Active Travels: Sea Kayak with Beluga Whales at Quebec’s Saguenay Fjord
By Steve Jermanok
On my last trip to the province of Quebec, I was fortunate to make it to Baie-Saint-Paul in the Charlevoix region, just north of Quebec City along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Charlevoix has become a foodie destination, cherished by residents of Montreal and Quebec City for its cheeses, breads, fresh salmon, microbrews, and local produce. Now I want to continue my journey up the St. Lawrence to La Malbaie, home to the classic Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. The old-style château dates back to the late 19th century and was originally built as a playground for the affluent of the Eastern Seaboard. President William Taft owned a home in the area and opened the original golf course here in 1925. The Fairmont continues to be one of Quebec’s most glamorous getaways, rising above the ocean-like expanse of the St. Lawrence River. Just north of La Malbaie is the mouth of the Saguenay fjord, where beluga whales like to play in the summer months. It’s always been on my wish list to kayak the 60-mile long fjord, then bike a portion of the 256-kilometer “Véloroute des Bleuets” or Blueberry Trail cycling path around Lac-Saint-Jean. The perfect Quebec adventure!