Welcome to St. John’s—Newfoundland’s historic, vibrant capital. Picturesque and welcoming, with a world-famous harbour, St. John’s has been continually fished by Europeans since 1498, allowing it to boast the designation of North America’s oldest European settlement.Here you will meet your Resource Staff and fellow travellers and make your way via coach to board our ship, the Ocean Endeavour. Sailing out of St. John’s has to be experienced to be believed: Signal Hill keeps watch over the world-famous Narrows as we head for open water.
Overnight: St. John's, NL
The northeast coast of Newfoundland is known for the dozens of picturesque villages that dot its rocky shores, and we’ll find harbour in one of these unique communities today. We look forward to a characteristically warm Newfoundland welcome upon our arrival. Photographers will have their work cut out for them, capturing the special charm of classic island construction.
Overnight: North East Coast
L’Anse aux Meadows, A UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the only authenticated former Norse settlement in North America. The archaeological remains found here in 1960 date to approximately 1000 AD. Amazingly, the location of the ruins was first established by a close reading of the Viking sagas.Today, a superb interpretive centre and reconstructions of the several Norse-style sod buildings make L’Anse aux Meadows a must-see for any visitor to Newfoundland.
Labrador is home to the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Beginning in the 1500s, Basque whalers operated out of the Red Bay harbour, making it at one time the largest whaling station in the world. The site includes six hundred acres of terrestrial and aquatic protected area. Among the important artefacts found at Red Bay is the whaling ship San Juan, lost in a storm in 1565 and found centuries later submerged in the harbour in only ten metres of water. A large number of tools, personal items, and navigational instruments have been recovered from the wreck.
Gros Morne is internationally famed for its geographic diversity and majesty. The park’s mountains are both picturesque and highly unusual: The Tablelands, a six hundred-metre plateau, forms one of the world’s best examples of ancient rock exposed from the earth’s mantle. The park’s fjords are equally stunning. There will be a choice of walks here—catering to all levels of skill and interest—as we explore the surrounding area. The beauty of Bonne Bay during fall colours will surely be a highlight, as will the colourful cluster of houses and businesses that is the town of Woody Point.
The wild and windswept coast of southern Newfoundland is home to a few remaining outport communities, still largely cut off from mainstream travel. Visits here are often a highlight of our trips. There are many unique bays and coves to explore via Zodiac or land excursions. Again, autumnal hues among the low-lying vegetation will keep photographers and botanists reaching for their cameras!
The First Nations community of Miawpukek (Conne River) has an economically self-sufficient mandate, guided by traditional values. It became a permanent settlement sometime around 1822. Before then, it was one of many semi-permanent camping sites used by the Mi’kmaw people—who had traditionally, travelled nomadically throughout the East Coast. Since its establishment as a reserve in 1987, Miawpukek has often been referenced as a highly successful First Nation. We will receive a formal welcome from local leaders and have a chance to explore this special community.
Explore Saint-Pierre, a last bastion of France’s colonial territories in North America. The colourful and charming shops and residences of the town of Saint-Pierre reveal its unique historical character. French food, wine, cars, clothing, and shops are all in evidence here—and the sweets at the local cafes and bakeries are much in demand! Saint-Pierre offers a taste of European living, just a short sail from the coast of Newfoundland!
On the final day of our expedition, we sail though the historic Narrows and into St. John’s harbour. We will say our farewells and begin the process of departure. Staff will be on hand to assist you with luggage and transportation arrangements.
Overnight: St. John's, NL