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Belugas and Blues: Best Whale-Watching Spots in Quebec

By MERLE ROSENSTEIN

Blue whale in the St. Lawrence River Côte-Nord, Manicouagan Region (Photo: Marc Loiselle/Le Québec Maritime)

Get adventurous this spring or summer with a trip to Quebec to see one of thirteen species of whales that careen along Quebec’s maritime coast via organized tour, or—for a more adventurous experience—climb into a kayak to get an eye-to-eye view.

A beluga whale in Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. (Photo: Jean-Pierre Sylvestre/Le Québec Maritime)

Two of imposing animals currently on the endangered species list—the blue whale and the St. Lawrence beluga—can be spotted here. Blue whales, the largest animals on the planet, arrive in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in March, attracted by an ample supply of krill. Swimming alone or in pairs, blue whales emit low frequency sounds that carry for many kilometres underwater.

About 1,000 beluga whales live in the St. Lawrence year-round. Belugas are said to be highly social and congregate in pods of two to twenty-five. Appearing as a flash of white against the waves, belugas or “sea canaries” serenade pod-mates with clicks, grunts, squeals, screeches and whistles.

Plan Your Whale-Watching Tour

For excellent blue and beluga whale watching, follow the Quebec Whale Route, stretching 900 km along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

WHERE TO GO:

Preferred locations to see giant cetaceans by boat are:

To see whales from dry land, try:

See the full-size map.

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