19794
Newfoundland And Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador: Gros Morne and the Great Northern Peninsula
Gain a deeper understanding of Newfoundland and Labrador as you visit coastal villages, explore national parks, discover a Viking settlement and learn the story of this ancient region.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19794RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
2,595
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11 days
10 nights
29 meals
10 B 9 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Registration, Orientation, Newfoundland History & Culture
Deer Lake, NL
D
Holiday Inn Express Deer Lake

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. 4:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated meal with starter, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach unless otherwise specified. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Then, a presentation given by a local expert and educator will provide an introduction to Newfoundland history and culture including segments on early Newfoundland music, the Norse and Beothuk peoples and the resettlement program. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
2
Gros Morne Park, Tablelands Walk, Gros Morne Theatre
Cow Head, NL
B,L,D
Shallow Bay Motel and Cabins

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles, approx. 3 hours; mostly flat trails and boardwalks; some uneven terrain, pebbly or rocky sections. Driving about 149 miles; approximately 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet features hot and cold options, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll start out by traveling via motorcoach to the world-renowned Gros Morne National Park – a world of spectacular landscapes and uncrowded spaces. During our stay at the park we will meet experts, local residents, musicians and storytellers as part of our introduction to this phenomenal place. Declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1987, the park is internationally recognized for its scenic beauty, vast landscape, endless hiking trails and complex geology. It was here that geologists proved the theory of plate tectonics. Upon our arrival, we’ll meet with a Park expert to examine the forces of nature that have shaped the land and the people of this World Heritage coast at the state-of-the-art Discovery Centre which features interactive exhibits, live programming, and art gallery.

Lunch: At an award-winning restaurant located in the scenic coastal fishing village of Trout River, we’ll have a plated meal with starter, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Transferring via motorcoach we’ll explore magnificent views of the coast and the startling geology of the nearby Tablelands – debatably the most important geological feature in Gros Morne Park and the main reason for the park being declared a World Heritage Site. With a Senior Parks geologist, we’ll explore the lunar-like landscape on foot where we will bear witness to the effects of plate tectonics and ancient glaciation that occurred about 470 million years ago, as well as the much more recent glaciation of 15,000-20,000 years ago. Learn about the unique plants and vegetation and gain a better understanding of the significant geology of Gros Morne National Park. We’ll then carry on to the town of Cow Head where we will be warmly welcomed by the hosts at our accommodation.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated meal with starter, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy a performance at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival by a theatre troupe featuring Newfoundland stories, song and music, celebrating the Island's heritage and most importantly her people. Following the performance, we’ll be treated to a meet and greet with one of the performers.

DAY
3
Western Brook Trail, Fjord Cruise, Newfoundland Fisheries
Cow Head, NL
B,L,D
Shallow Bay Motel and Cabins

Activity note: Walking approximately 2 miles each way on the Western Brook Pond trail; about 2.5 hours; boardwalk and gravel paths, mostly flat with a few slight grades; there is no transportation available on the trail. Getting on/off a boat. Driving approx. 27 miles; less than 1 hour. Getting on/off boat; ride is about 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated breakfast plus coffee, tea, water, juice.

Morning: We’ll start by transferring via motorcoach to the trail head where we will begin a walk along the Western Brook Pond Trail with our Group Leader to the dock.

Lunch: Dockside at Western Brook Pond, we’ll enjoy a boxed lunch with sandwich, fruit, muffin and a beverage. There is a sheltered waiting area, indoor washroom facilities, canteen services and a gift shop as well as several beautiful picnic areas.

