Quebec Kayaking & Whale Watching | Adventure Unbound

Kayaking, Hiking and Whale Watching in Quebec

Experience the magnificent landscapes of the Saguenay Fjord and the cultural sights of UNESCO-listed Quebec City on this eight-day, lodge-based itinerary. Spend your days kayaking beneath towering cliffs and hiking to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the largest fjord in eastern Canada. Witness the meeting of the Saguenay River and the St. Lawrence Seaway while learning about the region’s natural and cultural history as an important trade route for Canada’s indigenous peoples. This active adventure includes visits to charming villages and the oldest French settlement in the Americas, with sightings of belugas a highlight of the journey. 

Staying in boutique chalets and eating in local restaurants, we’re proud that our Quebec Kayaking & Belugas adventure is bringing beneficial economic impact to the region. Enjoy authentic local experiences and sample traditional cuisine while being led by knowledgeable and passionate local guides. 

Images & Videos

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Itinerary

Collapse all days

Day 1

Arrive in Quebec City: Travel to the Saguenay

Your tour officially begins at around 1:00-1:30 pm when you’ll gather for a meet-and-greet in the hotel lobby. It’s then time to make the two-hour drive to the Saguenay region, with the journey taking you through the stunningly beautiful Réserve Faunique des Laurentides (Laurentides Wildlife Reserve).

Upon arriving in the Saguenay region, you’ll have time to stretch your legs on a short walk or during a visit to the Fjord Museum. Settle into your room at the charming Auberge des Battures, which boasts impressive views across the fjord, then dine on traditional tourtiere (meat pie), pea soup and maple syrup pie at the auberge’s restaurant. 

We typically recommend travelers arrive to Quebec City a day early to enjoy this stunning destination. If you're looking for things to do we recommend reading our top 15 foods to try in Quebec City as well as our top 14 things to do in Quebec City blogs. 

Note: Paddling and hiking distances are approximate and can vary depending on group size and weather. The itinerary may change due to reasons beyond our control, such as wind, waves or inclement weather. Although there is a very good chance we'll see belugas and other whales during the week, the frequency, proximity, and quality of sightings will be determined by their travel patterns.

ACCOMMODATION : Auberge des Battures
MEALS INCLUDED : Dinner

Day 2

Kayaking in Riviere Eternite Bay 

After a hearty breakfast at the Auberge des Battures, you’ll make the 30-minute drive to the small village of Rivière-Éternité ("Eternity River”). It’s named for the waterway that carves through the cape and serves as the gateway to the Saguenay National Park. 

After a briefing on paddling techniques and general safety, it’s time to launch your kayak and explore the huge rock faces of Eternity Bay. Gaze up at these 350-meter-high cliffs as you slowly paddle below, then stop to feast on a range of local specialties at Ermine Bay. Upon your return to Eternity Bay, check-in to one of the charming cottages where you’ll spend the evening enjoying the peace and quiet of Anse St-Jean. 

Paddle Distance: 8 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Auberge La Fjordelaise, Auberge des Cévennes (or similar)
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Hiking through the backcountry of L'Anse-Saint Jean

Begin the day with a warming coffee and delicious breakfast before embarking on a spectacular hike to Emmuraillé Lake. Extending for around three miles, the route takes you between cliffs and along the banks of meandering creeks, with panoramic views across the lake and its surrounding landscapes along the way. 

Enjoy lunch at a chalet on the edge of the lake, then hike back to the main road where a van will whisk you to a Nordic spa for some well-deserved relaxation time. Alternatively, you may opt to continue hiking before a nourishing dinner overlooking the surrounding mountains and capes. 

Hiking Distance: 6 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Auberge du Fjordelaise, Auberge des Cévennes (or similar)
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

L'Anse-Saint Jean - Kayaking

After breakfast at your cottage, it’s time for another day spent kayaking through the fjord and soaking up its immense landscapes. If you’re lucky, you may encounter playful seals along the way or even minke whales that can be often spotted from the rocks where lunch will be served. 

In the afternoon, you’ll arrive at your cottage for the night where you can relax and freshen up before watching the sunset at the Anse-à-Tabatière. Chat with your fellow kayakers over a delicious dinner, then pull up a chair beside the campfire for a night of stargazing.

Paddling Distance: 8 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Chalet au Village Vacances Petit-Saguenay (or similar)
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Petit Saguenay: Kayaking & Hiking 

Begin the day with a short drive to the beautiful beach of Ste-Etienne, from where you’ll embark on a hike along the fjord. Spot some of the wildlife that calls the Saguenay National Park “home” and photographic the majestic views across this natural wonder.  

