An expedition cruise in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada visiting Nova Scotia, Quebec and Newfoundland finishing with a jaunt across to France in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. Starting in the seaside community of Sydney, Cape Breton, we take every opportunity to discover the Maritimes and the potential for amazing experiences both on and off the ship. Embracing historical culture, musical talent, a plethora of marine mammals and hundreds of thousands of seabirds, this voyage is truly a wildlife adventure.
The adventure begins in the seaside community of Halifax, Nova Scotia where we board our expedition vessel, the Ioffe.
Located on the edge of the Grand Banks hundreds of kilometres from the coast, Sable Island has a storied history as a graveyard of ships.
Sporadically inhabited by sealers, shipwreck survivors and salvagers, the island is now home to fewer than 6 year-round inhabitants and a herd of Sable Island ponies. Transitioning to National Park status, Sable Island’s future plans are currently uncertain.
A sandbar some 40 kilometres long and a little over a kilometer wide, Sable Island fills a unique biogeoclimatic role. It can be one of the foggiest, windiest and loneliest places in Canada but also one of the warmest and most temperate.
Whether we are able to land ashore at Sable Island or explore its coast by zodiac and ship, we join a limited number of people able to experience this island.
A small island located just a few miles offshore, Bird Island is home to a colony of puffins and razorbills. We may visit the nearby town of Englishtown where we will plan to pick up fresh-caught lobster to serve aboard the ship for dinner.
Cape Breton has a wonderful Celtic music culture and we will take time to learn about this culture as we explore the coast.
Sculpted out of sandstone, these islands jut out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and are home to a very unique fishing culture. With beautifully maintained waterfront houses and boats, flowing grassy plains and sculpted sandstone shorelines, these islands are a delight to visit. In addition to the fishing and sealing culture, we will experience a wide diversity of bird life as we travel the shore. Beaches and lagoons provide ample viewing opportunities for numerous shorebirds.
We will drop the anchor between the town of Perce and the island and visit the island by zodiac. One of the largest Northern Gannet colonies in North America, Ile Bonaventure is protected under provincial park status in Quebec. We will visit the colony, revelling in the views of these majestic seabirds from very close up.
We will take two days to visit this island spending as much time exploring the waters off the coast of it as we will onshore. At the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, and positioned near the mixing of waters from the river, Arctic waters from the Strait of Belle Isle and more temperate waters from the Atlantic, this is a marine region rich in wildlife.
Baleen whales such as the humpback, minke and blue whale as well as gray seals and harp seals abound. In addition we will look for eagles along the beach and gannets fishing the waters. This is an area rich in wildlife and our naturalists will be spotting and identifying the various creatures around us.
We sail into majestic Bonne Bay, in the heart of Gros Morne National Park. Cliff’s soar up out of the bay on our starboard side covered in a green velvet of tuckamore – windswept spruce sculpted by the ocean breeze.
Our destination will be the town of Woody Point where we will be welcomed ashore by a delegation from the community. With a few shops and pubs along the shore road, Woody Point is also our jumping off point for a hike up to the Discovery Centre – Gros Morne National Parks interpretation centre. From there various hikes will be guided out into the Tablelands (UNESCO world heritage geologic feature) and the Lookoff for a view over much of the park.
Keep your eyes peeled for moose as we hike in the park and take time to look down for some of the orchids of the boreal bog and the pitcher plant.
A very small outport community perched on the shores of beautiful fjord on the south coast of Newfoundland, Francois (pronounced Frans-way) a community steeped in the traditions of the sea.
There is no road access to Francois and as such, the town can become pretty isolated during the winter and during the storm season.
We will be welcomed ashore by the members of the community and perhaps if we hit it off, we will be welcomed to a dance at the community hall.
A French enclave within North America, walking down the streets of St. Pierre is like taking a jaunt into Europe. We will complete our voyage in Saint-Pierre with just enough time to visit the town before leaving for our respective home regions.
* Itinerary may be subject to change
|Per Person USD|
Rates Arctic 2014
Main Deck Triple
One Ocean Suite
$1000 Discount (shown in red)
Expires Nov 30th 2013
Charter Flight - Edmonton-Cambridge Bay
Free Air/hotel Package!
(or $1000 Discount)
Expires Nov 30th 2013
Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate. Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips. Optional Kayaking $695 per person. Price does not include charter flight cost which is $925 one way where applicable.
There is always a possibility of an added fuel surcharge if marine oil prices raise significantly.
Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.