Canada's East Coast Wildlife Special 11 days aboard Akademik Ioffe
The islands of Canada’s Atlantic coast feature a rich and diverse culture, found in small fishing communities and remote outposts. The area is well known for its Celtic traditions, and its music and cuisine are celebrated the world over. Historically, this is one of the most fascinating places in North America. The region also offers a staggering abundance of wildlife, including prolific birdlife, numerous seal and whale species and we even encounter the fabled wild horses of Sable Island. As we cruise towards the mouth of the St Lawrence River we hope to see the great baleen whales such as the humpback, minke and blue whale, as well as grey and harp seals. Kayaking, biking and stand-up paddleboarding included!
This sailing is also ideal for families with family pricing and special young explorer activity, social and entertainment programmes - please ask for details.
Note: All bookings on voyages that operate domestically within Canada, are subject to a compulsory 5% goods and services tax (GST). This will be added to the cruise price on the confirmation invoice.
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 >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.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 >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
Special Guest Photography GuideChris was 32 when he finally realised he really did want to be a photo-journalist and walked out on his career in IT sales to become a wildlife photographer Read more >
- Whales and marine mammals
- Superb birdlife
- Spectacular scenery
- Experience unique local culture
- Historical sites
- Kayaking, paddleboarding and cycling excursions inluded
- Transfers to and from ship
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Zodiac excursions and shore landings including hikes and wildlife colony visits
- Programme of expert lectures
- Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
- 24 hour hot drinks
- Expedition gear loan package
- Kayaking, cycling and paddleboarding
ITINERARY10 Nights 11 Days
- Day 1 | Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
- Day 2 | Sable Island
- Day 3 | Bird Island & Englishtown
- Day 4 | Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
- Day 5 | The Magdalen Islands
- Day 6 | Bonaventure Island & Gaspe Peninsula
- Day 7 | Anticosti Island
- Day 8 | Gros Morne National Park
- Day 9 | Francois
- Day 10 | St Pierre et Miquelon
- Day 11 | Louisbourg
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
Your Canadian East Coast cruise will begin in the historic port town of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia, where after having arrived independently you will board your expedition vessel in the late afternoon. After settling in to your cabin and exploring your new surroundings you can join your new shipmates for a beautiful dinner of fresh local lobster as your ship sails out of the port, past the lighthouse and on to the Grand Banks.
The first stop on our East Canada adventure will be the long sandy beaches of one of Canada’s newest national parks, the scenic Sable Island. Located on the edge of the Grand Banks, Sable Island has a storied history as a graveyard of ships, with more than 350 ships falling victim to the treacherous currents and sandbars. We will take a walk around this historically significant area to discover its scenic and wildlife secrets. Having just 6 permanent human inhabitants, Sable Island is home to a herd of wild horses, one of the largest grey seal colonies in the world, and is an important stopover for numerous migratory bird species as they make their way to and from the High Arctic regions.
Bird Island & Englishtown
Today we will return back to Cape Breton where we will stop in Englishtown to board our Zodiac boats and take a cruise to Bird Island to see the numerous Atlantic puffins and razorbills that reside here. There are ample options for adventure here including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, cycling and Zodiac cruising. Your onboard expert guides and naturalists will accompany you as you explore the area and you may wish to take a walk through the small coastal community of Englishtown and visit the Gaelic College.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Today we are anchored just offshore from Prince Edward Island, a very picturesque island famous for being the venue of the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 which eventually resulted in the confederation of Canada in 1867, and also for being the inspiration for the classic children’s novel “Anne of Green Gables”. We will make land close to the town of North Rustico to enjoy a day of exploring, with many different excursions and tours available. You can choose to spend a day walking around Charlottetown, taking a visit to Green Gables, or enjoying a walk along the famous Cavendish Beach with an obligatory Cow’s Ice Cream.
For a more active day you could choose to take a leisurely cycle along the Confederation Trail or the Coastal Drive, hop into the kayaks for a paddle in Rustico Bay, or enjoy a round of golf on one of the island’s celebrated courses. In the evening you will be welcomed back on ship to enjoy a dinner of locally sourced fresh Atlantic seafood as your ship makes its way north towards the Magdalen Islands.
