Natural Habitat Adventures

Whales & Nature Trails of Quebec

Explore Four National Parks & A Marine Reserve in Wild French Canada
8 Days
14
From $6895

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When you think of Quebec, maple syrup, French fur traders and cosmopolitan Montreal may come to mind. But we’ve discovered a side of French Canada you may not be as familiar with: Quebec has some of North America’s grandest natural landscapes, rich wildlife habitat, world-class whale watching, and vibrant autumn foliage in season. Just beyond Quebec City, mountains, gorges, glacial valleys, dense forests and the St. Lawrence estuary converge. A host of wildlife inhabits these varied ecosystems, from five whale species, porpoises, seals and scores of birds to less frequently seen black bear, gray wolf, red fox, moose and woodland caribou. The entire region holds World Heritage status as the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve, encompassing three of the five national parks and reserves we visit. And it's all easily accessible, just north of Maine.

Trip Highlights

  • Four Dramatic National ParksExplore the diverse landscapes of Saguenay Fjord, Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Riviere Malbaie, Grands-Jardins and Jacques-Cartier on foot and by kayak
  • World-Class Whale WatchingOn three private Zodiac outings, view whales in Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, including endangered belugas and possibly even blue whales!
  • Charlevoix Biosphere ReserveDiscover this rich mosaic of habitats including river systems, tidal marshes, coniferous and mixed forests, mountain tundra and carefully stewarded farmland

Discover the Surprises of Wild Quebec

Most Quebec tours focus on its cities as part of a much wider swing through Eastern Canada, often including Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. While our trip starts and ends in Quebec City, whose 400-year-old French colonial Old Town is certainly beguiling, we quickly turn the focus to the wild hinterlands. For the nature traveler, Quebec’s greatest treasures lie in its less-civilized realms. And there’s no one better than Nat Hab to show them to you!

  1. An International Journey…Just Over the Border
    Though Quebec is right above Maine, it’s one of Canada’s most distinctive provinces by virtue of its French heritage and French-Canadian identity. French is the first language of Quebec, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in Europe when you travel within Quebec! Quebec offers a unique North American travel adventure, with close proximity for U.S. travelers.
  2. An Itinerary Focused on Nature
    The section of Quebec we explore is a dramatic realm of mountains, deep gorges, glacial-carved valleys, wild rivers, lakes brimming with trout, and a major estuary that’s home to whales, porpoises, seals and other marine life where the Saguenay Fjord meets the brackish St. Lawrence River. On this compact week-long trip, you’ll experience it all!  
  3. Five Major Parks & a World Biosphere Reserve
    In just eight days, we visit four national parks and a marine reserve. Yet you’re not rushed, as most of our destinations are relatively close to each other. Three lie within the UNESCO-recognized Charlevoix World Biosphere Reserve, which encompasses tremendous ecological diversity, with river ecosystems, estuarine tidal marshes, coniferous and mixed forests, stunted vegetation including krummholz, and mountain tundra.
  4. Three Private Whale Watching Excursions
    Many people aren’t aware that Quebec is noted for some of the world’s best whale watching, with five different species congregating in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park—including the endangered St. Lawrence beluga. We make three private Zodiac outings in search of them, with chances also to see porpoises, seals and seabirds. [Please note that our first whale-watching trip may not be private if our group size is too small.]
  5. The Smallest Groups
    Most Quebec tours pack a large group onto a motorcoach. You know that's not the Nat Hab way. Our group is capped at just 14, and when we reach eight guests, we add a second Expedition Leader, for the best guide-to-guest ratio you’ll find. You can also Make It Private: reserve a whole departure just for you and your personally selected traveling companions.
  6. Distinctive Accommodations with Historic Character
    We’ve chosen only the most unique, interesting and exceptionally comfortable lodgings for our Quebec nature adventure. From the classic, red-roofed Hotel Tadoussac at the mouth of Saguenay Fjord to the chateau-style Le Manoir Richelieu surveying the St. Lawrence River from high on a hill, our accommodations are a highlight of your trip.
  7. Farm-to-Table Fare is a Highlight
    Recognized by UNESCO as the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve, this broad valley that occupies the crater from a meteorite 350 million years ago is an outstanding agricultural region, and our meals will feature its bounty. The Charlevoix region is a noted producer of artisan and organic food, including acclaimed local cheeses, honey, craft cider and beer, French pastries and bread from heirloom grains, foraged mushrooms, and maple syrup on par with Vermont's. We'll plan to visit a producer or two along the Charlevoix Flavor Trail, a route that connects a host of small-scale farmers and artisans. 
  8. Two Expedition Leaders Mean More Choices for You
    Not only does traveling with two Expedition Leaders ensure the ultimate in personalized attention, but with two guides (once we reach a minimum of eight people in a group), we can divide the group to pursue different activities, accommodating varied interests (canoeing vs. hiking, for instance) and physical ability levels (a nature walk vs. a more challenging hike). Two guides ensures the utmost in flexibility.
  9. Expert Naturalist Guides Enhance Your Experience
    Our Expedition Leaders are professional naturalists who know these landscapes intimately, including where and when to be in order to maximize your experience of nature and solitude. They are experts on the geology, flora, wildlife and natural history of Quebec, as well as its cultural history, too. We can't emphasize enough what a difference their knowledge makes to your overall experience. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  10. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Stands Behind Your Quebec Adventure
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, stating clearly that we will meet the lofty expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. We think this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  11. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  12. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund—the world's leading environmental conservation organization—has named Natural Habitat Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!

Read what travelers are saying about Whales & Nature Trails of Quebec:

4.9 average rating out of 15 reviews
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