Day 1: St. John's, Newfoundland
We meet in St. John’s—Newfoundland’s historic, vibrant capital. Picturesque and welcoming, with a world-famous harbour, St. John’s has been continually fished since 1498, allowing it to boast the designation of North America’s oldest European settlement. We will offer an afternoon city tour to those interested. Afterwards, we will rendezvous at the docks and board the Ocean Endeavour to begin the adventure proper. Passengers will meet the staff and crew, and prepare to leave the harbour. Sailing out of St. John’s has to be experienced to be believed; Signal Hill keeps watch over the world-famous Narrows as we head for open water, passing Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America.
Day 2: At Sea
Our presentation series will kick into full swing today as our expert resource staff delves into the fascinating history and ecology of Sable Island. While out on deck, keep your eyes peeled for marine mammals and seabirds in the rich northwest Atlantic.
Day 3-6: Sable Island
Sable Island is the legendary location of hundreds of shipwrecks. The island is home to a population of feral horses, the rare Ipswich sparrow, seals, and seabirds in abundance. We’ll have a chance to meet some of the island’s handful of human inhabitants and learn about this unique habitat first-hand. In the four days we will spend exploring Sable Island, expect to be dazzled by a natural habitat unlike any you have ever seen. The herd of wild horses for which the island is famous is a true highlight: we will observe them at their wildest as they race among the dunes. The sandy shores afford unmatched opportunities for Zodiac cruising, and you may expect to delight in observing the curious local seal population as we do so. The historic sites of Sable Island—the old shipwrecks and abandoned settlements—are of particular interest, as the island’s shifting sands hide and reveal different landscapes each day. This ecosystem is in true flux: the vegetation and habitats, as well as the human relics, are at the whim of the ever-changing dunes and we will spend our days exploring before the winds rise and hide all evidence of our passage.
Day 7: At Sea: The Gully Marine Protected Area
At sea today, we will be crossing The Gully, a Marine Protected Area approximately two hundred kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia and to the east of Sable Island. Here, the sea floor suddenly drops a dizzying two and a half kilometres into a submarine valley. The Gully is one of the most prominent undersea features in eastern Canada and its unique ecology has attracted the interest of many agencies, such as Parks Canada and Environment Canada. This is due to its significant coral communities, its diversity of both shallow and deep-water fish and its many whales and dolphins. As on our other days at sea, our resource staff will be on hand to deliver dynamic presentations. Out on deck they will assist passengers in spotting the myriad seabirds and marine mammals for which this area is famous.
Day 8: Saint-Pierre, FR
Explore Saint-Pierre, a last bastion of France’s colonial territories in North America. The island’s 6,500 residents are of varied descent including French, Basque, Breton, and Norman. Saint-Pierre’s architecture reflects its history: an eclectic collection of colours and style aligned on picturesque cobblestone streets and alleys. We will have time for a tour of the city and independent exploration in the surrounding area. Take advantage of this day in France to enjoy some wine and cheese, and unwind in a tiny slice of old Europe nestled into the North American coast.
Day 9: St. John's, Newfoundland
After sailing through the Narrows, we will say our farewells and begin the process of departure. Staff will be on hand to assist you with luggage and transportation arrangements.