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One Ocean Expeditions Canadian Maritimes Fins and Fiddles

9 nights

The Maritimes by ship? Of course!

Canada's Atlantic Provinces are one of the most fascinating places in North America and the One Ocean Expedition starts and finishes its exploration of the Maritimes in the town of Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island. You will see a staggering abundance of wildlife, including prolific birdlife, numerous seal and whale species and even have an opportunity to encounter the fabled wild horses of Sable Island. As the cruise moves towards the mouth of the St Lawrence River, you should see whales such as the humpback, minke and blue whale - as well as grey and harp seals. Daily shore excursions with expert guides, a range of wonderful activities and a inspired dining menu make this an ideal way to experience this enchanting region of Canada.
Weather and sea conditions may require an itinerary change or different shore excursions but that is half the fun of small ship expedition cruising. Ask us for details of other One Ocean Expedition cruises too.

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The Breakdown

Here's a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by adding them to your wishlist, so we can give you the best price.

Day 1

Louisbourg

The journey begins in the historic port town of Louisburg, Nova Scotia, where you will board the expedition vessel, the Akademik Ioffe. First visited in 1597 by the English, the town was fortified in 1713 by the French in recognition of its strategic maritime location. During the 18th century, Louisburg was the third busiest seaport in North America. You will board the ship in the late afternoon and that evening you will enjoy a dinner of fresh, local lobster as the ship sets sail out past the lighthouse, into the North Atlantic - and onto the Grand Banks.

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Day 2

Sable Island

Located on the edge of the Grand Banks, hundreds of kilometers from the coast, Sable Island has a storied history as a graveyard of ships, with more than 350 ships falling victim to the treacherous currents and sandbars. Sporadically inhabited by sealers, shipwreck survivors and salvagers, the island is now home to fewer than six year-round inhabitants, a herd of Sable Island wild horses and one of the largest gray seal colonies in the world. It is an important stopover for numerous migratory bird species as they make their way to and from the High Arctic region. Sable Island is one of Canada’s newest national parks and the long sand beaches are best explored on foot.

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Day 3

Bird Island

Today, the ship will continue along the north-central coast of Cape Breton, returning into the mouth of the St Lawrence River. The Bird Islands are home to a number of important species including the great cormorant, Atlantic puffin, Atlantic razorbill, black-legged kittiwake and are known as an important feeding area for Cape Breton’s population of bald eagles. You will get to cruise in the zodiacs and hike onshore during the daily shore excursions with one of the expert guides.

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Day 4

Magdalen Islands

The remote islands of the Gulf of St. Lawrence are home to unique fishing communities with lovely waterfront houses and boats, flowing grassy plains and sandstone shorelines sculpted by the elements. In addition to the traditional fishing and sealing culture found in the islands, you will see a wide diversity of bird life along the beaches and lagoons. Europeans first discovered the islands in the mid 15th century, though it’s thought indigenous Mi’kmaqs have been visiting for centuries to hunt walrus. Quebecois and Acadian culture runs strongly through the towns and villages of the islands, through local cuisine, craft and language.

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Day 5

Bonaventure Island

On arrival at Bonaventure Island, the ship will drop anchor near the town of Perce and visit the island by zodiac. This location has a rich natural, historic, and geological heritage. Sculpted by time and the sea, the island is situated at the tip of the Gaspe Peninsula. Its outstanding flora and fauna, including its famous colony of Northern Gannets make it a must-see location. Almost 300 different species of birds have been recorded as visiting, migrating to, or living on Bonaventure Island.

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Day 6

Anticosti Island

At the mouth of the St. Lawrence River where the river water mixes with Arctic waters from the Strait of Belle Isle and the more temperate Atlantic waters, Anticosti Island is rich in marine wildlife. You will hike along the beaches near the eastern end of the island followed by a zodiac cruise along the cliffs at East Point, searching for shorebirds and seabirds as well as whales and seals which are frequent visitors to the island's waters.

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Day 7

Gros Morne National Park

Sailing into majestic Bonne Bay, in the heart of Gros Morne National Park, the cliffs soar up out of the water and are covered in a green blanket of tuckamore forest – windswept spruce sculpted by the ocean breeze. At Woody Point  you will be welcomed ashore by a delegation from the community before hiking up to the excellent interpretation centre. From there, various guided walks will lead into the World Heritage-listed Tablelands and to the lookout for a view over much of the park – a spectacular experience!

