21823
Canada
Exploring the Mighty Gulf of St. Lawrence
Discover unique cultural and natural wonders in the world’s largest estuary, learning about this special region through expert-led hikes, exciting excursions and informative lectures.
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Program No. 21823RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
5,995
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12 days
11 nights
31 meals
11 B 9 L 11 D
DAY
1
Arrive Québec City, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Quebec City
D
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: Meet your group leader and fellow Road Scholar's at 5:30 PM in the hotel lobby. The group will walk to the meeting space together where 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. While on board, rotating members of the ship's resource staff will offer educational presentations on a variety of topics. Many are active researchers with expertise in areas such as history, paleontology, geology, and biology. At each expedition port of call, you will have a choice of field trips that will vary by location such as nature activities (minimal walking), short walks (about .5 - 1.5 miles), longer walks (2-3 miles) and photography sessions led by resource staff. 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. Expedition ships — more rugged than traditional sailing vessels — are designed to venture into remote landscapes, enabling us to seek opportunities for getting up close to nature and wildlife. These educational adventures have flexible schedules. The itinerary may change daily based on weather, sailing conditions, and potential wildlife sightings. There may also be serendipitous occasions to experience something unexpected. The schedule that follows is tentative and a representative outline. Changes in the schedule, including ports of call, can be expected due to weather and other local conditions. Updates will be provided aboard ship. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a sampling of Quebecois traditional dishes with beverage options including coffee, tea, water, and a glass of beer or wine. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Quebec City, Embark Ocean Endeavour
Quebec City
B,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Please note the sailing and onboard activity schedule of the Ocean Endeavour is subject to change due to weather and sea conditions. This is done with your safety in mind and we hope you understand that schedule changes are part of travelling aboard an expedition ship in this beautiful but remote part of the world!

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet with various hot and cold options plus water, tea, coffee, and juices.

Morning: From the hotel, we will enjoy a walking visit to many of the historic sites of the city led by our group leader. As we walk, we’ll learn about the city’s history and how the St. Lawrence River was used for trade and protection.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We will meet mid-afternoon for a briefing with Adventure Canada at the hotel. Here you will meet your Resource Staff and fellow travelers before embarking on a coach tour along the beautiful north coast of the Saint Lawrence en route to Tadoussac to embark the Ocean Endeavour.

Dinner: Aboard ship we’ll have a 3-course a la carte meal with meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, plus water, coffee, and tea. Additional beverages are available for purchase. The chefs try to incorporate local delicacies when possible. Each night, we’ll be joined by fellow participants and various members of the ship’s staff.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
3
Saguenay Fjord
Saguenay Fjord
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Each expedition day's schedule is subject to change due to wind/sea conditions. Our group leader and ship's staff will provide updates on changes as they occur, flexibility and an open attitude towards change will serve you well!

Breakfast: Aboard ship, choose from hot and cold buffet offerings.

Morning: The Saguenay drains fresh water from Lac St. Jean, but the greater part of its volume is salt tidal water from the Saint Lawrence Estuary. The result is an ideal habitat for marine mammals including four species of whales—fin, minke, blue, and the famous (and endangered) Saguenay beluga population. Saguenay-Saint Lawrence Marine Park and Saguenay Fjord National Park both protect the region’s vast natural riches. Weather permitting, we will enjoy a Zodiac cruise led by resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship, choose from hot and cold buffet offerings.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Saguenay Fjord. Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
4
Lower Saint Lawrence
Lower St. Lawrence
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today we will be exploring the south coast of the Lower Saint Lawrence. Our stop is weather-dependent; ideally we will have favourable conditions for an excursion to the famed Reford Gardens. The gardens are home to a sculpture park, art installations, and an array of unique floral walks and enclosures.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party on board.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
5
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
Mingan Islands National Park
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The spectacular natural sculptures of the Mingan Islands are formed of limestone, shaped by the action of the sea. At 50° N, these islands owe as much to the north as to the east for their character. We'll visit the stunning monoliths of Mingan Islands via Zodiac.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We'll continue exploring the Mingan Islands. Atlantic puffins and Arctic eiders vie for the attention of birders, while harp, harbour, and gray seals cavort in the waters. Not to be outdone, the flora of the islands is wildly diverse, including 450 plant species, 190 lichens and 300 mosses!

