The Québec maritime Blog
The sea surrounds you in the maritime regions of Québec, and there are lots of water sports on offer. Whether you want to admire the scenery from another angle, observe seabirds or marine mammals, enjoy a quiet moment on the water or simply cross the St. Lawrence River, take the time to breathe in the fresh sea air and fully enjoy your vacation!
Here are a few suggestions for sea excursions, among the many options available:
Cruises with Croisières AML
Whale watching excursion with Croisières AML © Croisières AML
From May to October, Croisières AML offers sea excursions in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park departing from Rivière-du-Loup in Bas-Saint-Laurent or Tadoussac in Côte-Nord. All excursions include an exclusive Whale Warranty. Reservations are highly recommended during high season.
Departing from Rivière-du-Loup
Board the Cavaliers des Mers for the Whales and Islands cruise. Admire the rugged beauty of the Bas-Saint-Laurent coastline, along with lighthouses and marine wildlife, including whales and seals.
Departing from Tadoussac
Enjoy the Whales & Fjord cruise aboard the Grand Fleuve sightseeing boat and observe marine mammals in the company of bilingual naturalist guides. Another option is a more adventurous but risk-free excursion aboard a Zodiac.
The Discover the Fjord cruise, which lasts 6 hours, takes you into the heart of the Saguenay Fjord. It includes a stop at the picturesque municipality of L’Anse-Saint-Jean, a visit to Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay and a typical Québec-style lunch served onboard. More details here.
How to get there:
Rivière-du-Loup wharf: 200, rue Hayward
Tadoussac wharf: 117, rue des Pionniers
Kayaking excursions with Fjord en Kayak
Kayaking in the Saguenay Fjord © Fjord en Kayak
Located in L’Anse-Saint-Jean, in Côte-Nord, Fjord en Kayak offers sea kayaking excursions in the Saguenay Fjord and the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park.
Excursions take place from May to October and give you the opportunity to admire the beauty of the fjord, which is surrounded by steep cliffs over 400 metres (1300 feet) high. You are also likely to spot seabirds, birds of prey and whales, including belugas.
Fjord en Kayak offers a range of packages suitable for beginners to experts. You can opt for a guided excursion of several hours, which includes training, a fibreglass kayak and paddle, a wetsuit, water shoes and pogies (paddling gloves). Alternately, you can also treat yourself to a kayak camping trip lasting from 2 to 5 days, which includes all basic equipment as well as a ground mat, a tent, a dry bag, a waterproof paddling jacket and all meals, including gourmet dinners. Reservations are strongly recommended! More details here.
How to get there:
From the marina in L’Anse-Saint-Jean (359, rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste)
St. Lawrence ferry crossings
In the maritime regions of Québec, ferries serve as extensions of the road network and are bound to be part of your travel experience. In addition to allowing you to visit several regions without retracing your steps, they provide an opportunity for you to relax and unwind as you cross the St. Lawrence.
Year-round ferry services:
- MV Armand-Imbeau and M/V Jos-Deschênes, between Tadoussac and Baie-Sainte-Catherine
- Ferry between Matane and Baie-Comeau or Godbout
- MV Ivan-Quinn, between Cap-aux-Meules and Entry Island (Îles de la Madeleine)
Seasonal ferry services:
- MV Trans-Saint-Laurent, between Rivière-du-Loup and Saint-Siméon
- MV La Richardière, between L’Isle-Verte and Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs (Île Verte)
- MV Nordik-Express, from Rimouski to Sept-Îles, with 10 other stops ending in Blanc-Sablon (Lower North Shore)
- MV CTMA Vacancier, one-week cruise between Montréal and the Îles de la Madeleine
- Water taxi service between Chevery and Harrington-Harbour (Lower North Shore)
- MV Royal Sea 23, ferry across the Saint-Augustin River (Lower North Shore)
How to get there
Sea kayaking excursions in Parc national du Bic
Kayaking in Parc national du Bic ©Marc Loiselle
Located in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Parc national du Bic is a favourite among sea kayakers. Its unique coastal scenery includes capes, islands, high mountains and bays.
Paddle through a landscape shaped by the sea while observing the surrounding wildlife, including common eiders, which nest on the islands found in the park. It’s quite likely that curious seals will swim alongside your kayak!
You can opt for a guided excursion, which includes equipment and training, or set off in your own kayak. Note, however, that personal crafts are only allowed in Baie du Ha! Ha! and Havre-du-Bic.
Enjoy a twilight excursion. This sector is renowned for its sunsets, which are some of the most beautiful in the world! More details here.
How to get there:
Parc national du Bic: Via Route 132, between the municipalities of Saint-Fabien to the west and Le Bic to the east
Mooring basin: Havre-du-Bic sector, via Route 132, on Route du Quai
Sea excursions in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
Kayaking through the Mingan Archipelago © Éric Marchand
The Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, in Côte-Nord, is made up of thousands of islands and islets and is renowned for its strangely shaped limestone monoliths. From Havre-Saint-Pierre, Mingan or Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, set off on an excursion to explore the mysteries of this unique archipelago.
Several companies offer theme excursions with guided tours of the islands. You can also take a water taxi to an island, which you can then explore on your own.
If you’re a sea kayaking enthusiast, you’re in luck! The archipelago offers over 100 km (60 mi.) of navigable waters around the various islands and islets.
If you’re more interested in exploring the depths of the St. Lawrence, the Mingan archipelago is also a favourite among scuba divers. Dive underwater to discover the mysterious flora and fauna that hides in the sea. More details here.
How to get there:
From the marina in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Mingan or Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan