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Did you know that...?

June 14, 2010

Gaspé: Third must see destination in the world according to National Geographic Society

Gaspésie  national geographic

The year 2009 proved to be ripe with emotion for the entire Gaspé Peninsula!  First came the pomp and ceremony associated with festivities organized to underscore the 475th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s landing on the shores of North America. What better occasion to celebrate and what better tangible proof that sailing the Saint Lawrence has been ongoing for many a century now. Suffice it to say that Jacques Cartier was duly inspired by the Gaspé Peninsula! It thus makes perfect sense that our Gaspésie port of call would be doing everything possible to market the many wonders of the region to 21st century cruiseshippers.

The Gaspé Peninsula is of demonstrated interest to visitors. One need only glance at the November 2009 edition of National Geographic to learn that National Geographic Society officials have ranked the Gaspé as the third must see destination in the world with a score of 80%, just behind second place Kootenay and Yoho national parks in British Columbia at 81%, and the famed fjords of Norway in first place with a score of 85%. There is every reason to be proud and every reason to step up efforts to better market the region!

The ranking was conducted by a committee of 437 experts from various fields of endeavour who evaluated destinations based on the following six sustainable tourism criteria:

  • Environmental and ecological quality,
  • Social and cultural integrity,
  • Quality of tourism management,
  • Condition of buildings and archaeological sites,
  • Aesthetics,
  • Future potential of destination.

Need a little more convincing? Following are several excellent reasons to consider planning a visit to Québec’s Gaspé Peninsula. Vast and diversified, the region offers visitors the occasion to discover the Saint Lawrence close up: a shoreline dotted with picturesque villages, vast tracts of virgin forest, rolling countryscapes of rugged beauty and abundant wildlife.

A stopover in the Gaspé is all of the following:

  • An opportunity to discover and bask in the slower-paced lifestyle of the local fishermen. The selection of salmon, shrimp and cod, to mention but three, is nothing short of mouth-watering. 
  • An opportunity to observe a diversity of wildlife, including moose, caribou, peregrine falcons, northern gannets (Bonaventure Island), cormorants, marine mammals (belugas, whales, seals, etc.) and many more.
  • An opportunity to revel in seaside activities. The imposing cliffs of red and vast stretches of beach beckon to day hikers and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
  • An opportunity to explore the Bay of Chaleur, a select member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club which includes some thirty world heritage gems in locations across the globe. 
  • An opportunity to take in breathtaking vistas set against the rugged backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, known in the Gaspé as the Chic-Chocs.
  • An opportunity to explore nature at its impressive and grandiose best.
  • An opportunity to fish in one or other of the waterways of the Matapedia Valley, an area recognized for the quality of freshwater rivers and streams. The Matapedia River itself is a world-renowned salmon fishing venue. 
  • An opportunity to photograph the colourful spectacle offered up by the region’s mesmerizing blend of mountain- and seascapes, and ever changing hues of seasonal sunrises and sunsets.
  • An opportunity to discover a wealth of national and provincial parks such as Miguasha—a UNESCO world heritage site famed for its fossils, Forillon and its fabled shoreline, and Bonventure Island/Percé Rock. The cliffs of red are certain to impress and the hole in the rock an important component of the geological heritage of the Gaspé region. 
  • And an opportunity to meet warm, friendly people who know how to make visitors feel welcome and who delight in introducing them to the wonders of the region. The musicality of the Gaspesian accent is certain to charm!

Now are you convinced? There’s no better time than the present to select a cruise with a scheduled stopover in the Gaspé region. Let the explorer in you surface and strike out on the path of adventure. The wondrous natural backdrop and the warmth of the local people will make you glad you did!

Enjoy… and welcome to the Gaspé!

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