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
6
Forillon National Park, Gaspé
Forillon National Park / Gaspé
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The first National Park in Québec, Forillon is an important bird and marine mammal habitat. Forillon also preserves human history in the Grand-Grave National Heritage Site, telling the story of the fishing families that once made their homes here. The park contains Canada’s tallest lighthouse, as well as fortifications dating from the Second World War, when German U-boats threatened Allied shipping. We’ll go ashore and learn about the natural history of the park and islands.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We’ll continue exploring Forillon National Park and Gaspé with the resource staff. The Gaspé Peninsula, also known as Gaspésie, separates the mouth of the Saint Lawrence from Baie de Chaleur. Dominated by high cliffs on the north shore, the Gaspé includes the contours of the Appalachian Mountain chain and offers amazing views from its highland regions, which juts above the treeline.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
7
Île Bonaventure National Park, Percé
Île Bonaventure Provincial Park
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff. Parc National de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé is the formal name of the park at the eastern tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. The area’s flora and fauna are world-renowned, including famous colonies of northern gannets. The largest of these is on Bonaventure Island and comprises nearly 50,000 pairs.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Fin, minke, humpback, and blue whales ply the nearby waters of this magnificent coastal outpost. We will enjoy a Zodiac cruise to the Percé Rock and then around Bonaventure Island, allowing us excellent opportunities to view the bird cliffs and the best chances for whales.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
8
Magdalen Islands
Iles-de-la-Madeleine
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Long frequented by Mi’kmaq people, likely walrus hunters, the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence were first sighted by Europeans when Jacques Cartier sailed among them in 1534. Today, although closer to Nova Scotia and PEI, they form a regional municipality of the province of Quebec. However, the islands have a history distinct from that of mainland Quebec. When the British expelled the Acadians from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Magdalen Islanders remained, and to this day take great pride in their Acadian heritage. There are also long-standing English settlements, and a percentage of the population can claim descent from survivors of the many shipwrecks that have occurred among the Islands. During our community visit, we’ll walk with a local resident and see how people live.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We’ll continue to explore the Iles-de-la-Madeleine. Dramatic red sandstone cliffs are among the islands’ most striking features.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
9
Cape Breton Island - Nova Scotia
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today we call in at picturesque Cape Breton Island, an island comprising rocky shores, rolling farmland, glacial valleys, barren headlands, mountains, woods, and plateaus. Using the charming village of Chetticamp as a base, those keen to hike will have a chance to walk a section of the Cabot trail. There will also be time explore the town and sample some of the local seafood.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Cape Breton with the ship's experts.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
10
Expedition Stop
South Coast
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Newfoundland’s south coast offers many surprises, including vast stretches of virtually uninhabited wilderness. Fjords, cliffs, and islands offer excellent Zodiac cruising territory and terrific birding opportunities.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We will be availing ourselves of all the area has to offer and may be stopping in any of several possible destinations depending on conditions.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, join the ship's crew and our fellow participants for a lively dinner that will include song and dance.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour. Be sure to prepare for check-out and disembarkation in the morning.

DAY
11
Saint-Pierre, Disembark, Charter Flight to St. John's
St. John's
B,L,D
Delta St. John's Hotel & Conference Centre

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: On a program that traces the history and geography of New France, it’s appropriate that we wind up in France. Saint-Pierre remains an official territory of the French Republic, albeit only a few dozen kilometres off the shore of Newfoundland. After disembarking, you will have an opportunity to explore the charming, colourful town before transferring to our charter flight to St. John’s, NL.

Lunch: A boxed lunch will be provided prior to disembarkation.

Afternoon: Charter flight from Saint-Pierre to St. John's. Upon arrival in St. John's we’ll transfer to the hotel for check in.

Dinner: In the meeting room at the hotel, enjoy a traditional Newfoundland buffet featuring local cuisine. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
12
Program Concludes
St. John's
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation to Last Location.”

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. 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 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!