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Day 8

Francois

The community of Francois (pron. Frans-way) in the south coast of Newfoundland - was settled in the late 1700s. Small boat fishers harvested a variety of species during the summer fishing season. Francois’s rich fishing heritage also included operation of a whale factory in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Known as an ‘out-port’, and accessible only by boat or from the air by helicopter, Francois has a deep harbor which is navigable year-round. When entering Francois harbour, the first sight will be one of the few remaining manned light stations anywhere on the coast of Newfoundland, leading to the narrow opening into the steep-walled rocky fjord. This is a spectacular location.

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Day 9

St Pierre et Miquelon

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are a small group of islands situated off the south coast of Newfoundland. They were first settled by the French in the early 17th century and today, the islands represent the sole remaining vestige of France’s once vast North American empire. Walking down the streets feels like taking a stroll through a provincial French town. As a part of France, the area has much in common with Europe, but also with its Canadian and American neighbours. There's an excellent puffin colony here and, if weather permits, there will be a cruise in the zodiacs to see these colourful birds. Tonight there will be a  special dinner attended by the Captain to mark the end of the voyage. 

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Day 10

Louisbourg

Today you will sail back to Cape Breton across the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, heading again for the historic port of Louisburg. After disembarkment in the morning you can either head to the airport to return to the UK or add a few extra days in Cape Breton to enjoy one of the gems of Canada’s East Coast.

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The View

A selection of images representing the areas and places you will be visiting to give you a glimpse of what lies in store during your holiday.

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Whether you would like to book this exact holiday or to tailor-make it to better suit you, please give one of our knowledgeable experts a call on 020 8776 8709 or send us an email.

 

Alternatively, take advantage of the Wishlist facility; simply add this itinerary, or any particular destinations or hotels to My Wishlist by clicking on the ADD TO WISHLIST buttons on all pages. To make it easier to save and change the details on your Wishlist at any time, why not register with us? You can also just send your completed Wishlist to us at any time; we will then contact you to discuss your holiday further and send you a detailed quotation.

 

We are here to make sure we tailor-make your holiday to suit your specific requirements and our friendly, knowledgeable staff are all ready to help.

 

Booking your holiday with us doesn't end when we send your confirmation out to you, either. Talk to us about adding excursions or room upgrades or even restaurant recommendations; we are here to offer advice all the way up to your departure date. Even when you have left the UK, we are still here to help. For example if your flight that we have booked is delayed or cancelled due to ash cloud, strike, etc, it is down to us to re-arrange your travel. We will do everything we can to make sure your holiday runs smoothly. And better still, we are fully bonded with ATOL and ABTA, so your money is completely protected.

Designed and built as a scientific research vessel in Finland in 1989, the One Ocean Navigator (Akademik Ioffe) is very stable, quiet and comfortable. Refitting and refurbishment over the last five years oriented towards her role as an expedition cruise vessel has greatly improved the comfort and calibre of the facilities aboard the ship. Designed for polar research, the One Ocean Navigator is modern, safe and ice-strengthened. The public spaces onboard the ship are ideally suited for each and every need. A separate bar and lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. Enjoy the sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team in the dining room, which can host all 96 clients in a single seating with ample room. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool. The voyage provides plenty of opportunities to try sea kayaking, or paddling a stand up board. On several occasions, there will also be the opportunity to explore the locations by bike. These activities, as well as numerous hiking opportunities onshore and exploration by zodiac boat are all included in the price of your voyage. The activity program will be discussed during a briefing once aboard the ship. 
The One Ocean Navigator has two main engines and twin propellers to propel the vessel through the polar waters at up to 14.5 knots. Coupled with a bow-thruster and a stern multi-directional propulsion unit, the One Ocean Navigator is extremely manoeuvrable and has a built-in propulsion back up.

There are two sailings planned for 2017 - one aboard the Akademik Ioffe from July 21-31 and one aboard sister vessel Akademik Sergey Vavilov from July 5-15.

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