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Quebec to Saint-Pierre
The Gulf of St. Lawrence is Canada’s historic gateway. Nature and culture are outstanding. We’ll tour four provinces and the French island of Saint-Pierre! Springtime in the Gulf is brilliant. Birders will love the northern gannets, common murres, razorbills, puffins, and more. And we’ll all be on the watch for whales—there are thirteen species of cetaceans in the Gulf. Geological wonders. World-famous Percé Rock. Saguenay Fjord. Newfoundland’s south coast. Layers of culture. Mi’kmaq, Algonquin, Québecois, Acadian, English, and Scots influences. Our multilingual guides love to share—immerse yourself in music, dance, arts, and crafts. Tour the Gulf of St. Lawrence aboard the Ocean Endeavour. Enjoy the sea breeze from a Zodiac. Feel the beating heart of Canada’s history!
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 meet the Ocean Endeavour.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is a diverse and complex ecosystem, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Fresh water from the Canadian Shield, the Great Lakes basin, and the Saint Lawrence River combine with the cold Labrador Current from the Arctic and the warm Gulf Stream from the tropics. The resulting conditions make for an incredible diversity of sea life.
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.
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. Acadian heritage is abundant in the culture, cuisine and language of the islands. Look for handicrafts, seafood, and local wines and beers!
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.
Just off the shores of Newfoundland lie the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon—an official territory of the French Republic. We will have an opportunity to explore the charming, colourful town of Saint Pierre. French food, wine and shopping await! There we end our expedition by joining our charter flight to St. John’s, NL.
This is our proposed itinerary. It is highly probable that weather, sea, and ice conditions will not allow us to travel this exact route. Our Expedition Leader and the Ocean Endeavour's captain will determine our exact route day by day.
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 137m Passenger Capacity: 199 Built: 1982 - refurbished 2001, 2004, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018 Ocean Endeavour is a comfortable, well-appointed small expedition ship expertly engineered to explore the Polar Regions. The ship has an ice-strengthened hull, Zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, and advanced navigation equipment. The newly-refurbished vessel offers a superb guest experience with an expansive choice of cabin categories, large cabins and common areas, a sundeck and observation area, plenty of deck space for polar landscape viewing, and lounges for learning and reflection. The ship’s interiors have a contemporary aesthetic that provides a bright and spacious feel throughout. Endeavour is also the only polar adventure ship in Antarctica focused on health and wellness , and offers a contemporary approach to cuisine and newly-designed health and fitness features. Facilities include a spa serviced by organic spa provider VOYA, His & Hers saunas, a salt water pool, a gym, and a juice and smoothie bar. Complimentary activities include yoga and stretching classes, an exclusive Polar Photography program, the Scientists in Residence program, and more adventure activities than any other Quark vessel. The ship also has a polar library, and a Polar Boutique for gifts and any needed gear. Features of the Ocean Endeavour VOYA spa treatments and beauty products, Choice of 13 cabin categories, Bright, spacious cabins and common areas, Plenty of deck space for observation, Lounge with expansive views, Quiet zone for contemplation, Newly-refurbished restaurant, Contemporary dining with complimentary wine with dinner, Juice and smoothie bar, Lecture theater, Polar library, Polar boutique, Health and Wellness, Spa treatments and beauty products by spa provider VOYA - Organic Beauty From The Sea, Spa menu for face, body, hair and nails, including the exclusive Quark Explorer’s treatment, and signature VOYA hand and foot rituals, Yoga and stretching classes, His & Hers saunas, gym, and heated salt water pool Full range of adventure activities including: kayaking, camping, mountaineering, cross-country skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac cruising, shore landings and hiking/ walking. Deck plan varies for the trips to Antarctica
• Explore the unique history of New France • See hundreds of thousands of seabirds nesting at Bonaventure Island • Cruise Percé Rock by Zodiac for unbeatable views • Seek the thirteen species of cetaceans found in the Gulf of Saint Lawerence • Visit three provinces; Québec, PEI, Newfoundland and the French island of Saint-Pierre • Learn about PEI's Mi'kmaw people on a community-hosted visit to Lennox Island • Discover the rich cultural heritage and stunning red sandstone cliffs of the Magdalen Islands • Immerse yourself in the rich culinary traditions of French Canadians through Adventure Canada's Taste of Place culinary program