Newfoundland Circumnavigation 2014
Towering icebergs drift south on Arctic currents as wild birds soar above bright blue waves, where whales cavort in the glory of springtime. Among the brightly painted clapboard houses of tiny outports, smiling faces greet curious travelers. Newfoundlanders are famous for sharing their unique culture with visitors at legendary kitchen parties. Visitors will soon find themselves reveling in the warm welcome and deep sense of community at every stop.
History haunts the rugged shores of Newfoundland and Labrador. Basque whalers left 16th century galleons on the bottom of Red Bay, six hundred years after Vikings had abandoned L’Anse aux Meadows. Geology overwhelms the mightiest works of man: the dramatic vistas of Gros Morne National Park reveal Precambrian cliffs and deep fjords that formed as magma cooled amid collisions of continental crusts.
Nature and culture nestle together, from the island of Miquelon—the last outpost of France’s former North American Empire—to Fogo, where old English and Irish dialects linger. In St. John’s, one of Canada’s great cities surrounds one of the world’s great harbors, and 500 years of history beckons at both the beginning, and ending of a trip that will live on forever in memory!
Day 1: St. John’s, Newfoundland
Day 2: Trinity Bay
Day 3: Fogo Island
Day 4: Notre Dame Bay
Day 5: L’Anse aux Meadows
Day 6: Gros Morne National Park
Day 7: Port aux Port Peninsula
Day 8-9: South Coast
Day 10: Miquelon, France
Day 11: 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 join our vessel, Sea Adventurer here.
During the 1720’s Trinity was home to about 30 permanent families and host to 200-300 seasonal fishermen per year. By 1869, the population peaked at more than 800 people.
Today the preservation of Trinity’s cultural and built heritage has made it perhaps the most notable "heritage community" in the province.
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.
Notre Dame Bay was home to Native cultures like the Dorset Palaeo-Eskimos and the Maritime Archaic Indians,
The Portuguese explorer Gaspar Corte-Real (c. 1450- c. 1502) sighted the bay, followed in 1534 by Frenchman Jacques Cartier (c. 1491-1557).
The French were the first to make extensive use of the bay’s rich fish resources, and from 1713 to 1783 the area was part of a fishery preserve known as the "French Shore."
We call in this morning at one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, North America’s only authenticated Viking settlement, L’Anse aux Meadows.
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.
Our day ashore explores the coastline and outports of Port Aux Port, an area proudly supporting its francophone connections.
The wild and windswept coast of Southern Newfoundland is home to a few remaining outport communities. We will have time to hike the uninhabited shoreline and visit one of the isolated communities, still largely cut off from mainstream travel.
On the northern side of the larger island, lies the village of Miquelon, inhabited by 600 people, mostly of Basque and Acadian ancestry. Wildlife is most abundant on this island and its counterpart to the south, the island of Langlade. The 8-mile sand dune between the two islands is peppered with over 500 shipwrecks
Discover one of the oldest cities in North America, a city unlike any other. Cradled in a harbor 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.
* Itinerary may be subject to change