Map of Atlantic Canada Explorer including Canada

From the islands to the highlands, discover Atlantic Canada’s best

Few travellers make it to this far corner of Canada’s coastline, but those who do are rewarded with an adventure to remember for a lifetime. Setting off from St John’s, sit back and watch a vast landscape of mountain-topped islands unfold in front of you over 12 days. Cruise to Sable Island, the Gully Marine Protected Area, Charlottetown, Cape Breton Island and more. With an expert expedition team on board the Ocean Endeavour, take part in workshops, presentations, Zodiac cruises and hikes, ensuring you’ll not only experience Atlantic Canada’s beauty, but really get beneath its surface.


Start
St. John’s, Canada
Finish
St. John’s, Canada
Destination
Canada
Style
Comfort
Theme
Polar
Code
SBKA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 2
Group size
Min 1, Max 198

Why you'll love this trip

  • Travel buddies don’t get much better than this – on board the Ocean Endeavour you’ll be joined by a team of expert guides and specialists, including famed author and environmental activist Margaret Atwood.

  • Delight in exploring the remote and remarkably beautiful Sable Island, where horses run wild, grey seals frolic and there’s no shortage of fascinating tales to uncover.

  • From the varied marine life of the Gully Marine Protected Area to the captivating birdlife of the Bird Islands, discover the incredible diversity of the region’s wildlife.

  • Explore charming towns and settlements, including the historic Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island and the delightful Saint-Pierre, an official territory of France.

  • Discover the Acadian and Gaelic heritage of Cape Breton Island and take in awe-inspiring scenery on a spectacular hike in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Believe it or not, temperatures in the Arctic can be freezing. And yet it can get surprisingly warm when the sun comes out, for instance, or with increased physical activity. It’s best to dress in layers when you journey outside and we’ll provide you with waterproof boots that are sturdy, warm and highly fashionable (in the arctic, at least). Please see the trip notes for information about what to bring.

  • Polar bears are one of the most incredible and appealing animals on the planet, but they are also powerful predators with little fear of humans. Therefore it’s necessary to be aware of the guidelines surrounding any contact with Polar bears. Follow your leader’s instructions and do not stray from your group – your leader carries equipment to protect you. We may need to adjust our plans to visit alternate arctic landing sites.

  • Weather and sea ice play a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.

Boats

Ocean Endeavour - Arctic boat on a tour

Ocean Endeavour - Arctic

The Ocean Endeavour - Arctic is a comfortable and spacious ship with a gym, library and wide range of cabin types.