The Magdalen Islands
Our next adventure takes us in to the Quebec region to the beautiful Magdalen Islands, home to unique fishing communities, scenic waterfronts lined with colourful houses and boats, and grassy meadows flowing along the sandstone shoreline. Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Magdalen Islands have been naturally sculpted out of sandstone and are an excellent spot for activities, with kayaking or stand-up paddle-boarding through the sea arches and into the sandstone sea caves being a particular highlight. You could also enjoy a walk through the villages to discover the area’s unique combination of Quebecois and Acadian culture, take a cycle across the island’s gentle terrain, enjoy a whale-watching cruise in the Zodiacs, or simply relax on the beach soaking up the sun and taking in the sights.
Bonaventure Island & Gaspe Peninsula
At Bonaventure Island we drop the anchor near the town of Percé and explore the island by zodiac. This location has a rich natural, historic, and geological heritage. Sculpted over time by the sea, the island is situated at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. The outstanding flora and fauna, including its famous colony of Northern Gannets, make this location a highlight. Almost 300 different species of birds have been recorded as visiting, migrating to, or living on Bonaventure Island. An afternoon visit to the community of Percé will provide a window into the rich fishing culture of French-Canada. Zodiac cruising, sea kayaking and stand up paddle boarding are all activities that can be undertaken here, weather permitting.
This morning we will sail through the mouth of the St. Lawrence River to Anticosti Island, a unique area where the river waters meet the Arctic and Atlantic waters to create a hive of birdlife and marine life activity. Here you can enjoy a Zodiac cruise along the cliffs in search of sightings of the whales and seals that frequent the waters along with several species of shorebirds and seabirds. We can also enjoy a hike along the beaches on the eastern end of the island to look for deer in the woods and bald eagles which are often spotted soaring along the coastline.
Gros Morne National Park
Today may well be one of the highlights of your voyage as we sail into the majestic Bonne Bay surrounded by soaring cliffs covered in a green blanket of tuckamore forest, in to the heart of Gros Morne National Park. As we make land at Woody Point we will be welcomed by a delegation from the community before enjoying a hike up to the fantastic interpretation centre. From here we have numerous options for guided walks including a trip to the World Heritage-listed Tablelands which will result in spectacular views over most of the park.
Make sure to have your camera on hand as you explore through the park to discover its unique landscape of dramatic rock ridges and boreal wetlands, and look out for sightings of moose and white-throated sparrows along the way. Other activity options here include thrilling kayaking excursions along the shores of Bonne Bay or a challenging bike ride along the twisting mountain road to Trout River.
This morning brings what may be another highlight for many as we visit Francois on the south coast of Newfoundland to enjoy a walk to a spectacular steep-walled rocky fjord that is a spectacle guaranteed to delight. The community of Francois was settled in the late 1700s and you will have time here to learn about the area’s rich fishing heritage and history.
St Pierre et Miquelon
The final adventure on our thrilling voyage through Canada’s spectacular Atlantic provinces will bring us to Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, a small group of islands off the south coast of Newfoundland which exude a distinctly French feel. The islands were first settled by the French in the early 17th century and today, the islands are the sole remaining vestige of France’s once vast North American empire. Strolling around the area one may forget that they are actually in Canada as the town has such a provincial French look.
During the day we hope, weather permitting, to enjoy our final Zodiac cruise to see the large puffin colony that resides here, and in the late afternoon we will re-board the ship to enjoy a special farewell dinner attended by the captain.
As we sail back across the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape Breton, arrival back into the historic port of Louisbourg will signal the end of our Canadian east coast adventure. Disembarkation will begin after breakfast and a transfer will be provided to the airport for those catching onward or homeward flights. For those wishing to spend more time here a transfer will be provided to a downtown location.
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.
What a great trip! Wildfoot built a great trip for us and every aspect was spot on. Our Iguazu guide was fun, interesting and helpful and all the transfers were timely and comfortable. The Antarctica Trip was superb - WIldfoot had given us the best advice and helped us choose the right ship and tour for what we wanted - A truly memorable Experience Thank You Wildfoot
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