If you want to go to Canada to see whales, there are several tours you can plan to observe these fabulous marine mammals. They are found mainly in the St. Lawrence estuary in Quebec. Here are some emblematic places where you can observe them during a sea excursion specially dedicated to them.
Baie de Percé is close to Forillon just at the tip of the peninsula in Gaspésie. From Montreal, it takes about 11 hours by car. In the small village of Percé, located just opposite Bonaventure Island, you can see Northern Gannets in large colonies between the months of April to October. From the shore, you can also locate the whales. You can also enjoy this marvelous landscape which is one of the most beautiful in Quebec. If you want to embark, between May and October, there are boat trips to get closer to the whales. This will give you a better chance of being able to photograph them up close.
Forillon is a national park in Gaspésie where you go to admire whales, but also dolphins. You will embark on a large ship, once arrived on site for a 2.5 hour excursion. There are 7 varieties of whales that you can encounter including the humpback whale or the blue whale. At the same time, if you are a bit sporty, you can rent a kayak to meet the seals in Gaspé Bay who come to the area to feed. For the occasion, you can also come across one or more cetaceans.
In Haute-Cote-Nord, you can go to the village of Les Escoumins located on the banks of the Saint-Laurent. This destination is very popular for whale watching. On site, you board a zodiac for a very reasonable price. The excursion lasts between 2:00 and 2:30 hours. This place is pleasant, because, even if there are many tourists, the place remains on a human scale and the zodiac outings are chosen not to frighten these big and beautiful marine mammals.
Les Bergeronnes is a little less touristy village than its neighbours. You can observe whales at the Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Center belonging to Parks Canada. From dry land, you will be able to see these magnificent animals evolve in the waters of the St. Lawrence. From here, it is possible to observe up to 13 species, including the St. Lawrence beluga, which is an endangered species. You can also embark on a zodiac to observe them more closely. It is still possible to indulge in sea kayaking on the spot in order to see the whales, but you have to be sporty and nothing guarantees an encounter.
Tadoussac is the oldest village in Canada. It is located at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord. This site is considered the most important observatory for whales. You can go see these magnificent giants of the seas in a zodiac from May to October. A naturalist guide accompanies you and answers your questions when you observe the whales while respecting a safe distance. Tadoussac is a victim of its own success and during the season, many tourists come to admire the whales. Take the lead by reserving your place on a boat.
Île Verte is located in the lower St. Lawrence. Its official name is Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs. It is a small island with a length of 13 km. We go there with a ferry that sails for half an hour to reach our destination. The arrival is grandiose thanks to the breathtaking view of the estuary and the mountains of Charlevoix. On the shore of the western tip of the island, the place is strategic to see whales looking for food. On this island, there is no tar, so the car is to be avoided to move around. Take a bike to get around. Apart from whales, you can also see white-tailed deer, hares and foxes.
The Rivière du Loup is 4 hours from Montreal. It is also the starting point for going on an excursion to meet whales. You will thus reach the bay of the St. Lawrence and will be able to observe several species of whales. Please note that there is only one departure per day. If you do not take the boat, from the edge of the wharf, you may be able to admire fin whales and belugas. Take the opportunity to visit places that are simply magnificent.
Boat trips on the St. Lawrence are unique. If the weather is unfavorable in case of rain or fog, the crossings may be cancelled. Don't despair, because you will be warned and will most certainly be able to board the next day to see these animals, mythical giants of incomparable beauty.