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The small historic village of Louisbourg

Epic East Coast and Labrador

Example 21 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
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Enjoy the variety of activities this voyage offers. Stand up paddle boarding and cycling excursions let you explore Canada's Atlantic Coastline from a completely different perspective. Walk down the streets of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and delight yourself with what feels like taking a stroll through a provincial French town. Join numerous migratory bird species as they make their way to and from the High Arctic regions. Visit L’Anse aux Meadows, one of Canada’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and enjoy daily sea kayaking, photography, and wildlife identifications.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Louisburg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia | Embark
Day 2 : Sable Island
Day 3 : Cape Breton | Bird Island
Day 4 : Charlottetown
Day 5 : Islands around the St Lawrence
Day 6 : Bonaventure Island
Day 7 : St. Lawrence River
Day 8 : Gros Morne National Park
Day 9 : Francois, Newfoundland
Day 10 : Saint-Pierre et Miquelon
Day 11 : Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
Day 12 : Gros Morne National Park
Day 13 : L'Anse aux Meadows
Day 14 : Battle Harbour
Day 15 : Hopedale
Day 16 : Hebron
Day 17 : Torngat Mountains National Park
Day 18 : Nachvak Fjord
Day 19 : Martin Bay | Button Islands
Day 20 : Monumental Island
Day 21 : Iqaluit | Disembark


  • Explore the spectacular wilderness of Torngat Mountains National Park
  • Enjoy a free day at Cape Breton and observe this colorful and unique town
  • Visit PercĂ© community, a window into the fishing culture of French-Canada
  • Discover the Button Islands, a magnet for seabirds and other marine mammals


Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Atlantic Coast
  • Baffin Island
  • Canada
  • North America
  • Battle Harbor
  • Bird Islands
  • Button Islands
  • Cape Breton
  • Charlottetown
  • Francois
  • Gros Morne National Park
  • Gulf of Saint Lawrence
  • Hebron
  • Hopedale
  • Ile Bonaventure
  • Iqaluit
  • L'Anse aux Meadows
  • Labrador
  • Louisbourg
  • Monumental Island
  • Nachvak Fjord
  • Newfoundland
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Sable Island
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Torngat Mountains National Park


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

The small historic village of Louisbourg Sable Island wild horses Walking through vast arctic landscapes. A polar bear stares back at the camera from the shore. A humpback whale breaks the surface

Day 1 Louisburg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia | Embark

Arrive in the historic port town of Louisburg, Nova Scotia, and board the expedition vessel, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov. 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. Enjoy a dinner of fresh, local lobster as you sail out past the lighthouse into the North Atlantic.

Day 2 Sable Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 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 regions.

Day 3 Cape Breton | Bird Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Return to Cape Breton and continue your exploration of this beautiful island by stopping in Englishtown. You have a few options in this area. Encounter Atlantic puffins and razorbills on Bird Island where you can explore by zodiac. The seaside community of Englishtown is also a fascinating location featuring numerous points of interest. The Gaelic College in Cape Breton is a short bus ride away from the beach where you disembark, and provides an interesting diversion. There are opportunities to launch the sea kayaks, enjoy a stand-up paddle board excursion in the placid waters, or a cruise in the zodiacs. On shore hiking and gentle cycle touring are other activities to enjoy.

Day 4 Charlottetown

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In September of 1864, representatives from the British Colonies in North America met in Charlottetown to discuss Confederation. On July 1st, 1867, the Dominion of Canada came into being. This is a very historic location and a fitting place to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Today, anchor off Prince Edward Island near the town of North Rustico. From here you can split off in several directions. A tour into Charlottetown for those interested in a day in town is an option, or perhaps a visit to Green Gables, or spend a few hours at the island’s famous Cavendish beach with a mandatory sampling of Cows Ice Cream. Other enticing options could be a leisurely bicycle ride along the Confederation Trail or the Coastal Drive, a round of golf on one of the island's celebrated golf courses, or a kayak paddle in Rustico Bay.

Day 5 Islands around the St Lawrence

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sculpted out of sandstone, the islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are home to unique fishing communities with beautifully maintained waterfront houses and boats, flowing grassy meadows, and sandstone shorelines sculpted by the elements. In addition to the traditional fishing and sealing culture found in the islands, encounter a wide diversity of bird and sea life. Europeans first discovered the islands in the mid 15th century, though it’s thought indigenous Miíkmaqs had been visiting for centuries to hunt walrus. Quebecois and Acadian culture features strongly in the local cuisine, craft, and language. The island’s gentle terrain is a cyclist’s paradise, while the sea kayaking and stand up paddle boarding through sea arches and into sandstone sea caves are superb. Otherwise you might enjoy a whale-watching cruise in the zodiacs or head to the beach to soak up some sun or build sand castles!

