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The Island Way of Life: Prince Edward Island and the Magdalens

Program Number: 2737RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/8/2013 - 9/15/2013;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Price starting at: $1,597.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 18; 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

From literary fantasy to real history, artistry and lives, explore the red rocks and Green Gables of Prince Edward Island and the white sand dunes and salt marshes of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Experience ecosystems at Point-de-l’Est and PEI national parks and learn about the fickle ocean, from its bounty to the role of shipwrecks in founding the local communities.


• Experience an evening of island music as you tap your feet to the jigs and reels of Acadian tunes.
• Get inside the Madelinots’ reliance on the sea as you hear their stories and try your hand digging for clams.
• Follow Ann’s footsteps at Green Gables and relive the story of 10 millennia of history, from Mi’kmaq natives to English, French and Celtic colonists to the birth of Canada in Charlottetown.

Activity Particulars

Walks up to two miles over varied terrain.

Date Specific Information


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Itinerary Summary

Independent arrival Charlottetown, 2 nights; coach and ferry to Magdalen Islands, 4 nights; coach and ferry to Charlottetown, 1 night; independent departure.


Charlottetown, the historic capital city of Prince Edward Island, was the site of the 1864 discussions to unite the country by delegates from Upper and Lower Canada. Visitors may re-live the “Charlottetown Conference” in local museums and on historic Grand George Street, as well as enjoy the colorful boardwalk and harbor on Peake’s Wharf.

Charlottetown: Centrally located hotel. Magdalen Islands: Lovely resort.
Meals and Lodgings
   Rodd Royalty Inn
  Charlottetown, PE 2 nights
   Auberge la Salicorne
  Magdalen Islands, QC 4 nights
   Rodd Royalty Inn
  Charlottetown, PE 1 night
 Rodd Royalty Inn
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Rodd Royalty Inn & Suites, Charlottetown PEI, is a full-service hotel with 121 spacious guestrooms each tastefully decorated with a modern, fresh style.
  Contact info: 14 Capital Drive (formerly Trans Canada Highway)
P.O. Box 2499
Charlottetown, PE C1A 8C2 Canada
phone: 902-894-8566
  Room amenities: Hairdryers, voice mail, cable TV, coffeemakers, irons and ironing boards, air conditioned
  Facility amenities: Indoor pool and waterslide, dining room and lounge, room service, located five minutes from downtown and the Charlottetown Airport, close to shopping centers, complimentary parking, free wireless high speed Internet
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rates. Contact hotel for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel for rates. Contact hotel for rates and availability.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Auberge la Salicorne
Type: Inn
  Description: La Salicorne Inn is a non-profit enterprise whose goal is to introduce you to the Islands, their environment and to the Magdalen Islanders, while at the same time creating new employment opportunities in our community. La Salicorne has a new and different plan for your visit to the Islands. You will take part in unforgettable activities, you will visit the Islands, enjoy the beaches and the cliffs, you will meet the Madelinots and learn about the way they live.....what is more important, you will enjoy a real holiday, at your own rhythm!
  Contact info: 377 route 199
Grande-Entrée, Iles de la Madeleine, QC G4T 7A5 Canada
phone: 418-985-2833
  Room amenities: Comfortable rooms with Islands atmosphere. Total peace and quiet ... no telephones!
  Facility amenities: La Salicorne Inn is located on a high point of land with a spectacular views over the bay and the town of Grande-Entrée. There are spectacular views over the sea, the bay and the town, a seal interpretation center, bicycle path, water sports center, and access to Boudreau Island. A complete program of organized activities, including Island soirées, original activities and guided tours. Other amenities include: - Equipment for water sports - canoes, kayaks, pedal boats... - Bikes - Wireless internet - Gift shop - Bar - Laundry mat
  Smoking allowed: No

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Orientation at the hotel at 4:30 p.m. Check-in after 2:00 p.m. You will be staying at Rodd Royalty Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Independent departures from the hotel in Charlottetown after breakfast. Check-out is 11:00 a.m. You will be staying at Rodd Royalty Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. As of June 2009 a passport is required for all travel (by air, land and sea) to and from the United States. A valid passport will be required from all passengers at US border crossings Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit for up-to-date info.
  Parking availability:
Free parking on site.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Charlottetown, PE
  Nearest city or town:  Charlottetown
  Nearest airport:  Charlottetown International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Charlottetown, PE
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Charlottetown Airport to Hotel


From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$10 - $15
Prices are subject to change.




5 miles


Taxi service is available from the Charlottetown airport to the hotel.

