Quebec Sea Kayaking, Whale Watching & Camping | Adventure Unbound

Sea Kayaking & Camping in Quebec’s Saguenay Fjord

Combining the old world charm of historic Quebec City with the soaring landscapes of the Saguenay Fjord, this eight-day itinerary is a camper’s delight. Begin in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Quebec, steeped in French heritage, before slowly paddling beneath the immense cliffs of Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay. Explore rugged canyons, tranquil bays and isolated islands while spotting belugas, minke, and even blue whales. Be immersed in the region’s natural splendors during nights spent beside the campfire, with nothing but the serenity of the wilds and the starry night sky above. 

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

beluga under sea kayak in Quebec

Images & Videos

sea kayak in Saguenay fjord
people whale watching
people taking a rest while hiking in quebec
sea kayak in the Saguenay Fjord
white church with red roof in Tadoussac Quebec
tadoussac quebec
kayakers looking at a map
tent on platform in quebec wilderness area
maple syrub taffy on sticks sitting on ice
sandy beach in tadoussac quebec
quebec city streets
sunset on fjord in quebec
fries with cheese and gravy on top
beluga under sea kayak
sea kayak in Saguenay fjord
people whale watching
people taking a rest while hiking in quebec
sea kayak in the Saguenay Fjord
white church with red roof in Tadoussac Quebec
tadoussac quebec
kayakers looking at a map
tent on platform in quebec wilderness area
maple syrub taffy on sticks sitting on ice
sandy beach in tadoussac quebec
quebec city streets
sunset on fjord in quebec
fries with cheese and gravy on top
beluga under sea kayak

Itinerary

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Day 1

Salut Québec City! Travel to the Saguenay

Your journey begins in picture-perfect Québec City, which perches atop Cap Diamant overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Encircled by grey-stone fortifications, this UNESCO World Heritage Site features elegant residences, cobbled streets and alfresco bistros that hark back to the early days of European settlement in the New World. 

Spend the morning exploring this francophone city at your leisure before congregating at noon in the hotel for a brief introduction and orientation. It’s then time to make the two-hour drive to the Saguenay region, with the journey taking you through the mountains and valleys of the Réserve Faunique des Laurentides (Laurentides Wildlife Reserve).

Upon arriving in the Saguenay region, check into Hôtel Chicoutimi in the heart of the downtown area. Once you’ve settled in, spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the city’s historic sites, visiting the Fjord Museum and learning about the development of the region’s fur trade. As evening sets in, join your fellow travelers for a group dinner featuring locally-sourced ingredients.

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 : Hôtel Chicoutimi
MEALS INCLUDED : Dinner

Day 2

Kayak Ste-Rose du Nord to Baie de la Trinité

After an early breakfast at Hôtel Chicoutimi, begin your exploration of the Saguenay Fjord, which was formed in the last Ice Age. It holds the title of being the southernmost fjord in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest in the world, carving through the Canadian Shield before later joining the St. Lawrence River. 

A 40-minute drive takes you to our kayak launch point in the village of Ste-Rose du Nord, which lies on the northern shores of the fjord. After a short orientation on paddling techniques and general safety, it’s time to launch your kayak and begin paddling through the fjord. Marvel at the immense rock faces and gaze up at the towering cliffs, with the fjord’s walls plummeting to a depth of 270 meters. 

Following lunch on the shoreline, continue paddling to the Baie de la Trinité, which lies where the Rivière de la Trinité meets the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Before dinner is served, you’ll have time to stretch your legs with a walk along the beach or just settle in to soak up the views.

Kayak Ste-Rose du Nord to Baie de la Trinité

After an early breakfast at Hôtel Chicoutimi, begin your exploration of the Saguenay Fjord, which was formed in the last Ice Age. It holds the title of being the southernmost fjord in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest in the world, carving through the Canadian Shield before later joining the St. Lawrence River. 

A 40-minute drive takes you to our kayak launch point in the village of Ste-Rose du Nord, which lies on the northern shores of the fjord. After a short orientation on paddling techniques and general safety, it’s time to launch your kayak and begin paddling through the fjord. Marvel at the immense rock faces and gaze up at the towering cliffs, with the fjord’s walls plummeting to a depth of 270 meters. 

Following lunch on the shoreline, continue paddling to the Baie de la Trinité, which lies where the Rivière de la Trinité meets the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Before dinner is served, you’ll have time to stretch your legs with a walk along the beach or just settle in to soak up the views.

