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Cruise the Mighty Saint Lawrence
St. Lawrence
Photo compliments of © Dennis Minty
Aboard the Ocean Endeavour
Learn More about the Ocean Endeavour Ship's Deck Plan

Cruise the Mighty Saint Lawrence River

June 25 – July 4, 2017
One of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime, Mighty Saint Lawrence incorporates the stunning coastal regions of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, including the Gaspé, the Magdalen Islands, Cape Breton, and Saint-Pierre.

Some of the best whale watching in Canada is concentrated between the high cliffs of Saguenay Fjord.  Forillon and Mingan Islands National Parks offer stunning lansdscape and amazing hiking opportunities. Île-Bonaventure Provincial Park presents a rare experience of one of the largest northern gannet populations in the world. The Magdalen Islands’ mix of Acadian and English influences and a history of more than four hundred shipwrecks are among their unique features. We’ll stop at Cape Breton, famed for its rocky shores, glacial valleys, and barren headlands.

We bring our voyage to a close at Saint-Pierre. The last remaining outpost of New France, this charming settlement boasts fine wine, good cheese and French fashion—just off the coast of Newfoundland.


  • Experience the unique history and culture of Atlantic Canada
  • Search for the largest animal on earth—the blue whale
  • See one of the world’s largest gannet colonies; over 50,000 pairs
  • Enjoy the natural beauty of Cape Breton Island
  • Visit  the stunning limestone monoliths of Mingan Islands
  • Sail the Saguenay, spectacular feeding ground for marine and bird species
  • Celebrate Canada's 150th birthday at sea aboard the Ocean Endeavour at the Magdalen Islands
Mighty St. Lawrence

Day 1: Québec City to Tadoussac, QC
Day 2: Saguenay Fjord
Day 3: Lower Saint Lawrence
Day 4: Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
Day 5: Forillon National Park and Gaspé
Day 6: Île Bonaventure Provincial Park and Percé Rock
Day 7: Magdalen Islands, QC
Day 8: Cape Breton Island, NS
Day 9: Expedition stop, NL
Day 10: Saint-Pierre, France

Day 1: Québec City to Tadoussac, QC
One of the oldest European settlements in North America, Québec takes its name from the Algonquin word meaning ‘where the river narrows.’ The city that Champlain founded in 1608 was the capital of New France, and later, of British North America. Today, the proud capital of the province of the same name boasts the old-world charms of Vieux Québec, the world-famous Chateau Frontenac Hotel, and the only remaining intact citadel walls in North America. Cultural riches, superb cuisine, and an incredible view over the river make Québec City the perfect place to begin our voyage. A city tour is available for those who are interested in the morning.

Tadoussac was France’s first trading post on the mainland of New France, located at the confluence of the Saguenay and the Saint Lawrence rivers. Originally established as an Innu settlement, it had become an important trading post by the seventeenth century, and was the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in Canada. Today, it is celebrated for its vibrant local culture, dramatic scenery, and incredible whale-watching opportunities. Our group will meet mid-morning in Québec City for a briefing before embarking on a coach tour along the beautiful north coast of the Saint Lawrence en route to Tadoussac to embark the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 2: Saguenay Fjord
The Saguenay drains fresh water from Lac St. Jean, but the greater part of its volume is salt tidal water from the Saint Lawrence Estuary. The result is an ideal habitat for marine mammals including four species of whales—fin, minke, blue, and the famous (and endangered) Saguenay beluga population. Saguenay-Saint Lawrence Marine Park and Saguenay Fjord National Park both protect the region’s vast natural riches.

Day 3: Lower Saint Lawrence
Today we will be exploring the south coast of the Lower Saint Lawrence. Our stop is weather-dependent; ideally we will have favourable conditions for an excursion to the famed Reford Gardens. The gardens are home to a sculpture park, art installations, and an array of unique floral walks and enclosures.

Day 4: Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve
The spectacular natural sculptures of the Mingan Islands are formed of limestone, shaped by the action of the sea. At 50° N, these islands owe as much to the north as to the east for their character. Atlantic puffins and Arctic eiders vie for the attention of birders, while harp, harbour, and gray seals cavort in the waters. Not to be outdone, the flora of the islands is wildly diverse, including 450 plant species, 190 lichens and 300 mosses!

Day 5: Forillon National Park / Gaspé
The Gaspé Peninsula, also known as Gaspésie, separates the mouth of the Saint Lawrence from Baie de Chaleur. Dominated by high cliffs on the north shore, the Gaspé includes the contours of the Appalachian Mountain chain and offers amazing views from its highland regions, which juts above the treeline. The small town of Gaspé is the gateway to the region and offers a quaint small town with a number of locally-owned seafood restaurants, bars with local Quebec microbrews and shops to explore.
The first National Park in Québec, Forillon is an important bird and marine mammal habitat. Forillon also preserves human history in the Grand-Grave National Heritage Site, telling the story of the fishing families that once made their homes here. The park contains Canada’s tallest lighthouse, as well as fortifications dating from the Second World War, when German U-boats threatened Allied shipping.