Itinerary

Welcome to St. John’s, an urban oasis at the heart of Newfoundland and Labrador’s remote and rugged landscape. If you arrive here early, the city is known for its flourishing food scene, so perhaps head out to sample the catch of the day. In the afternoon, board the Ocean Endeavour ship, your home for the next 12 days. Settle in and prepare for an evening departure, leaving St. John’s behind and cruising through the famous Narrows passage. Look out for the colourful Battery neighbourhood, where brightly painted houses cling to the side of Signal Hill. If you’re lucky, you may also see icebergs, whales and seabirds as you head out into open waters.
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please make your own way to the port. Embarkation time is usually between 1pm and 2pm, the exact timings will be advised to you closer to your departure.
With a full day at sea, today is the perfect opportunity to learn all about the geography, history, culture and wildlife of the areas you’ll be exploring over the course of your journey. A team of expert guides will run interesting workshops and presentations, adding another layer to your understanding of the region. You’ll also have a special guest on board for your journey – Canadian author, poet and environmental activist Margaret Atwood will be joining you on board the Ocean Endeavour. A keen traveller and explorer, hear about her adventures and important conservation work. As you travel towards Sable Island, hear stories of this unique location and the role it played in early Canadian history.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
With only a few hundred visitors per year, exploring Sable Island is a real privilege. This remote sandbar is famed for its small wild horses, variety of rare and beautiful birds, and the world’s largest colony of grey seals. Hop aboard a Zodiac boat and traverse the shores of the island, then if weather allows, set out on foot and hike over sand dunes. Learn about the island’s human history as you explore its shores.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
The Gully is a Marine Protected Area east of Sable Island – this two-and-a-half-kilometre deep submarine valley plays host to a diverse range of shallow and deep-water fish, attracting whales and dolphins to the area. There’s no denying the Gully is one of the best spots in Canada for spotting marine life. Head out on deck as you sail through the Gully, where the team of onboard researchers will help spot wildlife and fill you in on the fascinating flora and fauna of the region, including significant coral communities.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
A piece of Nova Scotia’s history will come to life today as you get off the ship at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site on Cape Breton Island. The past plays out in front of you as the partially reconstructed 18th-century French fortress makes it easy to imagine what life here was once like. Find out about the battles that took place in this very spot as you explore the intriguing fortress that was first built by the French in 1720, captured by the British in 1745, then returned to the French before being captured once again in 1758, then eventually destroyed.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Just off Cape Breton’s coast and close to Cape Dauphin you’ll find the Bird Islands, an important seabird breeding and nesting area and home to Canada’s largest colony of great cormorants. Take a Zodiac cruise to admire the rich birdlife of the islands, looking out for Atlantic puffins, razorbills, black guillemots and Leach’s storm-petrels (don’t worry, you’ll have a guide with you to point out what’s what!).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today’s expedition landing will take you to the delightful fishing village of Chéticamp, found on the west coast of Cape Breton Island. Take some time to explore the bustling harbour, visit the rug-hooking museum and wander past shops and restaurants with traditional Acadian heritage woven through them. Get active with a hike along the scenic Skyline Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, where awe-inspiring scenery of the highlands and coast will surprise you at every turn. Learn about Cape Breton’s Gaelic history and see how the culture prevails today.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Get to know Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, with a visit to Charlottetown, its historic capital city. Feeling more like a gorgeous small town than a city, Charlottetown carries some heavy historic credentials and is recognised as the birthplace of confederation. Wander the city’s charming streets and look out for buildings and monuments commemorating Charlottetown’s important place in Canada’s story. While on Prince Edward Island, you may like to check out the Green Gables Heritage Place, fictional home of Anne from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel, or visit the Lennox Island Mi'kmaq First Nation to learn about the culture and traditions of the Mi’kmaq community.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
The wild and windswept southern coast of Newfoundland awaits – spend the day venturing between its secluded bays, coves and remote outport communities. Today’s journey is set to be especially scenic, so be sure to have your camera ready! Stunning plant life and geological features can be spotted along the coastline, and whales, birds and other wildlife are also commonly sighted. Zodiac cruises and expedition landings will get you up close and personal with the area’s most memorable sights.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Experience joie de vivre as you set foot on French soil – the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are an official territory of France and carry a certain European charm. Stop off in the town of Saint-Pierre and revel in exploring its pleasant streets brimming with French-style cafes, shop and houses – you’ll feel a world away from Canada!
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head back to where it all began, taking one last look at the Narrows as you cruise back into St. John’s harbour. Say farewell to your newfound friends before disembarking the Ocean Endeavour in St. John’s, at which point your adventure will come to an end.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners

Transport

Expedition Cruise Ship, Zodiac

Accommodation

Expedition cruise ship (11 nights)

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Atlantic Canada Explorer trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

This trip starts at midday, you can usually board the ship between 1pm and 2pm. The exact boarding time will be provided closer to your departure.

SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS
This trip is operated by our partner Adventure Canada on board the Ocean Endeavour ship.
You are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of AUD3000, USD2000, EUR1800, NZD3200, GBP1700, CAD2800, CHF2000 or ZAR34,900 per person per trip for your booking to be confirmed.

Final payment is due 120 days before your trip departure date.

If a booking is cancelled up to 120 days before departure, 50% of the non refundable deposit per person per cruise will be held as a future Travel credit.
If a booking is cancelled from 91 days to 120 days before departure, a 65% cancellation fee will apply.
If a booking is cancelled at 90 days or less before departure, a 100% cancellation fee will apply.

Please refer to our "Booking terms and conditions" page on our website for all Adventure Canada terms and conditions.

Essential trip information

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