Expedition Journal

Newfoundland Circumnavigation

Jul. 4–Jul. 15, 2022

© Andre Gallant

The staggering cliffs were a spectacular backdrop during teatime on the aft of the ship. While admiring the view, sipping tea, and sailing, the on board expedition team members interpreted geology and wildlife.


Newfoundland Circumnavigation 2 2022 Expedition Journal Map
  • Day 1: St. John's, NL, Canada
  • Day 2: Little Fogo Islands
  • Day 3: St. Anthony
  • Day 4: St. Anthony and L'Anse Aux Meadows
  • Day 5: Henley Harbour
  • Day 6: Woody Point and Gros Morne National Park
  • Day 7: Woody Point and Gros Morne National Park
  • Day 8: La Hune Bay
  • Day 9: Francois
  • Day 10: Miawpukek (Conne River)
  • Day 11: Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, France
  • Day 12: St. Johns, NL, Canada

Day 1 – Monday, July 4

St. John's, NL, Canada

Coordinates: 47°56'N 52°69'W

Weather: Warm and sunny with some clouds

The Start of Our Adventure!

We kicked off the day with our check-in and orientation meetings. Anticipation built as we learned about what we could expect on board our expedition.

We departed from the Delta St. John’s and made our way to board the Ocean Endeavour! Once on board, we ran through the safety drills, settled into our cabins, and went out on deck to watch as we sailed out of the Narrows.

Signal hill st johns

© Andre Gallant

Signal Hill, St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador

On board historian, Kevin Major, told us some history about the St. John’s harbour, as we sailed through at sunset. We admired the cheerful coloured houses of the Battery neighbourhood and passed by Signal Hill. The weather was warm and comfortable as the sun set on the Atlantic. A beautiful start to an exciting expedition!

Day 2 – Tuesday, July 5

Little Fogo Islands

Coordinates: 51°22'N 55°34'W

Weather: Bright and warm

Let's Cruise

This morning we woke up to the warm voice of our expedition leader, MJ Swan. He told us we were to have a wonderful day of Zodiac cruising ahead of us and the perfect weather for it too!

As we cruised around in the Zodiacs, we saw several puffins, black cormorants, and even a bald eagle! There were also a couple of sheep on the hilltop to greet us as we went by.

We were told that no one officially lives on the Little Fogo Islands, they were once a small fishing village, but are no longer occupied by full-time residents. Some of the weathered houses on the sea are used as summer cabins for those who come to the islands to fish. Once a year, Newfoundlanders make a pilgrimage to the island’s Catholic church for a summer service.

Atlantic puffin little fogo islands

© Andre Gallant

Later, we enjoyed learning about the history and geology of Newfoundland, as well as some background information on the province’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites from our expedition team members.

We closed out the evening with some lively music by Dylan White, George Case, Chris Scerri, James Raffan, and Gerry Strong. Folks around here say Gerry is the best musician of the wooden flute and tin whistle in Newfoundland and Labrador! He had all of us singing and clapping along.

Day 3 – Wednesday, July 6

St. Anthony

Coordinates: 51°21'N 55°33'W

Weather: Sunny with a light breeze

Iceberg Ahead

This morning we woke up to find icebergs dotted along the horizon. We spent about an hour circling a particularly large iceberg on our way to St. Anthony. Our captain did a wonderful job steering the ship so we could see the iceberg from all angles.

We all got out on deck to take photos and learn about where icebergs come from, how long it takes for them to reach Newfoundland and Labrador, and the different names for each stage of an iceberg’s lifespan.

Iceberg st anthony

© Andre Gallant

Later on, we took a Zodiac cruise to get closer to some of these icebergs. We even brought back a piece of the iceberg found floating in the water, to put in our drinks later!

Mother nature treated us to the most magnificent sunset this evening—incredible orange and pink colours with an iceberg in the distance, and to top it off, a rainbow! A beautiful ending to a beautiful day.

Day 4 – Thursday, July 7

St. Anthony and L'Anse Aux Meadows

Coordinates: 51°21'N 55°33'W

Weather: Overcast with light rain, wind, and fog

Grey Skies and Joyful Spirits

This morning, the sky was a little greyer than we were hoping for, but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. We had a big day ahead of us on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland!

