Natural Wonders of Newfoundland

September 5-13, 2017 • 9 Days • $3175

The Newfoundland and Canadian Maritimes tours are two distinct programs that may be combined.

Featuring an exploration of the island of Newfoundland, with stops in St. John’s, Cape Spear, Gros Morne National Park, L’Anse aux Meadows, Port au Choix and more!

WATCH A BRIEF VIDEO

WAI Guide Dan Friesen presents Natural Wonders of Newfoundland 2017 at our most recent Tour Presentation. The tour pricing, dates and itinerary for this tour have since been finalized.

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Combining the Newfoundland and Canadian Maritimes tours

Travelers can join us for just Natural Wonders of Newfoundland, or combine this tour with Scenic Vistas of the Canadian Maritimes. A flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia will be included for travelers joining us for both the Newfoundland and Canadian Maritimes tours.

View Daily Itinerary

Over 20 years ago, Newfoundland and the Canadian Maritime provinces were visited on one of our earliest North American adventures. Our guide team recently completed a top to bottom review of the region and we are now thrilled to present this fully revised and improved itinerary with new walks and activities galore!

Natural Wonders of Newfoundland (Part 1) ~ is truly a unique land, distinct in many ways from its sister provinces. Newfoundland is Canada’s newest and easternmost province. The spirit of independence and commitment to their unique island culture that kept them separate from neighboring Canadian provinces until the 1940’s is still evident today! “Newfie” warmth, hospitality, and sense of humor, not to mention boatloads of intriguing historic sites and drop-dead-gorgeous coastal scenery, make Newfoundland one of North America’s most underrated travel destinations.

Scenic Vistas of the Canadian Maritimes (Part 2) ~ offers a trio of eastern Canada provinces that certainly live up to the name “Maritimes”. We are never more than a few miles from the sea, and everywhere we travel, themes of shipbuilding, fishing, navigation, and naval pursuits are never far from the surface. The pastoral charms of Prince Edward Island, coastal beauty of Nova Scotia, and tidal surprises of New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy beckon travelers to wander the landscapes of Maritime Canada.

Including:

  • All land travel as outlined
  • Flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Saint Anthony, Newfoundland
  • Superior tourist-class (3 star) or better hotel accommodations
  • 12 meals: all breakfasts & 4 dinners as denoted (BD)
  • Walks as listed
  • IVV/CVF walking credit fees (sanctions applied for)
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • Cultural & historic expertise of local guides on some walks
  • All tipping for local guides and coach drivers
  • A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $425

Activities & Visits to:

  • Signal Hill National Historic Site – St John’s
  • Cape Spear National Historic Site – St John’s
  • Ryan Premises National Historic Site – Bonavista
  • L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
  • Port au Choix National Historic Site
  • Gros Morne Theatre performance – Cow Head
  • Gros Morne National Park
  • Western Brook Pond cruise
  • Norris Point water taxi

“The tours are extremely well organized, we are kept well informed; also [appreciate] the size of the tours i.e, the number of travelers. [Enjoy] Making new acquaintances & possibly new friends.”

-Perry C; ON, Canada


“We like your style of history and local experiences. No Americanized anything!”

-Sue C; Tigard OR


 “High quality itineraries, guides, and travel companions. Your tours are the only group tours I will do.”

-Lee M; Minneapolis, MN


“You never disappoint me – every walk is as good as the other – domestic or international.”

-Maureen P; Long Branch, NJ


 “Everyone on the WAI Team… They are always very helpful and great places to visit.”

-Linda & Bill H; Pasadena, MD

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

Important Info

Group Size

25-30 travelers

Hotels

Strategically located Superior Tourist Class (3 star) or better hotel accommodations

Meals

Breakfasts included with a selection of dinners as denoted (BD)

Airfare

Not included. Start point is St. John’s, Newfoundland and finish point is Deer Lake, Newfoundland.

Transportation

Included. We use full-size motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 45+ seats.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Your Guides

Roger & Jana DorwayRoger & Jana Dorway have always appreciated the experiential, paradigm-expanding value of travel, and have been privileged to explore destinations on 4 continents. Since retirement, they’ve increased their commitment to discovering the world, fostering a growing desire to share cultural and historical insights as part of the WAI guide team.

Itinerary

Day 1-Sep 5: Arrive St. John's, Newfoundland (D)

Our adventure in eastern Canada begins in St. John’s, Newfoundland, considered by many to be the oldest city in Canada. Fishing for cod in the Grand Banks of the southern coast of Newfoundland drew voyagers here as early as the 15th century, probably even before Columbus “sailed the ocean blue”. Travelers arrive at St. John’s airport today and make their way to our hotel overlooking the harbor. Our first activity is a Welcome Orientation this evening, followed by dinner.

