August 18, 2010

See a Blue Whale in Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park in Quebec

Gouged out by a glacier, with banks blanketed in thick forest and flanked by rugged cliffs, the spectacular, 100 km Saguenay Fjord eventually merges its warm waters with the chilly St. Lawrence Estuary, creating one of North America's richest feeding grounds for whales. Seeing a blue whale--the biggest mammal on earth-- is an unforgetable experience to live during your Canada Holidays. Settle yourself on the shore and you may spot one as the Park is one of the few places on Earth where you can observe them from the coast. To have more chance, visit the region between May and October.

To live at the rhythm of the tides, the best experience is to backpack for a few days from a shelter to another one on the path overlooking the fjord.

Photo op: For belugas, head to the viewing platforms at Baie Sainte-Marguerite and Pointe-Noire. On the fjord's south side at Rivière-Éternité, Zodiac boats navigate 300-meter cliffs that dwarf even passing cruise ships.

Wildlife: In summer, finback, mink, and enormous blue whales congregate in the area where the waters meet. Humpbacks and sperm whales also visit. Small white belugas stick around all year. Look for birds gathering over the water--it's a telltale sign of whales beneath.

Where to stay: The Park offers campground sites (Baie-Éternité and Baie-Saint-Marguerite) as well as primitive sites for hiking and sea kayaking. Cabin (Baie-Éternité) and hut (north and south shores of the fjord) accommodations are also available. Or base yourself where the rivers merge, in the French-Canadian village of Tadoussac. Founded as a fur post in 1599, today it trades in tourists and crafts.

How to get there: Situated between Tadoussac and Saguenay, the best is to get to Tadoussac by bus from Quebec City (214 km) then rent a car. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures!

I would love to go there someday. Say, do you travel around Canada often? If so, check out Visitors to Canada Insurance.

You will not regret it!