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Lighthouse and rocky shores

The St. Lawrence River in the Heart of the Boreal Winter

Saint Pierre Island - Québec - Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot
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Set sail on a 13-day St. Lawrence River in the Heart of the Boreal Winter cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot, starting with a flight from Montreal to Saint Pierre Island. Explore the French territory of Saint Pierre and Miquelon with its rich fishing history and diverse wildlife. Cape Breton Island offers snowy landscapes, the iconic Big Fiddle, and Acadian culture. Discover the enchanting landscapes of the Magdalen Islands, Gaspé's winter beauty, and the magical Percé Rock. Experience the Innu culture in Sept-Îles and enjoy the serene Saguenay River. La Baie invites you to snowshoe and try traditional ice fishing. Quebec City's historic winter charm, including the Plains of Abraham, adds a delightful touch to the journey. Disembark after breakfast, leaving behind cherished winter memories.
Overlook the Atlantic from the Canadian coastAdmire the distinctive skyline of Quebec CityExplore beautiful MontrealStroll by the river running through Quebec CityKayaking toward an icebergLighthouse and rocky shores
Highlights
  • Featuring Ian Dawson, British Photo Ambassador, as special guest
  • Explore Magdalen Islands' enchanting snowy landscapes and Acadian tradition
  • Journey through Sept-Îles, meeting Innu people and enjoying winter festivities
  • Explore Quebec City's historic streets, snowy charms, and winter activities
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Fly to Saint Pierre Island | Embark

Fly from Montreal to Saint Pierre Island, where you will be greeted at the airport by a local English-speaking representative. Afterward, proceed to the pier for embarkation.

Off the Canadian coast, discover Saint Pierre Island, one of the two main islands of the Saint Pierre and Miquelon archipelago, the only French territory in North America. Endowed with a natural harbor, the island, whose name is a reference to the patron saint of fishermen, developed around the fishing industry and still has many traces of its past today. Whale hunting, cod fishing, alcohol smuggling during the Prohibition: all of these memories are still very much alive in the capital, Saint-Pierre. The island is also renowned for the observation of exceptional fauna including, among others, whales, fin whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, and petrels.

Day 2: Sydney, Nova Scotia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Anchored on the eastern shores of the province of Nova Scotia, Sydney, the largest town on Cape Breton Island, stands proudly opposite the icy breezes of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Fall under the charms of an immaculate and preserved nature in this winter setting. Here, the snow-capped mountains plunge into the waters dotted with drifting ice floe, the rays of winter sun caress the captivating conifer forests with their golden hue, creating enchanting plays on light. On these lands steeped in history, the place where the Mi’kmaq indigenous people encountered the British and French explorers, discover a rich heritage shaped by these different visits, as evidenced by the emblematic Big Fiddle, the largest violin in the world standing over 18 meters (60 feet) tall.

Day 3-4: Cap-aux-Meules, Magdalen Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Scattered through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the Magdalen Islands offer a variety of extraordinary landscapes, between captivating drifting ice floe, tall red sandstone cliffs, sandy beaches covered with an immaculate coat, and snow-covered valleys. Here, winter really is a special season, a time of contrasts and mysteries. The icy winds intertwine with the softness of the salty air, and the colourful houses, dressed in their finest attire, stand bravely in this enchanting scenery. In these distant lands, you will be plunged into the Acadian culture, you will discover ancestral traditions here and will have the chance to explore the unique landscapes on hikes or snowshoe walks along the icy shores.

Day 5: Gaspé

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the glacial darkness of the Canadian winter, Gaspé stands proud like a preserved and authentic jewel at the edge of the dark waters of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Nature seems to be holding its breath. The captivating Mount Jacques-Cartier, the highest point of the Chic-Choc Mountains range and the South, is dressed with an immaculate coat of snow, while the frozen rivers slowly wind their way, fixing time in their icy embrace. During a snowshoe walk, fall in love with the captivating landscapes of the L’Anse-au-Griffon Valley, right in the heart of the Forillon National Park. Then, in Percé, opposite the famous eponymous Rock, dive into the natural beauty of the “magic forest”, where thousands of conifers decked out in an immaculate white cloaks are like silent guardians watching over this isolated piece of land. You may also fall in love with this charming town, where the exciting history and the conviviality of the locals come together in a delightful blend.

