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A humpback whale breaks the surface

East Coast Wildlife Safari

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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The islands of Canada's Atlantic Provinces offer an abundance of birdlife and marine mammals, in addition to unique fishing and celtic cultures. Beaches and lagoons provide ample viewing opportunities for numerous shorebirds as you cruise towards the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River. You can also hope to see humpback, minke, and blue whales, as well as harp and grey seals on this 10-day voyage. As you sail, you are accompanied by a Cape Breton fiddler and an East Coast musician, with a focus on the musical culture of the small fishing communities of the region. Really, no voyage in these waters could be accompanied by any less!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Day 2 : Sable Island
Day 3 : Bird Island
Day 4 : The Magdalen Islands
Day 5 : Bonaventure and the Gaspe Peninsula
Day 6 : Anticosti Island
Day 7 : Gros Morne National Park
Day 8 : Francois
Day 9 : St. Pierre et Miquelon
Day 10 : Disembark in Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia


Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Atlantic Coast
  • Canada
  • North America
  • Anticosti Island
  • Bird Islands
  • Cape Breton
  • Francois
  • Gros Morne National Park
  • Gulf of Saint Lawrence
  • Ile Bonaventure
  • Louisbourg
  • Magdalen Islands
  • Newfoundland
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Quebec
  • Sable Island
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

A humpback whale breaks the surface Zodiac tour to see glacier and the arctic landscape. A curious arctic fox Flora of the arctic landscape. A group of walrus relax in the sunshine

Day 1 Embark in Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Your adventure begins in the historic port town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. First visited in 1597 by the English, the town was fortified in 1713 by the French in recognition of its very strategic maritime location. During the 18th century, Louisbourg was the third busiest seaport in North America.

Embark on the expedition vessel this afternoon in time for a dinner of fresh local lobster, to be enjoyed as your ship sails past the lighthouse and onto the Great Banks.

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 and a herd of Sable Island ponies. Sable Island is now one of Canada’s newest national parks.

Day 3 Bird Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the north central coast of Cape Breton, the Bird Islands are home to a number of important species, including the Great cormorant, Atlantic puffin, Atlantic razorbill, and black-legged kittiwake. The islands are also known as an important feeding area for Cape Breton’s population of bald eagles.

Day 4 The Magdalen Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sculpted out of sandstone, the remote islands of the Gulf of St. Lawrence are home to unique fishing communities with beautifully maintained waterfront houses and boats, flowing grassy plains and sculpted shorelines. In addition to the traditional fishing and sealing culture, you can see a wide diversity of bird life along the beaches and lagoons.

Day 5 Bonaventure and the Gaspe Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Bonaventure Island, drop anchor near the town of Perce and visit the island by zodiac. One of the largest northern gannet colonies in the world, Bonaventure Island is protected under provincial park status in Quebec. Visit the colony, indulging in close up views of these majestic seabirds.

Day 6 Anticosti Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River, the river water mixes with Arctic waters from the Strait of Belle Isle and the more temperate Atlantic waters. Due to its location at this confluence, Anticosti Island is rich in marine life. Plan to wander the beaches near the eastern end of the island, followed by a zodiac cruise along the cliffs at East Point. Keep your eyes open for shorebirds and seabirds as well as for whales and seals as you enjoy this region.

Day 7 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 - windswept spruce sculpted by the ocean breeze. At Woody Point, you are welcomed ashore by a delegation from the community. Then hike up to the excellent interpretation center. From here, various guided walks take you into the World Heritage-listed Tablelands, and to the lookout for a view of much of the park. Truly a spectacular experience!

Day 8 Francois

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Francois (pronounced Frans-way) is a small, isolated community steeped in the traditions of the sea. Perched on the edge of a beautiful fjord on Newfoundland's south coast, Francois' community welcomes you ashore. If you hit it off, you may be invited to a dance at the community hall!

Day 9 St. Pierre et Miquelon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The island of St. Pierre is a European enclave still under French control. Walking down the street feels like taking a stroll through a provincial French village. There is an excellent puffin colony here and if weather permits, you can take a zodiac cruise to see these colorful birds. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship's Captain, to make the end of your maritime adventure.

Day 10 Disembark in Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

  • 1 Breakfast
Sail back to Cape Breton across the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, heading again for the historic port of Louisbourg. Disembark in the morning. While some may hustle to the airport, others can add extra days to their stay in Cape Breton to experience one of Canada's coastal gems.

Akademik Ioffe

Per person starting at
The Triple Cabins.
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3, bunk beds and a sofa bed. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, bathrobes & porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4, one lower berth and one sofa bed, a writing desk and ample storage. Semi-private facilities (one bathroom between two cabins). Opening window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
Superior Cabins.
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Deck 6 these cabins have two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod alarm clock. Private facilities, window & deluxe amenities.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod station. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow. Deluxe amenities.


- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Twin and superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the shared price, suites for 2 times the shared price. Single supplement is not available in triple cabins.

- 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.


  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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