Driving Directions
  Confederation Bridge Route 1 Trans Canada to Charlottetown.
  New England If you are coming from New England, take Route 95 to Bangor, Maine, then Route 9 to New Brunswick. From the US border, it is only five hours to Prince Edward Island
  Nova Scotia Take Wood Islands Ferry or the Confederation Bridge to PEI.
Equipment Requirements: Good walking shoes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-In and Orientation/Introduction to Prince Edward Island
(Sunday, September 8)
 Afternoon: ARRIVALS AND CHECK-IN: Participants arrive to the hotel in the afternoon after 2:00 p.m. There will be a program orientation and introductions at 4:30 followed by our welcome dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Island History. Introductions are followed by a lecture on Prince Edward Island.” A local historian will bring the early history of the Island alive using stories of the people who have made Prince Edward Island their home: native Mi’kmaq, French explorers, Acadian farmers, British military, and Scottish and Irish immigrants.
Accommodations: Rodd Royalty Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Historic Charlottetown/PEI National Park/Free Evening
(Monday, September 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Historic Charlottetown. The day begins at Founders' Hall, located in a restored heritage building on the Charlottetown Waterfront. The facility includes interactive multi-media presentations designed to depict the Canadian experience from 1864 to the present. A local historian will continue the story of Prince Edward Island in a lecture entitled "“Stories of Islanders”. Stroll with a costumed guide along the waterfront and through the heritage district of Charlottetown. Your guide, in 1860s dress acting as living Fathers and Ladies of the Confederation, will tell you the story of Charlottetown's origins and its growth into a prosperous community during the Victorian Era. You will hear about the families responsible for the development of the community and see some of the heritage they left in beautiful homes and public buildings of wood, sandstone and brick. You will learn about the famous Conference of 1864, which gave the city its designation as the Birthplace of Canada. The tour continues past Great George Street--a charming national Historic District and finally the Province House National Historic Site (where the meetings of Confederation actually took place) The walk is about one mile (1.6 kms) along city sidewalks and along the waterfront on relatively flat terrain. With a population of just over 35,000, Charlottetown is the largest community on Prince Edward Island. It has the comfortable ambiance of a small town rich in history.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Province House. At Province House National Historic Site, professional Parks Canada staff will describe the significant role this building has played in the history of Canada. You will learn about the events leading up to the first conference on confederation. Province House was officially proclaimed a National Historic Site on July 1, 1983. The Legislative Assembly still meets in the assembly chamber first used in 1847. With 27 members, Prince Edward Island has the smallest Provincial Assembly in Canada.
 Lunch: Lunch will be buffet-style at Mavor’s, the new bistro in the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. This facility was built in 1964 as Canada’s National Memorial to the Fathers of the Confederation. Covering an entire city block, the Centre stands on what was the site of the old Charlottetown market and houses several theatres and an art gallery.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: PEI National Park & Green Gables. You will take a ride to the beautiful north shore region of Prince Edward Island and learn about PEI’s rich natural and cultural heritage. The park contains heritage cultural sites, notably Green Gables. From there, you will visit Green Gables National Historic Site, where a Parks Canada guide will showcase the fictional home of red-haired Anne Shirley, the heroine of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel, Anne of Green Gables. After watching an introductory video, walk through the house and learn about household life in early 20th-century Canada. Afterwards, rediscover the charm of Lover’s Lane, Haunted Wood and Balsam Hollow first experienced by Montgomery during her childhood
 Dinner: Dinner at The Dundee Arms Inn. The Dundee Arms Inn is located in a Queen Anne revival mansion, constructed in 1903 by Lowe Bros. of Charlottetown for Mr. Parker Carvell. Together with his father, Lieutenant Governor Jedediah, Carvell operated a flourishing produce business and this building stood as a private residence until 1956. It was finally converted to an Inn in 1972
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening in Charlottetown.
Accommodations: Rodd Royalty Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Rossignol Winery/The Historium/Ferry to Magdalen Islands/Basic French Phrases
