Noticias Medio Ambiente y Política Territorial

Red Bay recrea estos días su origen vasco del siglo XVI

14 de julio de 2015
  • La que fuera estación ballenera vasca divulga su historia en las provincias canadienses de Newfoundland y Labrador

15 07 15

La localidad de Red Bay, antigua estación ballenera vasca en la provincia canadiense de Labrador/Newfoundland, celebra estos días diversas actividades culturales y turísticas que rememoran su fundación por los pescadores vascos en el siglo XVI.


El próximo sábado día 18, desde las dos de la tarde, coincidiendo con el Día de los Parques Naturales de Canadá, un grupo de actores interpretará el montaje histórico “Ecos del pasado” en la isla de Saddle. Los intérpretes estarán ataviados con ropajes de los vascos que llegaban al lugar en el año 1540 y creaban una estación ballenera en la que vivían largas temporadas dando origen a los que hoy es Red Bay como lo ha documentado la historiadora Selma Huxley Barkham. El acto estará amenizado con la interpretación musical de diversas composiciones a cargo de músicos locales.


Al igual que otras localidades de Newfoundland (Terranova) y de Labrador, con orígenes y presencia de pescadores vascos de los siglos XVI, XVII, Red Bay promociona estos días diversas actividades veraniegas para promover su cultura y desarrollar sus relaciones en América del Norte.


Hace unos días Red Bay acogió la celebración de una jornada dedicada a viejos juegos locales presentada por Joe Goudie en el centro turístico y de interpretación y el pasado día uno de julio la localidad celebró el día de Canadá y su designación como lugar de interés histórico  mundial



(Artículo reciente sobre Red Bay del dominical británico The Sunday Telegraph, Red Bay: a corner of Canada that is forever Basque - Telegraph):



Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada


Parks Canada Red Bay National Historic Site PO Box 103 Red Bay NL A0K 4K0

Parks Canada Red Bay National Historic Site c/o Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit
PO Box 130 Rocky Harbour NL A0K 4N0

Port of Call, Red Bay


RedBay is an ideal harbour that has attracted fishers through the centuries. By the 1540's, ships from the Basque provinces of France and Spain were braving the cold waters of the North Atlantic to seek their fortunes by hunting the right and bowhead whales in the Strait of Belle Isle. The Basque processed oil for the lucrative European markets at numerous ports in Labrador but RedBay, known as Butus, was one of the largest and busiest. The seasonal whaling activities that took place at this historical port constituted the first industry of any kind in Canada.

Archival research by Selma Barkham was the foundation for the great discoveries in the RedBay area, including a 16th century Basque whaling ship, believed to be the San Juan. These discoveries lead to RedBay being designated a National Historic Site in 1989 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.

 RedBay has survived as a small fishing community. And its quiet, picturesque, charm is as much an attraction for visitors today as is its history.


Whales, Ships and Men

The Basque Whalers of RedBay

Discover the incredible stories of hardship, exploitation, and profit of 16th century Basque whaling and the role that it played in the history of Canada. Tour the artifact collection and interpretive displays, including a restored 16th century whaling boat. Optional add-on: Visit to the Right Whale Exhibit at the SelmaBarkhamTown Hall.

Parks Canada Cindy Gibbons 709 920 2142


Echoes of the Past

A special interpretative program offered by Parks Canada on Saddle Island. Parks Canada. Cindy Gibbons 709 921 2142 A Basque Whaler and His Wife. A special interpretative program offered by Parks Canada at the Orientation Centre  Parks Canada. Cindy Gibbons, 709 921 2142


Digging Through Time

Learn the secrets revealed by the archaeological sites on Saddle Island.Interpretation highlights the natural features that made Red Bay one of the most important 16th century whaling ports.

Parks Canada   Cindy Gibbons 709 921 2142


Walking and Hiking

Stroll Through Historical RedBay

This 2 hour guided walking tour takes you through the village of Red Bay visiting local landmarks and the Parks Canada National Historic Sites. Learn about the history of the community, and some of the recent culture. Learn how the land and the sea has been exploited for centuries in Labrador for its abundance of resources. Labrador Adventures

Carmen Hancock, 709 931 2055


Going Coastal

A 6 or 4 hour hiking excursion on the Labrador Pioneer Footpath, a traditional footpath that has been used for centuries by the people of Labrador. The hiking tour begins with a short drive through villages along the coast to access the trail. This ia a great opportunity to view whales, icebergs, wildflowers and berries. A local guide will provide interpretation of how people lived off the land and sea, in sometimes unforgiving conditions.  Labrador Adventures

