Gateway to the Arctic: Labrador & Torngat

Starting From

$6,295/person

Number of days

11

Start Location

Louisbourg, Canada

End Location

Ottawa, Canada

Group Size

1-96

Operated by

MT Sobek

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Cast off on an exceptional Arctic-bound voyage, exploring a Viking settlement, a French-built fortress at Louisbourg, and remote mission locations and fishing ports. Journey north from the temperate Maritimes climates to the Arctic, where communities of Nunatsiavut people live along Labrador's coast. Marvel at Torngat Mountains National Park — home to the highest mountains east of the Rockies, and a jewel of the Canadian National Park network. With days spent onshore exploring dramatic wilderness and navigation through remote bays and fjords, this is small-ship expedition cruising at its best.

Operated by:

MT Sobek

MT Sobek, the originators, innovators and leaders in adventure travel for more than five decades, crafts journeys to the world's most memorable places.

Itinerary

Arrive in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

Begin in the historic port town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia with time to explore the Fortress of Louisbourg. Board the expedition ship in the late afternoon and settle into your cabin before gathering with your expedition team and trip mates. Enjoy a welcome dinner of fantastic local lobster as we sail out past the lighthouse into the North Atlantic.

Hike Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

Spend an epic day in the park, transferring first by Zodiac and bus to the incredible World Heritage-listed Tablelands. Here, the Earth's mantle is exposed on the surface — pushed up over millions of years by the movement of tectonic plates. Its unique geology and exceptional scenery is world-renowned. Next, explore the boreal wetland landscape, featuring dramatic rock ridges, pitcher plants, white-throated sparrows and potentially an iconic moose. Continuing north through the park, visit Discovery Centre before arriving at the majestic Bonne Bay to meet the ship.

Discover L’anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland

Spend another unforgettable day on the shores where Vikings boarded long-ships a millennium ago. L'Anse aux Meadows is one of Canada's UNESCO World Heritage Sites — it is where Norseman, Leif Erikson is thought to have founded "Vinland" around 1000 AD. Explore reconstructed sod huts and Norse ruins with the guidance of the site's resident archaeologist. Learn about surprising evidence that shows the Vikings discovered North America five hundred years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

Venture Ashore to Battle Harbour, Newfoundland

Arrive in the province of Labrador, where lies the remote community of Battle Harbour. This was one of the first British settlements on the east coast of the Americas. It was an important gateway to the rich Labrador fisheries. Explore its colorful buildings and restored fishing centers, taking photographs with breathtaking coastal view backdrops.

Explore Hopedale, Newfoundland

Approach Hopedale and be greeted by the ancient rocks of the Canadian Shield (the exposed portion of the Earth's crust), which cradle this small coastal hamlet. Venture ashore to visit the Canadian National Historic Site, Hopedale Moravian Mission. Built in 1782, it is said to be the oldest building east of Quebec. Learn the history of this fascinating place where the early Moravian missionaries held influence on the Inuit people. Visit a local museum, and look at local Inuit carvings and crafts available for purchase.

Visit Hebron, Newfoundland

Go deeper into regional history in Hebron, once the northernmost settlement in Labrador. Learn how the Moravian missionaries established it in the early 1830's and look at the clear Germanic influence in the architecture. This is another designated National Historic Site. Have the chance to meet Buddy and Jenny, Nunatsiavut Government ambassadors, who have been looking after it for years. They have a fascinating story to tell.

Discover Torngat Mountains National Park, Saglek Fjord, Labrador

Sail into the magnificent wilderness of Saglek Fjord, gateway to Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve. Marvel at towering peaks, breathtaking fjords, and remnant glacial systems. Be enchanted by this magical wonderland, which is deeply important in the Inuit spirit world. In these mountains, home to the Inuit and their predecessors for thousands of years, polar bears hunt seals along the coast, and caribou herds migrate to their calving grounds. While hiking, keep an eye out for blooming wildflowers and bears feasting on local berries.

Explore Nachvak Fjord, Labrador

Tour through the exceptionally beautiful Nachvak Fjord, which is deep, narrow and more than 12.5 miles in length. The rocky walls of the fjord sometimes soar to almost 3,000 feet. Delight in a wonderland of wildlife, including many species of birds, seals, and perhaps even small whales. This is an outstanding location for landscape photography with endless subjects, a dynamic color range, and beautiful lighting.

Visit Button Islands, Nunavut

Reach the far northern stretches of coastal Labrador, learning of the remarkable events at Martin Bay. Here, a German U-boat made the only known armed landing in North America during WWII. Then visit the Button Islands before sailing into southern Davis Strait. View thousands of seabirds and other marine mammals in the nutrient-dense waters.

Visit Monumental Island, Nunavut

Sail across the mouth of Frobisher Bay and to Monumental Island, a small, steep-sided outcrop off the coast of Baffin Island. Look out for 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. Enjoy a final Zodiac cruise here, then reflect on the voyage while enjoying a sumptuous farewell dinner, attended by the Captain of the ship.

Depart from Iqaluit, Nunavut

Bid farewell to the crew and disembark in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. Iqaluit has a vibrant Inuit culture where residents balance traditional and modern life. Take a short tour of Iqaluit (if time and tides permit) then transfer to the airport for the flight back to Ottawa.

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