St. John's, Newfoundland

Introduction to St. John's, Newfoundland

The capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador has a rich and colourful history. St. John’s offers a blend of old world charm, interesting architecture, historic landmarks, beautiful countryside and fishing villages in the local area.

Since 1947, explorers, adventurers, pirates and all manner of seafarers have found their way into St. John's spectacular harbour, although the first permanent settlers were the British in the mid 18th century.

To this day, St. John's is still loved by locals and visitors alike, and for wildlife and nature lovers in particular, it is the perfect holiday destination. There are several tours that take place on a daily basis, designed to provide visitors a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see indigenous wildlife such as puffins and whales and the other natural wonders of St John’s. There are plenty of trails to walk at your leisure and a unique city centre to explore, complete with museums, art collections, murals and more.

Elsewhere there is plenty to seek out and enjoy too, including the Downtown district - which is where the best food, entertainment and shopping is found - and Signal Hill - one of Canada's National Historic Sites - which offers incredible views of St. John's and the surrounding areas.

See All St. John's, Newfoundland Cruises

Departs:
Cruise only prices from: Interior: | Ocean View: | Balcony: | Suite: | Single:
For more information, or to book, call us on 0800 0355 130 562-546-4800

Filter your excursions by:

Cobot Tower, Newfoundland

500 YEARS OF RUM & RASCALS (TOUR C)

  • Explore St John’s and the sites of the New World’s first taverns
  • Discover the city’s most spectacular lookouts
  • Hear pirate tales and sample some of the distinctive flavours of this historic seaport
Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

For 500 years the streets and lookouts of old St John’s have hosted the world’s explorers, pirates, and princes.

You are invited to raise a toast on the first New World street to host Old World soldiers. Learn about the continent’s first streets, taverns, churches, and lookouts and then enjoy a sample of Cabot Tower Rum whilst viewing Cabot Tower high above the New World’s first city. Dare to go underground at one of Canada’s most haunted sites and participate in a port wine tasting tradition that goes back to 1679. You will also sample local craft ales in historic Quidi Vidi while viewing the rugged Atlantic seascape and listening to local tales of pirates, treasure and marauding polar bears. Learn about screech, iceberg vodka, and wines made from the wild subarctic berries of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Your Rum and Rascals program is a fun and light hearted introduction to centuries of serious mischief and worldwide commerce.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANADA CRUISES
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that this tour is for adults only and tasters are included for participants aged 21 years and over. Approximately 20 minutes will be spent on the coach travelling between venues. The order of sites visited may vary. There is a moderate amount of walking involved in this tour.


Newfoundland Botanical Garden, St. John

BOTANICAL GARDEN & FLUVARIUM (TOUR E)

  • Visit the Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden – the only botanical garden east of Montreal
  • Discover North America’s only Fluvarium
  • Capture the historic characteristics of beautiful St John’s
Price£45.00-£55.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Admire the flora of Newfoundland with a visit to the Botanical Garden, before learning about the secret life of a river and its ecosystem at the Fluvarium.

Your first stop is to at the Botanical Garden, which comprises 110 acres of cultivated and natural habitat and features an extensive rock garden, alpine house, heritage garden, bogs and more. During your visit, you can learn about medicinal plants and secrets of the boreal forest as you stroll through the flower gardens, hike along one of the trails within the nature reserve, or relax by Oxen Pond. You complete your visit at the Field Centre, where you can view natural history and gardening exhibits before visiting the tea room for refreshments.

Continue to North America’s only Fluvarium – a unique building on the shores of Long Pond in Pippy Park, which will offer you a glimpse into the underwater life of a stream. Nine underwater windows will allow you to look into Nagle’s Hill Brook, where brown trout swim in their natural habitat. As well as observing the underwater world, you can also enjoy the centre’s other exhibits which are themed around different freshwater environments, including glaciers, bogs, marshes, ponds and river beds.

En route back to the quayside, your drive through downtown St John’s will pass historic buildings that were once part of the British Garrison, several churches and colourful Victorian wooden houses that are characteristic of the city’s architecture.

 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU?This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over uneven and inclined ground, and there are some steps to negotiate, therefore it is not recommended to guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. We cannot guarantee what flora and fauna will be seen. Please note your guide will give you introductions at both the Botanical Garden and the Fluvarium before you are invited to explore independently.

 


Signal Hill, St. John

CAPE SPEAR & ST JOHN’S HIGHLIGHTS (TOUR A)

  • Discover St John’s – one of the oldest cities in North America
  • Explore Cape Spear - a spectacular National Historic Site of Canada
  • Visit Signal Hill, where the first transatlantic wireless signal was received
Price£45.00 - £55.00
DurationApproximately 3.25 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Take in the highlights of St John’s on this scenic tour.

Your first stop today is at Cape Spear – the most easterly point of North America. Built in 1835, Cape Spear Lighthouse is Newfoundland’s oldest surviving coastal lighthouse. A modern concrete structure took over the role in the mid-1950s, but the old station has been restored to help visitors gain an appreciation of the tradition of lighthouse keeping in Newfoundland’s maritime history. It has been furnished in 1840’s style to illustrate what everyday life must have been like here.