You’ll return to the beach in time for lunch, then can choose between a final kayaking excursion (with the chance to spot belugas) or time spent relaxing on the beach. The day will end with a tasty dinner while recounting the day’s adventures. 

Paddling Distance: 4 miles
Hiking Distance: 3 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Auberge au Deux Pignons (or similar)
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Saint-Étienne to Tadoussac: Whale Watching 

Watch the day’s first rays illuminate the landscape from the comfort of your chalet before a nourishing breakfast is served. Then board a zodiac for a day of whale watching beneath the towering cliffs that frame the St. Lawrence River. Keep your eyes peeled for the large fins of belugas and blue whales as you explore the fjord, with lunch served out on the water. 

In the afternoon, you’ll end your day in the charming village of Tadoussac, which was founded in 1660 and holds the title of being the oldest surviving French settlement in the Americas. During the 17th century, it was the first trading post on the mainland of New France, with a charming wooden chapel remaining today. Enjoy a stroll through this historic village before dining at one of the local restaurants.

ACCOMMODATION : Les Pionniers (or similar)
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Île d'Orléans, Quebec City 

Begin the day with a final breakfast in Saguenay before making the journey back to Québec City. Here you’ll visit the Île d'Orléans (Island of Orleans), which is surrounded by the St. Lawrence River. Overlooking Québec City, the island features pastoral landscapes dotted with berry farms, maple products, and wineries where you can sample the local produce.

In the evening, congregate with your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner to enjoy your final night in Québec City. 

ACCOMMODATION : Auberge Aux Deux Lions (or similar)
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Departure from Quebec City

Wake early for breakfast at your hotel before heading to the airport for your return flight or onward travel.

Dates & Rates

Supplementary Information

Tier Pricing:

  • 4-9 guests: $4,195
  • 10-12 guests: $3,695

Single Supplement: If you are a solo traveler and wish to have your own accommodations throughout the tour (or if we are unable to pair you up with another solo traveler), an additional single supplement of $400 USD is required.

As an alternative way to explore Quebec and the Saguenay Fjord, e offer a Kayaking and Camping option as well. 

Included: 

  • 7 nights’ accommodation
  • Most meals as described in itinerary
  • Activities as described in the itinerary
  • Access to the park
  • Professional bilingual guides
  • Luggage transportation
  • Kayak equipment including fiberglass kayaks, paddles, PFD’s

Not Included: 

  • Airfare to and from Quebec
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Hotel before and after the tour
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

TIERED PRICING EXPLAINED: Our trips are budgeted for full or near full sign-ups which enables us to offer trips at the lowest possible price. Because of numerous fixed costs, it is more expensive to operate a trip for a small group. Therefore, on some of our trips, in order to avoid having to cancel a trip, we have a “tier-pricing” system to avoid canceling a trip with a low number of sign ups. We have found that most people also prefer this alternative to having a trip cancelled. Thus, you will note on our trip prices there may be different price for 4-9, versus 10-12, etc.

We may initially invoice you at the higher tier price, and refund the difference depending on the final group size. Trip costs quoted are based on foreign exchange rates current at the time of this printing. We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control.

ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.

FAQ & More

What's included in the tour price?

  • Accommodations as described in itinerary
  • Meals as described in itinerary
  • Activities as described in the itinerary
  • Access to the park
  • Professional bilingual guides
  • Luggage transportation
  • Kayak equipment including fiberglass kayaks, paddles, PFD’s
  • Personal expenses and gratuities are not included

What is the best time of year for this trip?

Whales are present year round, but are in the highest concentrations near the end of the summer and early Autumn. We offer this trip at times that are best for viewing whales, as well as avoiding the peak tourism season.

I’ve never tried kayaking. Can I still go on this trip?

Of course! Beginners are welcome on this trip. Your guides will give you an introduction to paddling and you’ll have plenty of chance to practice. We take plenty of paddle breaks to observe the biodiversity and learn about the area from our knowledgeable guide. That said, we do recommend that you get some paddling in before your trip as kayaking uses muscles you may not know you have. Getting a little experience and building some strength will help your enjoyment of the trip.

Can I paddle a single kayak?

Due to the greater stability of tandem kayaks and the cold water temperatures in the Fjord, we only offer double kayaks on this trip.

How difficult are the hikes?

At least one hike will take place along the Fjord itself, which means that it entails quite a bit of elevation change. The trails are well-groomed with clear paths, but it can be slippery and have steep portions. We do recommend physical preparation to make the most out of your outdoor experience.

Will I have to speak French?

An English-speaking guide will accompany you throughout the trip in its entirety, so you will not need to learn French prior to your trip. However, you may pick up a couple of phrases while you’re there!