Day 2-Sep 6: St John's – Port Rexton (BD)

Quidi Vidi Lake & Signal Hill Walk – 8 km, rated 3B

This morning’s walk winds along the edge of Quidi Vidi Lake on a pleasant path that leads to the tiny fishing hamlet of Quidi Vidi Village. A rigorous ascent up Signal Hill rewards us with breathtaking views over the Atlantic before we continue to historic Cabot Tower, built in 1898 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s voyage to the New World. Displays in Cabot Tower also tell the story of Guglielmo Marconi and the first trans-Atlantic wireless transmission he received on Signal Hill from Cornwall, England in 1901. Our afternoon begins on the easternmost point of North America with a visit to Cape Spear National Historic Site. Here, costumed interpreters explain the oft-romanticized role of lighthouses and their keepers at the first of many lighthouses we’ll encounter in Atlantic Canada.  The balance of the afternoon involves a scenic drive westward towards the Bonavista Peninsula and Port Rexton.

Day 3-Sep 7: Activities from Port Rexton (B)

Green Island & Catalina Bay Walk – 8 km, rated 2D

Northward-facing Bonavista Peninsula is indented with myriad picturesque bays and coves. Today’s walk wanders along a series of headlands with sparkling seaside scenes set against fascinating forest backdrops. The trail passes Green Island with its photogenic lighthouse, one of the last remaining manned stations in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1497, John Cabot first set foot in the New World at nearby Cape Bonavista. In 1997, 500-year anniversary activities for Cabot’s exploits included sailing a replica of his ship the Matthew from Bristol, England. After 54 days, it was welcomed into Bonavista by Queen Elizabeth II and 30,000 spectators. We spend the afternoon in the Bonavista area where Cabot first came ashore and learn more about the five-century-long history of Newfoundland’s fisheries at Ryan Premises National Historic Site. Interpreters and docents, most of whom have personal connections to the industry, are spaced throughout the complex of buildings which was the heart of a thriving international fish trade.

Day 4-Sep 8: Port Rexton – St. John's (B)

Skerwink Coastal Delights Walk – 4 km (6 km Challenge), rated 2B (Challenge 3C)

The Skerwink trail takes us along the north coast of Skerwink Head, a rocky peninsula that separates Trinity Harbour from Port Rexton Harbour. Stunning coastal views are once again ours with sea stacks – free standing columns of stone eroded by the elements into whimsical shapes – situated offshore beneath our cliff side trail. A lunch break in the village of Trinity, set on one of the island’s best harbors, offers a chance to connect with one of Newfoundland’s oldest communities and stroll through a Crayola-like array of gaily painted wooden homes. We return to St. John’s this evening in preparation for tomorrow’s flight north to Saint Anthony.

Day 5-Sep 9: St. John's – Saint Anthony (B)

Footsteps of the Vikings Walk – 3 km, rated 2B

A morning flight transports us on a short-hop up to Saint Anthony and Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula. Further north is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed L’Anse aux Meadows. In 1960, a Norwegian archeologist, Anne Stine Ingstad, and her explorer husband, discovered the remains of a 1000-year-old Norse village considered by many to be the settlement mentioned in the 13th century Icelandic sagas of Leif Ericsson. Period interpreters add color to the visit as they explain what has been learned about life in that mystical long ago. The lovely coastal walk that follows offers a high degree of confidence that we are walking in the footsteps of these intrepid Norse explorers.

Day 6-Sep 10: Saint Anthony – Cow Head (BD)

Footsteps of the Ancients Walk – 7 km, rated 2B

A morning drive south along the Great Northern Peninsula takes us to Port au Choix National Historic Site. An elevated headland, the setting is windswept and appears barren, and is protected by Parks Canada due to archeological finds here of the structural remains of Dorset Palaeo-Eskimo people from 2000 years ago, and even older Maritime Archaic Indian burial remains going back 4400 years. We learn about these ancient peoples at the visitor center, then enjoy a multi-faceted walk from a statuesque lighthouse on an easy coastal trail that leads us inland to surprisingly verdant Philip’s Garden. Set directly on the Gulf of Lawrence and within Gros Morne National Park, the oddly named fishing village of Cow Head is our home for the next two evenings. Following dinner, we take in a uniquely “Newfie” drama production at Gros Morne Theatre.