Carmen Hancock,709 931 2055


Explore our Culture

Labrador Boil -Up

Enjoy a lunch on the beach cooked over an open fire in company of local residents. Marilyn Bridle, Whalers Restaurant  709 920 2156

Tea with Grenfell

Listen to stories of the Red Bay Co-op circa 1896 and have a cup of tea with "Dr. Grenfell" at the site of the first Co-op in Newfoundland and Labrador

Marilyn Bridle, Whalers Restaurant

709 920 2156

Labrador Coastal Drive with Lunch

The Tour begins in RedBay, home to RedBay's National Historic Site and continues along the scenic coastal highway through Labrador villages. Receive an orientation to Labrador Coastal Drive at the Gateway to Labrador Visitor Centre in L'Anse au Clair. This building was the community's first church (built in 1909 by volunteers) and was totally restored in 1992. Interior and exterior exhibits display the historical, cultural and natural heritage of Labrador Coastal Drive. Also visit the LabradorStraitsMuseum which explores the recent history of the Labrador coast. Exhibits focus on settlement over the past 150 years with special emphasis on the role of women in our history. Experience real Labrador Cuisine at a local Restaurant which will include traditional Labrador dish recipes with local berry deserts. Prior to returning to the ship, visit the Red Bay National Historic Site dedicated to the legacy of Basque whalers who spent their summers harvesting Bowhead and Right Whales many centuries ago.

Labrador Adventures

Carmen Hancock, 709 931 2055


 Along the Coast

Cruise visitors to Red Bay can experience other chapters of Labrador history by taking shore excursions to explore the whole south coast of Labrador, including a visit to the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada at Point Amour and to L'Anse Amour to ponder the mystery of the ceremonial burial of an Maritime Archaic adolescent who died some 7500 years ago, almost 2000 years before the construction of the pyramids.

Lighthouse Journey,

Travel along the coastal highway through Labrador communities over the PinwareRiver, along the L'Anse Amour Burial Mound to the Point Amour Lighthouse, tallest lightouse in Atlantic Canada. A panoramic view of the surrounding land and sea, and a glimpse of its historical attributes can be witnessed during the 128 step adventure to the top. See local artisans at work and sample Labrador tea. Enjoy a local refreshment prior to returning to the ship.
Labrador Adventures

Carmen Hancock, 931 2055


Labrador Berry Tasting at Point Amour Lighthouse

Embark on trip to visit nearby Labrador communities. In the comfort of a modern motor coach, you can visit the beautiful PinwareRiver valley, the communities of Pinware, West St. Modeste, L'anse Au Loup, and Labradors' smallest community, L'Anse Amour, with a population of just 8 people. At Point Amour, get a "taste" for life at an isolated Labrador lightstation, explore the landscape along short interpretative trails and enjoy majestic views, especially from the top of this Imperial tower, which is the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada. Over tea and tarts filled with Labrador berries, see an art exhibit and chat with local craftpersons. On the return to Red Bay, we stop at the oldest mound burial in North America to ponder the mystery of the ceremonial burial of a Maritime Archaic adolescent who died some 7500 years ago, that's about 2000 years before the construction of the pyramids

Wildland Tours Dave Snow,



Red Bay hosts a welcome for each cruise ship visit including:

• Basque Whaler historical figure and Parks Canada staff to welcome visitors

• Town map and local information booth dockside

• A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in formal dress to assist in providing welcome at the gangway

• Complimentary shopping shuttle located dockside( contingent on arrangements made by Town of Red Bay)


Port Specifications & Services

Latitude: 51:44'N, Longitude: 56:26'W
Channel Depth at Low Tide: 6 metres
# of Cruise Berths: 1 floating dock
Harbour Authority: Verna Brown, 709 921 2095
Anchorage Marine Chart #4669, Western Arm and Basin
Floating Docks: Located at Former Fish Plant
Prevailing winds: Westerly

Services: Water, Anchorage, Provisions, Pilotage not required, Security on request (RCMP), Bank, Restaurants, Shopping, Public Restrooms and Telephones, Internet, Medical/Hospital, Police



Red Bay National Historic Site
Red Bay, NL
A0K 4K0
709 920 2142

Bonnie Goudie
Labrador Straits Cruise Committee
P. O. Box 112
Forteau, NL
A0K 3K0
709 931 2013



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