Labrador North is the region at its most remote, yet the coast is fairly easy to explore, thanks to the weekly, summer-only ferry service of the MV Northern Ranger, which is becoming popular as a budget cruise. The foot-passenger-only ship, run by Nunatsiavut Marine (t 1 855 896 2262, w labradorferry.ca), leaves twice weekly from Goose Bay to Nain (usually Mon 1pm & Fri 3.30pm), with stops at Rigolet (6hr 30min), Hopedale (17hr) and every larger community along the way. In most cases the hour or so the ferry spends at every stop is plenty for a look around. Should you decide to stop for longer, you’ll have to stay for several days until the ferry docks in again, and will have to ask around for somewhere to stay, though it’s generally not too hard to find accommodation. The ferries run from mid-June to late November; soon after this, the Arctic ice pack closes in to seal up the area for the rest of year. The late-season schedule is notoriously unreliable since storms can delay sailings, sometimes for days.
Fares are based on the number of nautical miles travelled, with supplements for cabin space, which you should reserve well in advance, otherwise it’s likely you’ll have no option but to make yourself as comfortable as possible on the aircraft-style seats. A single trip from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Nain costs around $156 and $489 for a standard cabin. Prices at the onboard canteen are reasonable but choice is limited and the meals are reminiscent of over-cooked school dinners, so it’s worth stocking up on provisions beforehand.