Impressions of Labrador

Canada’s beautiful Labrador – a travel review

Travelling to Labrador was an experience I never thought I would be blessed with. This rugged and exciting coastline is home to the Nunatsiavut Inuit. The history and culture here is overwhelming to say the least.

 Known as “the big land” Labrador is one of the last untamed, unspoiled places left on earth. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge freely in their passion and make memories that will bring smiles for generations. 

The Inuit tradition is as prominent here as the locals themselves. There are people still living off the land in a very real and inspiring way. During marvelous hikes I got my first whiff of what the land smells like. Forever engrained in my senses I will feel my heart grow sore remembering the fresh smell of that land, so barren and so vast.

Culture and jaw-dropping scenery is just the start of it. Wildlife is everywhere. Even in winter caribou, polar bears, Arctic hare, and Arctic fox are present. Of course we even saw seals popping up through the ice. And fishing for Arctic char was a highlight not soon forgotten. To add to the experience, we cooked the fish up on shore and ate it with tea for lunch. Well known to the Inuit this is as a good old-fashioned “boil up”.

Hiking in Labrador makes you feel very small. Berry picking is big part of hunting and gathering for the locals. And while out hiking we were able to find berries even as early as May. There are small and very beautiful flowers that grow all over the land. Stunted by the short summers and cool weather, but beautiful just the same.

Most communities along the north coast are now part of the Nunatsiavut, the Labrador Inuit territory. In 1770 the Moravian missionaries arrived, this German based sect brought Christianity to the Inuit by establishing several mission stations along the coast. Three of those stations are now abandoned. Hebron being the most well-known and which people often dream of visiting. Today the Moravians still remain in Labrador, but their influence has diminished over the hundreds of years. Their mission is in Hopedale and is one of the oldest buildings east of Montreal, built in 1792. The most northerly inhabited community is Nain. This community is headquarters of the Torngat Mountain National Park. This is just a touch of the history that looms in the air on the Labrador coast.

RCGS Resolute in Torngat Mountains. Image by Adeline Heymann
RCGS Resolute in Torngat Mountains. Image by Adeline Heymann

Throw caution to the wind, bring your most inner spirits and join us for this expedition of a lifetime. To find out more about our voyages to Labrador click here.