Dreaming of a bucket list trip to some internationally recognized courses where the only drive you have is off the tee?
Dream no more.
This summer, the inaugural Canada’s East Coast Golfing Expedition cruise will circumnavigate Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island with stops at three of the world’s best courses, plus a round on storied Prince Edward Island. As a bonus, include the ultimate one-upmanship anecdote: A round in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence on an island that is part of the province of Quebec.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said TJ Rule, owner of the Canada-based Golf Away Tours, which is promoting the One Ocean Expeditions cruise. “It’s pricey but it’s worth every dime.”
While a suite costs $9,395, a triple-share berth will set you back a mere $3,395.
The Akademik Ioffe can accommodate 96 passengers for this inaugural eight-day cruise along Canada's East Coast. (Photo: One Ocean Expeditions)
This is the first such cruise by the company, which has a reputation for high-end cruises in the Arctic, Antarctic and other exotic locales. Passengers will board the 96-person capacity Akademik loffe in historic Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, on June 27 and return on July 4.
In between rounds or for the entertainment of non-golfing companions, the trip offers cruising in Zodiacs, hiking, town and village tours, wildlife viewing, cycle touring, sea kayaking, whale-watching, paddle-boarding and more activities under the guidance of the company’s experienced personnel. Not to be forgotten are the cultural, culinary and scenic attractions of Canada’s spectacular East Coast.
Canada’s East Coast Golfing Expedition Itinerary
Sail out of Louisbourg along the Cape Breton coast and prepare for the first taste of the world's best lobster.
Arrive at Inverness and play Cabot Links, a true links course stretched along a mile of sandy beach and where, thanks to architect Rod Whitman’s design, every hole has an ocean view.
Play Cabot Links’ sister course, Cabot Cliffs. Like its older sibling, Cabot Cliffs is the glorious result of the vision of owners Ben Cowan-Dewar and Mike Keiser. Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the Cliffs course is perched high above the ocean, providing breathtaking vistas and tee shots.
Sail to the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Just as Cape Breton delivers an unmistakable hint of Scotland (Nova Scotia actually means “New Scotland” in Latin), the Magdalen Islands convey a French aura through culture, language and cuisine. The enjoyable nine-hole course at L’Etang du Nord speaks the universal language of golf amidst stunning coastal views.
It’s July 1 and, after an overnight sail, Canada Day (the country’s equivalent of Independence Day in the U.S.) is celebrated on Prince Edward Island, best known perhaps as the setting for Anne of Green Gables. The day will include playing The Links at Crowbush Cove, a beautiful and challenging Tom McBroom design, just one of many outstanding courses on this idyllic island.
The 15th hole at Highlands Links, a Stanley Thompson-designed gem that celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017. (Photo: Cape Breton Highlands Links)
Back to Cape Breton for a special treat at Highlands Links. This famed Stanley Thompson icon just celebrated its 75th anniversary and recent renovations have restored its splendor. Don’t forget to tour the regal — and recently updated — Keltic Lodge that overlooks the course.
A respite from golf comes during a visit to Sable Island, infamous for its reputation as a shipping graveyard. But it’s a tourist’s delight featuring wild ponies, seals and myriad species of birds.
The end of this inaugural Canadian golfing expedition falls on the Fourth of July, and the best way to celebrate may be spending a few more days on what Forbes magazine described as “the hottest island in golf.”
Canada’s East Coast Golfing Expedition
Website: www.golfawaytours.com (Click on “Events/Deals”)
One Ocean Expeditions
Cape Breton Island
Prince Edward Island
Cabot Links | Cabot Cliffs
The Links at Crowbush Cove
John Gordon, who has covered golf for more than 30 years for Canadian newspapers, magazines and a TV network, has authored eight books on the game. He lives in Midland, Ontario.