(Tuesday, September 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Rossignol Winery & The Historium. We board the bus for Little Sand in Eastern PEI and the ferry to the Magdalen Islands. We'll be stopping at the Rossignol Winery, you will learn that grapes can grow – indeed, thrive on Prince Edward Island. This winery produces a variety of premium fruit and table wines. The vineyard and farm winery overlook the Northumberland Strait. Enjoy a presentation about the winery along with an opportunity to do some wine-tasting. Rossignol is the first commercial winery on the Island; the first wines were bottled in the fall of 1994. Rossignol refrains from using pesticides, operating as an ecologically friendly vineyard in strip-crop fashion. Their grapes are grown with ample green space between the rows, and with the nearby Northumberland Strait, a fresh breeze is never too far away. About a hectare of grapes are grown in greenhouses – perhaps the only greenhouse grapes grown in Canada. Until recently, Rossignol was prevented from selling his award-winning wine off-Island because of regulations dating back to Prohibition days. OPTIONAL EXCURSION: Visit Matthew and McLean Building Heritage Historium. The Town of Souris is proud to have the Matthew McLean building recognized as a Designated Heritage Place. Constructed in 1869 as a general merchant business, it was the chief source of hardware and dry goods in the area. Today, it is the home of The Historium, PEI Visitors Information Centre, local shops and more.
 Lunch: Enjoy a tasty lunch at the Bluefin Restaurant.
 Afternoon: FERRY TO MAGDALEN ISLANDS: We arrive at the ferry wharf at approximately 1:00 p.m. where you will embark by ferry for the Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Magdalen Islands). The ride takes six hours. The Islands are a small archipelago with an area of 75,213 square miles (194,803 square kilometers) located in the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Although they are closer to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, they belong to Quebec. Secluded, beautiful and as yet undiscovered, they offer unspoiled white beaches and fragile dunes as far as the eye can see. You will also marvel at the capes and lagoons, green valleys, red cliffs and brightly painted houses. You will arrive in the early evening at Cap-aux-Meules and depart by coach for Grande Entrée. Cap-aux-Meules is a busy port, and each wharf is devoted to a specific sector. A commercial wharf handles provisions to the Islands, while an oil wharf handles deliveries of oil products and bulk dry cargoes. The ferry wharf is used by the ferries between the Islands and the Quebec mainland and from Cap aux Meules to Souris, PEI. It is also used by islanders, tourists and trucks. The two fishing wharves are owned by Transport Canada. They serve both offshore and inshore fishing boats as well as a vessel of Coast Guard Search and Rescue. PRESENTATION: French Class. Enroute there will be a French class with your guide at the cafeteria to learn basic French words to help you during your time on the Islands.
 Dinner: Enjoy a meal on board M.V. Madeleine (at your own expense).
 Evening: The ferry arrives at Cap aux Meules wharf and we are taken by bus to La Salicorne Inn (about 45 minutes). After check in and orientation there will be soup and dessert, tea or coffee at the inn. Free time or watch a video on the islands.
Accommodations: Auberge la Salicorne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: History of the Islands/Grande-Entrée/Old Harry and Grosse Ile/Island Fishing Stories
(Wednesday, September 11)
 Breakfast: At inn
 Morning: FIELD TRIP & PRESENTATION: Grande-Entrée. A historian will give you a brief history of the Island and the village of Grande-Entrée. After, you will visit the Grande-Entrée. This is a typical fishing village and the most important lobster-fishing port in Quebec. In fact, it is called the “Lobster Capital” of the Islands.
 Lunch: Lunch at Inn
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Old Harry and Grosse Ile. Take a field trip to Old Harry and Grosse Ile, two English-speaking communities in the Magdalen Islands. You will learn the history of the first settlers and about the wildlife on the Islands. Most of the people in these fishing villages are descended from shipwrecked Irish and Scottish sailors. Both villages have lovely ports, which you will enjoy visiting. At Old Harry, the village church is another must-see. Its sculpted doors were created to honor a young man who lost his life trying to save two young girls from drowning.
 Dinner: Dinner at Inn.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Island Fishing Stories. Hear stories of traditional fishing skills. On the Magdalens, the lobster fishery is the most important part of the economy. And a fisherman is the best person to show you how lobster traps are made and how they work – the fishermen did not buy their traps, they built them! Our fisherman-storyteller will explain how fishermen set their lobster traps for the first time every year and what it is like when they have wind storms. Have your questions ready; he will answer them all!
Accommodations: Auberge la Salicorne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cap-aux-Meules/Fatima/Étang-du-Nord/Havre-Aubert/Music of the Islands
(Thursday, September 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at inn.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Island Exploration. Depart for an exploration of the Central and west part of the Island. On a field trip to Fatima, located on the main island, you will visit an extraordinary church shaped like a seashell. This church, constructed entirely by local volunteers, was built in part with rock from the seashore. You will also enjoy a wonderful view from “Belle Anse,” where the red sandstone cliffs fight an endless battle against erosion. Every year, wind and waves carve new and amazing shapes into the cliffs. Another field trip will take you to the islands of Fatima, l’Étang-du-Nord and Cap-aux-Meules. At the port of Étang du Nord, you will see a sculpture depicting fishermen at work, pulling a boat out of the water using nothing but their combined muscle power. Étang du Nord boasts the first church built on Magdalens. It is one of the largest wooden churches in North America, and in 1992, it was declared a historical monument in Québec. Cap-aux-Meules is the major service center of the Island; here visitors will find the hospital, drugstores, a shopping center, the ferry dock and a wide range of other amenities. The name Cap-aux-Meules comes from the stone in the cape overhanging the port, which was used to make grindstones. The English population of the Islands calls Cap-aux-Meules “"Grindstone"”.