Day 6-7: Sept-Iles

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
On the edge of the Canadian landscape, between the icy waters of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Sept-Îles invites you on a unique journey. Surrounded by a captivating sea of ice and an immaculate boreal forest, the seven islands, eternal guardians of the coastline, seem to murmur timeless stories. In particular, you will have the privilege of meeting the Innu people, the indigenous civilization of the Côte-Nord, during a unique moment when you will learn more about their ancestral customs and traditions. The area is famous for its winter festivities; like its emblematic Hivernants (hunters and trappers who would spend the winter), fall under the charm of its unique environment. During Nordic hikes on skis or snowshoes, you will be enchanted by its captivating landscapes.

Day 8: Sailing Saguenay River

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the heart of winter, the Saguenay River becomes an enchanting setting. Aboard Le Commandant Charcot, set sail on a captivating cruise. The once turbulent waters of the Saguenay are now calm and silent, covered in a thick layer of ice. The trees lining its shores are wrapped in a glistening coat of snow, forming a majestic alley. At twilight, when the sun is setting behind the mountains, pink and gold reflections light up the horizon, turning the landscape into a bewitching tableau.

Day 9-11: La Baie (Saguenay)

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
During the long winter months, in the majestic Saguenay Valley, the borough of La Baie is cloaked in an aura of mystery. Here, the striking contrasts of its pristine lands, where nature displays its full splendor, invite you to experience a unique moment alongside the Saguenayens, a people amongst the most welcoming and hospitable in the world. During a snowshoe walk or a dog sled outing, as a passenger or a musher, take the time to observe immaculate nature bordered by a thick ice floe, where Le Commandant Charcot will remain for several days, and you will be able to disembark. Each winter, hundreds of colorful huts are set up on these frozen waters to practice traditional ice fishing. You will be initiated into these ancestral techniques and have the pleasure of tasting freshly caught rockfish.

Day 12: Quebec

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the confluence of the Saint Charles River and the Saint Lawrence estuary, in the South-East of Canada, the capital of the Beautiful Province puts on its best finery in the winter season. During its long winter months, the historic streets of the city - whose name means “where the river narrows” in the Mi'kmaq language - are decked out in a cloak of snow. Let yourself be swept away by the unique atmosphere of the old town, including in the Petit Champlain district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the aromas of spices and hot chocolate emanating from the surrounding cafés will warm up hearts and souls alike. An oasis in the heart of urban life, the Plains of Abraham will provide you with the opportunity to try out the most popular winter activities, like cross-country skiing or ice skating, while making the most of sumptuous panoramas over the city that hosts the world’s largest winter carnival every year.

Day 13: Quebec | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
At the confluence of the Saint Charles River and the Saint Lawrence estuary, in the South-East of Canada, the capital of the Beautiful Province puts on its best finery in the winter season. During its long winter months, the historic streets of the city - whose name means “where the river narrows” in the Mi'kmaq language - are decked out in a cloak of snow. Let yourself be swept away by the unique atmosphere of the old town, including in the Petit Champlain district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the aromas of spices and hot chocolate emanating from the surrounding cafés will warm up hearts and souls alike. An oasis in the heart of urban life, the Plains of Abraham will provide you with the opportunity to try out the most popular winter activities, like cross-country skiing or ice skating, while making the most of sumptuous panoramas over the city that hosts the world’s largest winter carnival every year.

Disembark after breakfast.

Ship/Hotel

Le Commandant Charcot

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$24,210 2-3 travelers
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat-screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 7
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 8
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Deluxe suite
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Deluxe Suite Deck 6
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat-screen tv, wifi, minibar, and safe
Deluxe suite
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Deluxe Suite Deck 7
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat-screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe.
Deluxe suite
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Deluxe Suite Deck 8
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat-screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe.
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 7
40m² and a 10m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with two showers, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Prestige Suite Deck 8
40m² and a 10m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with two showers, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Grand Prestige Suite
42m² and a 12.5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Privilege Suite
48m² and a 12.5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
suite duplex
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Suite Duplex
48m² and a 26m² private balcony with jacuzzi, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
owners suite
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Owner's Suite
114m² and a 186m² private balcony with jacuzzi, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.
Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
  • 12 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Ponant Activities: A variety of excursions and activities will be offered during your cruise, weather dependent, and can be reserved on board
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
  • Flight Montreal / Saint Pierre and Miquelon selected by the PONANT in economy class.
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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