Destinations: Labrador

JosephineThe Expedition Vessel WANDERBIRD spends part of her season cruising to the far North, where you can participate in all or a portion of our journey to the land of the iceberg and the polar bear. Passengers meet us at several ports-of-call along the way.

In Labrador, we experience one of the planet's last great wilderness frontiers. Nain is the gateway to the Arctic, and we will be keeping a lookout for the Great White Bear! Labrador is sparsely inhabited by descendants of Paleo Indians that thrived 9000 years ago, viking settlers, Basque whalers, Moravian missionaries, traders and explorers. The Labrador tundra is inhabited by caribou, moose, wolves, lynx, Arctic hare and ptarmigan. The icy waters are teeming with whales, seal, salmon, char and iceberg. The Labrador coast supports the greatest variety of seabirds on the planet. Join us as we travel down this magnificent, wild and absolutely pristine coast. We will see icebergs, explore fjords, outpost villages and experience waters teeming with wildlife!

Our Labrador Ports-of Call:

Red Bay, Battle Harbor, Goose Bay, Nain

Labrador Tourism Information:

Labrador General Information and Travel pages
by the Combined Council of Labrador (Hopedale, Nain & Nunatsaivut)

Labrador Virtual Museum

Red Bay, Labrador:

Right and bowhead whales, once plentiful in the waters of coastal Labrador, attracted whalers from the Basque country (northern Spain and southern France) during the 16th century. A thriving industry based on the production of whale oil for export to Europe developed along the Labrador coast during the mid to late 1500s. The busiest port for this historic enterprise was the sheltered harbour of Red Bay. Sixteenth-century Basque whaling in Labrador is portrayed in the exhibit "A Whaling Station" at the Canadian Museum of Civilisation here in Red Bay.

Midnight SunBattle Harbour, Labrador:

Battle Harbour Historic Trust
1-709-895-7776

One of the many ports we will visit on our Southern Labrador Voyage, Battle Harbour situated on a small island, was for two centuries the economic and social centre of the southeastern Labrador coast. Mercantile saltfish premises first established there in the 1770s developed into a thriving community that was known as the "Capital of Labrador".

Eclipsed in recent decades by changing economies and settlement patterns, the former glory of Battle Harbour has now been revived. Six years of research and painstaking architectural restoration has breathed new life into this unique, historic place. Through the efforts of the Battle Harbour Historic Trust, the village of Battle Harbour is now a living commemoration of the life and society created there by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. This is a real treasure - not to be missed.

Accommodations:

Battle Harbor Inn, Grenfell Cottage & Other Historic Homes:
E-Mail: reservations@battleharbour.com or information@battleharbour.com

native art: grassworkGoose Bay, Labrador:

The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, considered the "Hub of Labrador", is located at the extreme western end of Lake Melville, a long salt-water inlet lake extending 210km inland from the Labrador Sea. The scenic, snow capped Mealy Mountains border one side of the lake and a great rolling plain the other.

The fur trade originally brought settlers to Central Labrador. Others were attached to the central corridor because of its abundance of fish, wildlife, timber, rich soil and the long growing season.

In 1941, the air base at Goose Bay was built as a landing and refuelling stop for the Atlantic Ferry Command. After only 79 days of construction, three 7,000-foot runways were ready to receive aircraft. During the Second World War, thousands of aircraft passed through Goose Bay. The war represented a turning point in history, not only for the Lake Melville region, but for all of Labrador. Currently, the base provides support and co-ordination for NATO tactical flight training activities.

The new town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay was formed in 1973 and it had all of the facilities of a modern town. The current population of the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is approximately 8800. Four main cultural groups make up the population of Central Labrador: Innu, Inuit, Metis and Settlers.

