Adventure Canada - vacations and travel

Newfoundland Circumnavigation

Canada, North America

from $3,495* per person 11 Days October
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Adventure Canada 12 people max
  • St. john's airport, st. john's, nl, canada
  • Active & Adventure trips
What better way to see a place so shaped by sea than by ship? In 2010, Adventure Canada is pleased to be returning to one of our favourite destinations, Newfoundland and Labrador, for a full circumnavigation by sea. The warmth, wit and hospitality of her people, the soul stirring music and the rough beauty of her shores draw us here year after year, each time with new surprises and delights to greet us along the way. We'll encounter rich colours, imposing skies and majestic cliffs aboard the Clipper Adventurer a 118-passenger expedition vessel. Expedition cruising is a wonderful way to experience remote regions in an informal and relaxed atmosphere; close encounters are provided by the fleet of Zodiacs onboard that take us to shore wherever we choose to explore or to areas rich in wildlife. We'll sail along coastlines steeped in history, float past massive colonies of puffins and gannets, explore archeological sites and abandoned outports and keep our eyes open for marine life while examining the island's unique culture and rich heritage.

Beginning in North America's oldest port, we travel to Fogo Town, named one of the four corners of the earth by the Flat Earth Society. Across the Strait of Belle Isle in Labrador, it will be hard to forget the feeling that will stir your soul at the abandoned community of Battle Harbour - once a bustling fishery, it is now only a shadow of its former self. Our exploration continues with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at L'Anse aux Meadows, an authenticated Viking site where the outline of the tiny encampment can still be seen today.

Continuing south, we reach a breathtaking example of glacier action and a rare glimpse of the earth's mantle in Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a highlight of our journey. Like fingers raking through sand, witness spectacular examples of ancient glacial action on some of the oldest rocks in the world. A great birding opportunity lies ahead in the Bay of Islands, and we'll use our Zodiacs to navigate the islands and sandbars. Back on board, we'll sail Newfoundland's remote south coast, where the last true outports remain; we'll have a rare chance to visit two remote communities, accessible only by air and sea. Our passage continues, bringing us to the French-owned islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, and we complete our circumnavigation with a sunset Zodiac excursion past the beautiful cliffs of Cape St. Mary's (home to the world's southernmost colony of northern gannets), before saying farewell in St. John's. Joining us on board will be a remarkable team of naturalists, historians, photographers, musicians and local guides, who will impart their knowledge and experience on the natural world and local culture, and give life to times past.

Come, and discover Newfoundland for the first time, or the way it was meant to be seen - by sea.

Locations visited/nearby

Canada, North America

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Day 1: St. John's, Newfoundland
We meet in St. John's, Newfoundland's historic, vibrant capital. Picturesque and welcoming, it has been continuously fished since 1498, allowing it to boast the designation of North America's oldest European settlement. We will join the Ocean Nova here.

Day 2: Fogo Island
Located 15km off Newfoundland's northeast coast, Fogo Island was originally named 'fuego' or 'fire' by the Portuguese, after fires set by early fishermen were seen burning on the island. A lucrative crab fishery has since replaced the salmon and cod fisheries that once supported the outport communities of the island. Fogo Island supports 11 communities, and a landmark proclaimed by the Flat Earth Society as one of the four corners of the Earth. We spend time experiencing island life in Fogo Town before heading further north.

Day 3: L'Anse aux Meadows
L'Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the only authenticated Viking settlement in North America. Located at the tip of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula, it is widely regarded as one of the most important archaeological sites globally.

Day 4: Red Bay and L'Anse Amour
Red Bay is a fishing village and former site of several Basque whaling stations occupied between 1550 and the early 1600s when they hunted right and bowhead whales. The remains of three Basque whaling galleons and four small chalupas haunt the depths of the waters in this area, making it an important archaeological site and earning it a UNESCO nomination.

L'Anse Amour is an important archaeological site, located on the Strait of Belle Isle coast was occupied between at least 5500 and 2000 BC by the Maritime Archaic people who used the area for fishing and hunting harp seals and walrus. The site contains the oldest burial mound found in North America to this day at about 7500 years old. The skeleton of an adolescent child was found underneath, his body was covered with red ochre and accompanied by several stone and bone spearpoints and knives, a walrus tusk, a harpoon head, an ivory carving and a bone whistle. The importance of L'Anse Amour Burial was recognized in 1978, when it was made a National Historic Site.

Day 5: Gros Morne National Park
It has been said, "Gros Morne is to geology what the Galapagos are to biology." Spectacular scenery including Precambrian cliffs, deep inland fjords and volcanic "pillow" rocks formed as lava cooled underwater- is just one of the reasons we stop here year after year. Highlights on this day include time spent exploring the Tablelands, a 600m (1900 ft) high plateau that forms one of the world's best examples of ancient rock exposed from the earth's interior, and exploring the fjord by ship.

Day 6: Cox's Cove
Bay of Islands drains one of Newfoundland's major rivers and is also a sub-basin of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We spend the morning cruising one of the bay's dramatic arms and are witness to one of Newfoundland's haunting tales, that of the resettlement program as we visit an abandoned community. In the afternoon we will enjoy the hospitality of the welcoming folks of Cox's Cove, home to our very own musician Tony Oxford.

Day 7 & 8: The South Coast: Garia Bay, Francois
The last of the true outport communities are found here, and we will visit two of them. First, we visit the tiny village of Francois. Dramatic rock strewn cliffs surround the village, a delicate waterfall runs through the centre of town and there is a short hike to a picturesque pond overlooking the community. Tonight we are treated to music by the local band at an authentic Newfoundland 'Kitchen Party.'

Day 9: Arran Cove and Conne River / Miawpukek
A visit to Miawpukek (Conne River) will reveal a First Nation's community that has the mandate of turning the community into an economically self-sufficient community guided by traditional values. Miawpukek became a permanent community sometime around 1822. Before 1822 it was one of many semi-permanent camping sites used by the Mi'kmaw people who were at the time still nomadic and travelling throughout the east coast.

Day 10: Miquelon, France
On the northern side of the larger island, the village of Miquelon is inhabited by 600 people, mostly of Basque and Acadian ancestry. Wildlife is most abundant on this island and its couterpart to the south, the island of Langlade. The 8 mile sand dune between the two islands is peppered with over 500 shipwrecks.

Day 11: St. John's, Newfoundland
Discover one of the oldest cities in North America, a city unlike any other. Cradled in a harbour carved from 500 million year old rock and surrounded by hills running down to the ocean, St. John's is the most easterly point in North America. St. John's has been vitally important for centuries to explorers, adventurers, merchants, soldiers, pirates, and all manner of seafarers, who provided the foundation for this thriving modern day city. It is a lively metropolis with a vibrant art community and is home to many galleries, theatres and museums. The colorful streets and attractive waterfront, brimming with cafes, restaurants and boutiques, do not disappoint.

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