 Lunch: Lunch at L’Auberge chez Denis à François on Havre-Aubert Island. The inn is located near Sandy Hook beach, right at the entrance of “La Grave” historic site. In 1874, during a terrible storm, a ship was washed ashore on Sandy Hook beach. Using lumber from a ship’s cargo, Edmond Brasset built himself a solid house, which has now been converted to an inn. The lumber preserves the warmth and richness of our island heritage.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Havre-aux-Maisons. Enjoy a field trip to the island of Havre-aux-Maisons and learn some of the stories and legends of the Islands. Havre-aux-Maisons is known as “Treasure Island” because local legend has it that pirates buried their treasure in the round hill (la butte ronde). People from this island are recognized by their last names – Arseneau, Thériault, Cyr, Poirier – and by their accent – their pronunciation completely excludes the letter "“r".” This island is an expanse of rolling, conical hills and is one of the most beautiful in the archipelago. You will also visit the beautiful beach of Dune du Sud, the lighthouse at Échouerie, the Smokehouse and a vineyard.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Island Exploration. Your field trip continues around Havre-Aubert followed by some free time. Stop at “La Grave, an old fishermen'’s site and one of the places where the Acadians lived when they first colonized the Islands. Today, La Grave is the location of a maritime museum, an aquarium and many interesting boutiques. EXCURSION: Artisans. Visit les Artisans du sable, where local artists create art and other objects from white and black sand. Bassin, where the average temperature is a little higher, is the best place on the Islands for agriculture. The hills here still support some forest, reminding us that in the past, 70 percent of the Islands was treed.
 Dinner: Enjoy a traditional Island supper (seafood pot-en-pot) at the inn.
 Evening: PERFORMANCE: Island Music. Island musicians will thrill you with authentic Island music. You will learn typical Island songs and dances. On the Magdalens, musical evenings are an important part of the culture, and everyone has a good time. This evening will make you feel like a real “Madelinot”!
Accommodations: Auberge la Salicorne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Clam Digging/Pointe de l'Est National Wildlife Area
(Friday, September 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the inn.
 Morning: HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Clam Digging. Discover the small shell fish known as clams along the shores of the lagoons at Pointe-aux-Loups. Learn how to look for them, what size we are allowed to take and the Island way to eat them.
 Lunch: Lunch at inn.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Pointe de l'Est National Wildlife Area. Visit the Pointe de l’Est National Wildlife Area with a naturalist. Typical of the landscape of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, this world of ocean, sand and dunes that are constantly rearranged by the wind is now one of the last breeding areas in Québec for the Piping Plover, an endangered species. It is also a strategic location for the migration of shorebirds. At the Wildlife Area there is a magnificent beach called Grande-Échouerie. It is 14 miles (22 km) long and, according to National Geographic magazine, one of the five most beautiful beaches in the world.
 Dinner: Dinner at inn
 Evening: Free evening to relax and rest up for our early departure tomorrow morning.
Accommodations: Auberge la Salicorne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Ferry to PEI/Transfer to Charlottetown/Farewell Dinner
(Saturday, September 14)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at the inn (5:30 a.m.).
 Morning: FERRY TO PEI: We depart the hotel at 6:00 a.m. for the port of Cap-aux-Meules. Arrival at the ferry and boarding for 8:00 a.m. ferry departure back to Prince Edward Island. Lunch will be on board M.V. Madeleine. Ferry arrives to Souris, PE Wharf approximately 1:00 p.m. Transfer by bus to Charlottetown.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own on the ferry.
 Afternoon: We arrive back in Charlottetown approximately 2:00 p.m. After check-in, enjoy some free time in Charlottetown before our final dinner.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in Charlottetown.
Accommodations: Rodd Royalty Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Independent Departures
(Sunday, September 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Independent departures from the hotel in Charlottetown after breakfast. Check-out is 11:00 a.m.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

The Adventurers Guide to the Magdalen Islands

Author: George Fisher

Description: ''The Adventurer's Guide to the Magdalen Islands" offers a wide range of hiking, cycling and climbing routes of varying lengths and levels of difficulty. Many trails and activities are suitable for whole families, who can enjoy cycling on quiet roads beside fields of wildflowers, pausing to watch the seals romp off the coast, leisurely strolls along delicate sand dune trails, horseback riding on white sandy beaches, or a picnic on breezy bluffs overlooking a blue-green sea.''

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