Weather forecasts Tides Visitor's guide

WHALE-WATCHING
AND CRUISES

Whether you are looking for adventure or a quiet tour on the water, you will be delighted. Explore one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world. Each sea outing is unique!

IN THE HOME OF THE WHALES

In summer, the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is a gigantic, natural pantry. The whales, seals, and birds you see, for the most part, travelled thousands of kilometres to come feed here. These wild animals spend a large part of their time feeding and resting. You are privileged to be able to watch them in their habitat and witness their natural behaviour.

 

Under the Marine Activities in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park Regulations, a permit is required to offer whale-watching excursions. Captains must complete training, offered by Parks Canada, on the behaviour to be adopted to avoid disturbing whales. They know how to react properly when a whale surfaces unexpectedly near their vessel. It is also your responsibility to encourage your captain to adopt a respectful behaviour!

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Did you know that the beluga whale and the harbour seal are the only marine mammals that spend the entire year in the St. Lawrence Estuary?

A RICH HERITAGE

A rich living and inhabited environment, the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park and surrounding areas are also places of natural and cultural heritage. Many neighbouring protected areas contribute to the Marine Park’s protection: Charlevoix World Biosphere Reserve, Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay, the Baie de L’Isle-Verte and Îles de l’Estuaire National Wildlife Areas, certain Lower St. Lawrence private islands, and the St. Fulgence marsh.

A region known for its beautiful landscapes

What boat to choose?

Excursion companies have a number of boat types and dimensions to choose from that allow for a variety of experiences. Whale-watching or landscape discovery cruises, contact the service providers in order to find the product that best suits your needs.

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EXPERIENCE BY BOAT

Croisières AML

1 800 563-4643
Departures from Tadoussac, Baie-Sainte-Catherine, Rivière-du-Loup

croisieresaml.com

Croisières Neptune

1 877 7NEPTUNE
Departures from Les Escoumins

croisieresneptune.net

Les Navettes maritimes du Fjord

418 543-7630 / 1 800 363-7248
Departures from La Baie, Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, Rivière-Éternité, L’Anse-Saint-Jean and Tadoussac

croisieresdufjord.com

Société Duvetnor

1 877 867-1660
Departures from Rivière-du-Loup

duvetnor.com

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EXPERIENCE BY ZODIAC BOAT

Croisières AML

1 800 563-4643
Departures from Tadoussac and Baie-Sainte-Catherine

croisieresaml.com

Croisière Escoumins

1 866 baleine / 418 233-4061
Departures from Les Escoumins

croisierebaleine.ca

Croisières Essipit

1 888 868-6666 / 418 232-6778
Departures from Les Bergeronnes

vacancesessipit.com

Croisières Neptune

1 877 7NEPTUNE
Departures from Les Escoumins

croisieresneptune.net

Les Écumeurs du Saint-Laurent

1 888 817-9999
Departures from Les Escoumins

lesecumeurs.com

Organisaction – Le Québec Hors Circuits

418 579-8763
Departures from La Baie, Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, L’Anse-Saint-Jean and Petit-Saguenay

organisaction.com

Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay

1 800 665-6527
Departures from the Baie-Éternité wharf

parcsquebec.com

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EXPERIENCE BY KAYAK

Aventure Rose-des-Vents

418 675-2625
Departures from the Baie-Sainte-Catherine beach

aventurerosedesvents.com

Centre de vacances – Ferme 5 étoiles

418 236-4833 / 1 877 236-4551
Departures from L’Anse-de-Roche at Sacré-Coeur

ferme5etoiles.com

Fjord en Kayak

1 866 725-2925
Departures from L’Anse-Saint-Jean

fjordenkayak.ca

Kayaks du Paradis

418 232-6237
Departures from Les Bergeronnes

campingparadismarin.com

Katabatik – Aventure dans Charlevoix

1 800 453-4850 / 418 665-2332
Departures from Baie-Saint-Paul, Cap-à-l’Aigle, Baie-des-Rochers

katabatik.ca

Mer et Monde Écotours

1 866 637-6663
Departures from Les Bergeronnes and Tadoussac

meretmonde.ca

Organisaction – Le Québec Hors Circuits

418 579-8763
Departures from La Baie, Sainte-Rose-du-Nord and Petit-Saguenay

organisaction.com

Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay

1 800 665-6527
Departures from the Baie-Éternité wharf

parcsquebec.com

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EXPERIENCE BY SAILING

Damacha – École de voile croisière

1 866 278-5355 / 418 434-2435
Leave from Tadoussac

damacha.qc.ca

Voile Mercator

1 888 674-9309
Leave from La Baie, Rivière-Éternité, L’Anse-Saint-Jean, Tadoussac

voilemercator.com

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Beyond the whales : a fascinating environment!

The chances of seeing whales are very good, but finding them may prove to be a bit hard. That’s nature for you! Your captain and your guide-interpreter love the sea and all the creatures it is home to. Their knowledge and enthusiasm will enable you to discover the most appealing aspects of this unique natural environment.

 

A COMMITMENT FOR THE WHALES

The Eco-Whale Alliance is formed by four whale-watching tour companies, the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM), Parks Canada and Parcs Québec. Its members are committed to responsible whale-watching practices in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park. The companies belonging to the Alliance contribute to the Eco-Whale Fund, which finances research and education projection on the whales on the St. Lawrence.

Planning a visit? Contact information for these companies can be found on the Eco-Whale Alliance Web site.

You can obtain the Catalogue des grands rorquals dans le parc marin du Saguenay–Saint-Laurent (Catalogue of large whales in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park – available in French only) at most shops of members of the Eco-Whale Alliance. 100% of profits will go to the Eco-Whale Fund!

CHOOSE A PROUD MEMBER OF THE ECO-WHALE ALLIANCE FOR YOUR NEXT EXCURSION!

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FAQ

WILL WE SEE THE TAIL OF A WHALE?

Most often, you’ll see the back and the blow of whales when they surface to breathe. While it is impossible to predict what you will see, some species will occasionally lift their tail flukes out of the water or leap out of the water (“breaching”). However, such sightings are fairly uncommon.

 

Which boats go closest to the whales

All whale watching boats must maintain the same distances from whales. Under certain circumstances, they have the privilege of coming as close as 100 metres of a whale. Otherwise, they must maintain a distance of 200 metres (400 metres if it is a species at risk).

Do the boats disturb the whales?

Marine tours in the marine park are governed by a regulation to reduce the disturbance of whales to a minimum. The marine tour businesses that belong to the Eco-Whale Alliance have committed to responsible whale watching practices. Their captains are the stewards of whales.

SIX MONTHS OF WONDER

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AT ANY MOMENT

For sightings, no one time is better than any other during the day. Observations may vary during the summer since the whales follow their food. To this day, we cannot predict their movements.

WHAT TO BRING?

Bring a warm jacket and binoculars.
We also recommend that you bring the following items.

croisieres-pants

Long pants

croisieres-boots

Closed shoes

croisieres-hat

Hat

croisieres-gloves

Gloves

croisieres-scarf

Scarf

croisieres-sunglasses

Sunglasses

BELUGAS AND BLUE WHALES

The St. Lawrence beluga and blue whales are endangered species. For this reason, all boaters must maintain a minimum distance of 400 meters between their boat and these animals. Even from this distance, you’ll see belugas very well: they are bright white and move in groups. The blue whale is just huge! Its breath can be heard kilometers away and blows up to over 10 meters in the air!

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whale-at-risk-stop

LATER… IT FEELS GOOD TO GET OUR FEET BACK ON THE GROUND!

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