At Cape Spear, you can enjoy the dramatic setting of the continent’s extreme edge whilst exploring the tunnels and fortifications that protected the gateway to the New World during the wars of the 20th century. You will learn about Newfoundland’s exciting history and view some of Canada’s most scenic coastline. Enjoy some time at leisure to soak up the stunning seascapes, visit the lighthouse and take pictures at the most easterly point.

Following the same route, you return to St John’s and embark on a panoramic sightseeing tour through the city, which is a delightful blend of colourful wooden houses and stone churches mixed with modern structures. From your coach you will view Government House (the residence of the Queen when visiting St John’s), pass the British Garrison buildings, pause at the National Historic Church housing the new world’s oldest congregation, and view the birthplace of the British Empire.

Your concluding stop is at Signal Hill, which has a 500 year history of battles, communication breakthroughs and transatlantic accomplishments. The site is at the headland of St John’s Harbour, and is the location of the Cabot Tower, which was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s voyage of discovery. It was also the site where Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANADA CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately 100 metres of compulsory walking over uneven ground at Cape Spear, and around 30 minutes of walking at Signal Hill, over uneven and sometimes hilly ground, therefore it is not considered suitable for wheelchair users. For those guests wishing to visit the lighthouse at Cape Spear, there are approximately 140 steps to negotiate. Guests are advised to wear flat, comfortable walking shoes and to dress warmly. 


GeoCentre, St. John

EARTH’S GEOLOGICAL SHOWCASE (TOUR B)

  • Discover Newfoundland’s geological wonders
  • Visit Signal Hill and admire its impressive panoramic vistas
  • View the lighthouse and dramatic cliff-side formations at Fort Amherst
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Newfoundland has so many geological wonders that it is often referred to as the ‘Earth’s Geological Showcase’. The oldest rocks, in northern Labrador, date from almost four billion years ago and are amongst the very oldest discovered on Earth. The province forms the continent’s eastern edge and is a treasure-trove of minerals. The story of Newfoundland’s ancient volcanoes, recent glaciers, visiting icebergs and rocks from the centre of the earth is told at the GeoCentre – a world-class geological museum and interpretation centre.

Your first stop is at Fort Amherst, where you can gain an overview of Newfoundland’s geology and fishing history. Here you can view the dramatic cliff-side formation across the harbour known as the ‘Devil’s Crack’ and see erratic boulders strewn about by ancient glaciers.  The view of Signal Hill Fault provides a dramatic text-book example of this geological feature.

Next continue to Signal Hill for an overhead view of the Fault. Here you will stop to admire panoramic views of the rugged coastline and picturesque harbour. The site is at the headland of St John’s Harbour and is the location of the Cabot Tower, which was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s voyage of discovery. It was also the site where Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal.

The GeoCentre is located part-way up Signal Hill and will be your final stop.  The large, glass-encased entry is the only part of the building above ground – most of the floor space is underground, inside solid natural rock walls, so visitors can see the characteristics and features of Signal Hill’s geology. Here you travel through the geological ages of the earth and view fossils, Labradorite (the province’s famous gemstone), and some of the oldest rocks on Planet Earth.  There are exhibits on icebergs, offshore oil and gas, and for those wanting a break from the geology, there is a popular Titanic exhibit to admire (The Titanic sank 365 miles SSE from St John’s). 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANADA CRUISES
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over uneven and sloping ground, and there may be some steps to negotiate. Unfortunately it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Places of interest may be visited in a different order to that described. 


Fire the noon cannon, St. John

FIRE THE NOON CANNON (TOUR EXC)

  • Fire the Noon Day Cannon – an event exclusive to guests on this tour
  • Discover the history behind this tradition
  • Enjoy magnificent views over the town of St John’s
Price£65.00 - £75.00
DurationAPPROXIMATELY 1 1/2 HOURS
LimitationVERY LIMITED CAPACITY
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Come and fire the Noon Day Gun! Join the Parks Canada gun crew on the summit of Signal Hill and take part in a centuries-old St John’s tradition. Learn about the history and purpose of the Noon Gun and then join the small number of people able to claim that they have fired a real cannon! 

You will be collected from the quayside – the shooter and companion – for an approximate ten minute drive to the top of St John’s. Here you will first explore historic Signal Hill and then meet your gun crew.  Learn about the history of the cannon, and the firing technique, as you dress in uniform to fire the noon day cannon!

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANADA CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that this exclusive tour to fire the cannon will not take place at noon – it will take place in the morning and whilst each firing is only suitable for one participant, one travelling companion is invited to watch and witness (and photograph) at the reduced rate. The training usually takes 10 to 15 minutes plus you should allow at least 40 minutes to explore the site’s history, exhibits, and lookouts before your return drive to the harbour. As this is a personalised programme, your host/guide will discuss your preferred return time to the ship, allowing you to explore historic Signal Hill at your leisure. There may be a small amount of waiting involved as the transport is used to shuttle guests back and forth. There is approximately 500 metres of walking involved, over uneven and hilly terrain, and three steps to negotiate. Therefore we do not recommend this tour to guests in wheelchairs. The Park service will provide eye and ear protection and the wearing of a historic uniform or a wool smock is also a required safety procedure.


