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. Minke whales are practically always present near the shore, and belugas, blue whales and fin whales also occasionally come close to shore. From there, observers are sometimes lucky enough to see humpbacks as well as sperm whales, which occasionally visit the region. In addition to the numerous species of cetaceans that pass through in the summer, harp seals are present from December to May.
What they’re saying: “I’ll always remember that day when the Queen Mary 2 approached the dock to pick up the captain: there were so many boats, a float plane, hundreds of curious onlookers near the wharf and it looked like even the whales decided to cooperate… it was just fantastic!”
Getting there: Quai des Pilotes: Route 138 East. Before entering the village of Les Escoumins, turn right onto Rue des Pilotes. The wharf and floating dock are at the end of this road. Ferry terminal: 138 East. Before entering the village of Les Escoumins, turn right onto Rue de la Réserve. Go 930 metres, then turn left onto Rue du Quai. The wharf is at the end of this road.
Les Escoumins – Marine Environment Discovery Centre (MEDC)
This interpretation centre, which opened in 2004, already has a wealth of observations to its credit. Located at the edge of an underwater canyon, all of the St. Lawrence whale species can be seen plying the waters here. Impossible not to be mesmerized in surroundings teeming with such life! A visit to the MEDC, managed by Parks Canada, will allow you to experience “St. Lawrence Live”, an interpretation activity that plunges you into the ice cold waters of the Estuary…without getting you wet!
What they’re saying: “I can’t understand how the naturalists managed to maintain their concentration during their explanations: they were constantly being interrupted by the spouts of whales!”
Getting there: Route 138 East. Before entering the village of Les Escoumins, turn right onto Rue des Pilotes. Entrance to the centre lies approximately 700 metres down the road on the left.
Les Escoumins – Pointe à la Croix
Pointe à la Croix is located in the heart of the village of Les Escoumins. In the 1500s, the Basques installed a facility here to harvest the blubber from the whales and seals that they had killed. Visitors to this location will discover an historic site well known to locals and laid out for relaxation and picnicking. Here you can enjoy great looks at a large variety of marine mammals, often at close distance.
What they’re saying: “We had picked up some seafood at the nearby fish market and went down to the point to enjoy them. Apparently it really was lunch time, because the whales were feeding right in front of us and even the gulls were getting in on the action. All that against a backdrop of waves and a light breeze…”
Getting there: Route 138 East. About 700 metres after the bridge, just before the hill, turn right onto Rue de la Croix. The site is at the end of this road, near the cross!