Canada's East Coast Wildlife Special 11 daysAboard: 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.
- 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
So much to experience
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
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.
A view from Above
Built in Finland in 1989 as a Russian polar research vessel, the Akademik Ioffe, was operating as One Ocean Navigator until recently, is a comfortable, stable, ice-strengthened ship with all the facilities for modern expedition cruising. There is a mixture of suites and cabins, all with windows or portholes and some with private facilities. Public areas include dining room, lounge, bar, library with forward facing windows, multi-media room with Apple Mac computers and photo management software, presentation room, mud room, passenger lift and gift shop. There is also a wellness centre, sauna, spa, salt-water plunge pool, fitness room and infirmary. Along with plenty of open deck space, there is a top deck with 360degrees views and a small observatory with spotting scope. The ship has an open-bridge policy.
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
Amy’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
As Senior Travel Expert, Simon has an absolute wealth of experience in adventure travel in some of the most fascinating places in the world. With in-depth knowledge and fantastic organizational skills, Simon’s first-hand experience and genuine passion drive him to work to create your perfect itinerary.
Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.