Image Courtesy Charles David Robitaille CC BY-ND 2.0_Flickr
Quebec’s picturesque Saguenay region is one of unique heritage and rugged beauty. Travel through the Laurentians, along the rocky, lichen-covered Canadian Shield. When the air picks up salt you’ll see the pines divide and the earth plummet down the sheer rock face of 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, and our place of rest for two nights. We’ll stay in the landmark Hotel Tadoussac on one of Canada’s most beautiful bays. We’ll enjoy a cruise of the St. Lawrence to spot the largest animals on earth and see the statue of Notre Dame du Saguenay.
A guided trolley tour of the once ultra-modern Val-Jalbert, a restored lumber village, gives us an up-close look at life as it was in the 1920s. A glass platform helps us admire the 236ft high Ouiatchouan Falls.
Your leisurely homeward route includes a visit to the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica and a relaxing lunch with a view of Montmorency Falls, named the “monstrous steep” by John Keats.
Wrap up your vacation with a two night stay in historic Quebec City, the cradle of North America’s French culture, and one of its most beautiful cities. Your hotel is just outside the gates of the city’s quaint 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 favorite 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.
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!
|PRICING DETAILS (Cost Per Person)*||PRICING *|
|Deposit||$350 per person|
|Balance Due||June 9, 2018|
|Travel Insurance||Call for quote|
*Air departure from Indianapolis included; airfare pricing estimated and subject to change. Call for pricing from other departure cities.
Day 0: Fly to Toronto
This is a pre-tour travel day to Toronto where you will be transferred to your hotel where you will be picked up by coach in the morning. Hilton Garden Inn, Toronto/Brampton, ON
Day 1: Shawinigan, QC
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 travelers at a welcome dinner this evening. Auberge Gouverneur, Shawinigan (D)
Day 2: Jonquière, QC
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, experience a Quebecoise lunch and enjoy 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. Delta Saguenay Hotel, Jonquiere (B,L,D)
Day 3: Tadoussac, QC
Travel to the waterfront community of L’Anse-Saint-Jean 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. Return to 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. Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac (B,L,D)
Day 4: Whale watching
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. Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac (B,D)
Day 5: Quebec City, QC
Travel a leisurely route along the north shore of the St. Lawrence. Stop to visit the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica. Set 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. Your hotel is ideally located just outside the gates of the city’s Old Town. Enjoy a free evening to explore this fascinating city. Hôtel Le Concorde, Quebec City (B,L)
Day 6: Orientation tour and free afternoon in Quebec City
After breakfast at the hotel this morning, head out on an orientation tour of this historic city followed by a free afternoon to discover all that Quebec City has to offer. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner with fellow guests. Hôtel Le Concorde, Quebec City (B,D)
Day 7: Travel Home
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)