Day 6 Bonaventure Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Bonaventure Island drop the anchor near the town of Percé and explore the island by zodiac. This location has a rich natural, historic, and geological heritage. Sculpted over time by the sea, the island is situated at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. The outstanding flora and fauna, including its famous colony of northern gannets, make this location a highlight. Almost 300 different species of birds have been recorded as visiting, migrating to, or living on Bonaventure Island. An afternoon visit to the community of Percé provides a window into the rich fishing culture of French-Canada. Zodiac cruising, sea kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding are all activities that can be undertaken here, weather permitting.

Day 7 St. Lawrence River

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, where the river water mixes with Arctic waters and the more temperate Atlantic waters, lies Anticosti Island. Plan to hike along the beaches near the eastern end of the island followed by a zodiac cruise along the cliffs at East Point. Hope to observe several species of shorebirds and seabirds as well as whales and seals, which are frequent visitors to the island's waters. View bald eagles soaring along the shoreline, deer in the woods, and whales just offshore.

Day 8 Gros Morne National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 are welcomed ashore by a delegation from the community before hiking up to the excellent interpretation center. From there, various guided walks take you into the World Heritage-listed Tablelands and to the lookout for a view over much of the park! A boreal wetland landscape, featuring dramatic rock ridges, pitcher plants, white-throated sparrows, and perhaps even a moose could all be encountered as you explore the park. The twisting mountain road to Trout River makes for a challenging bike ride with your guides, or a paddle along the shores of Bonne Bay is another great option.

Day 9 Francois, Newfoundland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The community of Francois on the south coast of Newfoundland was settled in the late 1700s. 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 harbor, you are first greeted by one of the few remaining manned light stations on the coast of Newfoundland. Once past the light, the narrow opening leading into the steep-walled rocky fjord amazes you. This is a spectacular location and for many, a highlight of the trip.

Day 10 Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Saint-Pierre et 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 are 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. There's an excellent puffin colony here and, if weather permits, cruise in the zodiacs to see these colorful birds. Tonight enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain to mark the end of your voyage through Canada’s spectacular Atlantic provinces.

Day 11 Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Sail back to Cape Breton across the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, heading again for the historic port of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. Return to the ship in the late afternoon in time for a dinner of local lobster as you sail out into the North Atlantic and on to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Day 12 Gros Morne National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning the ship is anchored off the tiny fishing community of Trout River, the access point into Gros Morne National Park. Zodiacs take you ashore and you are transferred by bus for a visit to the World Heritage-listed Tablelands. This incredible location is notable for its unique geology and exceptional scenery. Explore the boreal wetland landscape, featuring dramatic rock ridges, pitcher plants, and white-throated sparrows. You might encounter the iconic moose as you explore the park. Re-board the ship in the afternoon and continue your voyage northwards.

Day 13 L'Anse aux Meadows

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A millennium ago, Viking long-ships would have been found along the beach of L'Anse aux Meadows. L’Anse aux Meadows is where the Norseman, Leif Erikson, son of Eric the Red, is thought to have founded “Vinland” around 1000 AD. As you explore the reconstructed sod huts and Norse ruins with the site’s resident archaeologist, see evidence that the Vikings discovered North America five hundred years prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

Day 14 Battle Harbour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Battle Harbour marks your arrival into the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The location was one of the first British settlements on the east coast of the Americas and was an important gateway to the rich Labrador fisheries. Venture ashore to explore the restored fishing, whaling, and commercial buildings found in this remote community. The colorful buildings make for fantastic photographic subjects amid the backdrop of breathtaking coastal views.

Day 15 Hopedale

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The ancient rocks of the Canadian Shield (the exposed portion of the Earth’s crust) cradle the small coastal hamlet of Hopedale. This remarkable geological feature, estimated to be up to 4 billion years old, greets you as the ship sails through narrow channels and weighs anchor off Hopedale. Venture ashore by zodiac to visit the Hopedale Moravian Mission which was built in 1782. It’s a fascinating place and you can learn of the influence of the early Moravian missionaries on the Inuit people of Northern Labrador.

