionally traveled nomadically throughout the east coast of Canada. Have a chance to explore this special community, which was established as a reserve in 1987 and has successfully bridged traditional knowledge and contemporary practice.

Day 11
Saint-Pierre, France / Savor European Shops and Cafés

Indulge in the colorful town of Saint-Pierre, a charming finale to your trip. Just off the shores of Newfoundland lie the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon—an official territory of France. Wind through charming streets lined with shops, houses, and cafés that bring a taste of Europe to the east coast of North America.

Day 12
St. John’s, NL, Canada / Disembark

Complete your journey by sailing back through the picturesque Narrows and into St. John’s harbor. Disembark and fly home.

Highlights

Highlights

Explore the reconstructed Viking habitation at L’Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Learn about the Basque whaling history at Red Bay, Labrador
Walk or hike at Gros Morne National Park, with its fascinating geological formations
Experience Mi'kmaw culture at the First Nations community of Miawpukek
Visit charming Saint-Pierre, an official territory of France!

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $4995  
Arrive: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Depart: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Lodging: 11 nights aboard a 198-passenger vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife and Natural History, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

12-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours