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 and Culture
Deer Lake, NL
D
Holiday Inn Express Deer Lake

Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel. Check-in after 3:00 pm. Meet your Group Leader between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the hotel to register and get your welcome packet; or pick up your package at the front desk if you arrive after 5:00 p.m. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: The welcome dinner will be held at the hotel at 5:30 p.m. Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation.

Evening: A presentation by a local expert and educator will provide an introduction to Newfoundland history and culture including early Newfoundland music, the Norse and Beothuk peoples and the resettlement program.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Today we travel to the world renowned Gros Morne National Park - a world of spectacular landscapes and uncrowded spaces. During your stay in the Park you will meet experts, local residents, musicians and storytellers as part of your introduction to this phenomenal place. Declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1987, the park is internationally renowned for its scenic beauty, vast landscape and endless hiking trails. Gros Morne is also world renowned for its complex geology. It was here that geologists proved the theory of plate tectonics. Meet with a Park expert to examine the forces of nature that have shaped the land and the people on this World Heritage coast. Visit the state-of-the-art Discovery Centre. This is not just another interpretation centre, but an integral part of your Park experience.

Lunch: Lunch at the award-winning Seaside Restaurant, located in the scenic coastal fishing village of Trout River.

Afternoon: Following lunch continue on to the southwest corner of Gros Morne National Park to the coastal settlement of Trout River. Explore magnificent views of the coast and the startling geology of the nearby Tablelands - 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, explore the lunar-like landscape where you will bear witness to the forces of plate tectonics and ancient glaciation that occurred about 470 million years ago, and the much more recent glaciation of 15,000-20,000 years ago. Continue on to the town of Cow Head where you will be warmly welcomed by your hosts.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy a performance featuring Newfoundland stories, song and music, celebrating the Island's heritage and most importantly her people. Following the performance, enjoy 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: This morning you will walk the trail to Western Brook Pond which is 3 km (2 miles) in length each way. The trail is boardwalk and gravel, mostly flat with a few slight grades. There is no transportation available on the trail.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: This morning, you will walk the Western Brook Pond Trail to begin the cruise on Western Brook Pond. The trail is boardwalk and gravel, mostly flat with a few slight grades and participants can walk at their own pace.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch dockside at Western Brook Pond. There is a sheltered waiting area, indoor washroom facilities, canteen services and a gift shop as well as several beautiful picnic areas.

Afternoon: This afternoon you will take a boat excursion on Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park (weather permitting). This is the largest lake in the park. On board the boat, you 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 you may 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, enjoy some free time to relax at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Meet with a local expert to 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.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Visit the French Rooms Cultural Centre where a guide will discuss the Point Riche Lighthouse, the French Fishery and the Resettlement Program. 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 Indian burial ground.

Lunch: Lunch at Anchor Café.

Afternoon: We continue along the Viking Trail to the town of Port au Choix, 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. Visit 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 Maritime Archaic Indians. Our next stop is at Gargamelle Studios; meet artist Ben Ploughman, best known for his lathe art, taking weather-worn strips from lobster traps and turning them into artwork along a variety of the province’s milestone themes. The studio has some impressive whaling artifacts and Ben will talk about some of the destructive technologies he’s convinced have led to the collapse of the cod fishery.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy the remainder of the evening to explore Plum Point, or catch up on your rest.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Travel to St. Barbe to board the Labrador ferry "Apollo". Make sure you 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, we travel north along the Labrador Coastal Drive. 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: Lunch at Point Amour Lighthouse.

Afternoon: After lunch we explore the Point Amour Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada. Lighthouses play an integral part in the history and culture of Newfoundland as you will discover through a presentation at the historic site featuring a local storyteller and an afternoon social featuring Labrador tea and wildberry tarts. Depart for Mary's Harbour for a short ferry ride to Battle Harbour. Ferry crossing approximately one hour; whale and iceberg sightings are common.

Dinner: Dinner in historic Battle Harbour, usually a three course offering with salad or fish cake starter, beef, chicken or turkey as entree, potatoes plus one other vegetable, a selection of homemade sweet breads/cookies/pies, coffee and tea.

Evening: The evening is free to explore local sites on your own.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast in Battle Harbour.

Morning: Battle Harbour has been at the center of life in Labrador for centuries. Through presentations, guided walks and overnight stays in one of the restored historic homes in the village, discover the centuries of history that are embedded in the area. Begin with a presentation by a fourth generation Battle Harbour descendent who will share his personal stories and discuss life in an isolated Labrador community. Learn about the village's past as we visit numerous historic structures, walkways and work areas that have been restored or reinstated. A collection of more than 500 artifacts related to the fishery and everyday life are on display and there is a special exhibit on the Labrador Fisheries. Visit the Marconi Station where Commander Robert E. Peary used its wireless services to share details of his reaching the Pole to the outside world - which created a great controversy between Peary and Frederick Cook as to who exactly had reached the Pole first, if at all.

Lunch: Lunch in Battle Harbour. Fish in some form is usually offered during lunch accompanied by homemade rolls, a selection of homemade sweet breads/cookies, coffee and tea.

Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Battle Harbour, winding your way through and around the wharves, stores and the shore side boardwalk, 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. Travel back along the main east to west path in front of the NL Ranger Station, the former RCMP Detachment and each of the 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: Dinner in historic Battle Harbour.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast in Battle Harbour.

