Trace the footsteps of Vikings, European
explorers, and inventors on a special voyage
with Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Governors of the National Geographic Society Gil Grosvenor on our flagship, the National
Geographic Explorer, and set sail around the
rugged coast of Newfoundland to Cape
Breton Island and the spectacular isles of
the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Discover the dunes, sandstone cliffs, and Acadian culture of the Îles-de-la Madeleine.
Discover coastal fishing villages and small islands, like the French island of St. 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.
Sail a schooner on Bras d’Or Lake and hear a lively account of the history and characters of 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, perched at the most easterly point of North America. Visit the colorful waterfront and historic Signal Hill, and see Cape Spear lighthouse. Settle into the National Geographic Explorer, and glide through the natural gateway called The Narrows to the open sea. National Geographic Explorer (D)
Day 2 — EXPLORING EASTERN NEWFOUNDLAND
The eastern coast of Newfoundland is wild and rugged, and often accessible only by sea. Spend the day discovering tiny fishing villages tucked into coves and inlets along these stunning shores. Go hiking or hop into a Zodiac or a kayak to explore the islands that dot the coastline. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 3 — 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 4 — 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.
Then continue to Western Brook Pond, a pristine,
glacier-carved fjord cut off from the sea. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 5 — 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. Visit
La Grave, site of the islands’ first settlement, and
stroll the shores where fishermen once laid out
their cod to dry—now lined with cafes and boutiques. Learn about Acadian culture, which dates
back some 250 years on the archipelago and still
lingers today. Set off into the green hills on a hike,
or explore the islands by bicycle. Weather permitting, enjoy a lobster bake on the beach with local musicians this evening. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 6 — BADDECK, CAPE BRETON ISLAND, NOVA SCOTIA
In the morning, set sail aboard the schooner Amoeba on Bras d’Or Lake, and listen to the captain recount local lore as you take in the fall foliage along the shores. On Cape Breton Island, dock 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 National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 7 — SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON
We make our way north through waters scattered
with hundreds of shipwrecks, and go ashore at
Saint Pierre Island, France’s oldest remaining
overseas territory. Gil Grosvenor first traveled
here in 1967 with his father on assignment for National Geographic magazine. Enjoy free time to explore the wharf and soak up the French culture. Continue to the island of Miquelon, where we’ll spend the afternoon before gathering for a farewell dinner. National Geographic Explorer (B,L,D)
Day 8 — ST. JOHN’S/DISEMBARK/HOME
After breakfast, disembark in St. John’s and transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)
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.
Gilbert will join the following departures:
Sep 07 - 14, 2013 Sep 11 - 18, 2014