The River That Opened a Continent: The St. Lawrence, Its Islands and Quebec City
Discover the intertwined history of the St. Lawrence River and Quebec as you explore the area’s culture, circle Ile d’Orleans and enjoy regional cuisine.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21816RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
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At a Glance

It seems that every neighborhood in Quebec City is made more beautiful by the majestic meander of the St. Lawrence River. Explore a piece of the Old World right here in North America on a discovery of this crucial waterway from historical, ecological and economical perspectives. Meet experts who tell the tale of those who narrowed the mighty river and gave birth to New France. Embark on two study cruises to find the treasures tucked away on the river’s shores and islands, and walk the 400-year-old cobbled streets of Old Quebec to see what history has changed and what remains the same. Witness Montmorency Falls plunge into the river, circle Ile d’Orleans to taste local specialties and sail to Grosse Isle in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to share the experience of 19th-century immigrants.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking and standing one hour indoors and out; some cobblestones, uneven terrain.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • At the Irish Memorial National Historic Site on Grosse Isle, learn of the thousands of Irish immigrants to Quebec who fled the potato famine of 1847.
  • Drive the 42-mile loop around Ile d’Orleans, stopping to sample local flavors and to discover the history of wooden shipbuilding at the Parc Maritime.
  • Step aboard the Louis-Jolliet for a 90-minute study cruise showcasing Old Quebec, Ile d’ Orleans and Montmorency Falls with expert commentary on the history of all you see.
Featured Expert
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Harm Sloterdijk
Dr. Sloterdijk has completed studies in environmental biology and chemistry, Marine Sciences and aquatic ecotoxicology and has extensive training in chemistry and analytical laboratory techniques. With more than 30 years of experience in the environmental field, he has studied in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean but is primarily associated with environmental studies in Quebec and other parts of Canada, specifically the St. Lawrence River. Just before retirement, Dr. Sloterdijk was Senior Scientific Advisor at Environment Canada’s Biosphere in Montreal.
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Harm Sloterdijk
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John Keyes
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