Watching Whales in Quebec

All along the St. Lawrence, departures are offered daily in pursuit of offshore encounters with whales. Back on land, several sites are renowned for quality marine mammal-watching. In particular, from Tadoussac to Natashquan, those travelling the Whale Route can discover some of the very best spots for observing marine mammals from shore.

    • Whale-watching
      at sea
    • Whale-watching
      from shore
    • Interpretation
      centres
    • Local
      view
    • World
      view

Sault-au-Mouton

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: Tourisme Côte-Nord

Period: April to October

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Saint-Siméon

Minke whale, fin whale, beluga, harbour porpoise

To learn more: Charlevoix Tourism

Period: May to October

47.840469

-69.872875

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Parc National du Bic

Observation of belugas and minke whales

To learn more: on the Sepaq website

Period: May to October

48.354777

-68.804928

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St. Lawrence Exploration Centre

Discover the different facets of the St. Lawrence: seabirds, whales, seals, sharks, starfish and more!

To learn more: on the Marine Mammal Ecowatch Network (ROMM) website

Period: May to October

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-69.552173

interpretation

Tadoussac – Baie-Sainte-Catherine Ferry

At the confluence of the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence

Observation of belugas, minke whales and fin whales

To learn more: on the Québec maritime website

Period: April to November

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Baie Trinité

Baie-Trinité – Pointe-des-Monts: Whale Route Top Pick

Pointe-des-Monts, located within the municipality of Baie-Trinité, sits on an outcrop jutting 11 km out into the St. Lawrence, at a point that marks the end of the Estuary and the start of the Gulf.
Learn more

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Godbout

Godbout – Rest Stops

The village of Godbout offers a multitude of spots to observe marine mammals and enjoy gorgeous beaches. Learn more

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Franquelin

Franquelin – Vieux-Quai trail (also known as Sentier de la Baleine, or “whale trail”)

What they’re saying: “Last spring, we saw at least three different species of whales in one afternoon, about 30 metres off shore: a blue whale, two fin whales and so many minke whales that we lost count!” Learn more

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-67.84395

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Baie-Comeau

Baie-Comeau – Le Jardin des glaciers

What they’re saying: “You really have to visit this park! In addition to the numerous vantage points of the St. Lawrence, there’s a whole host of subjects to learn about, including glaciations. Learn more

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Pointe-aux-Outardes and Pointe-Lebel

These municipalities along Route 138 offer several viewpoints of the St. Lawrence as well as noteworthy attractions, though for whale-watching a spotting scope is indispensable given the presence of extensive tidal flats (battures in French). Learn more

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Colombier, Betsiamites and Ragueneau

Colombier, Betsiamites and Ragueneau

These municipalities along Route 138 offer several viewpoints of the St. Lawrence as well as noteworthy attractions, though for whale-watching a spotting scope is indispensable given the presence of extensive tidal flats (battures in French).  Learn more

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Forestville

Forestville – Bike Path

This 13 km long bike path begins in the village of Portneuf-sur-Mer and runs along the St. Lawrence until it reaches Forestville.  Learn more

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-69.087641

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Portneuf-sur-Mer

Portneuf-sur-Mer – Sand Bar: Whale Route Top Pick

The Portneuf sand bar looks like it came straight out of the prettiest of the Caribbean islands!  Learn more

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Longue-Rive

Longue-Rive – Sault-au-Mouton trail

This enchanting trail is well worth a detour. Here you will have the chance to see (especially if you’re carrying binoculars or a spotting scope) minke, blue or fin whales surface feeding right in front of the path, at the edge of Batture aux Mille Vaches. Learn more

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Les Escoumins

Les Escoumins – Quai des Pilotes and Quai des Escoumins (ferry)

These wharves are prime spots for observing marine mammals. The diversity is remarkable and the landscape, striking. Learn more

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Les Bergeronnes

Les Bergeronnes – Cap de Bon-Désir: Whale Route Top Pick

This Parks Canada site welcomes nearly 40,000 visitors every summer. Learn more

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Baie-Sainte-Marguerite

Baie Sainte-Marguerite (Saguenay Fjord National Park)

This history-rich site located in the Saguenay Fjord National Park offers something for everyone: visitors’ centre, hiking trails, observation lookout, interpretation activities, picnic area and campgrounds. In short, a site well worth the visit. Learn more

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Sacré-Cœur

Sacré-Cœur- L’Anse-de-Roche

L’Anse-de-Roche is a window carved into the Saguenay Mountains known for its dramatic sunsets. At this small leisure port, visitors can discover not only the Saguenay in all its splendour, but also its inhabitants that go up and down the fjord on a daily basis: belugas.Learn more

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Marine Mammal Research and Interpretation Centre (CRIMM) at Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan

For everything you need to know about working at sea with the whales of the Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS).

