12684
Quebec
Whales, Fjords and French Canada: Saguenay and the St. Lawrence
Enjoy expert presentations and thrilling excursions as you learn about whales, fjords, historical architecture and Québecois culture on this journey to the heart of French Canada.
Rating (5)
Program No. 12684RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,695
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7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6 B 5 L 6 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Quebec City, Quebec
D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m

Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the hotel in the afternoon. Check-in is 3:00 p.m. Meet your group leader and pick up your packet between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel at 6:00 p.m.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. You may also wish to explore what the city has to offer. If you’d like to go out on your own, the hotel is in the heart of Old Quebec near museums, the fortifications, and some of the finest restaurants in the city.

DAY
2
Walk Old Quebec, Montmorency Falls, Whale Observation
Tadoussac, Quebec
B,L,D
Hotel Tadoussac

Activity note: Driving approximately 140 miles over 3.5 hours. Walking around 2 miles over 2 hours with hills, cobblestones, and busy streets.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: A presentation on Quebec City will be followed by an expert-led walk in Old Quebec with a local historian. We will gain an excellent overview of Québec City from its founding to the present day. We will learn about the principal historical events that occurred here and explore charming and historic Old Québec City. We’ll start at the Lower Town and Place Royale, known as the cradle of French civilization in North America with its fine stone merchant houses and Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church. At Place d'Armes, we will see the monument of Samuel de Champlain, Father of New France and founder of Québec City. Dufferin Terrace is an enchanting area offering magnificent views of the mountains, St. Lawrence River, Lower Town and the Citadel known as the Gibraltar of North America which was built by the British between 1820 and 1832.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: We will board the coach for Tadoussac. Along the way, we will make several stops to points of interest including Montmorency Falls, at 272 feet high, the falls are almost 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls. We will resume our travel along the St. Lawrence; drive through a 350-million year old meteorite crater then to Pointe Noire lighthouse. Perched at the edge of the Saguenay Fjord with a view of Tadoussac and the St. Lawrence River, beluga whales are often spotted from here.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Evening screening of the video "The Mighty River", narrated by Donald Sutherland.

DAY
3
Whale Safari, Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, Fjord
Tadoussac, Quebec
B,L,D
Hotel Tadoussac

Activity note: The whale watching is aboard the Grand Fleuve which has undergone numerous renovations to offer its passengers the best view of the world’s most fascinating creatures…the WHALES! With its glassed-in panoramic decks, its terraces and observation platform, the boat provides unparalleled visibility and passionate naturalist-guides. Glassed-in decks, observation platform, bistro and gift shop, covered upper deck. Boating approximately forty miles over three hours on board the whale watching boat.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast.

Morning: We will embark on a morning whale watching safari with an experienced naturalist to see Fin, Minke and Beluga whales perhaps Humpback and Blue whales. The Gulf and Estuary of the St. Lawrence form a kingdom for whales. They are like an open air laboratory for biologists fascinated by these giants. Since the beginning of the 1980's, the St. Lawrence has also become an incomparable destination for those wishing to attempt an encounter with whales. For it is here where the upwelling phenomena supplies vast clouds of krill and small fish that attract so many whales.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: A presentation on the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park will provide us with a snapshot of this unique natural environment: the majestic waters of the world’s largest estuary mingling here with those of the longest fjord in Eastern Canada. It is Canada's first and largest marine park, where water depths vary from 15 to over 1,000 feet. This encounter between the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Saguenay Fjord produces exceptional oceanographic phenomena, such as cold waters welling up to the surface, that foster biological diversity. As well as a rich natural heritage, learn about the significant cultural background and fascinating history of the marine park area. Physical traces of human life, as much as 8,000 years old, bear witness to their presence here. We will take an expert-led walk to the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord and possibly see Minke whales close to shore.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: An evening screening of "The Man Who Planted Trees", narrated by Christopher Plummer. It tells the story of a solitary shepherd who patiently plants and nurtures a forest of thousands of trees, single-handedly transforming his arid surroundings into a thriving oasis. A film of great beauty and hope, this story is a remarkable parable for all ages and an inspiring testament to the power of one person.

DAY
4
Whale Research Station, Museum, Beluga Interpretation Ctr.
Tadoussac, Quebec
B,L,D
Hotel Tadoussac

Activity note: Walking about 1.5 miles over three hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet.

