The Québec maritime Blog
Boarding the F.-A.-Gauthier ferry on your snowmobile to cross the waters of the St. Lawrence in the winter is an adventure you’ll want to experience at least once in your life (and why not more?!)! You can enjoy this crossing while exploring the regions of Côte-Nord, Gaspésie and Bas-Saint-Laurent, which are all popular snowmobile destinations in Eastern Québec. Since these regions are located on either side of the St. Lawrence, it’s tough to choose between the north shore, which offers vast and wild landscapes to explore, and the south shore, which offers sea, mountain and forest scenery to discover. Thanks to the ferry, you don’t have to choose: you can easily visit both shores in one trip!
The F.-A.-Gauthier makes daily round-trip crossings between Matane, in Gaspésie, and Baie-Comeau or Godbout, in Côte-Nord, and can accommodate up to 180 vehicles and 800 passengers, making it the largest ferry on the St. Lawrence. For nearly 2.5 hours, you can take a break from the trails and the winter cold and soak up unique views of the ice-covered St. Lawrence!
On board, you’ll find many amenities that will ensure an enjoyable crossing. Relax in the warm and comfortable panoramic lounges, step outside for a moment to take in the scenery from the outer decks, grab a bite to eat or a tasty cup of coffee in the bistro, and be sure to visit the gift shop for a souvenir or two! As you’ll see, the crossing will be over before you know it!
Some practical info
- The ferry terminals on both shores are accessible to snowmobilers via the following trails:
- Baie-Comeau: Trans-Québec trail #3 and a local trail
- Godbout: Trans-Québec trail #3 and a local trail
- Matane: Trans-Québec trail #5 and a local trail
- A special fare is available for small vehicles, which includes snowmobiles!
- In the winter, the ferry only makes one return trip a day, except Wednesdays and Fridays (when it makes two), so be sure to book your crossing in advance! You can make a reservation online (you’ll need to create an account, which is easy) or by calling 1-877-787-7483.
- The ferry schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions. Please make sure it’s running on the day you want to take it by visiting the ferry company’s website or by subscribing to email/text alerts (or both) once you’ve created an account (no purchase necessary).
The Matane–Baie-Comeau/Godbout ferry increases your ride options in the maritime regions of Québec. To inspire you and make it easier for you to plan your snowmobile trip, here are a few suggested itineraries, which you can modify to suit the time you have available:
- St. Lawrence Tour (between Rivière-du-Loup and Sacré-Coeur)
- Grand St. Lawrence Snowmobile Tour (a loop ride departing from Lévis, near Québec City)
- Northern Trail (which can be combined in whole or in part with loop rides in Gaspésie or Bas-Saint-Laurent)
Would you like to include this experience in your next snowmobile ride in Eastern Québec? Start planning your trip now!