Day 6: Île Bonaventure National Park / Percé
Parc National de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé is the formal name of the park at the eastern tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. But most Canadians are more familiar with its best-known feature, the awe-inspiring Percé Rock. The area’s flora and fauna are world-renowned, including famous colonies of northern gannets. The largest of these is on Bonaventure Island and comprises nearly 50,000 pairs.
Named by Samuel de Champlain, Percé itself is an internationally famed marvel, a huge natural arch within a mass of reddish limestone and sandstone. A second arch collapsed in 1845, leaving a massive column at one end.
Fin, minke, humpback, and blue whales ply the nearby waters of this magnificent coastal outpost. We will enjoy a Zodiac cruise to the Percé Rock and then around Bonaventure Island, allowing us excellent opportunities to view the bird cliffs and the best chances for whales.

Day 7: Magdalen Islands, QC
Long frequented by Mi’kmaq people, likely walrus hunters, the Magdalen Islands (les Îles-de-la-Madeleine) in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence were first sighted by Europeans when Jacques Cartier sailed among them in 1534. Today, although closer to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, they form a regional municipality of the province of Québec.
However, the islands have a history distinct from that of mainland Québec. When the British expelled the Acadians from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Magdalen Islanders remained, and to this day take great pride in their Acadian heritage. There are also long-standing English settlements, and a percentage of the population can claim descent from survivors of the many shipwrecks that have occurred among the islands. Dramatic red sandstone cliffs are among the islands’ most striking features.

Day 8: Cape Breton Island, NS
Today we call in at picturesque Cape Breton Island, an island comprising rocky shores, rolling farmland, glacial valleys, barren headlands, mountains, woods, and plateaus. Using the charming village of Chetticamp as a base, those keen to hike will have a chance to walk a section of the Cabot trail.  There will also be time explore the town and sample some of the local seafood.

Day 9: Expedition Stop, NL
Newfoundland’s south coast offers many surprises, including vast stretches of virtually uninhabited wilderness. Fjords, cliffs, and islands offer excellent Zodiac cruising territory and terrific birding opportunities. We will be availing ourselves of all the area has to offer and may be stopping in any of several possible destinations depending on conditions.

Day 10: Saint-Pierre, FR
On a trip that traces the history and geography of New France, it’s appropriate that we wind up in France. Saint-Pierre remains an official territory of the French Republic, albeit only a few dozen kilometres off the shore of Newfoundland.

You will have an opportunity to explore the charming, colourful town before transferring to our charter flight to that will take you to St. John’s, NL.

Optional extension:

One-Night Sailing: Voyage from Saint-Pierre, FR to St. John’s, NL
Spend the morning and afternoon touring the town of Saint-Pierre. In the early afternoon you will embark the Ocean Endeavour and sail across to St. John’s, NL on a one night sailing. We will not have any landings, but will enjoy a fun onboard program with music and entertainment, and have a chance to look for seabirds and marine wildlife en route to St. John’s.
$400USD per person


Cruise Fares
Please contact us for additional information and availability.

Cabin Category
Cruise Fares Per Person
Category 1 - Deck Four - Interior Cabin - four lower berths - private bath

USD $ 2,795

Category 2 - Deck Four - Interior cabin - three lower berths - private bath

USD $ 3,595

Category 3 - Deck Five - Interior cabin - two lower berths - private bath

USD $ 4,895

Category 4 - Deck Four - porthole window - two lower berths - private bath

USD $ 6,195

Category 5 - Deck Five - picture window - two lower berths - private bath

USD $ 7,195

Category 6 - Decks Four, Seven and Eight - picture windows (obstructed view) - two lower berths -or- 1 double bed - private bath - refrigerator

USD $ 8,195

Category 7 - Decks Five and Eight - large picture window (partial obstruction) - two lower beds -or- 1 double bed - private bath - refrigerator

USD $ 9,195

Category 8 - Decks Five and Seven - picture window - two lower berths- private bath - refrigerator

USD $ 10,195

Category 9 - Decks Five and Seven - picture window - two lower berths - private bath

USD $ 11,195

Category 10 - Deck Seven - picture window - two lower berths - private bath - refrigerator

USD $ 12,195

Discovery Fund Fee *




*Each area we visit has rich cultural experiences and wild treasures to offer. As guests, we have made a point of sourcing and supporting local projects in the areas through which we travel. A contribution from each passenger, in the form of the Discovery Fee, represents a portion of the money donated to ensure the longevity and success of educational, environmental and cultural initiatives in these regions.

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Fares include:


  • The expertise and company of our expedition staff
  • Onboard educational presentations
  • Interactive workshops, evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals, including on deck barbeques & afternoon tea, 24-hour coffee, tea and snacks
  • Hors d’ouevres & snacks during evening recaps
  • 24-hour documentary and film programming
  • Fully stocked library


  • Introductions to local people and customs
  • Sightseeing
  • Museum entries, park accesses, port taxes
  • Access to pristine wilderness areas
  • Zodiac tours and cruises
  • On-site archaeology workshops
  • Community programming: local performances, presentations, and demonstrations

Fares do not include:

  • Commercial flights
  • Mandatory medical/evacuation insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Discretionary gratuities to ship's crew (approximately $15 per passenger per day)
  • Visas (if required)
  • Physician's fees confirming you are fit to travel
  • Any medical charges incurred while aboard
  • Possible fuel surcharges
  • $250 USD Discovery Fund Fee

Charter Flights:

Outbound only:
Saint-Pierre, FR to St John’s, NL
July 14, 2017
Early afternoon arrival
$350 USD per person inclusive of all taxes and fees