Afternoon: Then, weather permitting, we’ll board a boat for an exploration on Western Brook Pond, the largest lake in the park. A local expert will provide onboard commentary. From aboard the boat, we will see the spectacular, land-locked Western Brook Pond fjord. The "pond" is just one of numerous glacially carved fjords in the Long Range Mountains, the northernmost extension of the Appalachian Mountains. Waterfalls cascade from a height of 3,000 feet (900 meters), and we may even spot some of the local wildlife. The lake is home to Atlantic salmon, brook trout and Arctic char as well as an unusual colony of cliff-nesting gulls. After returning from the cruise in late afternoon and transferring by motorcoach back to the hotel, we’ll enjoy some time to relax and freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: We’ll have a presentation at the hotel with the group leader and hear stories of Newfoundland's fisheries. Although the tradition of fishing is an old one in Newfoundland, the innovations required to sustain the practice are anything but archaic. The creativity required in keeping the fishing industry afloat is one of the biggest challenges in Newfoundland. Hear about how they are adapting to the changing times. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
4
French Rooms Cultural Centre, Port au Choix, Studio Visit
Plum Point, NL
B,L,D
Plum Point Motel

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile, approx. 2 hours; maintained trails, gentle terrain, rock crossings slippery when wet. Wear sturdy shoes or boots. Driving approx. 130 miles; about 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel plated meal.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel we’ll travel by motorcoach up the Viking Trail to visit the French Rooms Cultural Centre where a local expert will discuss the Point Riche Lighthouse, the French Fishery and the Resettlement Program. We will also see a video of an actual house that was floated into Port au Choix as part of the Resettlement Program. The center is located on the site of an Aboriginal burial ground.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with a starter, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continuing along the Viking Trail we’ll reach the town of Port au Choix, also known as the "fishing capital" of Western Newfoundland. French, Spanish, Portuguese and Basque fishermen swarmed the west coast and settled in this port following John Cabot's discovery of cod. Today, some come to sample the day's catch but the greatest attraction is the mystery buried underground. In the 1960s, archaeologists discovered the graves of 90 Maritime Archaic Indians that date back almost 5,000 years. While here, we’ll visit the Port au Choix Historic Site, regarded as one of the richest archaeological finds in North America, and learn about the Groswater and Dorset Inuit and the Maritime Archaic Indians. We’ll then continue onward to check into our hotel and take some time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, the dinner buffet features hot and cold options, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to take the remainder of the evening to explore Plum Point, or catch up on your rest. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
Labrador Ferry, Point Amour Lighthouse, Battle Harbour Ferry
Battle Harbour, NL
B,L,D
Battle Harbour Historic Buildings

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile, approximately 1.5 hours; pavement, ferry docks. Coach travel approx. 125 miles; about 3 hours. Boarding/disembarking ferries; morning ferry crossing is approximately 25 miles; about 2 hours; afternoon ferry crossing is approx. 15 miles; about 1 hour.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold options, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will check-out of the hotel and transfer by motorcoach to St. Barbe to board the Apollo ferry bound for Labrador. Make sure to keep an eye on the water as whale and iceberg sightings are common on the ferry trip. It is also a good bird watching opportunity. Upon arrival to Labrador, we’ll travel by coach north along the Labrador Coastal Drive to the Point Amour Lighthouse. The scenery along this road is beautiful yet harsh, a reminder that those who live here are toughened by the elements that shape their existence every day.

Lunch: At the restaurant at Point Amour Lighthouse, we’ll have a buffet lunch with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Afterwards, we’ll explore the Point Amour Lighthouse with a local expert, the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada. Lighthouses play an integral part in the history and culture of Newfoundland as we will discover through a presentation at the historic site featuring a local storyteller and an afternoon social featuring Labrador tea and wildberry tarts. Next, we will reboard the coach and set out for Mary's Harbour where we will take a short ferry ride to Battle Harbour. Whale and iceberg sightings are common.

Dinner: At the historic inn’s restaurant, plated meal with starter, entrée, dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to explore some of the local sites on your own or simply relax at the hotel.

