Gaspé (Gaspe), Canada

Introduction to Gaspé (Gaspe), Canada

Gaspé is the perfect base to explore the stunning surrounding landscape. Cruise around Bonaventure Island, discover the rich history of Gaspé on foot or visit the magnificent Forillon National Park, covering 244 square kilometres. You’ll find stunning landscapes with pebble beaches, dizzying cliffs, small coves and rocky capes, along with colonies of seabirds and Arctic-Alpine plants.

A visit to Gaspé is an unforgettable experience. A city that appeals to lovers of culture and those who enjoy getting closer to nature, Gaspé has something for everyone.

The city centre is a cultural paradise and is true to Gaspé’s historic roots. The vast array of bars, restaurants, festivals, entertainment and other activities represent the Irish, Acadian and French cultures that are synonymous with this particular Canadian region. Every where you look there is a something different to try.

Outside of the centre, those with an adventurous side will gasp at the sight of Gaspé’s natural delights. Home to the astonishing Forillion National Park, vast salmon filled rivers and stunning landscapes to explore, Gaspé is one of Canada’s finest natural wonders.

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Forillon National Park, Gaspe, Canada

BEST OF GASPÉ & FORILLION NATIONAL PARK (TOUR A)

  • Explore the memorable Forillon National Park – a preservation of wild beauty
  • Visit an authentic World War II coastal defence battery
  • Discover one of the tallest beacons built by the Canadians
Price£70.00 - £80.00
DurationApproximately 6 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Snack includedSnack included

A visit to Forillon National Park is sure to be a unique adventure! The tip of Forillon, which was declared a Canadian National Park in order to preserve the wild beauty of its coast, reveals various geological formations and phenomena up to 450 million years old. Its majestic landscapes cover 244 square kilometres an area that is carved out of the sea, cliff and mountains. Here, where the land joins the sea, are pebble beaches, dizzying cliffs, small coves, rocky capes and fine sand beaches. The presence of ten different rock formations, colonies of seabirds and enigmatic arctic-alpine plants give this park its unique character.

You begin your tour with a visit to Forillon’s Fort Peninsula, an old lookout and vestige of the Second World War. A little known episode of the war took place right in the Bay of Gaspé. At the outbreak of hostilities, the Department of National Defence requisitioned the future site of Fort Peninsula and set up a coastal battery to protect the port from possible enemy attack. Taking advantage of the natural features of the bay, military strategists built a naval base there.

Continuing, you head towards Cap Bon Ami Sea Cliffs. The cliffs consist of rock walls with a peak front and are located at the northern side of the Forillon Peninsula. These escarpments are huge, especially near the sea, from the end of the Cap des Rosiers plains to Forillon’s extremity. Each year the spring migrations bring double-crested cormorant, black guillemot, black-legged kittiwake, gulls and razorbill, all attracted by suitable breeding sites and an abundance of food in the waters of the Gulf of St Lawrence and Gaspé Bay. The sea cliffs of the Cap bon Ami area accommodate the park’s largest gathering of birds during the breeding period, including thousands of black-legged kittiwakes. Here you will be able to take a short walk along the beach if time permits.

Back on your coach, drive to Cap des Rosiers Lighthouse for a photo opportunity. Located in the northern area of Forillon National Park, this lighthouse, erected in 1858, is one of the tall beacons built by the Canadian Coast Guard in Quebec.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, before you travel on to your concluding stop, the fishing harbour at the Grande Grave Heritage Site where you will have the opportunity to visit the Hyman and Sons warehouse which reveals an almost forgotten past and attests to the way of life of Gaspe’s fishing families.

DESCRIPTTION CORRECT FOR 2015

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: There is approximately 200 metres of walking to reach the tour transport plus an additional 300 metres of walking involved in this tour. Please note that school buses may be used for this tour. We cannot guarantee the sighting of seabirds. Insect repellent is recommended. Tea / Coffee will be included with lunch which will consist of soup, chicken or shrimp vol-au-vents and a dessert of the day.

