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21845
Québec

Québec City to Charlevoix: Exploring the Saint Lawrence River

Travel by boat and train to explore the history and natural wonders of the Saint Lawrence Valley, from Québec City’s European charm to the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Charlevoix regions.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21845RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,479
Québec

Québec City to Charlevoix: Exploring the Saint Lawrence River

Travel by boat and train to explore the history and natural wonders of the Saint Lawrence Valley, from Québec City’s European charm to the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Charlevoix regions.
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,479
Program No. 21845 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 14 - Jun 21, 2021
Starting at
2,479
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2021
Starting at
2,479
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2021
Starting at
2,479
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2021
Starting at
2,479
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 14 - Jun 21, 2021
Starting at
3,199
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2021
Starting at
3,199
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2021
Starting at
3,199
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2021
Starting at
3,199

At a Glance

From the European charm of Québec City to the natural wonders of Charlevoix, UNESCO has recognized both of these unique destinations for their historical and natural significance. This journey by boat, coach and train will take you from Québec City’s Old Town to the Bas-St-Laurent region on the south shore to learn about the natural resources of the mighty river and the Victorian-style heritage of Kamouraska . After 2 nights on an island natural reserve, an excursion on private boat on the St. Lawrence River, travel to Charlevoix on the north shore to explore this biosphere reserve and center for cultural and culinary arts. Come aboard for a special opportunity to experience a very special corner of North America, highlighting the maritime history of early Canada and settlers along the way.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking up to three miles on varied terrain that includes stairs, trail with roots, river banks, loose dirt and rocks. Getting on/off boat and floating deck.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience the unique European charm of Québec City, with visits to historic sites and museums.
  • Explore the Bas-Saint-Laurent region on private boat, and spend two nights on an island in a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Discover the Charlevoix region’s fine art, cuisine, geology and spectacular scenery.

General Notes

Maximum group size is 23 participants.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Andrée Girard
Andrée Girard has been an active figure on the arts scene in Québec and in Canada for over 25 years. She worked as a broadcaster for CBC radio and television before becoming programming director for CBC French radio’s Chaîne culturelle for several years. She was also a founding member and director of the Conseil québécois de la musique. Over the course of her career, she has been associated with the creation of the Opus Prize, as well as the development of the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Andrée Girard
Andrée Girard View biography
Andrée Girard has been an active figure on the arts scene in Québec and in Canada for over 25 years. She worked as a broadcaster for CBC radio and television before becoming programming director for CBC French radio’s Chaîne culturelle for several years. She was also a founding member and director of the Conseil québécois de la musique. Over the course of her career, she has been associated with the creation of the Opus Prize, as well as the development of the Canadian Conference of the Arts.
Profile Image of Judith C Lavoie
Judith C Lavoie View biography
In tune with her ancestors of the XVII century, Judith has explored every corner of the province, learning about the challenges of the first settlers and the role of nature in people’s traditions and culture. In a blend of history and cultural experience, Judith combines her passions to bring visitors in touch with the complex and diversified heritage of the region and extraordinary landscape around Quebec.
Profile Image of Marie Legroulx
Marie Legroulx View biography
Marie Legroulx, a native of Québec City, has a bachelor's in history and a master's in Québec literature. She taught French and Québec literature at local universities for over 20 years. In 2008, she returned to college to become a professional in the tourism industry, and has since been leading historical, architectural and literary explorations. Québec history and language are topics close to her heart since she is a twelfth-generation Québécoise whose ancestors settled on the St. Lawrence River in the mid-seventeenth century.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Bury Your Dead
by Louise Penny
BURY YOUR DEAD has come out to some spectacular results - hitting the extended New York Times bestseller list, as well as the USA Today and bestseller lists in Canada! It has been named one of the Top Ten Mysteries/Thrillers of 2010 by Amazon! This sixth Gamache mystery is set partly in the tiny fictional (and oddly murderous) village of Three Pines, in Québec’s Eastern Townships. However, most of the action takes place in Quebec City, a vibrant and sophisticated fortress city that lives in the present while guarding its past. It’s February and bitterly cold in Quebec City, but Chief Inspector Gamache barely notices. He's consumed with grief and guilt over his past mistakes. He spends his time with his now-retired mentor in the peaceful library of the Literary and Historical Society, a bastion of the dwindling English population. If Gamache thought death was finished with him, he was wrong. The body of a celebrated eccentric is found in the Lit and His, and Gamache is drawn again into hunting a murderer. The victim was an amateur archeologist with a monomaniacal pursuit to find the body of Samuel de Champlain. This is the great mystery that has haunted Quebec for centuries - Where is Champlain? The founder of Quebec died 400 years ago, and while the burial places of nuns, farmers and minor functionaries of the time are known, no one knows what became of the Father of Quebec. How could this be? As Chief Inspector Gamache digs through the crime and the venerable old city, it becomes clear the murder is rooted in this 400 year old mystery, and in people long dead but perhaps not buried. It also becomes clear to the Chief Inspector that to find the truth he needs to confront his own ghosts, and bury his own dead.
Montreal & Quebec City Guide – Lonely Planet
by Montréal-based author
Montréal and Québec City really serve it up. You've got old-world grandeur, new-world sensibilities and big-city charms - there's enough neighbourhoods, restaurants and festivals to keep you mon-dieu'ing for months. This guide, penned by a Montréal-based author, gets you straight to the action. Pick & Mix: buy and download individual chapters from this book You could download free: Introducing Montreal (Very interesting…)
The Tin Flute
by Gabrielle Roy
The Tin Flute is a classic of Canadian fiction. This moving story focuses on a family in the Saint-Henri slums of Montreal, its struggles to overcome poverty and ignorance, and its search for love.
Shadows on the Rock
by Willa Cather
Set in seventeenth-century Canada, an evocation of North American origins highlights the men and women who struggled to adapt to the new world even as they clung to the one they left behind. The novel covers one year of the lives of Cecile Auclair and her father Euclide, French colonists in Quebec.
The Two Solitudes
by Hugh MacLennan
First published in 1945, and set mostly in the time of the First World War, this story revolves around the life and times of the fictional character Paul Tallard and his struggles in reconciling the differences between his English and French Canadian identities.
Champlain's Dream
by David Hackett Fischer
In this enthralling biography, acclaimed historian David Hackett Fischer brings to life the remarkable Samuel de Champlain—soldier, spy, master mariner, explorer, cartographer, artist, and Father of New France.
A People’s History of Quebec
by Jacques Lacoursière
A People’s History of Quebec is a lively guide to a little-known part of North American history. It tells of the settlement of the St. Lawrence Valley, but also of the Montreal and Quebec-based explorers and traders who travelled, mapped, and inhabited most of North America, and embrothered the peoples they met.
Where the River Narrows
by Aimee Laberge
This novel sweeps across the centuries, from the French royal court to the founding of Québec City in 1608, from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 to the FLQ Crisis. Against this rich panorama, the daily lives of the Tremblay family unfolds over generations.
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8 days
7 nights
14 meals
7 B 2 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Quebec City, QC
D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: At 5:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, meet in the hotel conference room with the program staff, get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and attend the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. All transportation will be provided via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. 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.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal featuring tasty regional cuisine and a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: With our Group Leader, we will stroll through the streets of the Old City to the famous Château Frontenac, forming our first impressions of Quebec as we begin to explore the city.

