Trace the footsteps of Vikings, European
explorers, and inventors on a special voyage
aboard our flagship, the National
Geographic Explorer. Explore Cape
Breton Island, the remote isles of
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the
rugged and spectacular coast of Newfoundland.
Discover the dunes, sandstone cliffs, and Acadian culture of the Îles-de-la Madeleine.
Dock at coastal fishing villages and small islands like the French outpost of Saint-Pierre.
Explore two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Gros Morne National Park, with its scenic waterfalls and fjords, and the remains of the 11th-century
Viking village at L’Anse aux Meadows.
Venture into the historic Fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island before a tour of the Alexander Graham Bell Museum.
Itinerary - 8 Days
Day 1 — U.S./St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Arrive in St. John’s, the picturesque capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador. Settle into the National Geographic Explorer, and take to the sea. National Geographic Explorer (D)
Day 2 — St. Pierre, France
Our first landfall is Saint-Pierre Island, France’s oldest remaining overseas territory. Explore this picturesque French fishing enclave and stop at a scenic whale watching lookout. (B)
Day 3 — Louisbourg and Baddeck, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Visit the reconstructed 18th-century Fortress of Louisbourg before docking in the village of Baddeck, where Alexander Graham Bell, a founding member of the National Geographic Society, built his summer home and conducted much of his research. Enjoy an optional “white glove” tour of the Bell Museum with the opportunity to hold historic artifacts. Today we also visit the reconstructed Fortress of Louisbourg, an 18th-century fort where the British and the French fought. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec
A cluster of wispy islands isolated in the Gulf of
St. Lawrence, the Îles de la Madeleine are home
to dunes that stretch for many miles, grassy hills,
and dazzling red sandstone cliffs. The caves,
sea arches, and rocky nooks along the coast are
perfect for exploring by Zodiac and kayak. Learn about Acadian culture, which dates
back some 250 years on the archipelago and still
lingers today. Weather permitting, set off into the green hills on a hike, or explore the islands by bicycle. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Gros Morne National Park
Graced by cliffs and fjords, glacial valleys and a
sweeping alpine plateau, Gros Morne National
Park has been designated a UNESCO World
Heritage site for its unique and spectacular
geology. Take a walk with our geologist to learn
about the forces that shaped this land and the
ancient serpentine rock and other formations
that illustrate the phenomenon of plate tectonics.
National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 6 — L'Anse aux Meadows
In 1960, the remains of a Viking village established in the 11th century were discovered at L’Anse aux Meadows, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk among the Norse ruins and reconstructed sod huts, and learn the saga of the Vikings in North America—nearly 500 years before Columbus arrived. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Exploring Eastern Newfoundland
Wild, rugged, and often accessible only by sea, Newfoundland's eastern coast is dotted with tiny fishing villages tucked into coves. Explore these stunning shores by Zodiac and kayak today. Back on board, gain insights from our experts into the civilizations and the wildlife that have made this island home. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 8 — St. John's
Glide through the natural gateway called The Narrows and arrive in St. John’s, perched at the most easterly point of North America. Visit the colorful waterfront and historic Signal Hill or visit the Rooms Museum before you transfer to the airport for your flight home. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Gil Grosvenor has served National Geographic since 1954, first as a writer and photographer, then as the editor of National Geographic magazine, president of the Society, and, until 2010, as chairman of the board. Gil was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. He was the fifth generation of his family to serve as National Geographic president and his great-grandfather, Alexander Graham Bell, was the Society's second president.
Gil helped design this itinerary based on his experience sailing the same waters with his father, Melville Bell Grosvenor, on assignment for National Geographic magazine for an article in the September 1967 issue.