Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park

Parks Canada (administration)

182, rue de l'Église
Tadoussac (Quebec) Canada
G0T 2A0
Phone:
+418 434-2299
Phone (2):
+418 235-4703, poste 0
Toll free:
+1-888-773-8888
Email:
pc.infossl@canada.ca

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The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is one of the best places in the world to observe whales.

A protected marine area with exceptional biodiversity, the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is home to over 2200 species, from microscopic algae to blue whales. Come and enjoy land and sea experiences in the regions of Côte-Nord and Bas-Saint-Laurent!

Land experiences

Discover a wide variety of attractions and activities such as observation and interpretation centres focusing on the marine environment, hiking trails and lookouts offering incredible views of the marine park. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see birds, seals and whales.

Located in Côte-Nord, two Parks Canada centres invite you to dive into the fascinating marine world: the Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre (Les Bergeronnes) and the Marine Environment Discovery Centre (Les Escoumins).

Be sure to also explore the panoramic trails in Tadoussac and in Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay.

Sea experiences

Set off to sea during a guided sea excursion aboard a sightseeing boat, sailboat or sea kayak to discover the habitat of the whales, the Saguenay Fjord or the islands of the St. Lawrence.

Don’t forget! When you spot a marine mammal, make sure you keep at least 200 metres (660 feet) between you and the animal, or 400 metres (1310 feet) for endangered species such as belugas and blue whales.

To plan your stay, visit the marine park’s website, download the Visitor’s Guide or visit a tourist information office.


Opening dates

May to October (depending on the activity).
Consult the Visitor’s Guide for more information.


Schedule

Consult the Visitor’s Guide for more information.

Cost

Consult the Visitor’s Guide for more information.

Reservations

Reserve your sea excursion directly with the excursion company.

Activities available

National Parks
The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is managed by both Parks Canada and Parcs Québec. The park protects an exceptional marine area that is home to 2200 species.
Whale Watching
The marine park is recognized as one of the best places in the world to observe whales. Listen to the explosive sounds of whales blowing as they surface after a dive. Will you be able to identify them?
Sea Kayaking
From the south or north shore of the St. Lawrence, go on a sea kayaking adventure with a certified guide at the heart of the habitat of the whales and seals.
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Dive into the cold salt waters of the marine park, which is recognized as one of the best diving destinations in North America. Both snorkelling and scuba diving activities are offered at the Marine Environment Discovery Centre.
Sea Excursions
Explore the habitat of the whales during a guided sea excursion aboard a sightseeing boat, sailboat or sea kayak.
Wildlife Observation
In addition to observing whales, seals and seabirds, you can also discover astonishing creatures such as sea urchins, starfish, anemones and sea cucumbers in the marine park.
Interpretation Sites
Visit the interpretation and observation centres that border the marine park. While you are there, you may see whales, seals and seabirds!
Lighthouses
Symbols of a rich maritime history, eight lighthouses stand guard over the marine park. Learn more about the history of local lightkeepers; you can also spend the night in some of these lighthouses!
Maritime Heritage
A place of meeting and exchange between European settlers and First Nations people, the Tadoussac area is an important historic place. Explore the vestiges of the past from yesteryear to today.
Indigenous Heritage
Discover how First Nations peoples lived some 8000 years ago on the banks of the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay Fjord. Visit the Archéo Topo Centre in Les Bergeronnes.
Hiking
Several hiking trails offer excellent views of the marine park, including the Pointe-de-l’Islet trails (Tadoussac) and the Baie-Sainte-Marguerite trails (Sacré-Coeur). Be sure to pack a picnic!
Bird Watching
Several interpretation centres and hiking trails along the coast of the marine park allow visitors to observe a wide variety of bird species.


How to get there

The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park covers an area of 1245 km2 (480 sq. mi.), the equivalent of two and a half times the size of the Island of Montréal, and protects parts of the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Saguenay Fjord. You can get there by water or drive to the shores of the marine park. Its borders are only visible on maps.

By road:

  • Take Route 138 from La Malbaie in the Saint-Fidèle sector of the Charlevoix region to Les Escoumins in Côte-Nord.
  • Take Route 170 from Saint-Siméon to the town of Saguenay or Route 172 from Tadoussac to the town of Saguenay.
  • Take Route 132 or Highway 20 from Rivière-du-Loup in Bas-Saint-Laurent to Trois-Pistoles.

By water:

Visitors travelling by boat can stop in any of the 10 marinas that border the park. Find out about the regulations you must comply with when boating in the marine park.

In the St. Lawrence:

  • Cap-à-l’Aigle port
  • Rivière-du-Loup yacht club
  • Trois-Pistoles marina
  • Tadoussac marina
  • Les Bergeronnes yacht club

Affiliations and distinctions

Affiliations

  • Parks Canada network
  • Parcs Québec network (SÉPAQ)
  • Tourisme Côte-Nord
  • Tourisme Bas-Saint-Laurent
  • Eco-Whale Alliance
  • Aventure Écotourisme Québec

Distinctions

  • Québec’s first marine protected area and one of the first in Canada, created in 1998
  • Jointly managed by the governments of Canada and Québec in partnership with local community representatives
  • Has the mission to preserve marine life while promoting sustainable scientific research and educational and recreational activities within the park

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