DAY
6
Battle Harbour National Historic Site
Battle Harbour, NL
B,L,D
Battle Harbour Historic Buildings

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile, approx. 3 hours; paths, wooden wharves and boardwalks; some hills, uneven, rocky terrain; stairs in historic buildings to access some areas.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet features hot and cold options, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Battle Harbour has been at the center of life in Labrador for centuries. Through presentations, expert-led walks and overnight stays in one of the restored historic homes in the village, we’ll discover some of the layers of history that are embedded in the area. We’ll begin with a presentation in a meeting room given by a 4th generation Battle Harbour descendent who will share personal stories and discuss features of daily life in an isolated Labrador community. We’ll also learn about the village's past as we visit numerous historic structures, walkways and work areas that have been restored or reinstated on an expert-led walk. A collection of more than 500 artifacts related to the fishery and everyday life are on display in one of the historic Battle Harbour buildings. Our last stop of the morning will be to the Marconi Station where Commander Robert E. Peary used its wireless services to share details of his reaching the Pole to the outside world. This created a great controversy between Peary and Frederick Cook as to who exactly had reached the Pole first, if at all.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals. Fish in some form is a local favorite and typically accompanied by homemade rolls, a selection of homemade desserts, coffee, tea and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continuing our exploration of Battle Harbour, we’ll wind our way through and around the wharves, stores and the shore side boardwalk, and up a hill to St. James the Apostle Church. Built in 1852 and restored in 1991, it is the sole surviving example of famed architect William Grey and the oldest surviving Anglican Church in Labrador. We will explore the area around and inside the church with our local expert. Next, we’ll travel back along the main east-to-west path in front of the Newfoundland Ranger Station, which is the former Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment, and to the nearby heritage homes. These historic buildings were once homes to the first permanent settlers who came to Battle Island in 1775 to work at the fishery which was established in 1770. In the years following, it became a major base for the region's cod and seal fisheries and for the commercial trade that led to the formation of a permanent community. In 1992, the Battle Harbour Historic Trust began to restore many of the buildings to their original condition. The village is a living commemoration of the life and society created there by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Dinner: At the historic inn’s restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with a starter, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
7
Red Bay National Historic Site, Basque Whaling History
L'Anse-au-Clair, Newfoundland and Labrador
B,L,D
Northern Light Inn

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile, approx. 1.5 hours; pavement, ferry docks. Driving about 138 miles; approx. 3.5 hours. Boarding/disembarking ferries; crossing time is about 30 miles; approx. 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will walk to the ferry dock and travel by ferry from Battle Harbour to Mary's Harbour and may encounter more whales and icebergs on the way.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Red Bay, we’ll enjoy a plated meal of traditional Basque food with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: During a stop at Red Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we’ll attend a presentation given by a Parks historian highlighting the Basque whaling industry dating back to the 1500s and the role that it played in the history of Canada. Then, at the on-site museum we’ll explore artifacts and exhibits with a local historian that tell the intriguing story of 16th century Basque whalers who built the first industrial complex of the New World here and see how the thriving industry of whale oil production lit the lamps of Europe in the late Middle Ages. Red Bay is the most complete and best preserved example of these ports. We’ll then complete our transfer to the hotel and check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, the dinner buffet offers hot and cold options, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
8
Ferry to Newfoundland, Grenfell Historic Properties
St. Anthony, NL
B,L,D
Haven Inn

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile, approx. 2 hours; pavement. Driving approx. 88 miles, about1.5 hours. Morning ferry crossing is approx. 25 miles; about 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet features hot and cold options, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and transfer back to Newfoundland over the Strait of Belle Isle via ferry. Continuing our journey along the Viking Trail by motorcoach, we’ll reach St. Anthony, a seasonal fishing station for French and Biscayan (Basque) fishermen since the early 1500s. As the largest town at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula and the largest town in the vicinity of L'Anse aux Meadows, it was a base camp for early European settlers. Our Group Leader will provide some commentary along the way.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with a starter, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Then, we will transfer by motorcoach to explore the Grenfell Historic Properties complex in St. Anthony. At Grenfell House Museum and Interpretive Centre, we’ll learn from a local historian about the life and times of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, a medical missionary who devoted his life's work to serving the people of northern Newfoundland and Labrador. We will also have an opportunity to visit Grenfell Handicrafts, located in the Interpretation Centre. We’ll then transfer and check-in to our hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, the dinner buffet features a variety of hot and cold options, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
9
Whale Watching, Norstead Viking Village, L'Anse-aux-Meadows
St. Anthony, NL
B,L,D
Haven Inn

