Atlantic Canada Explorer

About the Experience

Experience the blooms and bounty of summer on Canada’s east coast! The Atlantic Canada Explorer is an intimate and memorable introduction to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saint-Pierre, France—in the pampered luxury of the Ocean Endeavour

Centuries of deeply-steeped culture are stitched together like a quilt pattern—Mi’kmaw, Acadian, English, Scottish, Irish, and French—the traditions and distinct lifestyle of the eastern provinces is experienced in song, dance and cuisine foraged and fished from the Atlantic shores.

This history lesson is an open book from the St. John’s Narrows to the Fortress of Louisbourg. In a single trip by sea, you can visit three of Canada’s provinces AND Europe without ever leaving North America. Saint-Pierre (and Miquelon) is a colourful French archipelago south of Newfoundland. 

You’ll also witness the unbridled power and thunder of the legendary wild horses of Sable Island, one hundred miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. The wild horses are descendants of animals introduced to the island in the 1700s, and since their formal protection in 1961, a population of around 500 horses resides on Sable.

The natural anomalies stretch from the Gully Marine Protected Area (the largest underwater canyon in the western North Atlantic) to the Cape Breton Highlands, where the mountains unfold into the sea. The jagged shores of Newfoundland’s south coast offers surprises at every turn from glimpses of minke or pilot whales to a circus of puffins, peppering the cliffs.

If you need a reset and recharge–the craggy Atlantic coast, the island outpost of France, the wild horses and vibrant culture of eastern Canada will restore you instantly. This experience is accentuated by the presence of Canada’s preeminent novelist, poet and environmental ambassador, Margaret Atwood. Make sure you do your homework and don’t skip her onboard classes! Ms. Atwood’s participation on the Atlantic Canada Explorer elevates this Wild Women experience in an enormous way. Don’t miss this boat!

 

 

 

SPECIAL GUEST: MARGARET ATWOOD

Influenced by a childhood spent in the bewitching woods of Northern Ontario and Quebec, Margaret has been an unstoppable conservationist and tireless advocate for birds. She believes in the magnetic power of getting people deep into nature–it’s undeniably transformative. 

Margaret has been travelling with Adventure Canada as a dedicated staff member for 20 years. Join her on this unmatched voyage of discovery. Margaret will be delivering captivating onboard presentations on this expedition making this an opportunity that you must dog ear!

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know we’re a global leader in women’s adventure travel? Check out our destinations around the world!

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Atlantic Canada Explorer

About the Experience

Experience the blooms and bounty of summer on Canada’s east coast! The Atlantic Canada Explorer is an intimate and memorable introduction to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saint-Pierre, France—in the pampered luxury of the Ocean Endeavour

Centuries of deeply-steeped culture are stitched together like a quilt pattern—Mi’kmaw, Acadian, English, Scottish, Irish, and French—the traditions and distinct lifestyle of the eastern provinces is experienced in song, dance and cuisine foraged and fished from the Atlantic shores.

This history lesson is an open book from the St. John’s Narrows to the Fortress of Louisbourg. In a single trip by sea, you can visit three of Canada’s provinces AND Europe without ever leaving North America. Saint-Pierre (and Miquelon) is a colourful French archipelago south of Newfoundland. 

You’ll also witness the unbridled power and thunder of the legendary wild horses of Sable Island, one hundred miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. The wild horses are descendants of animals introduced to the island in the 1700s, and since their formal protection in 1961, a population of around 500 horses resides on Sable.

The natural anomalies stretch from the Gully Marine Protected Area (the largest underwater canyon in the western North Atlantic) to the Cape Breton Highlands, where the mountains unfold into the sea. The jagged shores of Newfoundland’s south coast offers surprises at every turn from glimpses of minke or pilot whales to a circus of puffins, peppering the cliffs.

If you need a reset and recharge–the craggy Atlantic coast, the island outpost of France, the wild horses and vibrant culture of eastern Canada will restore you instantly. This experience is accentuated by the presence of Canada’s preeminent novelist, poet and environmental ambassador, Margaret Atwood. Make sure you do your homework and don’t skip her onboard classes! Ms. Atwood’s participation on the Atlantic Canada Explorer elevates this Wild Women experience in an enormous way. Don’t miss this boat!