Paddling Distance: 9 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Camping Site at Baie de la Trinité
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Kayak Baie de la Trinité to Anse du Portage

Begin the day with an early morning breakfast before trekking down into the fjord. You’ll then continue paddling through the estuary where seals can often be spotted sunbathing on the rocks and peregrines may be seen nesting above. After paddling beneath the 450-meter-high cliffs of this glacial-carved gorge, you’ll stop for lunch beneath the highest point, Cape Eternity. This immense promontory of granite and gneiss lies directly across from Cape Trinity, with soaring bluffs providing a spectacular backdrop. 

In the afternoon, continue paddling to your campsite for the evening at Anse du Portage, which is situated just across from l’Anse-St-Jean. Relax with a good book before dinner is served beneath the stars, then spend the evening chatting with your newfound friends around the campfire. 

Paddling Distance: 12 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Camping Anse du Portage
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Kayak Anse du Portage to Anse au Cheval

Begin the day with a hearty breakfast before continuing to paddle through the fjord while hearing stories of the legends associated with the region. Your guides will help you to spot seals, otters, and seabirds along the way before stopping for lunch at Île Saint Louis. 

Following lunch, you’ll kayak into Baie-Ste-Marguerite where beluga whales are sometimes spotted coming to feed in the nutrient-rich, shallow waters. Watch as these majestic creatures emerge and submerge in the waters before making your way to the historic lighthouse settlement of Anse au Cheval. Learn about the cultural and natural history of the area during a short exploration with your guide before dinner is served. 

Paddling Distance: 12 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Camping site of Anse au Cheval
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Kayak Anse au Cheval to Anse Ste-Étienne

After breakfast and breaking camp, you’ll hop back in your kayak to begin the paddle towards Anse Ste- Étienne, with the possibility of seeing belugas cresting the water along the way. Nicknamed the “canaries of the sea”, belugas are known for their whistles, clicks, and squeaks that they use to communicate with one another and navigate the dark waters.

Stop for lunch on the sands of Ste- Étienne Beach, with belugas regularly seen from the shoreline here. Continue paddling through the extensive bay in the afternoon, perhaps seeing more belugas or just enjoying the majestic natural scenery. In the evening, you’ll check into a chalet in the historical sawmill village of Ste- Étienne before congregating for dinner with your fellow kayakers. 

Paddling Distance: 7 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Chalet of Ste-Étienne
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Kayak Anse Ste-Étienne to Passe à Pierre

Begin the day with a hearty breakfast at the chalet before climbing back into your kayak for a calm paddle through the glassy morning waters. Today’s journey takes you toward Passe à Pierre along the beluga’s migration route, with minke whales also regularly spotted in these waters. 

Relax during lunch at the end of the cape, then take time to explore the rocky outcroppings and surrounding trails framed by towering trees. Alternatively, you can just relax on the bluff and soak up the waterfront views. In the evening, we’ll set up camp near the beach and spend our final night enjoying the serenity of this natural setting.

Paddling Distance: 6 miles

ACCOMMODATION : Camping Site of Passe à Pierre
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Kayak Passe à Pierre to Tadoussac

Rise with the sun on your last morning in the fjord for a nourishing breakfast before paddling to the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers. Surrounded by towering crags and rounded hills, spot belugas, minke, humpback and even blue whales which are known to frequent these waters. 

Continue to the charming village of Tadoussac, which has been inhabited since ancient times and was visited by explorers such as Cartier, Chauvin, and Champlain. After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the town and its historical sites, including the oldest wooden church in Canada. 

For your final meal, dine at La Galouïne in the heart of the village while recounting the week’s adventures. 

Paddling Distance: 6 miles

ACCOMMODATION : La Galouïne 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.

Note: Paddling 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 during the week, the frequency, proximity, and quality of sightings will be determined by their travel patterns. 

MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD) 
Aug 07, 2022 to Aug 14, 2022 $2,595£0€0$0$0$2,595£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW

Supplementary Information

Tier Pricing:

  • 4-9 guests: $3095
  • 10-12 guests: $2595

Single Supplement: If you are a solo traveler and wish to have your own hotel room for applicable nights on this tour (or if we are unable to pair you up with another solo traveler), an additional single supplement of $150 USD is required.  Note: 3 of 7 nights on this tour are in hotels or chalets, with the other 4 nights camping.

For an alternative options with out camping please see our Quebec Lodge-to-Lodge Kayaking Trip

Included:

  • Services of our talented Adventure Consultants and Professional Guides
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Camping accommodations and equipment as indicated
  • Ttransportation while on tour
  • Two Hotel nights as indicated on itinerary.

Not Included:

  • Airfare to and from Quebec
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature

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 6-8 people versus 9-10, versus 11-12, 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 and camping 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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