Province/Territory: Newfoundland and Labrador

Dive the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and swim with the humpbacks

  • 10 types of seafood delicacies to sample
  • 40 tonne whales
  • 500 million year old fossils

Bobbing in the open Atlantic Ocean, a boat is behind you. A bright shade of blue appears in the distance and a luminous white shape transforms into the underbelly of a humpback whale. Curious, the 40-tonne behemoth moves in for a closer look at you and your snorkeling buddy. Suddenly, she is alongside and you stare into each other's eyes. She slaps a flipper on the surface, deftly rolls away and leaves your life changed forever. On another day, kayak through a rugged Jurassic Park oceanscape of towering rock stacks and cliffs where waterfalls plummet into the sea. Explore ancient fossil-filled sea caves once used by miners, fishermen and pirates. Paddle amid icebergs, tasting their pristine, 10,000 year-old water. Then savour a freshly foraged seafood beach picnic that locals call a “boil up”. How good is all that!

Why you should visit
  • Find yourself eye to eye with a humpback whale in her natural environment, perhaps near Cape Spear National Historic Site of Canada, the most easterly point in North America..
  • Snorkel atop shipwrecks of old whaling boats, spotting a harpoon gun on the deck.
  • Get up close and personal with glittering icebergs, frolicking dolphins and flocks of puffins and other seabirds.
  • Hike geological trails to see 100s of trilobite fossils whose closest relatives are in Spain and North Africa.
  • Connect with enthusiastic, knowledgeable guides who introduce you to Newfoundland’s history, nature, and colourful local customs and characters.
  • Explore giant sea caves that pirates, miners and fisherman once used but are now explored on kayak or snorkeling trips.
  • Taste lobster, scallops, cod, shrimp, urchins, mussels and other  seafood freshly foraged by a chef/diver and cooked up in the boat galley. or on the beach.
  • Meet the friendly folks in the active, 200  year-old traditional fishing village of Petty Harbour.


Visitor information
  • Whale snorkelling tours are available in July and August, but diving continues all year round with the peak season running from May to October.
  • Guests can stay at the Ocean Quest four-star Lodge or at other accommodations in the immediate area.
  • The Ocean Quest Lodge is in the town of Conception Bay South within walking distance to shops, restaurants and grocery stores.
  • There is a day spa on the premise.
  • Group transportation available for airport and all activities for small group bookings.
When to go
Need to know
  • All necessary diving equipment can be rented on site to novice and to the exprienced.
  • Shipwreck diving is only available to divers with advanced certification - be sure to bring all certification papers and/or log books with you for verification.
  • All snorkelling equipment and thermal "COLD WATER"protection suits is included in the fees for the whale encounter tour.
  • The snorkelling with whales excursion does not call for any prior snorkelling experience or high degree of fitness but should be comfortable in water - even people who don't want to get into the water can take part and stay in the zodiac as part of the team.
Getting Here
  • Ocean Quest is located in St. John's, Conception Bay South and Petty Harbour, a twenty minute drive from downtown St. John's to their adventure centers.
  • There is a complimentary shuttle service from the St. John's International Airport and daily package tour guests.
  • Reduced Taxi fares or car rental agencies are also available at the airport.
  • There is no public transportation available between St. John's and Conception Bay South.