The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is the eastern most in Canada and the island of Newfoundland is separated from Labrador by the Strait of Belle Isle. Over seven thousand smaller islands are within the provincial boundaries.
Referred to as “The Rock“ by locals, Newfoundland is an island rich in geography, history and customs. Cruising on the Ocean Endeavor will provided all the comforts of home as you circumnavigate “The Rock”. Beginning and ending in St. John’s, this cruise provides daily expedition stops with experienced guides and up close and personal connections with Newfoundland’s communities. The Ocean Endeavor hosts 198 passengers and carries 20 zodiacs for easy access to the small communities along the coast and for wildlife viewing. Our sailing is timed for the spectacular fall colours that encompass this dramatic shoreline.
Why is Newfoundland called “The Rock”? Interesting question! During the last Ice Age, Newfoundland was entirely covered in ice and devoid of all life. There are only 14 species considered native to Newfoundland that were able to re-inhabit and survive the rough terrain. There are no snakes, raccoons, skunks or porcupines on the island, but herds of woodland caribou, black bear and a subspecies of the gray wolf are a few of the local natives.
Recorded history begins with the first Viking settlements in L’ Anse aux Meadows around 1000 AD. Today,a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the only authenticated former Norse settlement in North America. A walk through this beautiful site provides a glimpse into the lives of those first courageous explores. Approximately 500 years later, European explores and settlers arrived. Many of these immigrants were from England, Ireland and Scotland. It is the unique blend of these early settlers that influenced the culture, language and traditions of the inhabitants of Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, 92% of the population of the province lives on the Island of Newfoundland.
Newfoundlanders, love their fairy folklore and are known for their very unique ways of expressing themselves. It is impossible to visit Newfoundland without hearing some local slang. Below are some common ones you are bound to hear:
- What da ya at?
Definition: A phrase to ask what’s up and usually said in one breath.
Can be confusing to people who live outside of Newfoundland as it sounds like “Where you at”? Causing the response to be “…What? I’m right here.”
- Best kind.
Definition: Another way to say that’s no problem or that’s okay!
Often shortened to just “BK.”
- She’s some saucy!
Definition: She has an attitude! Usually referred to a woman who is quick thinking and has a clever tongue.
Please note: It is not advisable to ever say your girlfriend or wife is saucy.
At the southern end of Newfoundland, you will visit the French held island of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon so be sure to have a valid passport with you.
Your cruise has been planned so that you will enjoy the music, food, culture and hospitality in true Newfoundland fashion; on “The Rock” and on the sea!
Written By: Joan Niemeier