 

 

 

SPECIAL GUEST: MARGARET ATWOOD

Influenced by a childhood spent in the bewitching woods of Northern Ontario and Quebec, Margaret has been an unstoppable conservationist and tireless advocate for birds. She believes in the magnetic power of getting people deep into nature–it’s undeniably transformative. 

Margaret has been travelling with Adventure Canada as a dedicated staff member for 20 years. Join her on this unmatched voyage of discovery. Margaret will be delivering captivating onboard presentations on this expedition making this an opportunity that you must dog ear!

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know we’re a global leader in women’s adventure travel? Check out our destinations around the world!

 

 

 

DAY ONE: ST.JOHN’S, NL

The port of St. John’s is a moment that will make you take pause. There is a necessary hush and some sweaty palms at the thought of taking the captain’s wheel to navigate the ship out of the neck of the famous Narrows.

Watch for locals and tourists alike, madly waving from the iconic Signal Hill just before we exit the harbour of North America’s oldest city. The carefree and bold paint palette of the houses of The Battery are a pure marvel, much like the colourful jumble of homes on Jellybean Row. 

Plan to squeeze in a Screech ceremony to make your landing in Newfoundland 100% official! It’s a Wild Women prerequisite! For everyone who is a “come-from-away” there’s a full, unspoken guarantee that you’ll be back.

 

DAY TWO: AT SEA

We’ll be in full-on learning mode as our expert expedition team shares the dynamic history and ecology of Sable Island, one of Canada’s furthest offshore islands.

The wild horses of Sable Island National Park Reserve garner the most attention, for good reason. Grey seals are also found on the island and the breeding colonies are enormous! During the “pupping season” (December, January), more than 50,000 pups can be born!

Birders: ready, set, go! More than 350 species of birds have been recorded on Sable Island alone. Below, 18 varieties of sharks lurk below in the waters of the Scotian Shelf. 

On deck, we’ll be scanning for birds, mammals and the unpredictable encounters that make this expedition remarkable. 

 

DAY THREE-FOUR: SABLE ISLAND, NS

This crescent-shaped, 42km-long sandbar island is known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. Hundreds of ships have met their demise on its shifting sands. At its widest, Sable stretches around 1.5km.

Located one hundred wavy miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, Sable Island is also synonymous with wild horses. The Sable Island horses (also referred to as Sable Island ponies) are the resilient descendants of horses introduced to the island back in the 1700s. Legend has it that these horses originally belonged to Acadian settlers who were deported by the British between 1755 and 1764 (whose assets were subsequently seized). Since their formal protection in 1961, a population of around 500 horses resides on Sable. In 2013, Sable Island became a National Park Reserve ensuring the population’s protection and the island’s precious natural space under Canada’s National Park Legislation.

The Sable Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary was established in 1977 and covers the entirety of the island. Here, dunes reach 30m in height, and there’s a saltwater lake in the belly of the midpoint on the southern beach.

The Ipswich sparrow (a subspecies of the savannah sparrow) is found on Sable and is designated as a species of Special Concern under the Species at Risk Act. 

We’ll walk the dunes, cruise the shores and keep watch for Ipswich, great black-backed gulls, Arctic terns, red-breasted mergansers and American black ducks, depending on the season. We’ll also learn about Sable Island’s fascinating human footprint and evolution.

 

 

DAY FIVE: MARINE PROTECTED AREA

The Gully is a Marine Protected Area where the seafloor plunges 2.5km into a surreal submarine valley. The Gully is one of the most prominent undersea features in eastern Canada–in fact, it’s the largest underwater canyon in the western North Atlantic. Formed by aggressive glaciers and meltwater erosion, the canyon began long ago–approximately 150,000 to 450,000 years ago!

Around 30 species of cold-water coral create hospitable communities that support a diverse ecosystem of shallow and deep-water fish and tiny plankton, which draws  the hungry attention of whales and dolphins. The endangered Scotian Shelf population of Northern bottlenose whales inhabits this area in addition to tunas and swordfish, brittle stars, anemones and sea pens.  Halibut, skates, cusk and lanternfish can be found as deep as one kilometre (explaining why they keep company with lanternfish!). 