Day 16 Hebron

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today enjoy a visit to the historic town of Hebron, once the northernmost settlement in Labrador. The Moravian missionaries established Hebron in the early 1830s and the Germanic influence is clearly seen in the architecture. The Mission was closed and the local Inuit families relocated in 1959, but the original buildings still stand today. This is another designated National Historic Site. You may meet Buddy and Jenny, Nunatsiavut Government ambassadors, who have been looking after the historic site for years and have many absorbing stories to tell.

Day 17 Torngat Mountains National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Midway through your exploration of Newfoundland and Labrador, your attention turns to the magnificent wilderness of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve. The Park was established in 2005 and covers almost 10,000 square kilometers of Northern Labrador. It is home to Canada’s highest mountains east of the Rockies, and features breathtaking fjords, glacial systems, and stunning landscapes. The Inuktitut word “Torngait” means “place of spirits”; these mountains have been home to Inuit and their predecessors for over 7500 years and are of great spiritual importance to these peoples. Polar bears hunt seals along the coast, and caribou herds cross paths as they migrate to and from their calving grounds. There are some terrific opportunities to explore the area on foot and along the shoreline in the zodiacs.

Day 18 Nachvak Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nachvak Fjord is exceptionally beautiful. The fjord is deep and narrow and stretches more than 20 kilometers. The rocky walls of the fjord soar almost 900 meters above at several points. Many species migrate through the area during the short boreal summer. Numerous seal species may be encountered including ring, hooded, harp, and harbor seals. Minke whales have been known to linger in the fjords, while larger species, including fin and humpback, tend to stay offshore. This is an outstanding location for landscape photography with endless subjects, a dynamic color range, and interesting lighting.

Day 19 Martin Bay | Button Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you reach the far northern stretches of coastal Labrador, learn of the remarkable events at Martin Bay. Here a German U-boat made the only known armed landing in North America during World War Two. In 1943, U-537 sat at anchor here, while the crew man-handled ashore and established an automated weather station. This station remained undiscovered until the late 1970s when a German historian came across a reference to it in the German naval archives. The equipment was collected by the Canadian Coast Guard in the early 1980s and is on permanent display in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Visit the Button Islands before sailing into southern Davis Strait. Named after Thomas Button who explored the area in 1612, the islands are in the middle of the upwelling of nutrients on the edge of the continental shelf. This action makes it a magnet for thousands of seabirds and other marine mammals

Day 20 Monumental Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today sail across the mouth of Frobisher Bay and make landfall on Monumental Island, a small, steep-sided outcrop off the southeast coast of Baffin Island. Here be on the lookout for polar bears and walrus that live around the island in an uneasy truce. While polar bears have been known to attack and kill young walrus, they are no match for a fully-grown male walrus, especially in the water. Enjoy your final zodiac cruise here and tonight reflect on the last 20 days of exploration while enjoying a sumptuous farewell dinner, attended by the Captain of the ship. During the night the ship negotiates the narrow channels of Frobisher Bay on the way to your disembarkation point, Iqaluit, capital of the province of Nunavut.

Day 21 Iqaluit | Disembark

Bid farewell to your crew and disembark the ship by zodiac and, after a short tour of Iqaluit (if time and tides permit), transfer to the airport for your flight back to Ottawa. On arrival in Ottawa, an airport transfer is provided to a central downtown location.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Per person starting at
The Triple Cabins.
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Triple Share
Bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared and there is a washbasin in the cabin, writing desk, porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
1 lower berth, 1 sofa bed and semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) facilities. Writing desk, window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
1 sofa bed, 1 lower berth and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Superior Cabins.
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2 lower berths, sofa and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.


- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

Please Note: Specific sites visited depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary may be updated throughout the voyage to take advantage of favorable conditions.

Included in Cost:
- Transfers from/to designated meeting points to/from the ship
- Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
- All meals during the voyage
- Welcome reception & welcome dinner
- Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
- Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
- Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
- Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
- Natural essential oil amenities
- Services of English-speaking medical officer
- Use of multimedia room
- Use of on-board expedition rubber boots & wet weather gear
- All zodiac and landing excursions
- Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, biking, stand up paddle boarding, photography workshops, fitness & yoga
- Educational presentations
- Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer
- Expedition guides, naturalist staff, and hospitality staff

Not Included in Cost:
- International and national airfares
- Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
- Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
- Meals & transfers in arrival/departure cities
- Personal expenses
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Massages from registered therapist
- Personal laundry charges
- Postage, telephone calls & email set up
- Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
- Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
- Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
- Gratuities to staff and crew


  • 20 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 20 Dinners
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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