During the mid-16th century, large numbers of right and bowhead whales drew whalers from the Basque region of Spain and France to the Strait of Belle Isle, where they established a major whaling port at Red Bay. For some 70 years, Basque whalers made the dangerous, month-long journey across the Atlantic to hunt whales and produce the oil that lit the lamps of Europe.

See original Basque artifacts, remains, and restored chalupa at this national historic site and World Heritage Site.

Featured things to do

Echoes from the past

Costumed interpreters share amazing tales of shipwrecks and adventure as you learn of the dramatic voyages from the Basque Country to Labrador in search of lucrative whale oil. Fortunes are won, and some Basque whalers won’t survive the season.

Away in the Grand Bay

Meet the wife of a whaler who died in Grand Bay more than 400 year ago. Discover the courage and heartbreak of the 16th-century whaling voyages, told from the perspective of those who were left behind.

Red Bay’s weird and wonderful

Discover items hand-picked by staff as some of the most bizarre and extraordinary artifiacts in our collection. Learn the fascinating stories behind these one-of-a-kind objects, from a ship’s binnacle to meticulously restored rare glass.

The Rideau Canal in Ottawa and the lockage permit

Your free pass to discovery

Celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary at Parks Canada’s historic canals.

Get your free 2017 seasonal lockage permit

Canada 150

Hours of operation

June 7 to September 27
Every day, from 9 am to 5 pm

Fees

Free admission in 2017. Other fees still apply.
Detailed fees list

Contact us

Telephone: 709-920-2142
Email: redbay.info@pc.gc.ca