Long inhabited by indigenous peoples of Canada, Newfoundland began to captivate Europeans with the arrival of the Vikings. This ruggedly beautiful island of majestic fjords and cliffs, pristine boreal forests, and diverse flora and fauna has continued to entrance all who venture here. Estuaries of glacial rivers are populated by countless seabirds, silver seagulls and flocks of terns, and the chilly waters are home to wild Atlantic salmon, cod fish, seals, and 29 different marine mammal species including the largest concentration of Humpback whales in the world. Pack your boots, coats, and gloves, but don’t spoil the best Canadian secret: Newfoundland.
Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in forests and nature reserves, getting in and out of vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.
July and August in Newfoundland is warm and often humid during the day – can reach the 80s, although nights by the water or at higher altitudes are cooler. June and September are more comfortable or fresh during the day and sometimes cold at night. The rest of the year would be cold and unpredictable and not recommended for travel. For the exten-sion, the weather is maritime and changeable, from moments of brilliant sunshine to thick fog, to showers. Summer days range from cool to hot with a normal temperature of 61 degrees. In June and early July, fog is common and should be expected, where-as August and September are sunny, warm and sometimes windy. We can promise no scorching heat waves!
Arrive at St. John’s Airport and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Situated in the heart of historic downtown, your hotel is part of the Murray Premises, one of the city’s most pre-eminent landmarks. Built in 1846, the site is the oldest collection of mercantile buildings related to the fishing industry in Newfoundland, overlooking the picturesque entrance to St. John’s harbor, the Narrows, and only minutes from historic Signal Hill National Historic Site. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner. MURRAY PREMISES HOTEL. (D)
Today, embark on a visit of the City of St. John’s, the oldest port city in North America, capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador. The city’s name has been attributed to the feast day of John the Baptist, when Italian navigator and explorer John Cabot was believed to have sailed into the harbor in 1497, after making landfall in Bonavista and called the region “New Founde Lande.” Also hike part of the acclaimed East Coast Trail, twisting past towering cliffs and headlands, eroded sea stacks and deep fjords. In the afternoon transfer to Bay Bulls, and board a boat for a 1.5-hour whale and Puffin watching trip in Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, North America’s largest Atlantic Puffin colony. MURRAY PREMISES HOTEL. (B,D)
Travel to Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve for insights into the ecosystem and habitat of seabird colonies. Keep watch for the world’s southernmost woodland caribou herd, known as the Avalon Caribou Herd, along the way, although their numbers have been steadily declining. “The Cape,” is one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s major seabird colonies. During the breeding season, it is home to 24,000 Northern Gannet, 20,000 Black-legged Kittiwake, 20,000 Common Murre and 2,000 Thick-billed Murre. More than 100 pairs of Razorbill, 60 pairs of Black Guillemot, plus Double-crested and Great Cormorant, and Northern Fulmar nest here. Later enjoy lunch at the Castle Landing in the fishing town of Placentia, the capital of French Newfoundland from 1660 to 1763. End your day in Clarenville. ST. JUDE HOTEL. (B,L,D)
Transfer to Bonavista Peninsula, one of the oldest settlements in Newfoundland where John Cabot is thought to have landed in 1497, claiming this part of the New World for the king of England. Visit the Ryan Premises National Historic Site, where you will see restored merchants premises, a tribute to the role of the East Coast fishery in Canadian history. In the afternoon, explore the historic town of Trinity, an authentic fishing community with buildings dating from the 1800s. Your home is part of a collection of six distinct heritage properties. MY TRINITY EXPERIENCE. (B,L,D)
Leave port for a morning boat tour around Cape Bonavista and Spillars Cove. This is the site of the red-and-white striped lighthouse of Cape Bonavista Provincial Historic Site, built in 1843. Visit two Atlantic Puffin colonies and look for Black Pigeons in the cliffs. During the migratory season, look for icebergs and whales. In the afternoon, explore the beautiful Bonavista Peninsula along scenic roads and trails. MY TRINITY EXPERIENCE. (B,D)
Today explore Terra Nova National Park where the landscape varies from the rugged cliffs and sheltered inlets of the coastal region to the rolling forested hills, bogs and ponds of the inland. See also remnants of sawmills and past human cultures. During the morning boat tour learn more about the fishing and natural habitat of this area. Discover the secrets of Newman Sound, a “hands on” experience. Try pulling a trap (crab, lobster and whelk) and see how fishermen have harvested the Atlantic Ocean for centuries. A plankton tow will show you how some of the smallest animals in the ocean are actually some of the biggest players. The afternoon’s walk between the mountains and the sea is great for wildlife watching – look for moose and black bears! MY TRINITY EXPERIENCE. (B,D)
Return to St John’s and explore the city. Discover the Cape Spear National Historic Site Lighthouse, the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador, located at the most easterly point of land in North America. The site is surrounded by spectacular scenery and wildlife such as whales, seabirds and icebergs, in season. Continue to Signal Hill National Historic Site, the reception point of the first transatlantic wireless signal by Guglielmo Marconi in 1901. Enjoy a performance of the 19th-century military drills by the Signal Hill Tattoo (in season), or take a hike from the summit along the coast and harbor. MURRAY PREMISES HOTEL. (B,L,D)
Time to return home – a fond farewell to this beautiful part of the world! (B)
Just 12 miles off the coast of Canada, lies France’s oldest remaining overseas territory. Only about 6,000 people live in these islands, but influence is unmistakable – from the currency used (the Euro) to the cars driven (Renault, Citroen, Peugeot) to the aromas of French Bakery delights. First settled in the 17th century, the Islands bounced back and forth between France and England, but are now the last vestige of France within North America. In the summer, Saint-Pierre is a very animated little port. Musicians, artists and different festivals ensure a lively atmosphere. Discover this quaint place, mix with the warm and friendly locals, look for wild horses and abundant wildlife… migratory whales, seabirds, seals in the lagoon… a most charming way to end your adventure!
Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.
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