Whales and Icebergs Safari

from £1428
excluding flights *
11 nights Jun-Sep

Overview

Every spring the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador witnesses a spectacular sight as ancient glaciers in Greenland calve, sending huge icebergs drifting down a route known as Iceberg Alley. Around the same time a variety of whale species start to return to the waters around Newfoundland – here you can find up to 22 different species including minke, sperm, pilot, pothead, blue and fin whales, as well as the world's largest population of humpbacks.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a Whale & Puffin Cruise, Avalon Peninsula  
  • Cruise Western Brook Pond, Gros Morne
  • Witness the frozen monoliths of Iceberg Alley
  • Stay in a converted lighthouse keeper’s cottage on Quirpon Island

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 2 dinners
  • Car rental throughout
  • Whale & Puffin boat cruise
  • Iceberg Watch boat cruise
  • Parks Canada Discover Pass
  • Bonne Bay boat cruise
  • Western Brook Pond boat cruise

Full description

Travelling throughout the summer months, this self-drive safari offers the chance to see icebergs and whales at the same time. It’s often possible to see both from the shore, but the included cruises in this itinerary offer the chance for a closer look. Cruise amongst icebergs at Twillingate, search for minke whales in Bonne Bay and enjoy a whale and puffin boat cruise from the Avalon Peninsula.

In addition to whales and icebergs, this holiday takes in the incredible landscapes of Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site shaped over countless centuries by ancient glaciers and continental drift. Geologists, hikers and wildlife lovers alike will find plenty of interest amongst the deep fjords, epic mountains and dramatic coastline here. Take a scenic cruise on Western Brook Pond before continuing your journey to the northern tip of Newfoundland.

Your adventure ends with a 2-night stay on remote Quirpon Island, a wild rocky outcrop where a century-old lighthouse perches on the very edge of Iceberg Alley, gannets circle overhead and whales feed just offshore. A fitting end to your Newfoundland safari.

When to travel

Icebergs can usually be seen from April/May through to late July and even early August in the north. Whales can be seen from May to September. Sightings can never be guaranteed but June/July are considered the best time to see both whales and icebergs. This itinerary can be taken earlier or later in the season, but this will reduce your chances of spotting either whales (early season), or icebergs (late season).

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In Search of Whales and Icebergs
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Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £550 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire

Departure Duration Car Category Twin price (pp)*
26 May - 03 Jun 2019 11 nights Intermediate £1,428
04 Jun - 11 Sep 2019 11 nights Intermediate £1,501

*Add on GPS from £45

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 2 dinners
  • Car rental throughout
  • Unlimited kilometres, Loss Damage Waiver, all taxes, Liability Insurance
  • 1 additional driver, airport fees
  • Whale & Puffin boat cruise
  • Iceberg Watch boat cruise
  • Parks Canada Discover Pass with admission to the following: Gros Morne National Park, Port au Choix National Historic Site & L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
  • Bonne Bay boat cruise
  • Western Brook Pond boat cruise
  • Boat transfer to and from Quirpon Island
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: St John’s

Arrive in St John’s today and collect your rental car. Make your way to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore this colourful city on the edge of the Atlantic. Walk up Signal Hill, visit the fascinating Johnson GEO Centre or spend time learning about Newfoundland’s colourful history, art and culture at The Rooms.
Overnight: Leaside Manor

Day 2: St John’s

Today you will enjoy a Whale & Puffin boat cruise on the Avalon Peninsula. Each summer, numerous species of whales, along with puffins and a multitude of other seabird species return to these rich waters, relax and enjoy surrounding waters and headlands. After your cruise the rest of the day is at leisure, you may wish to visit the Cape Spear Lighthouse (the most easterly point in North America) or explore Quidi Vidi Village, known for its iceberg beer.
Overnight: Leaside Manor

Day 3: St John’s - Trinity (270 kms)

Take the scenic drive to Trinity, located on the Bonavista Peninsula. Trinity is a charming little village made up of carefully preserved historic buildings.
Overnight: Artisan Inn

Day 4: Trinity

Enjoy a full day at leisure – there are some good walking trails in the region, including the Skerwink Trail. You may spot icebergs and whales from the Bonavista coastline.
Overnight: Artisan Inn

Day 5: Trinity - Twillingate (310 kms): Iceberg Cruise

Make your way to Twillingate today, perched on the edge of Iceberg Alley. This afternoon you will join a boat trip in search of ancient icebergs as they make their epic journey from Greenland to Newfoundland. You may also spot humpback whales and seabirds during your cruise. Overnight: Harbour Lights Inn

