Every year, the world’s largest group of migrating humpback whales visit the shores of eastern Newfoundland to play in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and show-off for their spectators. While we can’t guarantee these giants will be willing to make an appearance during your visit, the dates in this package occur during the prime whale watching season of late June to early August.
Wildlife abounds in this part of the province, and it’s common to spot moose and caribou along hiking trails even close to St. John’s. Bird lovers will encounter murres, puffins, razor-billed auks, gannets, eagles, and more, which can all be seen at one of the world’s largest seabird reserves located in Witless Bay. For more wildlife viewing opportunities, hike the trails of Terra Nova National Park, or take a boat tour.
If the timing is right, you’ll get a three-for-one deal: whales, icebergs, and birds. Around this time of year, massive blocks of ice drift down through Iceberg Alley, speckling the shoreline and often becoming grounded in shallow waters. When you’re done snapping photographs, enjoy a night out on the city of St. John’s, North America’s oldest city and home to some of the best nightlife and dining options in Canada.
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Your Package Includes
- Expert travel advice
- 7 nights' accommodation in fine quality local hotels
- 7 day escorted ground transportation (including airport transfers)
- Services of an experienced naturalist guide
- Select meals
- Admission to select attractions
- June 5, 12, 19, 26; July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2016
7 Night Itinerary
- Day 1: Welcome and Orientation: Pick up at airport and short orientation excursion around St. John's. An evening slideshow or photo exhibit will introduce you to the highlights of the upcoming holiday. Relax and get ready for the adventure. Overnight in St. John's.
- Day 2: Puffins and Whales: Today begins with a boat voyage featuring whale watching, North America's largest puffin colony, and tens of thousands of other seabirds. We like to start your holiday with a thrill as we usually see members of the world's largest summertime gathering of acrobatic humpback whales; and often we enjoy the company of other whale species. The islands we visit are one of the planet's largest seabird reserves — expect an amazing and joyful morning. Next we savour a lunch featuring local flavors before visiting one of the New World's earliest fishing villages. Overnight St. John's.
- Day 3: Outport and Wilderness: Whales, members of the world’s most southerly caribou herd, a small puffin colony, a tern colony, and seals are usually seen as we circle the Avalon Wilderness Area — a 1,000 square kilometre park. Sometimes the whales are lunge feeding on a local beach — and when this is happening we make that marvellous spectacle and the small caribou herd the highlights of the day. We often get to enjoy lots of other wildlife including seabirds visiting from south of the equator. You will be enchanted by the gorgeous fishing villages and woodland wonders along the way as we travel to St. Brides for the night. Should southerly winds bring fog to this route, we will enjoy an alternative itinerary with coastal communities and wildlife watching as we travel to scenic St. Brides.
- Day 4: Sea Stacks and Lighthouses: The morning starts with a visit to the continent’s third largest gannet colony. This site is also a breeding ground for thousands of other seabirds including the world’s most southerly thick-billed murres. We get great views of gannets, kittiwakes, and murres with their eggs and/or chicks. In season — usually mid-July — we enjoy some of the world’s finest land-based whale watching as the high seacliffs allow us to watch the whales cavort around their northern coastal feeding grounds. After lunch we explore Placentia, the first outpost of New France. We also show off our secret orchid patch and look for moose. The evening’s destination is the Trinity/Bonavista/Port Union area. Our route to the coast features a moose and black bear hunt (with cameras only). Some years we enjoy a 90 per cent or higher success rate at finding moose over the week, but bears are much more elusive. These hunts are always fun!
- Day 5: Towns, Trails and Tails: This morning we go to sea again to enjoy more of the ocean’s wonders as we look for bald eagles and watch for whales. In 2007, our company's naturalists established that sperm whales are consistently found during the summer in a portion of Trinity Bay and we will look out for them and other whale species. Our afternoon will feature more of what makes this area so special — trails, moose, osprey, songbirds, dramatic vistas, orchids, shore-birds, and numerous small museums and interpretation centres. In some ways this is an afternoon where we can cater to your interests. Bird watching, icebergs, lighthouses, flower walks, beachcombing, sea kayaking, land-based whale watching, photographing the local architecture, and hands-on marine biology programs are all possibilities. Many guests simply enjoy exploring the beautiful and historic community of Trinty. Wander through the town on your own or walk with our knowledgeable and fun guide.
- Day 6: The Oldest City: Explore more of the historic Bonavista/Trinity region. Icebergs, giant chunks of 15,000 year old Greenland glaciers, and more whales usually add to the day's photographic wonders. Call in at nearby settlements to learn more about Newfoundland's unique cultures and flavours before returning to St. John's for the evening. Enjoy Friday and Saturday night out on the town in North America's first city. Our leader will provide lots of suggestions about local theatre, entertainment, fine dining and culture. Enjoy! Overnight St. John's
- Day 7: The Eastern Edge: Travel to North America’s most easterly point, and further explore the trails, museums, and attractions of historic St. John’s. We also try to fit in another dramatic wildlife watching boat trip and look for more puffins and whales.
- Day 8: Farewell to Sea and Sky: Free in St. John's until we bring you to the airport.
- Departure City
- 7 Night
- Land Only Portion
- Your Package Includes