Day 7-Sep 11: Activities from Cow Head (B)

Cow Head Point Walk – 4 km, rated 2B
Western Brook Pond Walk – 5/7 km, rated 1B

An early morning hike near our hotel takes us through dense, silent forest to dramatic rock formations and seascapes at the Point of the Head of Cow Head. Gros Morne National Park is recognized by UNESCO for its textbook geological examples of plate tectonics. It is also home to some of the oldest rock on planet Earth, completing our march back in time through human history from modern St. John’s to 15th century John Cabot, to 11th century Norsemen, to 4000-year-old indigenous remains, and finally to the geological story in stone that continues back to the dawn of our planet. The main event of the day is an easy walk through coastal bogs to pristine Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park. A cruise departs from here through this land-lock fjord between 2000-foot-high cliffs of the Long Range Mountains, where our guide will enlighten us about the timeless landscapes of the national park.

Day 8-Sep 12: Cow Head – Deer Lake (BD)

Woody Point Walk – 2 km, 3B
Tablelands Mantle of the Earth Walk – 4 km, 1B

From Norris Point, we cross Bonne Bay by water taxi, with unforgettable 360 degree views from the vessel. We disembark in Woody Point and walk to the Discovery Centre to share its helpful exhibits about this special place. The main walk of the day is a ranger-led hike through the Tablelands. World renowned as one of the few places on the planet one can walk on rock material from far beneath the Earth’s surface – mantle pushed up through the Earth’s crust – this is a relatively easy trail over a bizarre, orange moonscape where vegetation is rejected by toxic minerals born deep inside the globe. We finish our day in Deer Lake with a Farewell gathering and dinner at our hotel, reminiscing about this special place called “Newfoundland”.

Day 9-Sep 13: Depart from Deer Lake, Newfoundland (B)

Following breakfast, we say farewell to travelers ending their adventure in Newfoundland as they prepare for homebound flights from Deer Lake. Travelers continuing to the Maritimes segment of the tour, on the other hand, join us for an included flight to Halifax, and the beginning of part 2 of the Adventure. It’s been a remarkable odyssey through the Natural Wonders of Newfoundland in this easternmost corner of Canada.

More Details

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

We are now accepting registrations. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call us to save your spot with a $500 registration. A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on this tour.

Already Early Birded?

If you are among the travelers who submitted a $50 Early Bird deposit, you have until December 12 to secure your spot with an additional $450 (total of $500) registration.

General Tour Conditions and Registration Form

To finalize your official registration, a completed and signed copy of the Registration Form is necessary. Please be sure to read all the fun stuff (the fine print) in the General Tour Conditions!

First Time Traveler Savings

In appreciation for joining us for your first Walking Adventure, we offer new travelers a $200 credit on domestic tours!

Group Travel Credit

If you are part of a group, remember that your full deposit of $500 is still required to hold your spot on this Adventure. Your group leader is responsible for submitting your name in writing to us before you make your $500 registration payment, qualifying you for the Group Travel Credit. Your Group Travel Credit will be reflected on your final statement.

Check out more information on the Group Travel Program.

How is airfare arranged?

The official start point for the Natural Wonders of Newfoundland is our hotel in St. John’s and the finish point is the hotel in Deer Lake. The official start and end point for Seaside Vistas of the Canadian Maritimes is our hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Travelers joining us for both Newfoundland and the Canadian Maritimes will receive a complimentary flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

We recommend that you contact the travel agent we work with to help book your flight arrangements. In this age of airfare complications and airport uncertainty, using a travel agent is a good investment! More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided in the Adventure Advice flyer, mailed to you after you register for the Adventure.   Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving the Adventure Advice flyer!

What about the walks?

Walks on this Adventure are guided walks and we generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling”; we are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness to walk at this pace. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand  in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please contact our office at 1-800-779-0353.

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:

INCLINE

1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.

Travel Insurance

WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure.

Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Debbi Custer of World Travel Inc., a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well as your airfare (call 888-276-0925 / 503-231-9507 -or- email debbi@wtpdx.com). For those of you who purchase airfare through Debbi, purchasing your travel insurance from her as well may be the simplest option. As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the Insuremytrip.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.

Here are some additional options for travel insurance:

  • Allianz
  • Travel Guard
  • Travel Insured International

NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.

What happens next?

Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter, initial invoice, and Adventure Advice flyer with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you receive the Adventure Advice flyer. The final payment for the program is due 90 days before departure, and you will receive a final billing about 2 weeks prior to that point, along with a factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the details of the program, including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.

Canada is an amazing country, second largest on the planet, and full of wide open spaces and cultural surprises! Newfoundland & the Canadian Maritimes showcase provinces teeming with dramatic history, a melting pot of European and native culture, and postcard-perfect coastal scenery. Join us in the fall of 2017 as we get off the coach and experience one of our most popular North American walking adventures!

We look forward to exploring the natural wonders and seaside vistas of Newfoundland and the Canadian Maritimes with you in 2017!