Anticosti Island and the Lower North Shore… as never seen before!
Discover this most eastern region of the Province of Quebec with its unparalleled landscapes from Rimouski to Blanc-Sablon, passing by the legendary Anticosti Island, aboard the cargo-passenger ship Bella Desgagnés (Relais Nordik) comfortably furnished to welcome you during this 7-day expedition.
Set off on an adventure to these 11 towns and coastal villages often inaccessible by land, and learn about their out-of-the-ordinary activities, once you touch land. Keep your eyes wide open and your camera ready as the fauna and flora will absolutely amaze you: icebergs in the cold season, whales, dolphins and birds of all species during our stopovers in the warm season.
Experience an exceptional encounter with nature and bring back a lifetime of memories.
The N/M Bella Desgagnés
The N/M Bella Desgagnés was designed and built specifically to serve Anticosti Island and the Lower North Shore, from Rimouski to Blanc-Sablon. Its primary mission is the transportation of goods and merchandise for the needs of the communities it serves. The ship also offers a unique seven-day cruise where you can live an unforgettable experience.
The N/M Bella Desgagnés is a 6,655-ton passenger cargo ship, comfortable and safe. It can accommodate 420 people on its 8 bridges (39 crew and 381 passengers including 160 cabins).
The operational speed of The N/M Bella Desgagnés is 12.5 knots. For your convenience, the vessel benefits from stabilizers and structural elements to reduce noise and vibration.
RimouskiA city of tourism and conventions, Rimouski is both the regional capital of Bas-Saint-Laurent and the only Technopole Maritime du Québec. In fact it hosts, among others, the Institut maritime du Québec and the Global Observatory of the St. Lawrence, both of which have a strong teaching and research potential that promotes the development of high-tech industries. In addition to attracting numerous marine biology researchers, Rimouski has many interesting and diversified tourist attractions. For example, the Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site, where it is possible to visit a submarine and immerse yourself in the history of the tragic sinking of the Empress of Ireland, the beautiful Jardin de Métis (Reford Gardens) or the Lamontagne House Historical Site. For the more adventurous, the Portes de l’Enfer canyon (Hell’s gate canyon) and the Bic National Park, will inevitably satisfy their thirst for strong sensations. Allowing an extra day prior to the cruise to explore the surrounding area is definitely a great idea!
Sept-ÎlesAs its name suggests, the city is in fact surrounded by an archipelago of seven islands, each of which contains a treasure and a unique history and is one of the first villages of the passage connecting with the fauna specific to the Lower North Shore: whales, dolphins, terns, various molluscs and small penguins. This coastal fishing town has numerous tourist attractions: the promenade of the Vieux-Quai, the Shaputuan Museum and Innu culture, the Old Post Office and much more. A great way to rediscover the history of Jacques Cartier’s Québec! You are now ready to explore the famous Anticosti Island.
Port-Menier, Anticosti IslandAnticosti Island is finally close at hand! The largest island of the Province of Quebec, the port village of Port-Menier was created in 1895 by the French chocolate maker Henri Menier, who could not resist the beauties of this jewel in its raw state. Used as the setting for the famous film La Grande Séduction, you will find the familiar landscape with its luxuriant nature and typical houses of the coastal towns of this region. Anticosti Island with its lavish nature and exceptional biodiversity is being considered for designation as a protected island by UNESCO World Heritage.
Havre-Saint-PierreHavre-Saint-Pierre is the main port of access to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, one of the four national parks of Canada, located in the Province of Quebec. You will find exceptional geological structures (monoliths) surrounded by rich waters with birds, marine life and vegetation of the boreal type. It’s a must-see attraction of the region. However, if you are more interested in history, the permanent exposition at the Maison de la culture Roland Jomphe will help you unveil the history of Havre-Saint-Pierre from its beginning in 1857 up to the present.
NatashquanWell known, thanks to the famous poet Gilles Vigneault born in Natashquan, this small community was long time considered «the village at the end of the world», that is, the last village accessible by car on route 138 that runs along the St. Lawrence River. The houses and heritage buildings, like the old school and the former general store, makes the trip worthwhile. Take advantage of the possibility of visiting Les Galets Heritage Site, where cod was once salted and stored, as well as the sandy beach suitable for swimming.