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile, approx. 2 hours; some rocky terrain, uneven ground. Driving approx. 50 miles; 1.5 hours. Getting on/off a 48-passenget boat; whale watching is 2.5 hours; distance dependent on whale activity and weather. Vessel has onboard restrooms and easily accessible viewing decks available.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet features hot and cold options, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer by motorcoach to the ferry dock where we will embark on a whale watch off the coast of St. Anthony to explore the breathtaking coastal waters of Iceberg Alley, an area noted for icebergs, whales and seabirds. The St. Anthony coast is one of the best places in the world for viewing humpbacks and Atlantic white-beaked dolphins. Minke, fin and killer whales are also common. While aboard, we will get a unique look at the ecological and cultural heritage through an interpretive program given by onboard staff focused on marine wildlife and its relation to human history.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a choice of plated traditional Newfoundland dishes and other options with a starter, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Upon our arrival back to the dock we will then transfer by motorcoach to visit Dark Tickle, an interpretation center along the route to L'Anse-aux-Meadows. Newfoundland history has a significant component of French/English colonization and rivalry; at Dark Tickle, there will be an opportunity to see two thoroughbred Newfoundland dogs. Famous for their looks, size, soft demeanor and heroism, Road Scholar is delighted to provide this somewhat rare opportunity. Afterwards, we will continue to Norstead Village, a re-created Viking village. An on-site presentation given by a Viking interpreter will examine the human history of a typical Viking village and the port of trade before we explore how the Vikings would have lived 1,000 years ago by learning what crops they would have planted during a spirited reenactment of the daily life of a Viking. Marvel at a full-scale replica of a Viking ship and uncover the chieftain's hall, blacksmith shop, tents and fire pit and sample the fare and culture of the ancient Vikings at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Carrying on, we will arrive at L'Anse-aux-Meadows National Historic Site – one of the highlights of this program – where we will meet a local expert for an in-depth presentation on the only authenticated Viking Settlement in North America. Here, we will learn about this ancient settlement, the first European encampment in the New World, and the site of Leif Erickson's Vinland. With our interpreter, we will gain an understanding of the Vikings’ westward migration and how they lived so long ago as we stand on the same grassy plain facing the sea where they stood 1,000 years ago. Then, on a walk around the grounds, we’ll stoop to enter a reconstructed sod house that once protected them from the chill, wind and snow and experience first-hand the warm, smoky atmosphere of these efficient buildings while interpreters depict Viking life.

Dinner: At a local restaurant with a fabulous ocean view, we’ll have a plated meal with a starter, entrée, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
10
To Deer Lake, Flower's Cove, Arches Provincial Park
Deer Lake, NL
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express Deer Lake

Activity note: Walking about 1.5 miles; approx. 2 hours; some rocky terrain, uneven ground. Diving approximately 268 miles, about 4.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold options, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll begin our day’s journey by traveling south to the village of Hawke's Bay, but not before making a stop at Flowers Cove to learn about the thrombolites that live there. It’s difficult to comprehend the value of Flowers Cove’s thrombolites to the evolution of life on planet Earth but we do know that they require shallow seas to exist, although this calcium carbonate is known to exist only in Shark Bay, Perth, Australia and Flowers Cove, Newfoundland. As we walk on them, our Group Leader will provide commentary. We will be reminded that this primitive life form is likely to have been the first of the planet’s creatures to release free oxygen into the atmosphere and therefore play a part in the beginning of the vital cycle which sustains all forms of life on Earth! We’ll then board the motorcoach and continue to Hawke’s Bay.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Hawkes Bay, the buffet features hot and cold options, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continue by coach on our way to Deer Lake, we’ll stop at Arches Provincial Park where this beautiful coastal limestone formation was forged underwater eons ago by sea action. When the glaciers retreated and the land rebounded from their crushing weight, this geological treasure rose above sea level. We will walk a trail leading to the huge rocks with commentary provided by our Group Leader. We’ll then continue to Deer Lake where we will check into the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have plated meals for our farewell dinner with a starter, entrée, dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
Deer Lake, NL
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet features hot and cold options, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, water. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!