We all got to experience the charming town of St. Anthony or “Snantony” as the locals call it. We went to the town’s museum and interpretation centre, where we learned more about the region. Others took a short hike up to a lookout point, where there was a great view of the harbour. The grey skies made the colourful buildings look bright and cheerful in the distance.

Guests lanse aux meadows

© Andre Gallant

Later, we ventured to L’Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we learned about Vikings who settled here from Europe around 1,000 CE. It was fascinating to learn the rich history and view the many artefacts found here.

We made the most of the day, despite the grey skies and enjoyed some buoyant music in the evening.

Day 5 – Friday, July 8

Henley Harbour

Coordinates: 51°58'N 55°52'W

Weather: Bright and brisk

An Adventure Around Every Corner (or Bay)

When we woke up this morning, we were expecting to visit Red Bay, but due to unforeseen circumstances the town was not able to welcome us on shore. Luckily, our resourceful Adventure Canada team quickly actioned another way for us to continue exploring the scenic province. We switched gears and headed over to Henley Harbour, a couple of hours up the coast from Red Bay.

Henley harbour houses

© Andre Gallant

While making our way to our new stop, we spent time on board participating in workshops hosted by our expedition team, including knot tying, photography, stretching, and an introduction to rocks and minerals. We then had an impromptu Newfoundland kitchen party on the back deck, where we were greeted by mummers!

When we arrived at Henley Harbour, we brought out the Zodiacs and went for a cruise. We got to see an especially beautiful, large iceberg up close in the Zodiacs! We also got to cruise around an abandoned Basque whaling station. The weathered houses sat next to magnificent rocky cliffs in a picturesque little bay. It was a gorgeous site with a fascinating past. The Zodiac cruise was a highlight for many!

Day 6 – Saturday, July 9

Woody Point and Gros Morne National Park

Coordinates: 49°29'N 57°54'W

Weather: Partly cloudy with sunshine prevailing

Is That Disco I Hear?

The sun began to shine bright as we set out for a wonderful day of exploring the Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park, alongside Parks Canada staff and our expedition team. What started as overcast skies quickly turned into full sun—perfect weather to get off the ship and stretch our legs.

After selecting either the short, medium, or long hiking options, we learned how this area is a portion of the Earth’s mantle, which is exposed to the elements. Our guides described the types of rocks found in this area and the composition of what we could find here. We also received intriguing information about the various species of plants that grow here, including some carnivorous ones.

Guests hiking gros morne national park

© Andre Gallant

Gros Morne National Park

After dinner, we hopped back into the Zodiacs for an evening cruise. To top it off, we were visited by a special party boat playing disco music and handing out warm beverages. We were delighted to see Tony Power dancing a jig to Donna Summer and the Bee Gees!

Day 7 – Sunday, July 10

Woody Point and Gros Morne National Park

Coordinates: 49°29'N 57°54'W

Weather: Partly cloudy with a warm breeze

Let’s Go Exploring

This morning we woke up bright and early to go back to shore. Hiking, free exploration, and Zodiac cruising were in the mix for the day. Some also took time to explore the charming town of Woody Point. Others went to the neighbouring town, Trout River, to do a short, but very scenic hike along the coast. There were fantastic views to enjoy and lots of wildflowers along the way.

Zodiacs woody point

© Andre Gallant

Many of us had scoops of ice cream down by the wharf at Woody Point, before catching a Zodiac back to the ship. We were all tired from the fresh air and hikes we did in the morning, which resulted in a laid-back afternoon watching some presentations and admiring the lovely views from on board.

Day 8 – Monday, July 11

La Hune Bay

Coordinates: 47°59'N 56°87'W

Weather: Sunny and cool

Lobster, Mimosas, and Afternoon Tea—Now That’s Luxury!

Today we had a well-deserved sleep in. We woke up late and enjoyed a delicious brunch with lobster and mimosas. Lobster has been the most requested meal on this expedition, and we were not let down. It was a luxurious morning.

