Newfoundland & Labrador to Iceland
Newfoundland & Labrador to Iceland 14 Days aboard MS Fram
The rugged Atlantic coastline of Canada features evergreen forests and rolling farmland, breath-taking mountains and remote settlements. Going from Halifax in Canada to Reykjavik in Iceland via Labrador and Newfoundland, this expedition will give you a taste of wilderness, historical settlements, fishing villages and natural beauty.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Explore the spectacular landscape of Iceland, Newfoundland & Labrador
- Visit remote & historic settlements
- Sight rare wildlife, on land and at sea
- Discover UNESCO sites Gros Morne National Park, Red Bay and L’Anse aux Meadows
- Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Wind and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompany landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
ITINERARY13 Nights 14 Days
- Day 1 | Halifax
- Day 2 | Louisbourg
- Day 3 | Îles de la Madeleine
- Day 4 | Gros Morne National Park
- Day 5 | Red Bay
- Day 6 | St. Anthony
- Day 7 | Battle Harbour
- Days 8 - 11 | At Sea
- Day 12 | Ísafjörður
- Day 13 | Stykkíshólmur
- Day 14 | Reykjavik
It was Halifax’s natural harbour that first drew the British here in 1749. Today most major sites are located along it or in the Citadel-crowned hill overlooking this harbour. The 260-year-old provincial capital presents Nova Scotia’s strikingly modern face wrapped around a historic heart. As Halifax is both hip and historic it is well worth spending an extra day or two here before you embark on your expedition with MS Fram.
Sailing along the eastern shores of Nova Scotia, we head for the rather large island of Cape Breton. Then we reach Louisbourg, home to the historic jewel, the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Here, you can experience what life was like in the bustling French fortified town of Louisbourg in 1744. You can also choose to spend the day combing a secluded beach or go scuba diving among shipwrecks. As you might expect, the rugged coastal setting offers up plenty of outdoor adventure, with brilliant hiking and biking trails. As one of the busiest crab and lobster fishing villages in the Maritimes, Louisbourg Wharf is the perfect place to watch the day’s catch coming in, and maybe also sample some fresh seafood.
Îles de la Madeleine
Twelve islands make up the roughly 100 km long sand archipelago called Îles de la Madeleine. The six largest of these islands are connected by many kilometres of thin sand dunes, peppered with fuzzy tufts of grass. Shaped by wind and waves, the iron-rich red and grey sandstone cliffs amaze with their spectacular forms. The coastline of beaches is dotted with harbours, multi-coloured houses and picturesque bays. We dock in Cap-aux-Melules, home to more than half of the archipelago’s population. Long before the arrival of Europeans, native people came to the islands to fish and hunt for seal and sea cows. Preceded by Basque fishermen, Jaques Cartier arrived in 1534 and wrote in his logbook the first recorded reference to the islands. By 1765, the islands were inhabited by 22 French-speaking Acadians and their families.
The locals who live here today are called Madelinots, and they identify themselves both as Acadians and Québécois. Others are descendants of survivors from the more than 400 shipwrecks on the island.
Come ashore and discover this little outpost, where high winds and ocean storms are a part of life. Have a bite to eat at Café la Côte, Pas Perdu, Café d’Chez Nous or something to drink at Bar Le Central to feel the island’s bohemian pulse. If you feel like being active, you can go kayaking or enjoy a hike in this relatively flat terrain.
Gros Morne National Park
Scenic Bonne Bay is among Newfoundland’s most beautiful bays - a deep mountainous fjord located on Newfoundland’s stunning west coast, that divides the Gros Morne National Park in two. Gros Morne is a combination of a protected area and small coastal communities with a rich culture and tradition of fishing and logging. From our deck, you can see the Tablelands Mountains - flat-topped rock outcroppings that are usually found deep in the earth’s mantle. Their geological uniqueness is the main reason the park has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It took Mother Nature millions of years to mould the mountains into what we can see today, and the sight is truly beautiful and awe-inspiring. Woody Point, in the south of the park, is a charming community of old houses and imported Lombardy poplars. Moose, caribou, fox, black bears, ptarmigans and eagles are all a common sight here. A visit to the higher regions of this ancient landscape will be unforgettable.
Red Bay embodies the essence of modern Labrador coastal living amid a tapestry of rich culture and history. From 1530, Red Bay was a centre for Basque whaling operations. For more than 70 years, these whalers made the dangerous, month-long journey across the Atlantic to hunt whales and produce the oil that lit the lamps of Europe. At its peak, some 2500 whalers on 50 ships from France and Spain came to hunt right and bowhead whales for blubber. The discovery of galleons and chalupas used for this whale hunting made Red Bay one of the most exquisite underwater archaeological sites in America, and the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station is now on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, you can wander around this former whaling town and immerse yourself in history. Tracey Hill Trail is a boardwalk consisting of 689 steps, descriptive panels, rest stops and 2 coin-operated telescopes, with a breathtaking view of Red Bay. Walk along the Bone Shore Trail that leads to where the whalers discarded whalebones. Take a hike along the beach and step into the interpretation centre to see an eight-metre chalupa, which whalers used on the ocean to harpoon their giant catch. To get a full appreciation of the size of these whales, compare the chalupa to the assembled collections of whalebones displayed. These showcase a time of prosperity and dangerous adventure, illustrating a long-ago way of life. Take a kayak trip to Saddle Island Trail where you can see the remnants of the ovens where whale blubber was rendered into oil and the graves of some 130 men who died here. And if you feel like going treasure hunting while we are here, local legend has it that the infamous pirate Captain Kidd hid a treasure in the Pond on the Hill.
