Whale Watching in Tadoussac, Quebec

whale tour tadoussac quebec

I can honestly say that I never once imagined going whale watching in the province of Quebec.

It was my birthday actually. The day before had seen us (My parents as well as my fiancé Karla 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 Cirque Du Soleil show. When we had arrived back to the room, Karla mentioned that my birthday was literally just around the corner.

It was July 30th but the 31st (My bday) was fast approaching.

She told me that when she was in Quebec 7 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. 😛

Humpback whales tadoussac quebec

July 31st came quick. I was now 29 years old. Thank you for the applause. It was 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 our wet suits, threw over a life-jacket and got ready for some action-packed fun.

Whale and seal tours tadoussac quebec

For those who don’t know what a zodiac boat is, there 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. They 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 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 creatures so close. The whale must have been 150 feet or so from the boat. Maybe closer. I loved what I had seen but I was craving 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. Scary but fun. As I said, these boats don’t tip.

After watching whale after whale, we went into a quiet little cove-of-sorts to see some of the big seals that were tanning in the sun. We were even so lucky 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.

sunset leaving tadoussac quebec

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 I could have stayed longer.

If you’re ever around Quebec City, I HIGHLY recommend contacting AML Cruises and finding out if its whale season. If it is, GO. You won’t regret it. If you have the time, try the Zodiac Expedition.

Have you ever gone on a whale-watching tour before? Where?



  1. Happy birthday! I am actually planning to visit Quebec City. Glad that I have found this post. I will definitely contact AML Cruises. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  2. I thought so, we must visit there!!

  3. Really? Whale watching in Quebec? I didn’t know that, too! Lol….

  4. Hi, I was wondering whether is was cumbersome to find your way down there from Québec city and taking that ferry. How often does that ferry go there? Where can I find details on this? I am from Belgium and will be visiting Québec soon. I am in doubt about taking this trip (and driving there myself, with our rental car) of taking another company that would pick us up at the hotel (which is less stressful but of course more expensive).


    • I’m not aware of ferries that would leave Quebec City to go to Tadoussac. However, it might be best to email the whale-watching company as they would know all your options for visiting them. I believe it is about 2-3 hours north of Quebec City and the ferry we took, takes you to the opposite side of the island. I would definitely sent them an email because there might be new services, especially now that summer is approaching…

  5. I saw whales in Azores, Sao Miguel island. Next point is Quebec 🙂 I just wait, especially because these one come at the surface more 🙂

  6. I spent some time in the Tadoussac area this summer. I went out whale watching a few times and saw some minke, fin and belugas. No humpbacks while I was there. I posted some photos on my site: http://raywatson.ca/2015/08/tadoussac-bergeronnes-photos-2015/

    It’s amazing that you can see the whales from shore as well.


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