by Stephen Johnson
Whale watching has always been one of our favorite family activities. On a recent trip to Quebec City, we could not miss the opportunity to go whale-watching on the St. Lawrence River. We decided to go on AML cruises for our whale-watching experience.
The starting point for our cruise was in Riviere du Loup, about a two-hour drive from Quebec City. The drive itself was beautiful as we passed through rolling hills on one side and the St. Lawrence River on the other.
Nestled along the shores of the St. Lawrence, the town of Riviere du Loup almost seemed like an ocean port. Our son,David explored the shoreline before our departure. Once all were aboard the boat, we set out on the St. Lawrence ready for a fun adventure. The guide went over a few safety rules and provided us with interesting information about the river.
After about 45 minutes, I spotted a group of white dots on the river. They turned out to be beluga whales. Overcome with excitement, I almost toppled our guide in the passion of the moment. Quickly, passengers shifted positions as smart phones went from texting to filming. The whales were quite far away but you could still make them out.
Things calmed down and we continued on our way. Our destination was the intersection of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence Rivers near the town of Tadoussac. This area is particularly popular with whales from about May to October.
We arrived in the prime whale-watching area and were soon rewarded. Our guide spotted a minke whale and David was soon busy taking pictures. We spent about an hour in the area and spotted numerous minke whales. David with thrilled with the up-close experience with nature. We were also travelling with family from Mexico who had never gone whale watching before. That made the experience extra special.
Soon enough, we were back on our way to Riviere du Loup. It should be noted that any experience viewing animals in nature is never the same. Some trips might have a plethora of whales and others might come up empty. There are also a number of different boat options ranging from raft-like zodiacs to boats similar to a small cruise ship. Boat tours set out from Riviere Du Loup or Tadoussac. For more information, visit www.croisieresaml.com.