Chat with our onboard researchers to appreciate the abundance and resilience of marine life!

 

 

DAY SIX: FORTRESS OF LOUISBOURG

Located on Cape Breton’s craggy shoreline, this fortress was built by the French in 1720. French colonial life is nearly palpable in the 18th century ruins, fortifications, elaborate kitchen gardens and enchanting house of the reconstruction. 

The fortifications at Louisbourg were captured by the British in 1745 and  later returned to the French–only to be captured again in 1758 and then destroyed. Thoughtfully reconstructed in the 1960s and 1970s, the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site is the largest historical reconstruction in North America.  

Costumed soldiers march to fife and drum–no doubt under the spell of the bakery’s scent. “Soldier’s bread” is baked fresh daily in traditional stone ovens, following a strict 18th century recipe! No substitutions!

Meet the heritage farm animals (sheep, chickens, goats) that live at the fortress and be swept away by the moody coast and whiff of wood smoke that permeates the air.

 

 

DAY SEVEN: BIRDS ISLAND

Conditions permitting, we’ll visit the Bird Islands, just off Cape Breton’s coast near Cape Dauphin on a Zodiac cruise.This critical seabird nesting and breeding area includes the largest colony of great cormorants in Canada (565 nesting pairs!). Be on high-alert for black-legged kittiwakes, razorbills and Atlantic puffins–the famed “clowns of the sea”. Black guillemots and Leach’s storm-petrels also like to congregate here. Steep 20m cliffs ring the perimeter of both narrow islands (Hertford and Ciboux) and are pock-marked with numerous holes and ledges.

Cape Breton Island attracts more than birds–it’s a bastion of Gaelic music and culture. The rugged highlands and wind-battered coastline of the Island is synonymous with the internationally renowned Cabot Trail and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The deep river canyons and verdant valleys are home to moose, black bears and countless talented fiddlers and songwriters like Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac and his kid sister, Lisa MacIsaac of Madison Violet fame.

 

 

DAY EIGHT: CHETICAMP

Today we’ll “call in” at the traditional Acadian fishing village of Chéticamp, on the western shore of Cape Breton Island. This twee harbour is loved for its rug-hooking museum, artisanal shops and restaurants where live music is known to spontaneously break-out! 

Nearby, Cape Breton Highlands National Park is treasured  for its knock-out landscape and wildlife–the Cabot Trail winds its way through the valleys and canyons. If weather and mood permits, we’ll hike the Skyline Trail–and it delivers just that. The trail ends at the steep headland cliff that rewards with skyline views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the metallic Atlantic Ocean.

 

 

DAY NINE: PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Historic Prince Edward Island has several bragging rights. Charlottetown was the Birthplace of Confederation, July 1, 1867. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel, Anne of Green Gables, has attracted fans from around the world, eager to discover “Avonlea” and “Anne’s Land.”

Charlottetown is the capital of Canada’s smallest province, and is a pure delight. It’s easy to lose an afternoon on the main streets, lingering in bookstores, vinyl shops and indie stores offering handmade pottery, preserves and quilts.

A visit to PEI isn’t complete until you’ve had PEI potatoes in some form–like “fox plops” (chocolate-covered potato chips) or a scoop of COWS ice cream. Local faves include Cowconut Cream Pie, PEI Blueberry or Cownadian Maple.

Optional excursions include a visit to the famed Green Gables or Lennox Island Mi’kmaq First Nation on Malpeque Bay. Lennox Island currently has 32 boats in the commercial and traditional lobster fishery. Bideford Shellfish Hatchery is the only Aboriginal-owned and operated oyster seed facility in Atlantic Canada. Around 450 residents call Lennox Island home–and their Chief (Darlene Bernard) is a woman.

 

 

DAY TEN: SOUTH COAST NEWFOUNDLAND

The wild and feverish coast of southern Newfoundland is home to a few remaining outport communities. This day is often the most memorable one as it offers an unparalleled opportunity to truly feel and experience the outport life.

