The Whale RouteFollow the giants of the sea
Visit the playground of the whales in the Manicouagan and Duplessis regions! The Whale Route (Route des baleines) stretches over some 900 km (560 mi.) along the north shore of the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. A dozen species of whale, including the blue whale, frolic along the river's shores in the summertime. Several sites associated with the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park are ideal for observing cetaceans from land or for boarding a thrilling cruise on the river!
Nature in all her glory
As you travel along the Whale Route, you'll be dazzled by the sights: the St. Lawrence River, wilderness forests, bays and fine sandy beaches. During your stops, you'll be able to see whales from observation spots set up for this purpose, like the one at Sainte-Anne-de-Portneuf. Then again, you could see some by chance as you take a break at a pier, a roadside rest area or a campground (Cap-de-Bon-Désir, in Bergeronnes, is particularly favourable for whale watching).
Tadoussac, a charming village set on the banks of the spectacular Saguenay Fjord, is the gateway to the Manicouagan region. It's also one of the main departure points for boat excursions aimed at observing sea mammals, as is the village of Les Escoumins, a little further. In the wild yet accessible Duplessis region, numerous large and stunning rivers flow amid endless conifer forests. After stopping in Sept-Îles, you'll continue towards Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan. While there, you can visit the Mingan Island Cetacean Study research and interpretation centre and set out to observe the sea mammals that inhabit the Gulf of St. Lawrence! Or, starting from Havre-Saint-Pierre, you can head out to see the fascinating shapes of the Mingan Archipelago or go visit the immense Île d'Anticosti, famous for the beauty of its marine landscapes, its gorges, caverns and countless white-tailed deer. Interested in continuing beyond this route? An inshore vessel can take you towards the villages hidden within Labrador.
The Whale Route links the towns of Tadoussac and Natashquan, on the North Shore, passing through the regions of Manicouagan (310 km / 193 mi.) and Duplessis (570 km / 354 mi.), on Highway 138. It also extends to Blanc-Sablon, a municipality that’s only accessible by boat but is connected to Labrador by road.