Signall Hill, St. John

NEWFOUNDLAND EXPLORATION (TOUR G)

  • Explore the GeoCentre that houses an interactive Titanic Exhibit
  • Learn of the history that surrounds Signal Hill
  • Find out about the fascinating natural history of the area
Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApproximately 3.5 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

The city of St John’s was the first port of North America and boasts a history that may date back to the voyages of the Vikings; however, the story of Newfoundland is much older. During this tour you will visit the GeoCentre where you will step back in time a billion years and learn why Newfoundland is called the “Galapagos of Geology”. Experience the Titanic Story, and learn more about the tragedy – the luxury steamer met its demise just 350 kilometres away.

Begin with a short drive to historic Signal Hill where the Italian inventor Marconi received the first wireless transatlantic signal in 1901. Enjoy the magnificent panoramic view out over the city and rugged coastline while viewing the continent’s most easterly point, Cape Spear, in the distance.

Continue your drive through the New World’s first downtown, which features numerous historic buildings including Government House, National Historic churches and the colourful Victorian wooden housing characteristic of St John’s. Visit the Newfoundland Museum at The Rooms, St John’s newest attraction. This stop showcases the natural history of Newfoundland and Labrador and the history of the native people.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2016 OLD ENGLAND TO NEW ENGLAND CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately two hours of walking in total, but is suitable for guests confined to a wheelchair – the transport has a lift and all attractions visited are wheelchair accessible. Please note that the order of sites visited may vary.

 


Puffin Island Adventure, St. John

PUFFIN ISLAND ADVENTURE (TOUR F)

  • Visit the famed Witless Bay Ecological Reserve
  • Our visit is an excellent time of the year to hopefully spot large numbers of Puffins
  • Keep your eyes peeled for Humpback Whales – a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Boat Tour
Price£70.00 - £80.00
DurationAPPROXIMATELY 4 HOURS
LimitationLIMITED CAPACITY
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Visit the incredible Witless Bay Ecological Reserve at an exceptionally good time of the year! The Reserve is beyond compare in its ability to offer visitors a fascinating wildlife experience.

The Reserve is Home to the Atlantic Puffin, with over two and a half million seabirds including over 300,000 pairs of Atlantic Puffins calling this area home, it is therefore undoubtedly the best place to watch them in their natural environment. The Reserve is also one of the best feeding areas for whales in Atlantic Canada and luck should have it that our call is during the world’s largest gathering of humpback whales, off Eastern Newfoundland!

Your marine adventure begins at the pier as you board a coach for a scenic drive to the fishing community of Bay Bulls, where you will embark on a cruise to the renowned Bird Islands. In addition to the Atlantic puffin, there are a myriad of other seabirds found here, and there is even a possibility to encounter and photograph a whale, dolphin, sea turtle or seal!

 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017  CANADA CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves little walking, however all participants must be agile enough to get on and off the boat by a short, sloping gangway. There are steps to enter the inside of the boat. It can be chilly at sea, so be sure to wear warm clothing - layers that you can remove, if necessary, are best. The boat is partially covered and has a toilet onboard, although steps will need to be negotiated to reach them. Please note that this tour is subject to cancellation at short notice due to weather conditions on the day. Don’t forget a camera and binoculars. There is a small snack service onboard the boat (at your own expense).


St. Johns, Newfoundland

ST JOHN’S IN FOCUS (TOUR D)

  • Explore St John’s with a top local photographer
  • Enjoy an introduction to photography and the landscapes of Newfoundland

 

Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Join a renowned local photographer and explore the seascapes of St John’s, the most easterly city in Canada.

Colourful architecture, dramatic coastal landscapes, hills and valleys and lush forest trails will serve as a backdrop as you review photographic composition and content with your skilled local host. During your tour, you will visit Fort Amherst and enjoy distant views of Signal Hill and the coast. Do not forget your camera, and be prepared to capture some Newfoundland memories! Amateurs amongst you will enjoy a fun learning adventure in a dramatic setting as you better understand your equipment, while the professionals can swap stories and techniques with the local photographer.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2015
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that the final itinerary will be decided upon by the photographer based on light and weather conditions. This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over uneven terrain, and some inclines and steps will be encountered. Therefore it is not considered suitable for wheelchair users. Do not forget your camera! For reference, there is an approximate 500 metre walk from the ship to the tour transport.
 


0800 0355 130

You can call us 7 days a week,
we'd love to hear from you.

Calls are charged at local rate

Our opening hours

Mon-Fri: 08:00 - 20:00 Sat: 09:00 - 17:00 Sun: 10:00 - 16:00

0800 0355 130
Telephone Icon
Call us 7 days a week, we'd love to hear from you

Your recently viewed cruises

X Close
River Cruises