Morning: After breakfast we travel by ferry from Battle Harbour to Mary's Harbour where you may encounter more whales. Enroute we stop at the oldest mound burial in North America (time permitting) to ponder the mystery of the ceremonial burial of a Maritime Archaic adolescent who died some 7500 years ago, that's about 2000 years before the construction of the pyramids.

Lunch: Lunch at the Whaler's Restaurant features traditional Basque food.

Afternoon: We make a stop at Red Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A presentation by a Parks historian will highlight the Basque whaling industry dating back to the 1500s and the role that it played in the history of Canada. Explore artifacts and exhibits that tell the intriguing story of 16th-century Basque whalers who built the first industrial complex in the New World here. Learn about the thriving industry of the production of whale oil that lit the lamps of Europe in the late Middle Ages. Red Bay is the most complete and best preserved example of these ports.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Board the ferry and cross the Strait of Belle Isle back to Newfoundland. Continue your journey along the Viking Trail to St. Anthony, a seasonal fishing station for French and Biscayan (Basque) fishermen in the early 1500s. As the largest town at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, it was a base camp for early European settlers. St Anthony is the largest town in the vicinity of L'Anse aux Meadows.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Lightkeeper's Cafe in St. Anthony. Take in the ocean view while dining on Newfoundland specialties.

Afternoon: Explore the Grenfell Historic Properties complex in St. Anthony. At Grenfell House Museum and Interpretive Centre, learn 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. You will have an opportunity to visit Grenfell Handicrafts, located in the Interpretation Centre. The Jordi Bonet Murals in the rotunda of the nearby Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital are a series of ceramic murals depicting the culture and history of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. On entering the rotunda, one is at once struck by the beauty and harmony of design and color. Some of the panels are quite realistic and not difficult to interpret while others are more abstract.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

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

Activity note: Whale watching is aboard a custom built 48 passenger boat, the Gaffer III. Washrooms, heated cabin, stereo and PA system. Forward observation deck for unrestricted nature viewing; easily accessible from the after deck to eliminate the hassle of climbing stairs. Fly-bridge for that panoramic view. The vessel is complete with radar, life jackets, depth sounder, GPS, 2 VHF’s, life raft, fire extinguishers. Vessel and crew are Canadian Coast Guard Certified. Snacks, soft drinks and bar on board.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Embark on a whale watching safari 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. It's an exciting ecological and cultural journey into our unique heritage. During the 2.5-hour trip, we will captivate you with a live interpretive program on our marine wildlife and culture. It's a refreshing blend of nature, education and hospitality that you will never forget.

Lunch: Lunch en route. Experience the renowned Newfoundland hospitality and a choice of traditional or non-traditional dishes. Then visit Dark Tickle, an interpretation centre along the route to L'Anse-aux-Meadows. Newfoundland history has a significant component of French / English colonization and rivalry and at Dark Tickle there’s an opportunity for self-guided interpretation. Dark Tickle also affords the only opportunity our guests will have to interact with two thoroughbred Newfoundland dogs. Famous for their looks, size, soft demeanour and heroism, Road Scholar is delighted to provide this somewhat rare opportunity.

Afternoon: This afternoon we set out for L'Anse-aux-Meadows National Historic Site - one of the highlights of this program. Meet a local expert for an in-depth presentation on the only authenticated Viking Settlement in North America. Here you will learn about this ancient settlement, the first European encampment in the New World and site of Leif Erickson's Vinland. Discover the westward migration of the Vikings and understand how they lived so long ago. 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. Experience first-hand the warm, smoky atmosphere of these efficient buildings, while interpreters depict Viking life. Eight Norse sod-house foundations were unearthed by explorer Helge Ingstad and his wife, archaeologist Anne Stine Ingstad, in the 1960s. They were assisted by George Decker, a local fisherman, who showed them what he thought was an Aboriginal campsite. This confirmed the discovery of the first European encampment in the New World. Continue to Norstead Village, a re-created Viking village. A presentation will examine the human history of a Viking village and about the port of trade. Explore how the Vikings would have lived 1,000 years ago and discover what crops they would have planted in a 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.

Dinner: Dinner at the Norseman Restaurant. Explore an unforgettable dining experience in L'Anse aux Meadows. Take in a fabulous view of the ocean where whales and icebergs cross paths.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Following breakfast, we will travel south to the village of Hawke's Bay with a stop at Flowers Cove’s to learn about the thrombolites. It’s difficult to comprehend the value of Flowers Cove’s thrombolites to the evolution of life on planet Earth. Requiring shallow seas to exist, this calcium carbonate is known to exist only in Shark Bay, Perth, Australia and Flowers Cove, Newfoundland. As we walk on them, we are 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 to begin the vital cycle which sustains all form of life!

Lunch: Pizza and pasta buffet lunch at the Torrent River Inn in Hawke's Bay.

Afternoon: This afternoon, continue on to Deer Lake, with a stop at Arches Provincial Park. The Arches are a limestone formation formed underwater eons ago by sea action and rose above sea level when the glaciers retreated and the land rebounded from their crushing weight. The site includes a trail leading to the huge rocks.

Dinner: Final dinner at the hotel in Deer Lake.

DAY
11
Program Concludes, Departures
Deer Lake, NL
B

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel is at 8:00 am.

Morning: Independent departures from the hotel in Deer Lake. Participants can depart according to individual travel plans. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.