The Navigators' Route

On the road to discovery

Parc national du Bic, Bas-Saint-LaurentAs you travel this route on the south shore of the
St. Lawrence, you'll be enveloped by three centuries of navigating, fishing and shipbuilding history. Enjoy riveting views of a majestic river dotted by islands, visit picturesque villages and be delighted by their rich architectural heritage, and accept countless invitations to set off on a boating excursion beneath sunny, sea bird-filled skies.

The river and its wildlife

PhotoYou can learn all about the wildlife that populates the Réserve de la biosphère du Lac Saint-Pierre by visiting the Centre d’interprétation de Baie-du-Febvre, witness to the springtime snow goose migration, as well as the Centre de la biodiversité du Québec, in Bécancour.

Travellers from sky and sea

Parc national du Canada Forillon, GaspésieNaval history buffs will be fascinated by the Musée maritime du Québec in L’Islet and its icebreaker and hydrofoil, and by the A. C. Davie shipyard in Lévis, facing Québec City. Just off Montmagny lies Grosse-Île, a national historic site significant for having welcomed thousands of 19th-century Irish immigrants in search of a brighter future in the New World. The island is part of an archipelago that, along with the river's shores, serves as a stopover in the fall for masses of snow geese en route to their wintering grounds. Another must-visit site in the region is Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, a pretty village where art and history flourish.

Estuary essentials

Parc national du Canada Forillon, GaspésieFacing the mountains on the river's north shore, Kamouraska is lined with pretty heritage homes. Just outside of Rivière-du-Loup—the departure point for excursions on the St. Lawrence—the village of Notre-Dame-du-Portage charms vacationers with its peacefulness and tangy sea air. Near Rimouski, Parc national du Bic, with its tall cliffs and sheltered coves, is an ideal habitat for sea birds and seals. In Pointe-au-Père, you can tour the lighthouse, climb aboard the Onondaga submarine and take in the Site historique maritime, where you will discover the tale of the shipwrecked Empress of Ireland.

Your itinerary 

The Navigators' Route (Route des Navigateurs) runs for about 470 km (290 mi.) along Route 132, linking Baie-du-Febvre (Centre-du-Québec) to Sainte-Luce (Bas-Saint-Laurent).

In 1914, two years after the Titanic went down and a few months before the First World War broke out, the Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence off the coast of Rimouski, claiming more than 1,000 victims. The Site historique maritime in Pointe-au-Père tells the story of this tragedy and displays the largest collection of artifacts from the ship.

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