Explore the natural wonders and Viking history of Newfoundland and Labrador on this unique journey. Set sail on a nature cruise to Witless Bay Ecological Reserve to spot whales, puffins, and other marine life. Travel to L'Anse aux Meadows, believed to be the site where Norse explorer Leif Eriksson first landed, and learn about Newfoundland's Viking heritage. In Labrador, explore the importance of whaling in charming fishing villages and a 16th-century whaling port and visit Gros Morne National Park, Atlantic Canada's largest park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, Canadian experts provide special insight into the cultural and natural history of this maritime province.
Day #1 St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador’s picturesque peninsulas, rugged coastline and dramatic Viking history combine to create an amazing learning experience. Abundant native wildlife, distinct cultural attractions, and warm-hearted people are all part of this coastal delight.
Day #2 St. John’s - A morning sightseeing tour of St. John's captures stunning views of the city and harbor from Signal Hill. Explore sites like Qidi Vidi and the Basilica, North America’s oldest settlement, which illustrates the capital city’s place as English-speaking. Watch for puffins on a nature cruise to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve where millions of seabirds gather to nest. While onboard enjoy a visit from a local specialist on the marine life in the region and learn about the thousands of Humpback and Minke whales who make this their home. Tonight savor your first Newfoundland dinner.
Day #3 St. John’s - Terra Nova National Park - Grand Falls-Windsor - Created to protect 250 square miles of forest, coastline and natural habitat, Terra Nova National Park is where you’ll visit the Marine Atlantic Centre for a touch and feel exhibit that introduces the region’s marine life. Later, continue your journey along the Trans–Canada Highway into central Newfoundland to Grand Falls-Windsor, once two towns now united as one. At the Mary March Provincial Museum, explore the extinct Beothuck heritage that this region is known for. This evening get set for fun at a traditional Newfoundland gathering known as a “Mug Up”.
Day #4 Grand Falls - Gros Morne - Continue your western travel on the TransCanada Highway to Shallow Bay, set in Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and area of great natural beauty. You’ll learn about the park’s cultural heritage with visits to Lobster Cove Head as well as Broom Point Lighthouse, which both interpret how people have lived along this coast and harvested the sea for more than 4,000 years.
Day #5 Gros Morne National Park - Today a Park Ranger demonstrates how natural forces have shaped the park’s landscape of dramatic vistas that are among the most spectacular in Atlantic Canada. A visit to Tableland Mountains is followed by further exploration of the park’s hidden fjords, stark mountains and highland tundra. From a boat, experience the fjords from a new perspective and watch for whales and eagles while listening to traditional Newfoundland music.
Day #6 Gros Morne - Plum Point - Journey along the Viking Trail to L’Anse aux Meadows and travel back to 1000 AD when Vikings first made landfall. See how Newfoundlanders have adapted to this forbidding landscape and experience firsthand their unique solutions to living under extreme conditions. Later, a visit to a local Econo–museum reveals the famous local Partridge berry and Bakeapple and how you can make them into jams, sauces and vinegars.
Day #7 Plum Point - L’Anse-au-Clair, Labrador - Ferry across the Straits of Belle Isle to Labrador. Pass by colorful fishing villages as you learn about the history and importance of whaling to this region. In Red Bay, a visit to Parks Canada Interpretation Center reveals the 16th-century Basques world. At Point Amour Lighthouse, watch for icebergs; visit a 4,200-year-old gravesite; and see the remains of a scuttled British war ship. Tonight you might try a local delicacy, Caribou.
Day #8 L’Anse-au-Clair - Cornerbrook, Newfoundland - A morning ferry ride back to Newfoundland is followed by a journey along the route that James Cook took in 1770. Visit a local mineral and stone specialist for a discussion on Labradorite. This evening a trio known as the “Sharecroppers” will delight you with traditional and original songs.
Day #9 Cornerbrook - Gander - En route to the Exploits Valley, get your camera ready for Cook’s Lookout, a vantage point that Captain Cook used to spot smugglers. This evening enjoy another authentic Newfoundland meal – a “Jigg's dinner” with a “Screech In.”
Day #10 Gander - Twillingate - Gander - A visit to the Silent Witness memorial precedes a discussion centered on Gander’s unique location and their history in aviation at the Gander Airport. In nearby Twillingate, see its famous lighthouse overlooking “Iceberg Alley.” Prime Berth, with its idyllic fishing cove, is a perfect setting to learn about the importance of the fishing industry to this tiny community.
Day #11 Gander - St. John’s - Having played a significant role in world aviation history, enjoy breakfast with some of Gander’s locals who will share their individual stories with you. Travel to Cape Spear, “the most easterly point in North America” and while on this journey, experience scenic Petty Harbour, one of the oldest fishing communities in North America. Returning to St. John’s, you’ll gather with your fellow travelers for a special farewell dinner.
Day #12 St. John's - Tour Concludes -