The St. Lawrence River: the best whale experience in the world

Attractions to discover, July 1, 2024 2024-07-01
Whale tail emerging from the water in the foreground, yellow Zodiac with passengers in the background. © Marc Loiselle

In Côte-Nord, Charlevoix, Bas-Saint-Laurent or Gaspésie, discover breathtaking landscapes overlooking the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, a vast protected marine area where up to 13 species of marine mammals, attracted by an abundant food supply, make frequent appearances on the water’s surface. On a whale-watching cruise or Zodiac, embark with Croisières AML and take advantage of various discovery and exploration packages to experience a responsible journey that promotes lasting memories. Or visit Québec City to enjoy its myriad attractions! Here are a few ideas to enjoy the world's best whale experience!

Whale jumping out of the water.
Photo credit: Monique Bellemare

Take the Whale Route in Côte-Nord

From Tadoussac, where the bay is renowned for the presence of cetaceans and perfect for a Zodiac or boat ride, follow the shores of the St. Lawrence along Route 138, the Whale Route. With its endless beaches and breathtaking scenery, the Côte-Nord region is an ideal place to see whales. Take the opportunity to admire the colours and discover unique attractions, including the Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre and the Marine Environment Discovery Centre. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled and try to spot the planet’s largest mammal, the blue whale!

Follow the St. Lawrence Route in Charlevoix

Located between the river and the mountains, the St. Lawrence Route in Charlevoix is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in North America. This 78-kilometre route links Baie-Saint-Paul to La Malbaie, passing through L'Isle-aux-Coudres. This is a place where you stop, breathe, get up, and reawaken the senses. It’s not surprising that the region hums with a special kind of energy, one that fuels the creativity of chefs and producers, artists and artisans inspired by a boldness that is all Charlevoix’s own.

Father and son looking out at the marine park.
Photo credit: André-Olivier Lyra

Whale tail lifting out of the water.
Photo credit: Sébastien Saint-Jean

Eco-friendly itineraries

Various eco-friendly itineraries are available for those wishing to explore the province of Quebec, where you can enjoy the best whale experience in the world. Each step of the various tours is carried out with great care to respect the environment, thanks to local companies adopting rigorous practices which are accredited by Aventure Écotourisme Québec and are part of Eco-Whale Alliance, which advocates for responsible observation.

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