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Detroit to Newfoundland
13 days
Canada, USA - Trip code DSJ

Detroit to Newfoundland

From Motown to the New World, we journey through history from the automobile boom and bust in Detroit to medieval French Canada and onwards to Newfoundland, the mysterious, iceberg-ridden corner of the Atlantic coast where Basque whalers first sailed in the 1500's. Detroit, a city where once-grand ruins rub shoulders with skyscrapers, is like no other place in the USA, where the country's turbulent social history is written in the streets of disused buildings. From here, this journey is one of many contrasts, through the big cities of Toronto, Quebec and Montreal to the totally unvisited and isolated areas of Fundy National Park, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland's East Coast Trail. Even the languages and social make-up of these places change dramatically, from the Afro-American heritage of Detroit through French Canada, and the Scottish and Irish accents heard in the Maritime Provinces. Our final destination, 'The Rock', has unspoiled mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes, and a coastline marked by grandiose fjords and cliffs. Estuaries of glacial rivers are populated by countless seabirds, including silver seagulls and flocks of terns, while wild Atlantic salmon, cod fish, seals and whales (the largest concentration of Humpback whales in the world) call its chilly waters home.

Trip highlights

  • Ruined buildings and street art - Discover the outdoor art installation at the Heidelberg Project that is helping to redevelop communities in Detroit
  • Niagara Falls - Witness the power of these impressive falls and taste the region's wine at Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Train journeys - Take the scenic route from Detroit to New Brunswick, via Toronto and Quebec
  • Cabot Trail - Discover stunning ocean vistas and highland scenery on one of Canada's most scenic drives
  • East Coast Trail - Explore wildlife and wilderness on foot
  • Whale watching - Look out for finback and humpback whales in August
  • Icebergs - Watch out for icebergs in early June
Accommodation grade:
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Full on
Full on paced trips are for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long, busy days. Some may find them tiring, but others get a buzz from packing their precious holiday-time as chock-a-block full of new experiences as possible!
Group Size:
8 - 12
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Spotting whales and icebergs in Newfoundland

On this trip, we include an afternoon of whale or iceberg observation on a zodiac boat off the coast of Newfoundland. The aim is to spot Humpback whales as they breach and fin slap before your eyes, or glacial giants towering above us. Orca and Minke whales may also be sighted. In addition to the main events, you can see Atlantic Puffins (the largest puffin colony in North America is in Newfoundland), and many other seabirds including the Common Murre, Black-legged Kittiwake and Razor-bill Auk. The very best time to see whales is from the end of June to mid-August, although sightings are possible outside of these times. The iceberg season generally starts in late-May and continues through to mid-June. Icebergs do not frequent the waters of Newfoundland every year.

Why book this trip

This trip is a one-of-a-kind adventure through some of the most contrasting areas that North America has to offer, from big cities to totally isolated backwater communities. Moving through different social and linguistic landscapes as well as epic scenery, this journey will suit travellers who are looking for something different out of their holiday in North America.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 1
  • Lunch: 1
  • Ferry
  • Minibus
  • Taxi
  • Train
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader / Driver
  • Local Guide(s)
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information



May-Sep is the best time to visit, when the weather is usually warm, dry and pleasant. Temperatures can be a little cooler on the coast and in the mountains; rain can be expected at any time. Early in the season, there can be snow in some areas which may limit walking possibilities.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Flat


Roman Catholic, Protestant


English and French



There are great variations in the altitude and terrain of the areas visited and this is reflected in the temperatures. Desert areas can be extremely hot in the summer months (49°), though temperatures can drop dramatically at night. The mountains are cooler and wetter especially in the north of the Rockies. At the beginning and end of the season there may still be some snow around in the high passes and it can be cold, whereas in mid-summer the day time temperatures can soar.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Flat





Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Detroit - Motown Museum USD$15,
Niagara Falls - Boat Trip to the base of the falls USD$26
Quebec - Tour of the Citadelle and Museum CAD$16; Musee de la Civilisation CAD$16; Ferry to Levis (across the river) CAD$8.50; Musee National des Beaux-Arts CAD$20
Fundy National Park - Kayak and canoe rental at Bennett Lake CAD$10-15


Weather is changeable in all locations, particularly on the Atlantic areas of Fundy National Park, Cape Breton and Newfoundland, so bring a warm jacket/fleece and a waterproof jacket and trousers. Think 'layers' to enable you to be comfortable no matter what the temperature as this could easily fluctuate throughout the day.


Lightweight hiking boots for walks, trainers for the cities, and sandals if you wish for travelling.



Luggage: On tour

Bring only the bare essentials - one main bag plus a daysack for walking and for personal items. This bag can also be used as an overnight back on the train journey from Quebec to Moncton.


You may find walking poles useful. Binoculars are also recommended.


Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
In North America tipping 15%-20% is a recognised part of life across the service industry, including restaurants, activity suppliers, taxis and guides. Local staff will look to you for personal recognition of particular services provided.

Unlike other Explore trips, during our trips in North America our Explore leaders will not operate a tips kitty. However, they will be more than happy to provide guidance throughout the trip on who to tip when and to suggest appropriate amounts.
Country Information


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Canadian Dollars.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Bring your money in Canadian Dollars or US Dollars cash which can be used almost everywhere, although local stores are not keen to change anything over $50.
Where To Exchange
Banks or 'Forex' offices in main towns/cities. Your tour leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
There are ATMs in the towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Widely accepted just about everywhere.


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
Beer price
£Varies for different towns, average £4.00
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
US Dollars.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Bring your money in US$ cash.
Where To Exchange
Banks or 'Forex' offices in main towns/cities. Your tour leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
Widely available.
Credit Card Acceptance
Widely accepted just about everywhere.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Ferry, Minibus, Taxi, Train

Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.

We stay in centrally-located city hotels and inns during this trip, all placed for us to have the best possible stay. There is one night on an overnight train, in which we have two-berth cabins with bunks, and one night on an overnight ferry where we share four-berth cabins, possibly with members of the opposite sex. Luggage during the train journey will be stored separately and inaccessible during the journey, so all overnight belongings should be in a separate, small, overnight bag.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

USA: On this trip you will enter the USA by land through an authorised border crossing. Entry requirements are as follows -

ESTA - Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and passport holders from several EU countries can apply online for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), here no later than 72 hours prior to travel into the USA. Travellers who have not registered before their trip may be refused entry or held up at the border.

You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover.

If you have visited Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since 01 March 2011 or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel with an ESTA. If you are a citizen of a country not included in the VWP you cannot apply for an ESTA. In both cases, you will instead need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel.

Please note for your ESTA application you will be required to supply Point of Contact information. Explore's USA contact information will be listed on your final documentation which you will receive approximately 3-4 weeks before departure. If you are leaving for the USA before this, please call the Explore team to get this information. (This is not necessary if only transitting through the USA)

Canada: Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia and passport holders from several EU countries can enter Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA).
An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is required when flying into Canada or transiting via Canada. For more information and to apply see the official Canadian government website: Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

Please note you must also ensure you get an entry stamp when going through immigration on arrival. In most cases the border agents will provide this stamp automatically but if for any reason they do not provide one, please ensure you request one as you are crossing into the USA via land border and stamped entry will be required.

I-94 - The i94 is a history of entries and exits to the US. You can get this online here for $6: Each i94 accessed is only valid for border crossing for 7 days.

Entry requirements for the USA can change regularly, therefore, please ensure you have the most up to date information before you travel by checking the US embassy website. Visa applications -

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.



Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, infectious hepatitis and polio. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.



Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Dates, prices and booking

Price from

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