I have always wanted to go whale watching and actually see a whale, so we researched the best places to go in Canada and came across Tadoussac, Quebec. From the Ile d’Orleans, we made our way to Tadoussac and crossed the Saguenay River by ferry. This was my first car ferry where I actually drove the car onto the ferry. We were unsure whether we could get out of the car and tried asking, but EVERYONE spoke French. We ended up sitting in the car for the 15 minute ferry ride and no one yelled at us, so I guess we chose wisely!
Once we were in Tadoussac, we found our way to the Camping Tadoussac campground. The individual at registration spoke zero English, so after 20 minutes of hand motions and pointing, we figured out which campsite we were staying at. We managed to put our tent together in the dark, learned the hard way that you needed coins to use the showers, and snuggled in for a rainy evening camping.
All the frustration from the night before went away when we woke up and saw the amazing view from the campground.
We booked our whale watching tour through Croisieres AML. They offer zodiac and cruise tours and even though the zodiac looked like a lot of fun, we went with the cruise. I didn’t want a repeat of the Galapagos Islands and seasickness! While waiting for a shuttle to the dock, we were talking to an older couple who were extremely bundled up for cold weather even though it was only the beginning of September. They suggested we do the same and boy am I glad we listened! The weather wasn’t too cold on land, but once we were out on the water with the wind blowing, I was freezing!!!
The upstairs seating was filled by the time our shuttle got to the dock, but we were still able to get a nice seat in the back of the boat. The boat picked people up on both sides of the river, so we were lucky enough to get on when it wasn’t completely full!
We had only spent about 10 minutes on the water before we saw our first whale!!! I was in awe! After the first sighting, it was like everywhere I turned, I saw another one!!!! It was truly an incredible experience.
Yes, that is a white whale!!!
We also saw a bunch of seals swimming with the whales and birds flying above!
The boat took us down the Saguenay River to see a waterfall and enjoy some of the scenery. We later decided to hike along the Saguenay River because of how beautiful it looked!
After our whale watching tour and hundreds of whale pictures later, we went on a short hike around the harbor following the Pointe de l’islet trail. The wind was cold, but I enjoyed walking along the path, scrambling over rocks and the beautiful view!
We stopped in the Marine Mammal Interpretation Center, but decided to pass on the exhibits.
We walked around the town a little bit, got a few brochures, and decided to head to the Ferme 5 etoiles, which turned out to be similar to a zoo with a nice trail to the Saguenay River. You can read about that in my next post!
- Camping Tadoussac – Except for needing coins to take a shower, this was a great campground for a quick stay. The view was stunning and the facilities were clean.
- Croisieres AML – I highly recommend this company for whale watching. If you think you can stomach the zodiac, definitely go for that instead of the cruise. They seemed to get a lot closer to the whales and weren’t nearly as crowded as the big boat we were on.