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
2,749
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11 days
10 nights
29 meals
10 B 9 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Deer Lake, NL
D
Holiday Inn Express Deer Lake

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

Afternoon: Program Registration, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to meet our Group Leader and to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm 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 welcome dinner with coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will 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. 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.

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, around 3 hours, on mostly flat trails and boardwalks, with some uneven terrain, pebbly or rocky sections. Driving about 149 miles, approximately 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet, with coffee, tea, water included.

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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we'll enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: Transferring via motorcoach, we’ll explore magnificent views of the coast and the startling geology of the nearby Tablelands, one of the most important geological feature in Gros Morne Park. 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. We'll also learn about the unique plants and vegetation here. Afterwards, we'll 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 enjoy dinner with coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: Tonight, we will enjoy a presentation at the hotel by the Gros Morne Theatre Company, focusing on Newfoundland stories, song and music, celebrating the Newfoundland culture, 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: Trail walking 3 km (2 miles) in length each way, on boardwalk and gravel with some slight grades. There is no transportation available on the trail. Getting on/off a boat, riding about 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet, with coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: We’ll start by transferring via motorcoach to the trailhead, 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 will enjoy boxed lunches.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will take a trip by boat on Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park. This is the largest lake in the park. On board the boat, we will see the spectacular, land-locked Western Brook Pond fjord. The fjord is just one of numerous glacially carved fjords in the Long Range Mountains, the northernmost extent of the Appalachian Mountains. Waterfalls cascade from a height of 3,000 feet (900 meters), and we may spot some of the local wildlife. We'll then return to the hotel, with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel meal.

Evening: This evening, we'll 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. We'll hear about how they are adapting to the changing times.

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

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

Breakfast: Hotel 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. Here we'll 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 enjoy lunch, with coffee, tea, water included.

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, we'll enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to take the remainder of the evening to explore Plum Point, or catch up on your rest.

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

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

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet, with coffee, tea, water included.

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 sightings are common on the ferry trip. It is also a good bird watching opportunity. Upon arrival to Labrador, we’ll travel by motoroach north along the beautiful but harsh environment of the Labrador Coastal Drive to the Point Amour Lighthouse.

Lunch: At the Point Amour Lighthouse, we will enjoy a catered lunch.

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 motorcoach and set out for Mary's Harbour, where we will take a short ferry ride to Battle Harbour. Whale sightings are common. We will then check into our next hotel.

Dinner: At the historic inn’s restaurant, we will enjoy a meal, with coffee, tea, water included.

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 Site

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

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet, with coffee, tea, water included.

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 descendant 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 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 in Battle Harbour, we will enjoy local seafood, typically accompanied by homemade rolls and a selection of homemade desserts. Coffee, tea, water included.

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'll 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, once homes to the first permanent settlers of Battle Island. 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.

Dinner: Historic inn meal.

Evening: Tonight we will have a traditional kitchen party with music and traditional songs, an iconic part of Newfoundland culture. Everyone is welcome to join in!

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

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

Breakfast: Breakfast 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 other marine life along the way.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Red Bay, we’ll enjoy a plated meal of traditional Basque food. Coffee, tea, water included.

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. We’ll then complete our transfer to the hotel and check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

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, about 2 hours. Driving about 88 miles, about 1.5 hours. Morning ferry crossing is about 25 miles, about 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet, with coffee, tea, water included.

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 enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: Then, we will transfer to 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, we'll enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

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

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

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile, about 2 hours; some rocky terrain, uneven ground. Driving about 50 miles, about 1.5 hours. Getting on/off a 48-passenger boat; whale watching is around 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet, with coffee, tea, water included.

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, an area noted 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 enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: At the Norstead Viking Village, a re-created Viking village, we'll learn how the Vikings would have lived 1,000 years ago. Costumed interpreters carry out authentic demonstrations. A full-scale replica of a Viking ship awaits at the boatshed, in addition to the chieftain's hall, blacksmith shop, tents and fire pit. At the place of worship, explore the transition from paganism to Christianity. Next, we'll explore L'Anse-aux-Meadows National Historic Site, the first European encampment in the New World and site of Leif Erickson's Vinland. Let's stand on the same grassy plain facing the sea where the Vikings stood 1,000 years ago, then stoop to enter the reconstructed sod house that once protected them from the chill, wind and snow. Costumed interpreters will depict Viking life here as well.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we'll enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

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, about 2 hours; some rocky terrain, uneven ground. Driving approximately 268 miles, about 4.5 hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet.

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! Afterwards, we'll board the motorcoach and continue to Hawke’s Bay.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Hawkes Bay, we'll enjoy a meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: Continuing by motorcoach 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: We'll enjoy our final dinner together at the hotel, with coffee, tea, water included. 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, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet, with coffee, tea, water included. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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