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Quebec’s picturesque Saguenay region is one of proud heritage and rugged beauty. Travel through the Laurentians admiring the rocky Canadian Shield. See where the pines divide and the earth plummets down a sheer rock face at the Rivière Saguenay fjord. Formed during the last Ice Age, the fjord empties into the Gulf at Tadoussac, France’s first trading post in Canada. We’ll stay in the landmark Hotel Tadoussac on one of Canada’s most beautiful bays and cruise the St. Lawrence to spot the largest animals on earth.
A guided trolley tour of Val-Jalbert, a restored lumber village, gives us an up-close look at life as it was in the ultra-modern 1920s. A glass platform provides amazing views of the 236ft high Ouiatchouan Falls.
Homeward bound at a leisurely pace! Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica and Montmorency Falls, named the “monstrous steep” by John Keats, precede a two-night stay in historic Quebec City. The cradle of North America’s French culture, your hotel is located in the city’s Old Town, the perfect location to explore old-world architecture, charming boutiques, cobblestone streets, and exquisite eats during your free time here.
This is where whales play! The warm fresh water of the Saguenay River meets the cold salt water of the St. Lawrence, pulling in massive amounts of krill, a favourite menu item of whales.
Between May and October, up to 13 species of cetaceans are drawn to the cold krill-filled waters of the St. Lawrence. Find Minke, Blue (the largest creatures on the planet), Beluga, Humpback, and Fin whales. Humpbacks come close enough that you can spot them from shore!
During a 3-hour cruise, you’ll have the chance to spot the telltale tuft of water exploding above the horizon as whales surface to breathe. Bring your telephoto lens, a fleece, and a friend, and be prepared to catch a whale waving goodbye with its signature Y-shaped flukes (tail). During your free time in Tadoussac, you can also learn more about whales at the nearby Marine Mammal Interpretive Centre, where you’ll find 40-foot skeletons, sound recordings, and life-size sculptures. Fresh air, stunning scenery, a lovely port, and the giants of the sea make this vacation a chart-topper!
• Val-Jalbert: village visit, guided trolley tour and lunch
• Saguenay Fjord river cruise
• Whale watching on the St. Lawrence River
• Free afternoon in Tadoussac
• Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica
• Montmorency Falls: lunch and cable car ride
• Centrally located hotel in Quebec City
• Orientation tour and free time in Quebec City
• Tour of a traditional Sugar Shack and lunch
Deluxe motorcoach transportation, 6 nights accommodation, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners, all highlights listed, Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST and TVQ.
Shawinigan, QC: Auberge Gouverneur (1 Night)
Jonquiere, QC: Delta Saguenay Hotel (1 Night)
Tadoussac, QC: Hotel Tadoussac (2 Nights)
Quebec City: Clarendon Hotel (2 Nights)
Travel east along the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, and follow the Saint-Maurice River through rural Quebec. Stop for overnight accommodation in Shawinigan, and get to know your fellow travellers over a welcome dinner this evening.
Stay: Auberge Gouverneur, Shawinigan
Scenic vistas abound as you head north through the Laurentians along the rocky Canadian Shield. Explore local history at Val-Jalbert, a restored lumbering village from the 1920s. This genuine company town has forty original period buildings, including a convent-school, general store and pulp mill. While there, enjoy an included lunch and a guided trolley tour of the village. Discover how people lived in this ultramodern village where they had the luxury of electricity and running water, 25 years before the rest of the province! The reason is the powerful Ouiatchouan Falls, which you can view from a glass overlook. Arrive in the Saguenay region this evening and stay in Jonquiere.
Stay: Delta Saguenay Hotel, Jonquiere
Meals: B, L, D
Travel to the waterfront community of Ste-Rose du Nord and cruise along the precipitous cliffs of the Saguenay Fjord. Learn about the history of the area and see the statue of Notre Dame du Saguenay. You will also want to keep a lookout for the fjord’s abundant wildlife on this 2-hour cruise. Disembark in picturesque L’Anse-Saint-Jean for lunch.
Continue the panoramic drive along the Saguenay’s south shore to Tadoussac, France’s first trading post in Canada, established over 400 years ago. Spend the next two nights at the Hotel Tadoussac, a landmark resort on one of the nation’s most beautiful bays.
Stay: Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac
Meals: B, L, D
After breakfast, set sail on a whale watching cruise of the St. Lawrence. This area was once the fishing grounds of basque whalers, and today, the marine area around Tadoussac is protected by park status. During this 3-hour cruise, learn about the many species of whale that call the area home. They include minke, blue, beluga, humpback and fin whales. Listen to the crew as they advise how to spot these graceful mammals.
This afternoon is yours to explore the village of Tadoussac. Visit the Whale Interpretive Centre or the Tadoussac Chapel, the oldest wooden church in Canada, or simply explore the quaint boutiques that line the streets of this charming village.
Meals: B, D
Quebec City, QC
Travel a leisurely route along the north shore of the St. Lawrence, en route stopping to visit the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica. Situated along the St. Lawrence River, the Catholic Church has credited many miracles to the Basilica and many have claimed to be cured of illness after their visit. Enjoy a relaxing lunch with a view of Montmorency Falls. These Falls are over 90 metres higher than those in Niagara. Continue your journey to Quebec City, the cradle of French culture in North America. Enjoy a free evening to explore this fascinating city.
Stay: Clarendon Hotel, Quebec City
Meals: B, L
Quebec City Sightseeing, Free Time
After breakfast at the hotel, head out on a guided tour of this historic city with a local step-on guide. Following this enjoy a free afternoon to discover all that Quebec City has to offer. Tonight enjoy dinner in an ancient building with a modern twist, located in the Petit Champlain historic area.
Meals: B, D
As you travel home today, get a last taste of Quebec with a stop at a traditional sugar shack. Enjoy a tour of the sugar bush, and take time to say farewell to your fellow travellers over lunch, before you continue your journey home.
Meals: B, L
Travellers could be required to walk on uneven surfaces regularly, and the day could be busy with activities from morning until evening. Any daytime rest is taken while travelling on the motorcoach from one attraction to another. There may also be a number of one-night stays that necessitate the need to pack up each morning. Many of our overseas tours fall into this category.