What is the food like?

Quebec’s cuisine can be described as a French and Irish fusion. Some of the most notable dishes in-clude tourtieres (meat pies), baked beans, poutine (French fries with cheese curds and gravy), and maple desserts. The Saguenay Lake-Saint Jean region is famous for its cheese, wine, and salmon. If you're looking for more inspiration or ideas of what to sample while visiting Quebec, visit our Top 15 Foods to Try in Quebec Blog.

What if I have specific dietary needs?

Please indicate any allergies, dietary requirements, or medical conditions of which you’d like us to be aware on your trip application forms. We can accommodate many dietary needs on this trip.

What kind of clothing do I need?

We will provide a complete packing list for your trip.

Do you arrange international air?

We do not arrange international air travel but we do have a great air travel specialist we refer you to if you’d like.

How far in advance should I book?

There are a lot of arrangements to be made for a custom trip like this adventure and so it is helpful with our planning if you book three to eight months in advance. However, if you can’t plan that far ahead, then it’s usually not a problem to book up to about a month or two in advance. If you find yourself looking for last minute space just call us and check!

Can you recommend a reading list my upcoming Quebec tour?

Yes, we recommend the following books for your upcoming tour:

  • Jacques Cartier: Exploring the St. Lawrence River by Jennifer Lackey
  • Attack on Montreal : Battles of the War of 1812 by Pierre Berton
  • The St. Lawrence River: History, Highway and Habitat by Janice Hamilton
  • Exploring Old Quebec: Walking Tours of the Historic City by Maude Bonenfant

What do I need to know about currency in Quebec?

All currency while on the trip is in Canadian dollars.

Credit Cards
Be sure to notify your bank(s) of the dates of your travel and your destinations, so their fraud programs won’t freeze your account when a foreign transaction is made. Credit cards are widely accepted in Quebec City.

Suggestions:

  • Avoid carrying a lot of cash.
  • Do not take your cash out in public (mostly in tourist areas).
  • In case you need to carry a lot of cash, take it in different pockets or share pockets with your friends.
  • If you need to make a payment of a high amount, avoid doing so in cash, use credit cards or traveler's checks. 

What should we tip our guides?

Guidelines for Gratuities:

Tipping is a very personal matter and the decision to tip and how much to give is entirely yours. The following guidelines should however be of help: -It is customary to tip service people such as waiters, laundry washers, bartenders, hotel help and anyone who goes out of their way to help (usually US $1 each).

In Québec, tipping is appropriate etiquette in restaurants, bars, taxis and hair salons. The amount, which is not included in the bill, generally represents 10% to 15% of the total bill before taxes. For quick tip calculations, Québecers normally add up both taxes (GST and QST), the sum of which equals approximately 13%.

When traveling with the group, all tips at meals that are part of the itinerary are covered as well as any tips for taxi or bus drivers.

For guides we recommend between $13 - $18 per person per day. Cash Machines or ATM's- There are plenty of cash machines around the city. Simply look for the companies’ logos on bank windows and in cash machine booths. Money Exchange- US dollars are sometimes accepted in tourist areas, but the rate of exchange will likely be poor. If you plan to make purchases in cash, we recommend exchanging money at a bank.

What can I do in Quebec City before and/or after my tour?

Please visit our Top 14 Things to Do in Quebec City blog for inspiration and ideas! 

What hotel should I stay at in Quebec City before or after my tour?

Hotels in Quebec City:

If you are arriving in Quebec City prior to (or staying beyond) our tour dates, we recommend staying at the Hotel Le Concorde. This is our Quebec City tour hotel for your trip. It is conveniently located for meeting the group, as well as extending your stay on either side of our tour. However, there are many hotel options in Quebec, some of which are located closer to Old Quebec and many of the main tourist attractions. You may elect to stay somewhere closer to Old Quebec if you are planning to extend your stay before or after the tour. Please note: hotels before and after your tour begins are not included in your trip cost and will need to be arranged on your own.

Is there a single supplement fee for solo travelers?

Our tour costs are based on double occupancy on any included hotel nights. Solo travelers who would like their own single hotel room can pay a single supplement (see "Dates & Rates" above for the single supplement price for this tour), or can be matched up with another solo traveler of the same gender if one is available and willing to share. If we are unable to pair you with another solo traveler, we must apply the single supplement charge to cover our hotel costs.

Custom or Private

You love this itinerary but want to change it a bit to make it perfect for you?  Or, are you wanting to simply make it private?  Either way, we can do it!

Fill out this quick form to begin a custom or private adventure of a lifetime:

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