Boat trips

For those who wish to venture to the middle of the Estuary to see whales, the only departure from the south shore of the St. Lawrence is from Rivière-du-Loup. The area covered by the trip is the St. Lawrence Estuary, and sometimes the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. Minimum distances must be respected between boats and whales.

From shore

The topography of the Bas-Saint-Laurent is such that whales cannot come as close to shore as they do in the Côte-Nord region. The best sites to see whales in the Bas-Saint-Laurent are on the islands. Société Duvetnor, which combines ecotourism, conservation and education, will take you to explore the “Brandy Pot Islands” (Îles du Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie) and Île aux Lièvres. These beluga and minke whale hotspots are only accessible by boat.

A little farther east lies Île Verte. Every summer, minke whales, belugas and harbour porpoises are seen just a few metres from the western tip of the island. Gazing out from the lighthouse on Île Verte, you also have the chance to spot minke whales and, if you’re lucky, fin whales.

The harbour seal is the emblem of Bic National Park. This small seal, which is present almost year-round, is easily seen from shore. The grey seal arrives in the region around mid-July. Seals like to rest on the boulders in Baie du Bic. Look for them around Pointe aux Épinettes or Anse aux Bouleau-Ouest, depending on the magnitude of the tide.

From the ferry

Stay alert if you cross from one shore of the Estuary to the other. Whether departing from Rivière-du-Loup, Trois-Pistoles or Rimouski, you may see whales along the way. On the Rivière-du-Loup–Saint-Simeon crossing, meet the members of the Marine Mammal Observation Network, who are on board all summer long to tell you more about the whales of the Estuary, especially regarding the precarious situation of the beluga (departures at 2:45 p.m. from Rivière-du-Loup and 4:30 p.m. from Saint-Siméon throughout the summer).

To learn more about marine mammals

If you’re out for a stroll on Île Verte, stop by the skeleton museum to familiarize yourself with whale and dolphin anatomy.

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