Journey on the St. Lawrence on the Bella Desgagnés

| 7 days |7 days by boat | from Rimouski to Rimouski

Enjoy a maritime experience that is unique in North America! During your next vacation in Québec, board the MV Bella Desgagnés, a cargo-passenger ship that provides supplies to communities along the Lower North Shore and on Anticosti Island. While sailing up and down the St. Lawrence, you can appreciate the slower pace of a supply ship as you discover spectacular coastal landscapes punctuated by rivers, islands and islets as well as abundant marine mammals and birds. Take advantage of the stops along the way to explore picturesque French-speaking, English-speaking and Innu villages and meet the locals. Contact Voyages CoSte for help planning your shore excursions.

This itinerary is a round-trip between Rimouski and Blanc-Sablon, but you can also board or disembark from the ship in Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre or Natashquan. You may also want to travel with your car if you prefer to take the ship one way only.

Inspired by the Relais Nordik website

Note: The itinerary below corresponds to the Bella Desgagnés schedule from April to mid-October and is subject to change. In addition, since the ship’s primary mission is to transport cargo to local communities, the duration of each stop depends on the time required to load and unload cargo and may therefore also be modified at any time.

Travel Itinerary

Rimouski to Port-Menier

1

Settle onto the ship in the port of Rimouski while awaiting departure at 9:30 pm. After crossing the St. Lawrence at night, you will arrive in Sept-Îles, in Côte-Nord, in the morning. A stop of about four hours will give you the opportunity to visit the city, including the Promenade du Vieux-Quai (a boardwalk along the water) and the Vieux Poste, an old trading post that will appeal to history buffs.

The ship will then head to legendary Anticosti Island, docking in Port-Menier in the evening.

Port-Menier to La Romaine

2

The next morning you will arrive in Havre-Saint-Pierre at about 4:45 a.m. and set off again about two hours later. If you are an early riser, take the time to disembark and go for a stroll along the waterfront on Promenade des Anciens.

You will then spend the morning sailing to Natashquan. A short stop in the early afternoon (lasting about 1h30) will give you a chance to discover the birthplace of Gilles Vigneault, a famous Québec poet and singer/songwriter. You can also go for a stroll along a wide beach and visit Les Galets, former fishermen’s cabins that have been designated a heritage site by the Government of Québec.

In the late afternoon, the ship will stop in Kegaska, which marks the beginning of the Lower North Shore. Here you will have two hours to visit the village, including an Anglican church, a historic sawmill and a fish factory. You can also go for a walk along a trail covered in broken shells and see the remains of the Brion shipwreck.

The Bella Desgagnés will then continue on to La Romaine, which you will reach that night, and then set off a few hours later.

La Romaine to Saint-Augustin

3

Your third day starts in Harrington Harbour at about 7:45 a.m. A stop of about 2h30 will give you plenty of time to stroll around this village’s famous wooden boardwalks that link this roadless island community. Be sure to visit the Jacques Cartier Monument, the Roswell House Interpretation Centre and the Anglican church.

The ship will then take you to Tête-à-la-Baleine, where you will also have about 2h30 to visit the Jos. Hébert Museum or head over to Providence Island, where you can discover the oldest chapel on the Lower North Shore.

In the late afternoon, early evening, you will have the opportunity to spend two hours exploring La Tabatière, where you can visit the village, admire cliffside houses, hike the Priest’s Hill boardwalk trail and observe birds. Don’t miss the interpretation panels depicting the history of the village.

Finally, you will arrive in Saint-Augustin in the late evening.

Saint-Augustin to La Tabatière

4

After spending a night at sea, you will wake up in Blanc-Sablon, at the eastern tip of the Lower North Shore, and can spend the morning (about 4h30) exploring this area. Don’t miss Île au Bois, a historic cod-fishing station, as well as the interpretation site where you can learn about whales, Atlantic puffins and icebergs. You can also go for a stroll on the beach (where you may see whales) or hike the Mt. Parent trails. The ship will then start its return journey…

Be sure to go out on the exterior deck to admire the magnificent scenery as the ship crosses the mouth of the Saint-Augustin River and as you arrive, in the late afternoon, at the wharf in Pointe-à-la-Truite, near the village of Saint-Augustin.

The ship will reach La Tabatière that night.

La Tabatière to Natashquan

5

You will spend the night at sea, between La Tabatière and Harrington Harbour, with a brief stop in Tête-à-la-Baleine. After a stop of about 1h30 in Harrington Harbour, the ship will head to La Romaine, for a two-hour stop. Made up of a small French-speaking community and a much larger Innu reserve, La Romaine will give you the opportunity to discover local Indigenous crafts. The ship will then continue on to Kegaska, where it will stop in the early evening for another 1h30.

The Bella Desgagnés will then make a short stop in Natashquan that night.

Natashquan to Sept-Îles

6

After setting off from Natashquan, you will land at Havre-Saint-Pierre early in the morning. If you are an early riser, you can go out on the deck to breathe in the fresh air and admire the mysterious limestone monoliths in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. The ship will then go on to Port-Menier on Anticosti Island, arriving in the early afternoon. For about 1h30, you can wander around the village, notably on Rue du Cap-Blanc, where a dozen houses date back to the founding of this community in 1899. Who knows, you may even encounter white-tailed deer!

The Bella Desgagnés will arrive in the port of Sept-Îles that night.

Sept-Îles to Rimouski

7

Your journey ends in Rimouski at noon. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore this area and enjoy Rimouski’s many attractions and activities. After wandering along the waterfront on Promenade de la Mer, head to the Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site where you can visit the exhibit on the shipwreck of the Empress of Ireland as well as the Onondaga submarine and the second highest lighthouse in Canada. If you are an outdoor lover, head to the Canyon des Portes de l’Enfer, where you can go hiking and cross the highest suspension bridge in Québec, or visit Parc national du Bic where you can enjoy sea kayaking, hiking, wildlife observation (including seal watching) and more!