Labrador and Torngat Explorer
Book before 30 October 2017: Save 50%of the charter flight costs.
Book before 30 October 2017: Save 50%of the charter flight costs.
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.
Numerous wildlife species are found along this coastline, including bears, seals, whales and migratory and resident birds. A particular highlight of our voyage is a visit to Torngat Mountains National Park, a jewel in the crown of the Canadian National Park network. There is a strong cultural element to this voyage, as we learn about the Inuit and their strong cultural and spiritual connections to the land. A final highlight awaits as we venture across Frobisher Bay to Monumental Island. Day 1 - Louisbourg, Nova Scotia Our adventure begins in the historic port town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. 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 board the ship in the late afternoon in time for a dinner of local lobster as we sail out past the lighthouse, into the North Atlantic and on to Newfoundland and Labrador. Day 2 - Gros Morne National Park This morning we are anchored off the tiny fishing community of Trout River, the access point into Gros Morne National Park. Our zodiacs take us ashore and we are transferred by bus for a visit to the World Heritage-listed Tablelands. This incredible location is notable for its unique geology and exceptional scenery. We explore the boreal wetland landscape, featuring dramatic rock ridges, pitcher plants, and white-throated sparrows. We might encounter the iconic moose as we explore the park. We re-board the ship in the afternoon and continue our voyage northwards. Day 3 - L'Anse aux Meadows A millennium ago, Viking long-ships would have been found along the beach of L'Anse aux Meadows. L’Anse aux Meadows is where Norseman, Leif Erikson, son of Eric the Red, is thought to have founded “Vinland” around 1000 AD. As we explore the reconstructed sod huts and Norse ruins with the site’s resident archaeologist, we see evidence that the Vikings discovered North America five hundred years prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Day 4 - Battle Harbour Battle Harbour marks our arrival in Labrador. The location was one of the first British settlements on the east coast of the Americas and was an important gateway to the rich Labrador fisheries. We venture ashore to explore the restored fishing, whaling, commercial buildings found in this remote community. The colorful buildings make for fantastic photographic subjects amid the backdrop of breathtaking coastal views. Day 5 - Hopedale The ancient rocks of the Canadian Shield (the exposed portion of the Earth’s crust) cradle the small coastal hamlet of Hopedale. This remarkable geological feature, estimated to be up to 4 billion years old, greets us as we sail through narrow channels and weigh anchor off Hopedale. We venture ashore by zodiac to visit the Hopedale Moravian Mission which was built in 1782. It’s a fascinating place and we learn of the influence of the early Moravian missionaries on the Inuit people of Northern Labrador. Day 6 - Hebron Today we enjoy a visit to the historic town of Hebron, once the northernmost settlement in Labrador. The Moravian missionaries established Hebron in the early 1830s and the Germanic influence is clearly seen in the architecture. The Mission was closed and the local Inuit families relocated in 1959, but the original buildings still stand today. This is another designated National Historic Site. We will hope to meet Buddy and Jenny, Nunatsiavut Government ambassadors, who have been looking after the historic site for years and have many absorbing stories to tell. Day 7 - Torngat Mountains National Park Midway through our exploration of Labrador, our attention turns to the magnificent wilderness of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve. The Park was established in 2005 and covers almost 10,000 square kilometers of Northern Labrador. It is home to Canada’s highest mountains east of the Rockies, and features breathtaking fjords, glacial systems and stunning landscapes. The Inuktitut word “Torngait” means “place of spirits”; these mountains have been home to Inuit and their predecessors for over 7500 years and are of great spiritual importance to these peoples. Polar bears hunt seals along the coast, and caribou herds cross paths as they migrate to and from their calving grounds. There are some terrific opportunities to explore the area on foot and along the shoreline in the zodiacs. Day 8 - Torngat Mountains National Park Nachvak Fjord in the Torngat Mountains National Park is exceptionally beautiful. The fjord is deep and narrow and stretches more than 20 kilometers. The rocky walls of the fjord soar almost 900 meters above us at several points. Many species migrate through the area during the short boreal summer. Numerous seal species may be encountered including ring, hooded, harp and harbour seals. Minke whales have been known to linger in the fjords, while larger species, including fin and humpback, tend to stay offshore. This is an outstanding location for landscape photography with endless subjects, a dynamic colour range, and interesting lighting. Day 9 - Martin Bay and Button Island As we reach the far northern stretches of coastal Labrador, we learn of the remarkable events at Martin Bay. Here a German U-boat made the only known armed landing in North America during World War Two. In 1943, U-537 sat at anchor here, while the crew man-handled ashore and established an automated weather station. This station remained undiscovered until the late 1970’s when a German historian came across a reference to it in the German naval archives. The equipment was collected by the Canadian Coast Guard in the early 1980’s and is on permanent display in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. We visit the Button Islands before sailing into southern Davis Strait. Named after Thomas Button who explored the area in 1612, the islands are in the middle of the upwelling of nutrients on the edge of the continental shelf. This action makes it a magnet for thousands of seabirds and other marine mammals. Day 10 - Monumental Island Today we will sail across the mouth of Frobisher Bay and make landfall on Monumental Island, a small, steep-sided outcrop off the southeast coast of Baffin Island. Here we are on the lookout for polar bears and walrus that live around the island in an uneasy truce. While polar bears have been known to attack and kill young walrus, they are no match for a fully-grown male walrus, especially in the water. We enjoy our final zodiac cruise here and tonight we reflect on the last 10-days of exploration while enjoying a sumptuous farewell dinner, attended by the Captain of the ship. During the night the ship will negotiate the narrow channels of Frobisher Bay on the way to our disembarkation point, Iqaluit, capital of the territory of Nunavut. Day 11 - Ottawa We bid farewell to our crew and disembark the ship by zodiac and, after a short tour of Iqaluit (if time and tides permit), we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Ottawa. On arrival in Ottawa, an airport transfer is provided to a central downtown location.
Designed for polar research, the Akademik Ioffe, also known as the One Ocean Navigator is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, the public spaces onboard the ship are ideally suited for each and every need. A separate bar and lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. Enjoy the sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team in our 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, sauna and plunge pool.
|Kayaking Arctic||Imagine the swish of water is it passes your hull, or the clack of brash ice against your paddle blade. Sea kayaking in the polar regions allows you to experience another side of this magnificent destination. Highly experienced guides help you with safety and interpretation and introduce you to a slower paced, quieter environment. Kayak excursions will be offered in conjunction with the Zodiac excursions whenever weather conditions permit. This program is directed at any passenger with an adventurous spirit and a basic paddling ability. The sea kayaking option should be added at the time of booking and, due to its great popularity, is generally not available for booking onboard the vessel.||US$695|