DAY
2
History, Downtown, Le Petit Champlain.
Quebec City, QC
B,L
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles during the day.

Breakfast: At the hotel, choose what you like from the breakfast buffet featuring a variety of choices such as breakfast meats, eggs, pancakes, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: At the hotel, a local expert will give us a presentation highlighting the city's foundation and exceptional geographical location as well as its present-day social and economic facets. We’ll gain an understanding of how Québec City's history contributed to the creation and development of Canada and why it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We’ll then head out on a walking field trip with our expert to explore Québec City with its eclectic architecture, streets, and monuments that serve as eloquent, perfectly conserved testaments to its evolution. Enjoy the city's uniquely European atmosphere, enchanting setting, and friendly inhabitants. We’ll conclude at the renowned Château Frontenac, one of the city’s landmarks and the most photographed hotel in the world. It boasts a fascinating history, owing its name to Louis de Buade de Frontenac, the powerful Governor-General who guided the destiny of New France in the late 1600s.

Lunch: At the Château Frontenac, enjoy a plated, 3-course meal featuring tasty regional cuisine and a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Bon appétit!

Afternoon: Free time to explore the Quartier Le Petit Champlain, home to some of the city’s oldest homes and trading outposts along the Saint Lawrence River. The site of Quebec’s first port, the quaint neighborhood has a European atmosphere with narrow cobblestone streets, cafés, and shops. Explore the unique Exhibition This Is Our Story: First Nations and Inuit in the 21st Century at the Musée de la Civilisation. Discover what it means to be aboriginal in the 21st century. This permanent exhibition takes an in-depth look at today’s aboriginal cultures, from their diversity, worldviews, beliefs, and ways of identifying with their pasts, to contemporary expressions of aboriginality around the world (museum voucher will be provided).

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: Private Concert. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
3
St. Lawrence South Shore, Kamouraska, Île aux Lièvres
Île aux Lièvres
B,D
Île aux Lièvres

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 120 miles, approximately 2 hours. Getting on/off a boat; transfer to island approximately 45 minutes. Walking up to 2 miles on trail with roots.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will board a motorcoach and travel through the Bas-St-Laurent area on the south shore, stopping in the Kamouraska region. Famous for its Victorian style architecture and history of early settlers and navigators, the Bas-St-Laurent region represents our introduction to the maritime life and history of Canada.

Lunch: On your own in the charming village of Kamouraska.

