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Labrador and Torngat Explorer

This voyage links numerous historic locations on Canada's east coast, including a known Viking settlement, a Frenchbuilt fortress, several remote mission locations and isolated fishing ports. We journey from the more temperate climate found in the Maritimes, northwards and into the higher Arctic latitudes. Subtle changes to vegetation and wildlife species can be noticed and our expert guides will interpret and explain these changes throughout the journey.Towering mountains, Black bears & rich wildlifeThe region features strong cultural diversity and we encounter the Nunatsiavut people in small communities along the coastline of Labrador. Numerous wildlife species are found along this coastline including bears, seals, whales and both migratory and resident birds. A particular highlight of our voyage is a visit to Torngat Mountains National Park home to the highest mountains in Canada, east of the Rockies. This is one of the jewels in the crown of the Canadian National Park network. The Inuit have strong cultural and spiritual connections to the land which we learn about during our visit.Remote bays & stunning fjordsOur expedition vessel is the perfect platform for exploring the remote bays and fjords of this spectacular wilderness as many locations can only be accessed by ship. A final highlight awaits as we venture across Frobisher Bay to Monumental Island. This is remote, small-ship expedition cruising at its best.Everything included!
We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.

Inclusions

We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.

Travel

  • All cruising on board the Akademik Ioffe

Accommodation & Meals

  • 10 nights on board the Akademik Ioffe
  • Cost based on twin-semi private cabin (one bathroom shared between 2 cabins)
  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners

Inclusions

  • Arctic gear hire package including waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, insulated comfortable rubber boots, binoculars, trekking pole and waterproof backpack for use on shore
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip in the Canadian Arctic
  • Transfers from the airport to your hotel upon arrival.
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
  • High quality, eco friendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). On board or on shore
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
  • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
  • An emergency trained Physician on board every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • On board sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas

Not Included

  • Any international or local airfares unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary. Note: Charter flights are not included and will be added to your booking at US$995.00pp
  • Visa and passport expenses. Note: Most nationalities will be required to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (known as an eTA) to enter Canada (except US citizens). This is easily obtained online prior to travel and a fee of $CAD7.00 is payable at the time you lodge your application. The eTA is valid for a period of five years from date of issue. Speak to your travel consultant for more information or contact your local Canadian consular authorities for further details.
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $12-$15pp US per day
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
11
Price From
AUD $4,895
Start Location
Canada
End Location
Canada
Age Range
Avg. 50+
Group Size
20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Cycling/Trekking, Polar, Private, Small Marine/Cruise, Walking
Physical Rating
Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
12 Jul 201922 Jul 2019Fully BookedAUD $4,895 
20 Jul 201930 Jul 2019Fully BookedAUD $6,695 
ItineraryExpand
Labrador and Torngat Explorer

We recommend extra nights pre/post tour

This trip commences in the historic port of Louisbourg (Cape Breton). Access is via Sydney (Nova Scotia). We recommend you arrive in either Sydney, or Louisbourg at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. Group transfers from Sydney to Louisbourg (approx 45 minutes) are included the day before - and the day of embarkation. At the conclusion of the trip we arrive in Iqaluit, situated on Baffin Island. From here we board a flight to Ottawa. Upon arrival a group transfer is provided to a central downtown location. Full joining instructions are provided in your final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask us.

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 1. Louisbourg, Nova Scotia - Embark Cruise

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 fresh, local lobster as we sail out past the lighthouse, into the North Atlantic and on to Newfoundland and Labrador. [D]

DAY 2. Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

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 visit to the World Heritage-listed Tablelands. This incredible location is noted for its unique geology and exceptional scenery. Here, the Earth's mantle is exposed on the surface pushed up over millions of years by the movement of tectonic plates. We explore the boreal wetland landscape, featuring dramatic rock ridges, pitcher plants, white-throated sparrows and may encounter the iconic moose as we explore the park. Continuing north through the park we enjoy a visit to the Discovery Centre, before arriving at Woody Point located in majestic Bonne Bay. We meet the ship here, re-boarding in the afternoon and continue our voyage northwards. [B,L,D]

DAY 3. L'Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland

Today tells a story a thousand years in the making. We board the zodiacs for a short cruise to the rocky shoreline. A millennium ago, Viking long-ships would have been found along this same beach. L'Anse aux Meadows is one of Canada's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This 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 some five hundred years prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. This evening we leave the coastline of Newfoundland, crossing the Strait of Belle Isle overnight. [B,L,D]

DAY 4. Battle Harbour, Newfoundland

Battle Harbour marks our arrival into the province of Labrador. The location was one of the first British settlements on the east coast of the Americas. It 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 colourful buildings make for fantastic photographic subjects amid the backdrop of breathtaking coastal views. [B,L,D]

DAY 5. Hopedale, Newfoundland

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 greet us as we sail through narrow channels and weigh anchor off Hopedale. We venture ashore by zodiac to visit the Hopedale Moravian Mission built in 1782 and said to be the oldest building east of Quebec. It's a fascinating place and we learn of the influence of the early Moravian missionaries on the Inuit people of Northern Labrador. This location has been designated a Canadian National Historic Site. We plan a visit to the local museum for a deeper insight. The local Inuit produce wonderful carvings and other crafts which make wonderful souvenirs. [B,L,D]

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 1830's 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 and is considered one of the most historically significant mission-built structures in the entire province. We will hope to meet Buddy and Jenny, Nunatsiavut Government ambassadors, who have been looking after the historic site for years. They have a fascinating story to tell. [B,L,D]

DAY 7. Torngat Mountains National Park, Saglek Fjord, Labrador

We will sail into Saglek Fjord, the southern gateway to the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve, established in 2005. We are midway through our exploration of Labrador at this point and our attention turns from history to the magnificent wilderness of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve. The Park was established as recently as 2005 and covers almost 10,000 square kilometres of Northern Labrador. It is bordered by Quebec on one side, and the Labrador Coast on the other. It is home to Canada's highest mountains East of the Rockies, and features breathtaking fjords, remnant glacial systems and stunning landscapes. The Inuktitut word Torngat, means "place of spirits" and the Torngat Mountains have been home to Inuit and their predecessors for over 7500 years. These mountains represent a very spiritual connection to the Inuit spirit world. Polar bears hunt seals along the coast, and both the Torngat Mountains and George River caribou herds cross paths as they migrate to and from their calving grounds. Inuit continue to use this area for hunting, fishing, and travelling throughout the park during the year. There are some terrific hiking opportunities here explore the area on foot and along the shoreline in the zodiacs. Wildflowers are spectacular when in bloom and bears feast on local berries found among the sedges and grasses on the raised beaches along the shores of the fjords.
[B,L,D]

DAY 8. Torngat Mountains National Park, Nachvak Fjord, Labrador

Nachvak Fjord is exceptionally beautiful. The fjord is deep and narrow and stretches more than 20 kilometres. 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 interesting lighting. [B,L,D]

DAY 9. Button Islands, Nunavut

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 WWII. 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. Later in the day, 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. [B,L,D]

DAY 10. Monumental Island, Nunavut

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 both 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, the capital city of Nunavut. [B,L,D]

DAY 11. Disembark - Iqaluit, Nunavut to 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 out flight to Ottawa. On arrival an airport transfer is provided to a central downtown location. [B,L,D]

Please Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship. Please ask us if you have any questions about this program.