As we make our way even further north, we arrive in St. Anthony, a remote town set in a perfect natural harbour. The oceans here contain an astonishing number of icebergs and serve as feeding grounds for large numbers of whales. Seals, dolphins and porpoises are not uncommon sights either. Just outside the town border is a vast wilderness of pristine valleys and lake-dotted mountains, with maybe the highest density of moose and woodland caribou in the world. Other wildlife include the enormous black bear, coyote, wolf, snowshoe hare and Arctic hare.
Come ashore to visit the town, and see the Fishing Point Municipal Park. The Grenfell museum depicts the life and times of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, a medical missionary who devoted his life's work to Northern Newfoundland and Labrador. For the best view of the area, hike up the Tea House Hill trail to the viewing platform or try the Whale Watching trail. For some Viking history, you can join the excursion to L’Anse aux Meadows. At the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, you find the first known evidence of European presence in America. This is where a Norse expedition sailed from Greenland and found a beautiful land with rugged cliffs and marshlands over a thousand years ago. They built a small camp, and in 1960 two Norwegian archeologists started the excavation and discovered the fascinating remains of this Viking encampment. In 1979 L´Anse aux Meadows became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the recreated camp you will find original artifacts from this internationally renowned archaeological find.
Located on the edge of the Labrador Sea, Battle Harbour is a nature lover’s paradise. The waters here are teeming with life and drama, ancient ice and icebergs carved by nature. On shore you will find beautiful historic buildings in the middle of the wild nature. Once, Battle Harbour was the bustling salt fish capital of Labrador. Today, the houses, stores, fishery buildings and churches have been restored and filled with historic original items. Soak up the atmosphere and fully experience the sounds of the ocean and the simple pleasures of times past. A great wilderness adventure destination, this area is where you can encounter whales, dolphins, seabirds, Arctic foxes, icebergs and spectacular island scenery on one of our hikes or boat tours.
Leaving the coast of Labrador and Canada behind, we head out at sea, course set for Iceland. Ahead lies roughly 1300 nautical miles of open water across a stretch of the North Atlantic Ocean. Thousands before us have plied these waters. In early times, their boats were small and ill equipped, and their destinations were unknown. Today you can sit back and relax as modern navigational systems guide us to our desired destination. It doesn’t get any less exciting, just safer. The Days at sea will be busy with lectures and you’ll have time to chat with fellow travellers, perhaps to summarize what you have seen and done so far. Also take your time to stay out on the open decks. Breathe the salt air, feel the wind and look for birds, mammals and icebergs.
As we sail south we reach the west region of Iceland. Thanks to the ancient volcanoes, this remarkable landscape towers above the deep fjords. Ísafjörður is nature at its finest, and as we arrive you will understand why the area is dubbed “The Sagaland”. Take a stroll around this cozy town and enjoy its diverse architecture. You’ll find the country’s oldest dwelling here, along with fine examples of timber houses built by wealthy foreign traders in the 18th century. Ísafjörður is also home of the best bakery in Iceland, Gamla Bakaríið, which means this is a place you should visit during our stay here. Our optional excursions offer a variety of experiences from hikes to tastings of local food.
Stykkishólmur is located by Breiðafjörður Bay on the north of Snæfellsnes peninsula, and is surrounded by so many islands that they can’t be counted. There are many reasons for people flocking to this idyllic town, but the conservation of cultural heritage and history, as well as its environmental awareness, plays a big role. Some of the biggest attractions are the old houses you will find in the midtown, feeling like a place from a different time. The town and its inhabitants have systematically rehabilitated these houses, and they have gained new and exciting purposes. What was once a library is now an art installation, a fish-packing house is now a restaurant, the old recreation centre is now a volcano museum.
Other places of interest include the swimming pool with its Fresenius certified water, which locals claim has regenerative powers, and several hiking trails. Close by you will also find Snæfellsjökull National Park with its mysterious Snæfellsjökull glacier, author Jules Verne's entrance to the centre of the earth. Take your time to explore Stykkishólmur’s diversity with lava and rock formations, glaciers, volcanic activity, and hot and cold springs. Participate in a range of exciting excursions such as kayaking, hiking and horse riding.
Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city, and this is where your expedition ends. Norwegian settlers named the place Reykjavik (meaning “Smoky Bay”) after the columns of steam that rose from the hot springs in the area and made such a profound impression. The surroundings offer fantastic natural beauty with geysers, mountains, glaciers and geothermal baths. If you have some time, explore mythical Iceland before you fly home.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
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