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, QC
D
Manoir Victoria

Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the hotel; check-in is 4:00 pm. Registration between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby. Meet your group leader and pick up your program package.

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

Evening: Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation. Optional evening walk in Old Quebec. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: A presentation on Quebec City will be followed by a guided walk in Old Quebec with a local historian. Gain an excellent overview of Québec City from its founding to the present day. Learn about the principal historical events that occurred here and explore charming and historic Old Québec City. 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, you 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: Lunch at the hotel in Quebec City.

Afternoon: Board the coach for Tadoussac. Along the way we 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 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: Dinner at Hotel Beluga.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: We 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: Lunch at the marina.

Afternoon: A presentation on the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park will provide 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. Take a guided walk to the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord and possibly see Minke whales close to shore.

Dinner: Dinner at Le Bateau.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: 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. Listen to the underwater sounds of the Saguenay River; see spectacular images and reproductions of whales, and more.

Lunch: Lunch at Hotel Tadoussac.

Afternoon: Visit the Beluga Interpretation Centre; then 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: Dinner at Hotel Beluga.

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: We board the coach for Les Escoumins and Cap-de-Bon-Désir. It is 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. At 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. Visit the Montagnais Essipit reserve and learn how residents developed new economies based on trade and crafts.

Lunch: Lunch at Le Bouleau.

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. 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. At Archo-Topo at Bergeronnes you 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.

Dinner: Dinner at La Galouine.

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, QC
B,L,D
Manoir Victoria

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: We depart by coach for Quebec City. En route you 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: Lunch at Hotel Beausejour in St. Joseph de la Rive.

Afternoon: At the Papeterie Saint-Gilles, you 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, you can see the craftsmen at work, while in the museum you 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.

Dinner: We return to Quebec City for our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Quebec City, QC
B

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Departures from the hotel after breakfast as per individual travel plans. Hotel check-out is12:00 p.m. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.