I can honestly say that I never once imagined going whale watching in the province of Quebec. I guess I had not realized that Quebec was connected to the ocean via the St. Lawrence River.
We happened to be in Quebec for my 29th birthday and were thinking of things to do. The day before had seen my family and I go strolling around the old city of Quebec, drinking amazing mochas, standing in front of wall murals, eating delicious pizza and tomato garlic soup, and even watching a FREE outdoor Cirque Du Soleil show. Then, back to the hotel, Karla mentioned that my birthday was the next morning.
She told me that when she was in Quebec seven years prior, she remembered going out to see Humpback Whales.
“Really? In Quebec?” I said.
I literally had no idea that whales came up the St.Lawrence Seaway. Lots of them!
I got on the phone and called up AML Cruises and booked us in for the Zodiac Expedition; the ultimate 3-hour whale-watching tour in a zodiac boat. Karla paid for it though, of course. 😛
July 31st came quick. I was now 29 years old. Thank you for the applause. The only unfortunate part was that I had to wake up very early and I was very tired. We had a three-hour drive ahead of us to make it Tadoussac in time for the tour. I grabbed an absolutely delicious Mocha (Mochas are amazing in Quebec for some reason) from the hotels cafe and jumped in the CRV.
Three hours later, we were crossing the free 5-minute ferry to the beautiful little town of Tadoussac. We were in a rush unfortunately, so we had little time to actually check it out. We did make the tour though, which is the important part. We slid into the provided warm suits, threw over a life-jacket and got ready for some action-packed fun and excitement.
For those who don’t know what a zodiac boat is, it’s basically a giant raft filled with air. They are very fast and can turn very quick with little chance of tipping. They basically hover over the water in a way and allow you to get much closer to the whales than a big boat would. This came in handy because the first Humpback Whale was marvellous. A big dark lump rising out of the water with a big blow of water going into the air. Then, like as if he was putting on a show, the giant tale whipped out of the water and softly entered back into the water. It was amazing to see such massive and majestic creature so close. The whale must have been 150-feet or so from the boat. Maybe closer. But it was my birthday and now I wanted to see more.
My birthday wishes were answered.
We must have seen about 12 Humpback whales that day. Fins to the right of me, tails to the left. The excitement didn’t stop. Even when the whales weren’t giving us a show, the captain would be driving at very fast speeds and would suddenly make a sharp turn, allowing the boat to go on its side. Perhaps a little scary but a lot of fun. As I said, these boats don’t tip easily.
After watching whale after whale, we went into a quiet little cove to see some of the big seals that were tanning in the sun. We were also lucky enough to see a beluga whale! I had never seen one of these stunning creatures in the wild before and although it was far away, it was a perfect way to end an incredible day.
The captain brought us back to shore but not before trying to make us tip over again. Three hours was a long time on the water but the time goes so fast when you’re seeing so much action. I wish we could have stayed longer.
Whale Watching Quebec City
If you’re ever around Quebec City, I HIGHLY recommend Tadoussac whale watching if it’s the whale watching season. If it is, GO. You won’t regret it. You’ll see whales from any boat but I’d recommend getting in a Zodiac if you want to get as close as possible.
Best Place for Whale Watching
Canada is home to the best whale watching in the world. After all, we’re connected to three oceans! We’ve now personally experienced whale watching from Vancouver, Vancouver Island (Port Renfrew), and various parts of Newfoundland. Each have their beauties and a variety of wildlife. Killer whale watching (aka: orcas) are best seen from the west coast. Whale watching Quebec is a great way to see Humpback whales without travelling to the far east or west. The most common Tadoussac whales are Humpbacks but there are many more you might see as well. Newfoundland is also great for humpback whale watching and you can also see the incredibly cute puffins if you go Bay Bulls, NFLD.
Where to Stay in Tadoussac Canada
There are a variety of Tadoussac hotels but if they’re full, there’s other small communities around. Tadoussac accommodation can be hard to find and/or expensive in the busy summer months. Another option is to stay in Quebec City, which is three hours away. To learn more about the best things to do in Quebec, check out our Quebec video on YouTube.
Have you ever gone on a whale-watching tour before? Where?