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Newfoundland Adventure (7 nights)

Experience the world’s largest gathering of humpback whales and a fabulous diversity of marine wildlife. While we can never promise whales, these dates include the prime whale watching season (100 per cent viewing success 1994-2013).

Most years we see the largest numbers and varieties of whales between late June and early August. The seabirds are thinning out by late July but everybody should see murres, puffins, razor billed auks, gannets, eagles, moose, caribou, and many other species of wildlife. Guests also get to enjoy eastern Newfoundland’s museums, lighthouses, trails, wildflowers and songbirds.

Day 1

Pick up at airport and enjoy a 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 St. John’s.

Day 2

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 foods before visiting one of the New World’s earliest fishing villages. Overnight St.John’s.

Day 3

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 marvelous spectacle and the caribou herd the highlights of the day. We usually get to enjoy lots of other wildlife including pelagic seabirds visiting from south of the equator. We have even found the occasional Antarctic seabird feeding along the coast. Our leader will find all the highlights for you. Overnight St. Brides.

Day 4

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 breeding 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 sea cliffs allow us to watch the whales cavort around their northern coastal feeding grounds. Then we’re off to explore the first outpost of New France. We also show off our secret orchid patch and look for moose. The evening’s destination is the Terra Nova National Park area. Tonight or tomorrow night usually features a moose and black bear hunt (with cameras only). We enjoy a 90 per cent or higher success rate at finding the moose, but bears are much more elusive. These hunts are always fun! Overnight Trinity/Bonavista.

Day 5

Spend the day on Terra Nova’s walking trails, experiencing what makes this area so special—moose, osprey, orchids, shore-birds, and much more. Or explore the lighthouses, history, wildlife, and coastlines of Bonavista and Trinity Bays. In some ways this is a day at leisure where we try to cater to your interests. Bird watching, icebergs, flower walks, beachcombing, sea kayaking, whale watching, and hands-on marine biology programs are all possibilities. Some options such as flight seeing trips and boat tours are at your own expense, but you don’t need to spend a cent to enjoy a wild and wonderful day. Overnight Trinity/Bonavista.

Day 6

Examine Newfoundland’s marine ecology, as a morning-long boat trip takes you to see bald eagles. 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 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, and culture. Enjoy! Overnight St. John’s.

Day 7

We usually enjoy another ocean cruise in search of whales and wildlife before traveling to North America’s most easterly point. We further explore the trails, museums, and attractions of historic St. John’s. Overnight St. John’s.

Day 8

Free time in St. John’s until we bring you to the airport.