Atlantic Canada: Newfoundland

Fall 2021 • 9 Days • Approx: $3500-$3900 

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!

This tour is not yet finalized. We are waiting to finalize our 2021 Schedule till Spring of 2021, and will send out an announcement at that time.

Combining Newfoundland & the Maritimes

Travelers may join us for just Newfoundland, or Maritime Provinces, or combine both tours into one longer, higher value Atlantic Canada Adventure. The flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia is included (not including fees for check luggage) for travelers joining us for both the Newfoundland and Maritime Provinces tours.

Over 20 years ago, we visited Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces on one of our earliest North American adventures. In fall 2016, our WAI planners completed a top to bottom review of the region and created a fully revised and improved itinerary with new walks and activities galore that we rolled out in 2017. It was a smashing success full of scenic glory and rich history, and we look forward to sharing it again in 2021!

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.

Maritime Provinces (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.

Combining Newfoundland & the Maritimes
Travelers can join us for just Newfoundland, or combine this tour with Maritime Provinces. A flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia will be included (not including fees for check luggage) for travelers joining us for both tours.

This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made as this tour is finalized, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!

Including:

Note: Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement. We provide a roommate matching service for those interested.

  • All land travel by motorcoach as outlined
  • Flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Saint Anthony, Newfoundland
  • Tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
  • 12 meals: all breakfasts & 4 dinners as denoted (BD)
  • 9 walk routes as listed
  • Walking fees for those collecting IVV/CVF walking credit (if IVV approved)
  • WAI Guide service
  • Cultural & historical expertise of local guides on some walks
  • All tipping for group meals, local guides and coach drivers

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 (2020 theater schedule permitting)
  • Gros Morne National Park
  • Western Brook Pond cruise
  • Norris Point water taxi
  • More fun and educational stops than we can list!

Adventure Pace

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

Important Info

Group Size

Approximately 24-28 travelers

Hotels

Strategically located Tourist Class or better hotel accommodations

Meals

12 meals: All breakfasts and 4 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 motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 40+ seats.

Traveler Age

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

Itinerary

This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made as this tour is finalized, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!

Click on each day to reveal more details. (BD) refers to meals included – Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 1: 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 long 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: St John's – Port Rexton (BD)

Quidi Vidi Lake & Signal Hill Walk – 5 km, rated 3C

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: 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-centuries-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: Port Rexton – St. John's (B)

Skerwink Coastal Delights Walk – 4 km (6 km Challenge option), 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: St. John's – Saint Anthony (B)

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

A 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: 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. It 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 (2020 theater schedule permitting).

Day 7: Activities from Cow Head (B)

Cow Head Point Walk – 4 km, rated 2B
Western Brook Pond Walk – 6/8 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: Cow Head – Deer Lake (BD)

Woody Point Walk – 2 km, rated 3B
Tablelands Mantle of the Earth Walk – 4 km, rated 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 learn from 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: 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 Maritime 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 this unique island in the easternmost corner of Canada.

More Details

Click on each heading for more details.

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

We are not accepting deposits on our 2021 tours at this time. We are waiting to finalize our 2021 Schedule till the Spring of 2021, and will send out an announcement then.

Combining Newfoundland & the Maritimes

Travelers may join us for just Newfoundland, or Maritime Provinces, or combine both tours into one longer, higher value Atlantic Canada Adventure. The flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia is included (not including fees for check luggage) for travelers joining us for both the Newfoundland and Maritime Provinces tours.

Tour Accommodations

Good quality, tourist-class accommodations are the standard for our Adventure. Most hotels on this tour are selected primarily as a practical base from which to pursue our itinerary. Because much of this Adventure is in rural and rugged Canada, a few of our properties are quality motels reflecting the spirit of our setting, which we think you’ll enjoy. Most, but not all, of our accommodations on this adventure are single-floor or have elevators. Travelers should be able to carry their luggage up a number of steps to get to a second-floor room if necessary.

How is airfare arranged?

The official start point for the Newfoundland tour is our hotel in St John’s, Newfoundland and the finish point is our hotel in Deer Lake, Newfoundland. The official start and end point for the Maritime Provinces tour is our hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As noted, travelers joining us for both Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces will receive a complimentary flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia (not including fees for check luggage). More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be made available after this tour itinerary has been finalized.

Walk Rating & Procedures

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. Because these are guided group walks, the success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness in order to ensure that we are walking at a somewhat similar pace.

Walks on this trip are predominantly nature walks, some of which are on ungroomed trails with challenging footing (particularly in Newfoundland). Please pay careful attentions to the walk ratings in the itinerary. One of the most challenging parts of a group walking adventure is managing needs and expectations for pace and trail difficulty across a range of walkers.

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 talk with our office.

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.