KegaskaRenowned for its beaches and its hiking paths composed of shells reduced to dust, the village of Kegaska is since 2013 «the new village at the end of the world», the last coastal town accessible by car on route 138. This small fishing community harbours a number of interesting heritage sites such as the Brion wreck, St. Philip’s Anglican Church, the Foreman wood mill and the fish plant. If you have time, savour the lobster, crab or scallops freshly caught by the local population and also featured aboard the Bella Desgagnés.
La RomaineMore than 1,100 workers are involved in the construction of one of the largest hydroelectric dams in the Province of Quebec which will, with time, contain 4 reservoirs and produce more than 1,550MW, making it one of the largest hydroelectric generating stations in the Province of Quebec. But La Romaine is more than just a hydroelectric potential, it is also the largest Innu reserve on the North Shore and one of the last nomadic Aboriginal groups in North America known for making birch bark canoes. Only accessible by boat, including the Bella Desgagnés, La Romaine includes a protected area by Parks Canada, Île-de-la Brume Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which is possible to visit aboard boats.
Harrington HarbourLike Port-Menier on Anticosti Island, Harrington Harbour, a village resembling a small fishing port in Newfoundland, was also used as the setting for the famous film La Grande Séduction. At dock where the Bella Desgagnés is moored during the summer season, numerous activities are featured. The craftsmen as well as the fishermen present their products with enthusiasm. A monument in honour of Jacques-Cartier, who first sailed along the Lower St. Lawrence before arriving to Quebec City, was erected in the city to mark the history of this region. The Rowsell House Interpretive Center and the Marguerite cave are some of the typical attractions you can visit in Harrington Harbour.
Tête-à-la-BaleineThis small village of about one hundred inhabitants gets its name from one of the islands of the «Toutes-îles» archipelago, composed of 600 islands and islets, one of which looks like a whale’s head. This village, which lives to the rhythm of the North, is home to one of the three Francophone communities on the Lower North Shore. Hunting, fishing and harvesting still set the pace of the lives of a large part of the population. It is possible for cruise passengers to take advantage of a guided tour of the village and Providence Island, a short hiking trail with a picnic area as well as a visit of the interpretation center of this island.
La TabatièreTypical small fishing village of the St. Lawrence, La Tabatière is known for its cliff-side houses, the Priest’s Hill boardwalk trail and the Gros Mécatina Migratory Bird Sanctuary, protected by Parks Canada. Before continuing the cruise, take time to relax in the Point aux Neiges Park as well as on the banks of this archipelago, teeming with life.
Saint-AugustinOne of the largest villages on the Lower North Shore, Saint-Augustin is known for its beautiful sandy shores, its picturesque character, its gullies and the Pointe-à-la-Truite trail, ideal for the observation of a large variety of seabirds, wolfish and even whales!
Blanc-SablonBlanc-Sablon is the easternmost community of the Provence of Quebec on the Labrador border, thus making it the gateway to many international cruises on the Lower North Shore and one of the richest sites of archaeological discoveries. Actually, this small town, known to early European explorers as early as in the 16th century, reveals 9,000 years of human occupation. Jacques Cartier mentions this locality several times during his first voyage to America in 1534. Here begins the return of the Bella Desgagnés to Rimouski, by rediscovering the stopovers specific to this Nordic cruise!
|Monday||Departure from Rimouski in the evening|
|Tuesday||Sept-îles Port-Menier, Île d’Anticosti|
|Wednesday||Havre Saint-Pierre Natashquan Kegaska La Romaine|
|Thursday||Harrington Harbour Tête-à-la-baleine La Tabatière Saint-Augustin|
|Friday||Arrival in Blanc-Sablon|
|Friday||Departure from Saint-Augustin in the afternoon La Tabatière|
|Saturday||Tête-à-la-baleine Harrington Harbour La Romaine Kegaska Natashquan|
|Sunday||Havre Saint-Pierre Port-menier Sept-Îles|
|Monday||Arrival in Rimouski in the middle of the day|
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|Age groups||Rates (7 nights, all meals included)|
|Child (15 and under)||Starting at $1,380 (per pers. - double occ.) *|
|Adult (16 to 64 yrs)||Starting at $1,610 (per pers. - double occ.) *|
|Adult (65 and over)||Starting at $1,380 (per pers. - double occ.) *|
|* Contribution to the Compensation Fund and taxes not included. The times shown are local times. Due to uncontrollable circumstances, this itinerary may change without notice. If the speed limit is in effect, some stops may be changed or canceled without notice.|