The Québec maritime Blog
The St. Lawrence is a historic seaway providing access to the North American continent. Since the great explorers of the 16th century, French colonization, the English conquest and the establishment of fishing settlements, few globetrotters have actually set foot on Québec’s Lower North Shore, which is part of the Côte-Nord region.
Because the road ends in Kegaska, the Lower North Shore can only be reached by air or sea. Fortunately, a cargo ship links this northern region to the rest of Québec. Passengers can board the MV Bella Desgagnés and enjoy a unique northern cruise to a remote and fascinating destination.
The MV Bella Desgagnés begins its journey from its homeport of Rimouski and makes stops in Sept-Îles, Port-Menier (Anticosti Island), Havre-Saint-Pierre, Natashquan, Kegaska, La Romaine, Harrington Harbour, Tête-à-la-Baleine, La Tabatière, Saint-Augustin and Blanc-Sablon, which is only 28 km (17 mi.) from the island of Newfoundland. The round trip from Rimouski to Rimouski takes a week. You can therefore sail from port to port and briefly explore each village as the ship delivers its cargo. Moreover, Voyage CoSte, a cooperative specializing in sustainable local tourism, offers various packages to help you explore this region.
© Le Québec maritime
Wild and pristine Anticosti Island is an outstanding destination. Some of you will want to trade a few days of sailing for an opportunity to explore the wonders of this mythic island. The rich flora and fauna of Parc national d'Anticosti with its countless white-tailed deer, the Vauréal Falls and the fossils of Brick Canyon, not to mention the story of Henri Menier, famous chocolatier and former owner of the entire island, are all good reasons to spend time on Anticosti. Five days later, on its way back, the MV Bella Desgagnés will pick you up at the Port-Menier wharf.
Comfortable plane-style seats
© Tourisme Côte-Nord – Duplessis
The MV Bella Desgagnés has been in operation since spring 2013. The new ship was built to enhance the passenger experience, with 459 plane-styleseats and 160 berths in 63 cabins, all with private facilities. You will also find suites, lounges, meeting and reception rooms, a cafeteria, a dining room seating 88 guests, a fitness centre and an elevator on the ship. In other words, this is an impressive vessel offering optimal comfort, especially given that it’s a cargo ship!
Globetrotters interested in exploring remote destinations will be happy to know that the villages of the Lower North Shore are now more accessible than ever. Although you won’t meet any of the great explorers of the past sailing the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence north of the 50th parallel, the vibrant Innu, French and English communities of the Lower North Shore will welcome you warmly. Will you answer the call of the sea?
For more information:
See the Relais Nordik profile on our website.