Morning: We will hear about the role and activity of the Whale Research Station at the CIMM Museum. Discover the fascinating and mysterious world of the St-Lawrence whales with our Museum specialists. Where can one see them? How to recognize them? The Museum’s exhibitions, skeleton collection and reconstitutions of sea-mammals, films and slide-shows are not to be missed. We will listen to the underwater sounds of the Saguenay River; see spectacular images and reproductions of whales, and much more.

Lunch: Buffet at the hotel.

Afternoon: Visit the Beluga Interpretation Centre; then we’ll travel to a sheltered cove on the Saguenay Fjord, view the Sand Dunes and marvel at the 200-foot high dunes descending to the beach below.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: A fun evening with Benny's Whale Quiz.

DAY
5
Cape de Bon Desir, Marine Discovery Centre, Archo-Topo
Tadoussac, Quebec
B,L,D
Hotel Tadoussac

Activity note: Walking two miles over four hours. 40 miles driving over an hour.

Breakfast: Hotel breakfast buffet

Morning: We will board the coach for a full day field trip with our first stop at Archo-Topo at Bergeronnes where we will learn about the archeology and natural history of the area. Examine artifacts documenting 8,000 years of human presence here at the Archeo-Topo Museum. Next, we visit the Montagnais Essipit Reserve. Learn about the native settlement of this area and how the community owed its survival—and lifestyle—to the use of natural resources. Essipit, established where traditional shipping routes intersected, took advantage of its enviable location to do business with travelers. The advent of the logging industry in the 19th century completely transformed life in the area, and at this time the federal government created reserves, including Essipit, founded in 1892. Learn how residents developed new economies based on trade and crafts.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Learn how ships’ captains conquered the St. Lawrence over the years, in an exhibition about navigation on the river at the Marine Discovery Centre. We will view a diver's film showing sea life 45 feet below the surface, sea stars, sea cucumbers, anemones and sponges. See where and how local peat moss is collected and harvested. Our final stop is at Cap-de-Bon-Desir, an excellent place from which to admire the St. Lawrence Estuary and the seek out the many species of marine mammals there, including minke, common and blue whales, belugas and many species of seals and seabirds.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Optional slide show presentation and activity or enjoy some free time this evening.

DAY
6
Heritage Mill, Les Eboulements, Maritime Museum, Farewell
Quebec City, Quebec
B,L,D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile over two hours. Driving around 140 miles over 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet.

Morning: We will depart by coach for Quebec City. En route we will visit an 18th century water-run flour mill in les Eboulements, still in operation today. Entirely restored, its original mechanism powered by a waterwheel still drives the millstones. Together, the mill and the seigneurial manor are one of the last four remaining seigneurial sites. The adjacent structure is still the miller's house. Les Eboulements owes its name to a geological incident that changed the shape of this territory in 1663. A gigantic landslide occurred as a result of an earthquake, causing part of the coast to be swept away into the St. Lawrence River. The tormented landscape of this region, steep and mountainous, offers nonetheless, sites of sensational beauty. The village owes its fame to its country heritage and to the beautiful architecture and character of its houses.

Lunch: At a local restaurant en route.

Afternoon: At the Papeterie Saint-Gilles, we can observe artists making paper using ancient techniques. Their fine cotton paper is embroidered with leaves or flowers representing regional trees and flowers. In the workshop, we can see the craftsmen at work, while in the museum we can see some beautiful works of art made with paper. This one-of-a-kind workshop in Canada has preserved its strictly craftsmanship-oriented nature. Then we will discover Charlevoix’s maritime tradition at the Maritime Museum located at the former Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive shipyard. The shipyard was dedicated to the building, repair and winter dry-docking of schooners until it closed in 1972. The Maritime Museum preserves and recounts the Charlevoix’s maritime history through tales of the schooners that once sailed the St. Lawrence and the building techniques unique to these magnificent ships. We will enjoy a magical moment on the shores of the mighty St Lawrence, where centuries of history unfolded and learn about the history of navigation and better understand the role of the navigation in the economic development of Quebec. Coach transfer to Quebec City for our final night.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Quebec City.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Quebec City, Quebec
B

Activity note: Hotel check out is at noon

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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