Day 1: Quebec City and Tadoussac
Founded in 1608 by Champlain, the beautiful city of Québec is the capital of the province of the same name. Predominantly French-speaking, Québec retains strong European influences in architecture, cuisine and culture—and is truly a fascinating city to explore!
We meet in Québec City and travel by coach to the charming community of Tadoussac, where we will board Ocean Endeavour.
Day 2: Saguenay Fjord
At the mouth of Saguenay Fjord, along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River estuary, salt water meets fresh water. In the morning we will explore Tadoussac, once an Innu sealing camp, later—in 1599—the site of the first trading post in what is now Canada.
In the afternoon we'll cruise Saguenay Fjord National Park, searching for the fin, minke, blue, and beluga whales known to frequent these nutrient-rich waters.
Day 3: Jardins de Métis / Redford Gardens
Weather permitting, we’ll visit the famed Reford Gardens, a National Historic Site. Scenic walks wind among 15 distinct gardens offering more than 3,000 species and varieties of flowers and plants. The expansive site includes art installations, sculptures, a museum and a restaurant.
Day 4: Havre-Saint-Pierre, Mingan Archipelago
The spectacular natural sculptures of the Mingan Islands are formed of limestone, shaped by the action of the sea. At 50° N, these islands owe as much to the north as to the east for their character. Atlantic puffins and Arctic eiders vie for the attention of birders, while harp, harbour, and grey seals cavort in the waters. Not to be outdone, the flora of the islands is wildly diverse, including 450 plant species, 190 lichens and 300 mosses!
Day 5: Forillon National Park and Gaspé
The Gaspé Peninsula (Gaspésie) separates the mouth of the Saint Lawrence estuary from Baie de Chaleur. Remnants of the Appalachian Mountain chain form stunning sea cliffs here, jutting above the tree-line.
Forillon National Park is an important bird and marine mammal habitat, with excellent hiking, including a walk to Canada’s tallest lighthouse. Grande-Grave National Heritage Site tells the story of the fishing families who once made their homes here.
Day 6: l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé
Today we'll visit Parc National de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, where we'll enjoy a Zodiac cruise of Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island.
Percé Rock is a huge natural arch within a mass of reddish limestone and sandstone, with a large sea stack at one end. Thousands of Northern Gannets and other seabirds nest at nearby Bonaventure Island.
Day 7: Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a realm of rolling hills, wooded glades, ocean coves, and famously red soil. Canada’s smallest province, often abbreviated to P.E.I. retains a slow-paced lifestyle in its small, rural settlements. The island gained international fame by Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. We'll call in at the province's iconic sites and visit Lennox Island Mi'kmaw First Nation.
Day 8 - 9: Magdalen Islands
Though a part of Quebec, the Magdalens (Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine) in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence are closer to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Approximately 12,000 residents live on the archipelago. Dramatic red sandstone cliffs are among the most striking features of the Magdalen Islands.
We will overnight here and spend two days exploring the robust Acadian heritage, culture, cuisine and language of the islands. Look for handicrafts, seafood, and local wines and beers!
Day 10: Newfoundland's South Coast
Fjords, cliffs, and islands offer excellent Zodiac cruising territory—and hiking may be an option as well. We’ll be watching for puffins and other seabirds, and of course, keeping a close eye out for whales.
Day 11: Saint-Pierre, FR
Just off the shores of Newfoundland lie the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon—an official territory of the French Republic. Having traced Canada’s French history and culture, it’s appropriate that we wind up in France!
You will have an opportunity to explore the charming, colourful town of Saint Pierre. French food, wine and shopping await! There you will end your trip by joining our charter flight to St. John’s, NL.