The Little Boats of Fogo Island
"Newfoundlanders are the best small boat men in the world."
Sir Winston Churchill
As travellers, we learn relatively little from being transported through places. Real understanding emerges from a conscious inhabitation and active involvement in the community and the spirit of place. Fogo Island Inn offers guests the Little Boats of Fogo Island Package: an opportunity to spend time with a community host, immerse yourself in outport life, and truly get to know this place and its culture. Learn how fish is split and dried, try some partridgeberry jam tarts, spend time in a boat shed and learn how traditional wooden punt boats are built. This is a rare chance to experience and share cultural knowledge that will deepen your awareness and broaden your perspective.
The Little Boats of Fogo Island itinerary includes: all meals in the Inn's award-winning dining room, a three hour hands-on Punt Building session with a local craftsman, a guided row in a traditional punt (season permitting)* and a screening of “Cranky,” featuring the punts of Fogo Island at the Inn’s cinema. A two-night minimum applies (three-night minimum for June, July, August & September).
* During the Winter season, the punt row is replaced with a snowshoeing, wood-gathering expedition.
International Reservations: +1 709 658 3444 US & Canada Reservations: +1 855 268 9277 or e-mail [email protected]
Arrive on Fogo Island, and take a 30-minute drive with your community host through scenic outport communities en route to the Fogo Island Inn. Look out for boats in every harbour… some old, some new.
Check into Fogo Island Inn; a traditional yet contemporary masterpiece of modern architecture and design. Fogo Island Inn has been described by Conde Nast Traveller UK as “…so changeable that islanders speak of having seven seasons rather than four; so immutable that traditions survive for centuries; a place of rock and ice and berries, of wind and sun and wonders, and now of cutting-edge, world-class art and untrammelled luxury.”
Our welcoming staff will escort you to your suite where you will find one of the wildest and most powerful oceans in the world through your floor-to-ceiling windows. Breathe out. Unwind.
Join us in the lounge for traditional cocktails as we walk you through the cultural history of Fogo Island and its traditional trading partners. Ask about the story of the lost punt, circa 1950, and you will hear about the two daughters who launched for a row, returned to tie off their boat, which later drifted away and was never to be found.
Join us for dinner in our dining room; named among the top 3 “Best New Restaurants of Canada” by enRoute magazine. Continue to immerse yourself in outport life with locally sourced produce, fish and game while the waves of the Atlantic crash and, season permitting, punts row just beyond your table setting.
A screening of “Cranky,” a documentary film featuring the punts of Fogo Island and the annual Great Fogo Island Punt Race to There and Back, in the Inn’s 37-seat digital cinema.
Greet the sun as she rises from the ocean and find a handmade wooden daybreak basket outside your suite door filled with coffee, tea and fresh pastries. Linger.
Breakfast at Fogo Island Inn
It is said, “If you can build a boat, you can build anything." And who better to learn from than the man whose punts have even won the island’s annual summer “Punt Race to There and Back”?
You will be meeting a fisherman, craftsman, storyteller, musician and champion boat builder. This one community host will have you learning punt building basics while you practice building your own models. You will learn a number of punt building techniques, for instance, how to bind the strakes, install a breast hook and shape the deadwood.
Traditional seafood Outport boil-up.
After lunch regroup with your host to gather your wood, and begin learning about carving your gangboards, garboard planks, batten’s and backbones to build your punt. Time is short and it takes months to build a punt, still you’ll get the picture. You won’t leave with a punt, or as an expert builder, but you will leave with a lesson in self-reliance.
It is finally time to launch the punt down the slipway to learn how to row it as the sun sets in the harbour of Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo lsland. If the water is rough you’ll walk the shore. If the water has turned to ice you’ll snow shoe to discover more. (It all depends on the season)
Guests depart for ferry and the official two days of programming ends.
Available in all of our Seven Seasons