What first surprises visitors in Québec is the sheer number of wonderful vistas of the St. Lawrence River, which overlooks and beautifies neighbouring landscapes. The river carries, in turn, raw materials, locals traveling from shore to shore, and tourists the world over to the lively Old Port area: it truly is part of the city's DNA.
Stop by Baie de Beauport, a hop and a skip away from the city, and take part in a slew of water activities on the St. Lawrence River. People enjoy windsurfing, sailing catamarans, kayaking, stand-up paddling and kite surfing in this unique maritime environment! Whether you’re looking to get moving, cool off in the refreshing water games or simply bask in the sun, this is the place to be.
Québec is increasingly positioning itself on the international cruise scene as a destination and port of embarkation of choice. Over the years, it has welcomed over 500,000 passengers enjoying, among others, the Canada—New England itinerary. From summer to mid-fall, impressive ships such as the Queen Mary II call into Québec’s port. Cruise from Québec and discover for yourself the magnificence of the St. Lawrence River and the Atlantic seaboard!
Take the Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix and admire the river in a unique way. With a departure from Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, the scenery is spectacular from the beginning to the end! Traveling between river and mountains across 140 kilometers of breathtaking landscapes, the train is running from June to October.
Many excursions on several types of vessels leave from the Old Port of Québec. Navigate the region and enjoy unbeatable views of the Château Frontenac, the Chute Montmorency, Île d’Orléans and the Côte-de-Beaupré. And why not enjoy brunch, dinner or a show while on board? Let the St. Lawrence River’s waters lead you to the Grosse Île historical site or to the whales in Tadoussac and in the Saguenay’s fjord — where salt water and fresh water meet.
A significant legacy of the capital city’s 400th anniversary, the Promenade Samuel-De Champlain literally gives the river back to Quebecers. This enchanting space is a model of restoration of the St. Lawrence River’s shoreline and is dotted by a slew of attractions linked to the river, including a welcome centre, an interpretation path, an observation tower, pedestrian paths, themed stations, and parks. Families, walkers, runners, cyclists and in-line skaters gather here as soon as the weather warms up.
Short on time, but eager to take postcard-quality photos to savour for a lifetime? Hop the Québec–Lévis ferry across the St. Lawrence River. Winter, summer, spring, or fall, you’re guaranteed a spectacular view! Winter crossings are especially magical thanks to colliding chunks of ice. Set aside about an hour for a return trip.
In the winter, the St. Lawrence River’s waters are not exactly at rest! The ice canoe, which once upon a time was used by residents of Québec and Lévis as a means of communications, is now a competitive sport. During Québec’s Winter Carnival and the Grand défi des glaces, participants in this race give spectators an eyeful. This race against the clock sees canoes crossing the river and its frozen waters from shore to shore, not once, but several times.
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