Afternoon: After lunch at Rivière du Loup, we will board a boat for the trip to Île aux Lièvres — the Island of Hares. This island in the middle of the St. Lawrence estuary, eight miles long, is a designated Biodiversity Reserve. It was originally owned and managed by the non-profit Société Duvetnor, founded by biologists including the eminent scientist Jean Bédard. The name Île aux Lièvres derives from the 1536 voyage of Jacques Cartier when his crew discovered an abundance of hares that provided sustenance. The island today is home to multitudes of Common Eiders, renowned for their down, as well as other birdlife, a variety of mammals, and sea life such as seals and whales. With a local expert, we will explore one of the hiking trails along the St-Laurence River. 5:00 pm we will meet our local Duvetnor specialist, who will tell us about the society’s work, values, and plans for the future.

Dinner: At the Auberge, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal featuring tasty regional cuisine and a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
St. Lawrence exploration
Île aux Lièvres
B,L,D
Île aux Lièvres

Activity note: Getting on/off a boat and a floating deck. Walking up to 2 miles varied terrain, on trails with roots, stairs.

Breakfast: At the Island restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: Departure by our private boat for an excursion with a biologist expert to learn about navigation on the St-Lawrence River, the numerous wild islands as well as marine fauna and flora. Stops include at one of the lighthouses spread along the River and on a preserved bird area.

Lunch: Picnic in the lovely hamlet Port-au-Persil.

Afternoon: We'll continue our Excursion on the St. Lawrence. 4:00 pm Return to the Island.

Dinner: At the Auberge, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal featuring tasty regional cuisine and a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
5
Crossing the St. Lawrence, Pointe Noire National Park.
Baie St-Paul & La Malbaie - Charlevoix
B
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach and boat. Walking up to 2 miles, varied terrain. The boat ride from the Island to Rivière-du-Loup is approximately 45 minutes; crossing the St. Lawrence River by ferry to St-Siméon is approximately 65 minutes. Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles.

Breakfast: At the Island restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: We will take the ferry to reach the opposite side of the St. Lawrence. From the south to the north shore, it will be approximately 65 minutes across the Saguenay Marine Park area to reach the Charlevoix region, our next destination.

Lunch: Upon our arrival on the North Shore.

Afternoon: From the St. Simeon north shore ferry terminal, Look out for whales and other mammals that use the St. Lawrence for their habitat. Excursion to the National Park Pointe-Noire on the cliff of the Saguenay Fjord and Tadoussac Bay. Meet a local expert and learn more about the Saguenay Fjord. We will take a motorcoach to La Malbaie. We will then check in to the Manoir Richelieu, a vision of historical splendor perched high above the St. Lawrence River. In 1988, the Charlevoix region was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Covering more than a million acres (457,000 hectares), it comprises agricultural areas, river ecosystems, estuarine tidal marshes and flats, coniferous and mixed forests, krummholz (stunted vegetation), and mountain tundra ecosystems. Animal life is equally diverse. Some 30,000 residents are engaged in agriculture, ecological activities, fisheries, mining, and more. Check-in at Fairmont Manoir Richelieu.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like in La Malbaie.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Charlevoix Region
Baie St-Paul & La Malbaie - Charlevoix
B,D
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles.

Breakfast: Hotel Restaurant.

Morning: With a hotel representative, we will walk through the Manoir Richelieu, an historical landmark of La Malbaie, with its architecture inspired by a French castle. We also learn about the initiative that led to the largest ethnographical and archaeological collection of Canada. The collection reflects the life of Canadians from the French period to the Confederation. As we walk, we will see some the pieces and elements of the collection still present in the hotel. In the late morning, we will set out from the hotel to the Musée de Charlevoix where the Museum Director will lead our examination of ethno-history and regional folk art. This museum is a non-profit organization, the legacy of local artists and a community initiative to preserve, share, and educate on local traditions and work of famous artists that found inspiration in the region’s exceptional landscapes, nature, and people.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in a local restaurant.

Afternoon: At leisure, take time to enjoy activities offered by Manoir Richelieu (walking trails, swimming, etc.) or enjoy the view….

Dinner: In La Malbaie, we will choose from the menu.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Train to Baie St-Paul, Farewell Dinner
Quebec City, QC
B,D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach and train. The train ride is about 90 minutes.

Breakfast: Hotel Restaurant.

Morning: Travel by scenic train (light rail transit) from La Malbaie towards Baie St-Paul along the St. Lawrence River. The train offers a singular experience of a journey by rail between mountains and seashore, along incomparable riverside scenery. During the trip, we learn about the St. Lawrence navigation history and shipbuilding industry of the region that dates back to the 18th century!

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Baie St-Paul has one of the largest concentrations of artists in Canada. Free time for independent exploration of Baie St-Paul, with a list of suggestions, Musée d'Art contemporain and/or the Art galleries. We will then reboard the motorcoach and ride to Quebec City with expected arrival and check-in at our hotel by approximately 4:30 p.m.

Dinner: At a renowned restaurant in Old Québec noted for its local “farm to table” gastronomy, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with appetizer, choices of entrée, dessert of the day, and beverages including coffee, hot tea, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Quebec City, QC
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel Restaurant. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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