December 4, 2013
Celebrating our differences!
Sailing the Saint Lawrence on a cruise ship provides passengers with a unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the early explorers. Each stop, each port of call represents a page out of the history of Québec and tells a tale about the founding of Canada. Boasting one-of-a-kind country- or cityscapes, each proposes an authentic ambience coupled with a journey to the heart of people and place.Through visits to all nine ports of call, passengers gain an appreciation of the full spectrum of the destination's geographical differences and similarities.
To be able to more readily tell them apart from one another, following are the distinguishing features of each:
Québec, the provincial capital, is a city steeped in history and endowed with myriad attributes certain to conquer the hearts of visitors. The impregnable vista of the celebrated Fairmont Château Frontenac, rising high above the port, sets the tone for arriving passengers who revel in the distinctive European charm of Old Québec and the majesty of the natural backdrop.
Upon disembarking in Montréal — renowned the world over for its many festivals and gastronomical excellence, passengers take pleasure in strolling the narrow streets of the old city and port in search of trendy eateries, shops and art galleries. The constant hustle, bustle and abundance of free entertainment are popular with visitors one and all.
Time out in the Magdalen Islands, a tiny archipelago nestled between sea and sky, affords cruiseshippers an opportunity to appreciate a bucolic backdrop dotted with brightly coloured houses and impressive cliffs of reddish sand descending to the sea.
Saguenay, located upstream of the point where the fresh water of the river of the same name meets the salt water of the Saint Lawrence, enjoys an enviable location in close proximity to three national parks. From the moment passengers step ashore, they are immersed in the distinctive ambience of the Saguenay/Lac St-Jean region. This particular port of call is renowned for the exceptional quality of visitor greeting initiatives. The latter are organized in conjunction with an impressive team of volunteers who cleverly present local history with a combination of period costumes, dance and culinary specialties.
Sept-Îles, a port city located in the heart of Inuit territory, proposes an experience that one can only qualify as timeless. Passengers marvel at the picturesque chain of seven islands — hence the city's name in French, expansive stretches of sandy beach, and the juxtaposition of modern day urbanity and Inuit culture and tradition.
Havre-Saint-Pierre, endowed with a wealth of natural heritage characteristics, offers cruishippers a truly unique opportunity to visit Mingan Archipelago National Park where they can admire a series of impressive monoliths of mystical shapes and sizes. The accent of the local inhabitants, who are proud of their Acadian roots, charms visitors instantly time and again.
At Gaspé, birthplace of Canada, visitors can discover picturesque coastal villages from the windows of a new tourist train dubbed L’Amiral, visit the largest colony of northern gannets, and gaze out in wonder at rock formations such as the famed Rocher Percé which appear to jut out of the sea.
When one drops anchor at Trois-Rivières, a people friendly boutique city, one can stroll into to the historic quarter located close to the port or strike out on a nature discovery tour in La Mauricie National Park north of the city. The city centre is alive with activity and features a appealing mix of shops, cafés and art galleries.
With landscapes shaped by the retreating glaciers of a bygone era, Baie-Comeau invites visitors to follow in the footsteps of the builders of the region. One can tour hydroelectric power complexes, each masterpieces of engineering, or discover nature at its best tucked between forest and sea with whales, seals, great herons and ducks in abundance.
One thing is for certain: the nine ports of call of Destination Saint Lawrence offer scenery and attractions for all tastes. And feedback is unanimous on one aspect in particular: the legendary welcoming ways, charm and authenticity of Québecers! Come discover Destination Saint Lawrence for yourself!