To learn more: on the MICS website

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-64.141951

interpretation

Forillon National Park

Promontory that juts out into the sea

To learn more: on the Forillon National Park website

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Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada

Island-hopping adventure

To learn more: on the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada website

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-64.024544

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Baie-Comeau – Matane, Godbout Ferry

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Québec maritime website

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Rimouski – Forestville Ferry

The end of the Estuary and the start of the Gulf.

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Québec maritime website

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Trois-Pistoles – Les Escoumins Ferry

In the heart of the underwater canyon (350 m)

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, beluga, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Québec maritime website

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Rivière-du-Loup – Saint-Siméon Ferry

Observation of belugas, minke whales and fin whales
To learn more: on the Québec maritime website

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Île Bonaventure

Island located in fish-rich waters

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, northern gannet colony

To learn more: on the SÉPAQ website

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Cap Gaspé

Promontory that juts out into the sea

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, grey seal, harbour seal

To learn more: on the Gaspésie Tourism website

Period: May to October

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Pointe-des-Monts

Promontory that juts out into the St. Lawrence

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Pointe-des-Monts website

Period: May to October

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Cap de Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre

With a nearly 300-metre deep underwater canyon at the foot of the cape.

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, beluga

To learn more: on the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park website

Period: May to October

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-69.469128

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Pointe-Noire Interpretation and Observation Centre

A stunning viewpoint of the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord

Beluga and minke whale

To learn more: on the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park website

Period: May to October

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-69.718637

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Magdalen Islands

Harp seal, harbour seal, grey seal, minke whale, habour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Iles de la Madeleine website

Period: March, June to September

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Percé

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise, atlantic white-sided dolphin, white-beaked dolphin, long-finned pilot whale

To learn more: on the Tourisme Gaspésie website

Period: June to October

48.524444

-64.21268

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Gaspé

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise, atlantic white-sided dolphin, white-beaked dolphin, long-finned pilot whale

To learn more: on the Tourisme Gaspésie website

Period: June to October

48.792442

-64.225096

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Trois-Pistoles

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Bas-Saint-Laurent website

Period: May to late October

48.167001

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Rivière-du-Loup

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Bas-Saint-Laurent website

Period: May to late October

47.8559

-69.5376

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Havre-Saint-Pierre

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise, atlantic white-sided dolphin, white-beaked dolphin

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: June to October

50.237928

-63.604488

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Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise, atlantic white-sided dolphin, white-beaked dolphin

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: June to October

50.257742

-64.162903

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Sept-Îles

Minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise, atlantic white-sided dolphin, white-beaked dolphin

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: June to October

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Pointe-des-Monts

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: June to mid-October

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Baie-Comeau

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: June to mid-October

49.223568

-68.134332

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Ragueneau

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: June to mid-October

49.066614

-68.542856

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Sainte-Anne-de-Portneuf

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: mid-April to late October

48.608228

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Sault-au-Mouton

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: mid-April to late October

48.536859

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Les Escoumins

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, beluga, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: May to late October

48.347766

-69.405735

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Les Bergeronnes

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, beluga, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: May to late October

48.228904

-69.55307

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Tadoussac

Minke whale, fin whale, blue whale, beluga, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Tourisme Côte-Nord website

Period: May to late October

48.137139

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Tadoussac

Promenade and Wharf Area

This promenade overlooking Tadoussac Bay – one of the prettiest bays in the world – is the ideal place to take a break. Take a seat on one of the benches and scan the waters: minke whales often come here to feed. Learn more

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Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre (CIMM) in Tadoussac

Based in Tadoussac, this must-see museum is a news and reference centre for the whales of the St. Lawrence.

To learn more: on the GREMM website

Schedule: mid-May to mid-October

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-69.719346

interpretation

Baie Sainte-Marguerite

Observation of belugas

To learn more: on the SÉPAQ website

Period: May to October

48.262398

-69.945917

rivage

Baie-Sainte-Catherine

Minke whale, fin whale, beluga, harbour porpoise

To learn more: on the Charlevoix Tourism website

Period: May to October

48.109724

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  • Whale-watching tips

    An encounter with the whales of the St. Lawrence is an unforgettable experience. Here are a few of our tips to get the very most out of your adventure. When is the best time to go? What type of boat should I choose? What should I take? How can I spot them? How do I take good photos? And much more

  • Rules to be followed

    Discovering whales in their natural habitat is an increasingly popular activity, and heightens visitors’ awareness of the fragility of the marine environment. On the other hand, this craze is not without its downsides. The ensure that this activity is practised responsibly, it is important to strive to limit the disturbance caused to animals and to maximize public awareness. Learn more:

  • How to recognize them

    Whales live their lives between two worlds. When they surface, they reveal but a small portion of their bodies. Learn how to identify the most common species of the St. Lawrence with a few easy tips: Learn more:

  • Organize your trip

    To plan your trip, make your reservations, discover all the attractions of these regions and more, we suggest the official tourism site of the government of Quebec.

    Visit bonjourquebec.com!