Along the dramatic coast, the geology is bewildering and the abundance of native wildflowers deserves attention too. Look for Labrador Tea, garden lupines, shocking pink sheep laurel, harebells, bog cotton and “fair maids of France.”

There are several options for today that include Zodiac or land excursions into sheltered bays and coves.

 

DAY ELEVEN: SAINT-PIERRE, FRANCE

Just off the shores of Newfoundland lie the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon—an official territory of France. The French archipelago is just 20km south of Newfoundland! Oui! C’est vrai!

Exploring the lively island of Saint-Pierre is an instant immersion into European life–euros, architecture, patisseries and chocolatiers. This is genuine France and that means it’s a different time zone too (half an hour ahead of Newfoundland). The winding streets and narrow alleys are best enjoyed with a pastry in hand! Take full advantage of your petit-French experience!

 

 

DAY TWELVE: ST. JOHN’S, NL

On the final day of our epic expedition, we will sail back through the very narrow Narrows and into St. John’s safe harbour. We will say our farewells in North America’s oldest city–if you didn’t have time to get screeched in before our sail, it’s time. For those who “come-from-away” it’s guaranteed that you’ll be back as soon as you can. Find yourself some toutons, cod cheeks and a Quidi Vidi Iceberg beer and reflect on all that you’ve seen and experienced before returning home.

 

 

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OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

The Ocean Endeavour is an opulent 137-metre (450-feet), 198-passenger ice-strengthened vessel with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment and stabilizers. A doctor, paramedic and medical clinic offer complete peace of mind. The ship has several lounge areas, a library (Compass Room) and multiple viewing decks to totally chill out by yourself or with your newfound crew!

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!
Cabin Category 10, Suite, Deck 7 Forward-Facing - $12,995 USD

  • Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath with full tub
  • Refrigerator
  • Approximately 310 square feet

Cabin Category 9, Junior Suite, Deck 5 - $11,895 USD

  • Picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath
  • Sitting area
  • Approximately 270 square feet

Cabin Category 9, Junior Suite, Deck 7 Forward-Facing - $11,895 USD

  • Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath with full tub
  • Sitting area
  • Refrigerator
  • Approximately 290 square feet

Cabin Category 8, Superior Twin, Deck 5, $10,795 USD

  • Two picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Sitting area
  • Approximately 210 square feet

Cabin Category 8, Superior Twin, Deck 7 Forward-Facing - $10,795 USD

  • Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath with full tub
  • Approximately 180 square feet

Cabin Category 8, Superior Twin, Deck 7 - $10,795 USD

  • Picture windows, partial obstruction
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath
  • Refrigerator
  • Approximately 190 square feet

Cabin Category 7, Select Twin, Deck 5 - $9,695 USD

  • Picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Approximately 190 square feet
  • $9695USD

Cabin Category 7, Select Twin, Deck 8 - $9,695 USD

  • Oversize windows, partial obstruction
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath
  • Refrigerator
  • Approximately 145 square feet

Cabin Category 6, Comfort Twin, Deck 4 - $8,595 USD

  • Two porthole windows, unobstructed view
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Approximately 175 square feet

Cabin Category 6, Comfort Twin, Deck 7 - $8,595 USD

  • Picture windows, partial obstruction
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Refrigerator
  • Approximately 135 square feet

Cabin Category 6, Comfort Twin, Deck 8 - $8,595 USD

  • Picture windows, obstructed view
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath
  • Refrigerator
  • Approximately 160 square feet
Cabin Category 5, Main Twin, Deck 5 - $7,495 USD

  • Picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Approximately 115 square feet
  • $7495USD

Cabin Category 4, Exterior Twin, Deck 4 - $6,395 USD

  • Porthole window, unobstructed view
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Approximately 100 square feet

Cabin Category 3, Interior Twin, Deck 5 - $5,295 USD

  • Interior cabin
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Approximately 120 square feet

Cabin Category 2, Triple, Deck 4 - $4,095 USD

  • Interior cabin
  • Three lower berths
  • Two private baths
  • Approximately 200 square feet
  • $4095USD

Cabin Category 1, Quad, Deck 4 - $3,395 USD

  • Interior cabin
  • Four lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Approximately 240 square feet