Day 6: Twillingate - Gros Morne (425 kms)

Head west to the renowned Gros Morne National Park today. A stop at the Visitor Centre at the junction to Rocky Harbour is recommended to give you an insight into Gros Morne’s fascinating geological features and scenic highlights, explaining the many reason why the pask has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. You may also wish to detour to the Tablelands in the southern part of the park, before continuing to your accommodation at Norris Point.
Overnight: Neddies Harbour Inn

Day 7: Gros Morne: Western Brook Pond Cruise

A 2-hour cruise on spectacular Western Brook Pond is included today. Please allow plenty of time to make your own way to Western Brook: the car park is located 27kms north of Rocky Harbour, from where an easy 40 minute interpretive trail leads to the dock where you will find your boat, as well as a café, washrooms, gift shop and picnic area.

Western Brook Pond is in fact a glacier-carved, inland freshwater fjord surrounded by sheer cliffs and cascading waterfalls, providing a dramatic backdrop for a boat excursion. The ‘pond’ is 16kms long, 165 metres deep and is home to Atlantic salmon, brook trout, and arctic char, as well as an unusual colony of cliff nesting gulls. During your cruise keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and learn more about Gros Morne’s unique landscapes and history.

Following your excursion walk back to your car and enjoy the rest of the day to explore, perhaps visiting Green Point, the shipwrecked SS Ethie, or the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse at Rocky Harbour.
Overnight: Neddies Harbour Inn

Day 8: Gros Morne: Bonne Bay Cruise

This morning is at leisure to continue your exploration of Gros Morne by car or on foot. This afternoon you will join a catamaran cruise on beautiful Bonne Bay, discovering the geological wonders, rich cultural history and diverse wildlife of this fascinating bay. You may spot minke whales, eagles, moose and seabirds as you go.
Overnight: Neddies Harbour Inn

Day 9: Gros Morne - Quirpon Island (363 kms)

Leave Gros Morne behind as you follow the historic Viking Trail along the coast to the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland. Time permitting, you may wish to visit the archaeological site of L’Anse aux Meadows, where the remains of an 11th-century Viking settlement provide evidence of the first European presence in North America.

Continue to Quirpon, from where a short transfer by boat will take you to Quirpon Island for a 2-night stay in a rustic but comfortable lighthouse keeper’s cottage.
Overnight: Quirpon Island Lighthouse Inn

Day 10: Quirpon Island

Quirpon Island offers hiking trails, kayaking expeditions, and a fascinating history, but is best known for exceptional close encounters with icebergs and whales. Due to the steep drop-off of the ocean floor very close to the island, a stay here offers excellent chances of seeing both cetaceans and icebergs from the shore. Head down to the rocks or take shelter in the purpose-built viewing hut; or take a closer look still on a Zodiac cruise from the island.
Overnight: Quirpon Island Lighthouse Inn

Day 11: Quirpon Island - Steady Brook (474 kms)

Bid farewell to Quirpon Island today and after returning to your car on the mainland, retrace the Viking Trail south. Continue to Steady Brook in the beautiful Humber Valley for your final night’s stay.
Overnight: Marble Inn Resort

Day 12: Steady Brook - Deer Lake (41kms)

Drive the short distance to Deer Lake Airport where you will return your rental car before departing Newfoundland.

Leaside Manor, St John’s

Canada

Grade: Superior

Type: Guesthouse B&B

Full of character, the beautiful Leaside Manor is a restored 1920s merchant's home surrounded by private gardens.

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Artisan Inn, Trinity

Canada

Grade: Standard

Type: Guesthouse B&B

Located in Trinity on the Bonavista Peninsula, this unique property features a selection of historic shorefront buildings comprising guest rooms and self-catering holiday homes. At the heart of the Inn is The Twine Loft, which houses the reception area, lounge and restaurant.

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Neddies Harbour Inn

Canada

Grade: Standard

Type: Unique And Boutique

Stay in the heart of Gros Morne National Park at this award winning boutique hotel, located on the waterfront of Bonne Bay.

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Quirpon Lighthouse Inn

Canada

Grade: Simple

Type: Unique And Boutique

This 1922 light keeper's home has been lovingly restored and renovated to offer 10 comfortable guest rooms in two houses at the base of an operating lighthouse.

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Excursions

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