Guests on deck la hune bay

© Andre Gallant

In the afternoon we sailed through La Hune Bay. The staggering cliffs were a spectacular backdrop during teatime on the aft of the ship. Admiring the view and sipping tea, the on board expedition team members interpreted geology and wildlife as we sailed. We were even lucky enough to spot a black bear and a bald eagle!

The south coast of the island of Newfoundland is known as the "Granite Coast" and only 1% of all Newfoundlanders get a chance to visit this area in their lifetime. It is only accessible by ship. We all felt very grateful, to now be able to say we've been there.

Day 9 – Tuesday, July 12


Coordinates: 47°34'N 56°44'W

Weather: Sunny and warm

Do You Know the Way to Francois?

Francois, pronounced “Fran-sway” by the locals, is a small town of just eighty-nine residents on the south coast of the island of Newfoundland. It was once a bustling fishing village and the townsfolk voted to remain here, despite the province's proposal of a relocation plan.

Ocean endeavour francois

© Andre Gallant

We spent the day walking around the town and hiking up to various lookout points. There is a pretty pond and waterfall at the top of the town, and a lookout point called Charlie's Head that provides a spectacular view of the entire fjord.

Some of us who were looking for a challenge opted to climb Friar's Trail, which involved using a rope to help pull ourselves up the hill and scrambling on our hands and knees over rocks. What a challenge we got!

No matter which hike, trail, or walk we took, we were rewarded with the most spectacular views!

Day 10 – Wednesday, July 13

Miawpukek (Conne River)

Coordinates: 47°51'N 55°48'W

Weather: Overcast and breezy

Hello Miawpukek

We stopped on the south shore of Newfoundland in Miawpukek First Nation (Conne River) where we met with members of the Indigenous community. By land, it is 224 kilometres from the nearest service centre.

In 1991, the community was one of the poorest in Atlantic Canada with almost 90% unemployment. Today, it is a strong vibrant community with nearly 100% full-time or part-time employment.

Miawpukek community dancing

© Andre Gallant

Guests participating in a traditional round dance alongside Miawpukek community members

Much of this successful transition is thanks to Saqamaw (Chief) Misel Joe, who is committed to preserving the language, culture, and traditions of his people. His very public role resulted in a profound impact on the community's well-being and uprising.

During our time here, we received a formal welcome from the local leaders and got to explore their beautiful community, including a vegetable garden and school. Our travellers and expedition team even got to join in on some of the traditional dancing!

Day 11 – Thursday, July 14

Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, France

Coordinates: 46°78’N 56°18’W

Weather: Warm and sunny

National Day of France

What better place to celebrate Bastille Day than in France? Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is a territory of the French Republic just off the south coast of Newfoundland. Citizens here speak French, use euros, and also drink French wine!

Saint pierre shoreline lighthouse

© Alina Cheng

When we arrived, there were carnival games in the main square, and everyone was out to celebrate. People here are very friendly and are happy to talk to you about their home. There are lots of artisanal shops and a market where you can buy handicrafts.

We marvelled at the beautiful and colourful town, with seals in the harbour and horses along the roads. Many found a must-stop at a boulangerie (bakery), where they indulged in authentic French pastries.

Day 12 – Friday, July 15

St. Johns, NL, Canada

Coordinates: 47°56'N 52°69'W

Weather: Grey in the morning, sunny in the afternoon

Beautiful St. John's

This morning’s weather matched our mood as we said goodbye to our new friends and the Ocean Endeavour at St. John’s marine port.

Cape spear lighthouse

© Alina Cheng

Cape Spear lighthouse

Many didn’t end their trip here. Some enjoyed exploring the vibrant city by visiting Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America, with beautiful ocean views and lighthouses, having a pint of locally crafted iceberg beer from Quidi Vidi Brewing Co., or hiking up Signal Hill and looking out at the Narrows and Fort Amhurst.

As we said goodbye, we were hopeful our paths may cross again aboard the Ocean Endeavour. Farewell!

About the Author

Alina Cheng

Alina Cheng

Business Development & Account Manager

Alina is an artist, bookworm, and lifelong learner. She travels to celebrate the world and all the beautiful people who inhabit it.

As a Business Development and Account Manager with Adventure Canada, Alina aims to create genuine relationships with organizations who embody similar values for culturally immersive travel experiences.