The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, seven nights' accommodations, a seven-day rental car, a ferry transfer, whale watching, and admission fees, from $1,635 per person—plus taxes of about $117.
When: June 1–Oct. 1, 2009.
Gateways: Atlanta; add $8 for New York City; $89 for Boston; $113 for Chicago; $169 for L.A.; $379 for Miami; additional gateways are available.
The fine print: Hotel taxes are included, but airport taxes and charges of about $117 per person and breakfast are not. If car-rental insurance is not covered by your regular car insurance or by your credit card company, coverage will have to be purchased from the car-rental agency upon arrival; prices vary. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $499. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: Maxxim Vacations, 800/567-6666, maxximvacations.com.
Why it's a deal: According to a recent Kayak search, the lowest round-trip fare between Atlanta and Deer Lake starts at $893 for travel in early June (Air Canada). In comparison, for an additional $859, the Maxxim package covers round-trip airfare as well as seven nights' accommodations, a round-trip boat transfer, a seven-day car rental, a whale-watching tour, admission fees, and taxes.
Trip details: The Voyage of the Vikings package includes round-trip airfare on an Air Canada or United carrier and seven nights divided between hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and country inns. (Note that Maxxim does not list the names of participating properties prior to booking, since the hotels are subject to change.) The included seven-day midsize automatic-transmission rental car—with unlimited mileage from Thrifty—gives you the freedom to set the pace and to take any desired detours along the route.
Labrador and the island of Newfoundland, which are separated by the Strait of Belle Isle, make up Canada's easternmost province. The area's dramatic landscape stretches some 1,000 miles north to south, with more than 10,000 miles of coastline.
You'll begin in Gros Morne National Park, on Newfoundland, where you'll spend the first two nights. You can look forward to exploring the area's wildlife-rich mountains, waterfalls, fjords, marine inlets, sandy beaches, and fishing villages.
Drive on to St. Anthony, the hub of the Great Northern Peninsula and the so-called capital of icebergs, moose, and whales. The two-night stay includes a whale-watching boat tour and admission to L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site.
While in the neighborhood, it's worth visiting Norstead, a replica of a Viking port of trade during 790–1066 A.D., about a mile from L'Anse aux Meadows. Costumed interpreters at the site—which has a boat shed housing Viking ships, a chieftain's hall, a church, and a workshop—bring Viking history to life.
Next, drive to Plum Point for an overnight stay before taking a two-hour ferry to Labrador for a quick introduction to the area and an overnight stay. After taking the ferry back to the island of Newfoundland the following day, you'll return to your starting point, Gros Morne, for the last night.
If you think you may need more time to explore Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula and Labrador, you can opt for a nine-night package, which starts at $1,796.