Lake Melville Tourism Association

Getting There by Air:

Goose Bay Airport
P.O. Box 498, Station C
Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Labrador, Newfoundland A0P 1C0, Canada
1-709-896-5445

Air Labrador
Reservations 1.800.563.3042 or 1-709-758-0002
(flights to Goose Bay, Labrador)

Air Canada Jazz (flights from Halifax etc.)
Reservations: 1-888-247-2262
Flight Information: 1-888-422-7533

Provincial Airlines
Customer Service 1-902-873-3575
(provides air service to small/remote airports)

 

Accommodations:

Aurora Hotel
382 Hamilton River Road
Goose Bay. Labrador, Newfoundland A0P 1C0, Canada
Telephone: 1-709-896-3398 or 1-800-563-3066
(Facilities include 37 rooms and 3 VIP suites, Caribou Dining Room, Gentlemen Jim's Restaurant, Castle Lounge)

Royal Inn and The New Royal Suites
5 Royal Street, Goose Bay. Labrador, Newfoundland A0P 1C0, Canada
1-709-896-2456
E-Mail: sheppard@cancom.net
(Facilities include 18 rooms, housekeeping suites, complimentary continental breakfast)

native art: porpoiseHotel North
25 Loring Drive, Goose Bay, Labrador, Newfoundland A0P 1C0, Canada
1-709-896 - 9301 or 1-877-996-9301
(Facilities include 40 rooms and a conference room)

Labrador Inn
380 Hamilton River Road
P.O. Box 58. Station C
Goose Bay. Labrador, Newfoundland A0P 1C0, Canada
1-709-896-3351 or 1-800-563-2763
(Facilities include 74 rooms, Naskaupi Dining Room, lounge featuring Labrador Caribou burgers)

Cherrywood Corporate Suites
5 Cherrywood Drive, Goose Bay, Labrador, Newfoundland A0P 1C0, Canada
Phone: 709-896-4000
(Modern corporate efficiency suites with fully equipped kitchens, 700 square feet per unit, queen size beds, satellite TV, VCR, fireplaces in 3 units, laundry facilities on site, BBQ facility, daily housekeeping service)

Lodges & B&B's:

Bradley's Bed and Breakfast
13 MacKenzie Drive, Goose Bay, Labrador, Newfoundland A0P 1C0, Canada
1-709-896-8006
(Facilities include 3 rooms with private bathrooms, complimentary breakfast, cable TV in rooms, stocked reading material, gas BBQ on deck, walking distance of bars, restaurants, shops and golf course. Non-smoking. Laundry facilities.)

Northern Lights

Northern lights is the common name of the light phenomenon often seen in northern regions. The scientific name “Aurora Borealis” refers to this celestial phenomenon of rays or curtains of colored light that appear in the sky predominantly in the polar regions of the earth. As particles hit the upper atmosphere of the earth in what is called an auroral sub-storm, it causes rays of light to appear to be cast down from the celestial heavens, forming a band of curtains which move and spread across the sky and horizon. Last summer we saw Northern Lights while in Labrador that moved like translucent curtains gently blowing in the wind and as faint green and white flames.

Nain, Labrador:

Elders of NainEstablished in 1771 by Moravian Missionaries, Nain is the northern most community in Labrador. It is approximately 230 air miles north of Happy Valley Goose Bay. the population in Nain is primarily made up of Inuit families. The commercial fishing season usually lasts from July to October. The main species of fish processed at he Nain Fish Plant are Arctic Char, Atlantic salmon, Turbot and Scallop. People fish as far north as Hebron. In late spring (April/May) just before the ice breaks up (usually in June), people fish for trout for home consumption at river mouths around Nain.

Subsistence hunting is performed year-round for different species of animals, marine mammals and birds: ducks and geese are hunted in the fall just before freeze-up; caribou is mainly hunted in the spring when the George River Caribou Herd passes on its way to calving grounds between Nain and Hebron; some trapping is done during winter months for fox, wolf, etc., and seals are hunted year round.

Getting There by Air:

Provincial Airlines
Customer Service 1-902-873-3575
(Provincial Airlines has 1 daily flight from Nain to Goose Bay, with a total of 18 seats daily.)

Air Labrador
Reservations 1.800.563.3042 or 1-709-758-0002
(Air Labrador has 1 daily flight from Nain to Goose Bay, with a total of 19 seats daily.)

Accommodations:

Atsanik Lodge
P.O. Box 10, NAIN, Newfoundland and Labrador A0P 1L0
13 Sandbanks Road, NAIN, Newfoundland and Labrador A0P 1L0
1-709- 922-2910
E-mail: atsaniklabrador@msn.com