Labrador and The Torngat Mountains
Labrador and The Torngat Mountains 11 Days aboard Akademik Ioffe
This voyage links numerous historic locations on Canada’s east coast, including a known Viking settlement, a French-built fortress, several remote mission locations and isolated fishing ports. We journey from the more temperate climate found in the Maritimes, northwards and into the higher Arctic latitudes. Subtle changes to vegetation and wildlife species can be noticed and our expert guides will interpret and explain these changes throughout the journey. The region features strong cultural diversity and we encounter the Nunatsiavut people in small communities along the coastline of Labrador. Numerous wildlife species are found along this coastline including bears, seals, whales and both migratory and resident birds. A particular highlight of our voyage is a visit to Torngat Mountains National Park – home to the highest mountains in Canada, east of the Rockies. This is one of the jewels in the crown of the Canadian National Park network.
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. The charter flight from Iqaluit to Ottawa is also charged at US$995
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 >
- Searching for polar bears and other animals
- Whales and marine mammals
- Superb birdlife
- Spectacular scenery including Torngat Mountains National Park
- Experience Inuit culture, Inuit history and a Viking settlement
- Visit remote ports and local communities
- Transit from the Atlantic provinces into the Arctic
- Kayaking options available
- Resident photography expert
- 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
ITINERARY10 Nights 11 Days
- Day 1 | Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
- Day 2 | Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
- Day 3 | L’anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland
- Day 4 | Battle Harbour, Newfoundland
- Day 5 | Hopedale, Newfoundland
- Day 6 | Hebron, Newfoundland
- Day 7 | Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador
- Day 8 | Nachvak Fjord, Torngat Mountains National Park
- Day 9 | Button Islands, Nunavut
- Day 10 | Monumental Island, Nunavut
- Day 11 | Iqaluit, Nunavut
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
Your Canadian adventure 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.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
Our second day may well be one of the highlights of your voyage as we anchor off the coast of the tiny fishing community of Trout River to start our exploration of Gros Morne National Park. This incredible area is world renowned for its unique geology and exceptional scenery, and after making land via Zodiac we will be transferred by bus to the World Heritage-listed Tablelands which will result in spectacular views over most of the park.
Walking north we will 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. There will be time for a visit to the park’s fantastic interpretation centre before we reach Woody Point, set within majestic Bonne Bay surrounded by soaring cliffs covered in a green blanket of tuckamore forest.
L’anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland
Having sailed northwards overnight, today we reach one of Canada’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the renowned Viking settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows. Upon arrival we will hop in to the Zodiacs and make our way to the rocky shoreline to meet the site’s resident archaeologist. We will explore around the reconstructed sod huts and Norse ruins to find out about how the Vikings are thought to have discovered North America some 500 years prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The site is where Norseman, Leif Erikson, the son of Erik the Red, is thought to have founded “Vinland” around 1000 AD, and as we walk along the beach we will learn about how a millennium ago the Viking long-ships would have been found along this very beach.
After an entertaining exploration of L’Anse aux Meadows we will make our way back to our expedition ship, and after settling back in we will leave the coastline to Newfoundland, crossing the Strait of Belle Isle overnight.
Battle Harbour, Newfoundland
Today we will arrive in the province of Labrador as we venture ashore at Battle Harbour to explore this remote community that is home to beautifully restored fishing, whaling and commercial buildings set amongst a backdrop of breathtaking coastal views. Photo opportunities abound and your resident photography expert will be happy to help you capture the perfect shot. Battle Harbour is also an area of significant historic interest and your resident historians will offer you insight in to how it was one of the first British settlements on the east coast of the Americas, and an important gateway to the rich Labrador fisheries.
The ancient rocks of the Canadian Shield (the exposed portion of the Earth’s crust) cradle the small coastal hamlet of Hopedale. This remarkable geological feature, estimated to be up to 4-billion-years-old greets us as we sail through narrow channels and weigh anchor off Hopedale. We venture ashore by zodiac to visit the Hopedale Moravian Mission – built in 1782 and said to be the oldest building east of Quebec. It’s a fascinating place and we learn of the influence of the early Moravian missionaries on the Inuit people of Northern Labrador. This location has been designated a Canadian National Historic Site. We plan a visit to the local museum for a deeper insight. The local Inuit produce wonderful carvings and other crafts which make wonderful souvenirs.
Today’s itinerary will bring us to the historic town of Hebron, a designated National Historic Site which was established by the Moravian missionaries in the early 1830’s. In 1959 the mission was closed and the local Inuit families were relocated, however the original buildings still stand and we will enjoy a walk through the settlement to take a closer look at these buildings which echo the Germanic influence on the area. We will hope to meet the Nunatsiavut Government ambassadors Buddy and Jenny who have been looking after this historic site for years and will have fascinating stories to tell us.
Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador
Today marks the beginning of what, for many, will be the highlight of the voyage as we switch our attention from history to wilderness and wildlife and sail into Saglek Fjord, the southern gateway to the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve. This magnificent wilderness covers almost 10,000 square kilometres of Northern Labrador and is home to breathtaking fjords, remnant glacial systems and stunning landscapes, as well as an abundance of wildlife including the elusive polar bear.
During your time here you can enjoy various activities including excellent hiking opportunities which will offer fantastic viewpoints of the park’s unique location between Quebec on one side, and the Labrador Coast on the other. Gentler walks will also reward with spectacular photo opportunities as you discover the park’s beautiful tundra filled with wildflowers and berries set amongst the incredible backdrop of Canada’s highest mountains East of the Rockies. We will also enjoy some Zodiac cruising along the shorelines and guided walks in search of wildlife sightings including polar bears, caribou, and seals, as well as learning about the area’s rich culture and heritage; The Inuktitut word Torngat, means “place of spirits” and the Torngat Mountains have been home to Inuit and their predecessors for over 7500 years.
Nachvak Fjord, Torngat Mountains National Park
We continue our exploration of the Torngat Mountains National Park by sailing to the exceptionally beautiful Nachvak Fjord where we hope to encounter an abundance of marine wildlife including ring, hooded, harp and harbour seals, and minke, fin and humpback whales. This deep and narrow fjord which stretches for more than 20 kilometres offers an outstanding location for landscape photography with endless subjects, a dynamic colour range interesting lighting.
Button Islands, Nunavut
After our thrilling exploration of the Torngat Mountains National Park we will continue to sail north, passing Martin Bay where our onboard historians will tell us about the remarkable events that happened here during WWII when a German U-boat made the only known armed landing in North America.
We will then sail further north to visit the Button Islands in search of sightings of the thousands of seabirds and other marine animals that frequent here, before sailing on into the southern Davis Strait.
Monumental Island, Nunavut
For our final adventure we sail across the mouth of Frobisher Bay and make landfall on Monumental Island, a small, steep-sided outcrop off the southeast coast of Baffin Island, to search for the polar bears and walrus that are known to live around the island. The relationship between the polar bears and the walrus is a complicated one. Whilst the polar bears have been known to attack and kill young walrus they are no match for a fully-grown male walrus, and as such the 2 intriguing species reside side-by-side in an uneasy, fragile truce.
This afternoon we will enjoy our final Zodiac cruise of the voyage before re-boarding the ship to enjoy a special farewell dinner attended by the captain. As you sleep your captain will negotiate the narrow channels of Frobisher Bay on the way to our disembarkation point, Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut.
Arrival into the port of Iqaluit will signal the end of our Canadian adventure. Disembarkation by Zodiac will begin after breakfast, and after a short tour of Iqaluit (if time and tides permit), we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Ottawa.
What Our Customers
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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!
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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.
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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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