- Incredible birdlife including gannet colonies and Atlantic puffins
- Marine mammals such as grey seals and harp seals and humpback whales
- Isolated fishing communities
- Spectacular Gros Morne National Park
- Rarely visited Sable Island, Bird Island, Bonaventure Island and the Gaspe Peninsula
- Zodiac cruising, hiking and photographic opportunities
- Optional kayaking excursions
This expedition cruise takes travellers to islands and remote parts of Canada's Atlantic coast. Eastern Canada is famous for a rich and diverse culture, found in small fishing communities and remote ports. The region also offers a staggering abundance of wildlife, including prolific birdlife, numerous seal and whale species and we even encounter the fabled wild horses of Sable Island. Beaches and lagoons provide viewing opportunities for numerous shorebirds. On the cruise we hope to see the great baleen whales such as the humpback, minke and blue whale, as well as grey and harp seals.
Kayaking is complimentary on this expedition.
The islands of Canada’s Atlantic Provinces offer an abundance of birdlife and marine mammals, in addition to unique fishing and Celtic cultures. Beaches and lagoons provide ample viewing opportunities for numerous shorebirds and as we cruise towards the mouth of the St Lawrence River we hope to see baleen whales such as the humpback, minke and blue whale as well as grey and harp seals. In addition we will look for eagles along the beach and gannets fishing the waters. This is an area rich in wildlife and the onboard naturalists will be spotting and identifying the various creatures around. Starting and ending in the historical town of Louisbourg on beautiful Cape Breton Island, this voyage offers a tremendous opportunity to explore this historic and beautiful region and we take every opportunity to discover the Maritimes in all their glory.
As we sail the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we will be accompanied by a Cape Breton fiddler and an East Coast musician with a focus on the musical culture of the small fishing communities. Really, no voyage in these waters could be accompanied by any less than this.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1 – Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Our adventure begins in the historic port town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, where we board our expedition vessel. First visited in 1597 by the English, the town was fortified in 1713 by the French in recognition of its strategic maritime location. During the 18th century, Louisbourg was the third busiest seaport in North America. We will board the vessel in the late afternoon in time for a dinner of fresh, local lobster as we sail out past the lighthouse and onto the Grand Banks.
Day 2 - Sable Island
Located on the edge of the Grand Banks, hundreds of kilometers from the coast, Sable Island has a storied history as a graveyard of ships, with more than 350 ships falling victim to the treacherous currents and sandbars. Sporadically inhabited by sealers, shipwreck survivors and salvagers, the island is now home to fewer than six year-round inhabitants and a herd of Sable Island ponies. Sable Island is now one of Canada’s newest national parks.
Day 3 - Bird Island
On the north central coast of Cape Breton, the Bird Islands are home to a number of important species including the great cormorant, Atlantic puffin, Atlantic razorbill, black-legged kittiwake and are known as an important feeding area for Cape Breton’s population of bald eagles.
Day 4 - The Magdalen Islands (Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine)
Sculpted out of sandstone, the remote islands of the Gulf of St. Lawrence are home to unique fishing communities with beautifully maintained waterfront houses and boats, flowing grassy plains and sculpted sandstone shorelines. In addition to the traditional fishing and sealing culture, we will see a wide diversity of bird life along the beaches and lagoons.
Day 5 - Bonaventure Island and the Gaspe Peninsula
At Bonaventure Island we drop the anchor near the town of Perce and visit the island by zodiac. One of the largest northern gannet colonies in the world, Bonaventure Island is protected under provincial park status in Quebec. We visit the colony, indulging in close up views of these majestic seabirds.
Day 6 – Anticosti Island
At the mouth of the St. Lawrence River where the river water mixes with Arctic waters from the Strait of Belle Isle and the more temperate Atlantic waters, Anticosti Island is rich in marine wildlife. We plan to wander the beaches near the eastern end of the island followed by a zodiac cruise along the cliffs at East Point. We will keep our eyes open for shorebirds and seabirds as well as whales and seals as we enjoy this region.
Day 7 - Gros Morne National Park
Sailing into majestic Bonne Bay, in the heart of Gros Morne National Park, the cliffs soar up out of the water and are covered in a green blanket of tuckamore forest – windswept spruce sculpted by the ocean breeze. At Woody Point we are welcomed ashore by a delegation from the community before hiking up to the excellent interpretation centre. From there, various guided walks take us into the World Heritage-listed Tablelands and to the lookout for a view over much of the park – a spectacular experience!
Day 8 – Francois
Francois (pronounced Frans-way) is a small, isolated community steeped in the traditions of the sea, perched on the edge of a beautiful fjord on the south coast of Newfoundland. We are welcomed ashore by members of the community and, if we hit it off, we may be invited to a dance at the community hall!
Day 9 - St Pierre et Miquelon
The island of St. Pierre is a European enclave still under French control. Walking down the streets feels like taking a stroll through a provincial French town. There's an excellent puffin colony here and, if weather permits, we cruise in the zodiacs to see these colourful birds. Tonight we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain to mark the end of our Maritime adventure.
Day 10 – Louisbourg
We sail back to Cape Breton across the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, heading again for the historic port of Louisbourg. We will disembark in the morning and, while some of us will hustle to the airport, many will add a few extra days in Cape Breton to enjoy one of the gems of Canada’s East Coast.
Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favourable conditions.
Expedition Vessel: M/V Akademik Sergey Vavilov
Designed for polar research, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, also known as the One Ocean Voyager is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, the public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. A separate bar and lounge located on deck 6 with expansive 180 degree views, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading.
Enjoy the sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team in the dining room, which can host all clients in a single seating with ample room. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa (November 2012), sauna, and salt water plunge pool.
For full information about this vessel click here:
Dates, Costs & Booking
Choose Number of Berths & Category
Date Selected: 4th Jul 2018
Adult (1) US$3395
Sub total US$3395
Reservations require a 20% deposit at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment.
Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and can be paid by bank transfer. Balance payments may be made by credit card subject to a 2% surcharge.
All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 120 days or more prior to departure = loss of deposit. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance.
Pricing, Sharing and Single Occupancy
Prices shown are per person on a shared basis. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with someone of the same gender and pay only the share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.5 times the twin share rate (not available in the Triple category), or 2 times the rate for Suites.
Family Travel and Child Discounts
For youth up to and including 17 years of age there is a 25% reduction in price. For youth between the ages of 18-21 there is a 20% reduction in price with proof of educational enrolment (current student card). These youth bookings must accompany an adult booking. Permission is required for any traveller under the age of 18 years and a Child Consent form to be completed.
Please read carefully the general Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by One Ocean Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
- Voyage and accommodation on board as indicated in the itinerary.
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
- Free use of onboard expedition rubber boots & wet weather gear (you are welcome to bring your own as well)
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac and guided hikes/walks.
- Educational presentations and leadership by experienced expedition guides, naturalist staff, and hospitality staff.
- Access to onboard multimedia room and download stations
- An emergency trained English speaking physician
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
- Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights.
- Canadian GST of 5% to be added to the cruise and flight cost
- Pre- and post land arrangements.
- Transfers to the vessel.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
- Excess baggage charges.
- All items of a personal nature such as additional purchases onboard in the gift shop, laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).