 


Perce, Gaspe

DISCOVER PERCE BY TRAIN (TOUR B)

  • Travel to Percé onboard the train L’Amiral
  •  Enjoy a distinctly Gaspésian experience
  •  Discover Percé at your own leisure
Price£90.00 - £110.00
DurationApproximately 6 1/2 hours
LimitationMinimum of 100 Participants Required to Operate
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Snack includedSnack included
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Enjoy a journey onboard the train L’Amiral and discover the beauty of the area, whilst sampling tasty snacks made from local products.

Typical Gaspésian music is played on board to make you feel at home in the Gaspé. To add a touch of history and culture to the experience, a guide will talk about different topics at pre-determined points of interest along the route. For example, as the train winds its way through Douglastown, the guide gives a brief two or three minute talk about the history of Irish settlement in the Gaspé.

The route offers you a cornucopia of views of majestic, one-of-a-kind landscapes. The route from Gaspé to Coin-du-Banc features sandy beaches, seascapes and a magnificent view of Percé Rock at Barachois.

Percé is a fascinating site that has attracted visitors since the 1930’s, when it became a popular cultural centre. Artists were attracted and charmed by the colourful fishermen and the incredible beauty of the site. Over the years, Percé has acquired an enviable position within the tourism industry of the province of Québec, being accurately described as the tourism capital of the Gaspésie region. With its magnificent landscapes and diverse activities, Percé lures ecotourism enthusiasts as well as admirers of art and culture.

Percé and its surroundings inspire energy and wonder. You can climb to strategic viewpoints and marvel at the surprising panoramas. Those interested in art and culture will be amazed by Percé’s vitality and diversity. It is an ideal place for shopping; its many souvenir shops, art galleries, and handicraft boutiques offer a wide variety of local and regional crafts and products, certain to inspire a multitude of gift ideas.

After approximately two hours of free time, you will return to Gaspé by train.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2015
 

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: There is approximately 200 metres of walking to reach the tour transport plus an additional 400 metres of walking involved with this tour over mainly flat and even surfaces. To board the train there may be a small gap and there are five steps with a handrail. There will be a short transfer by local school bus to and from the train station to a central drop off point in Percé.


 


Christ Roi Cathedral, Gaspe

HERITAGE TOUR OF GASPÉ (TOUR C)

  • Discover Gaspé’s rich history on foot
  • Explore the unique historic and artistic heritage of the peninsula
Activity Tour
Price£25.00 - £35.00
DurationApproximately 2.5 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Following the example set by St Malo explorer Jacques Cartier, the Gaspé heritage trail walk gives you the opportunity to learn more about and appreciate Gaspé’s historical and cultural heritage. View the architecture and commemorative art that speak of the past.

Travel through time and rediscover Gaspé as these sites whisper their tales of the time when native people first inhabited the region and the moment Jacques Cartier laid claim to the land.

Your first visit is to the Jacques Cartier Monument, which is located near the Musee de la Gaspésie, a regional museum. Inaugurated in 1982 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, this fascinating place commemorates the principal scenes of the historic encounter between western and native cultures and the official act that gave birth to Canada.

You will also see the Christ Roi Cathedral and the 1934 commemorative cross. Due to its audacious modern architecture, luminosity plays a singular role in this wooden cathedral. The building holds a historic and artistic heritage that is unique on the Gaspé Peninsula.

Located across from the Christ Roi Cathedral stands the celebrated ten metre granite monolith which symbolises the events of 1534 when Jacques Cartier took possession of the territory for the King of France. It was offered by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada as part of the festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Jacques Cartier in Gaspé.

A short coffee stop will be offered organised by local volnteers.

From here you return to the quayside and your awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2015
 

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: During this tour you will encounter approximately one mile of walking over some uneven ground. It is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility. It is advisable to wear comfortable, flat shoes and to dress in layers. We would like to point out that it is quite easy to explore Gaspé independently, however, this tour is accompanied by a fully qualified, English speaking guide.  All visits are external. Insect repellent is recommended.


Bonadventure Island cruise, Gaspe

PERCE & BONADVENTURE ISLAND CRUISE (TOUR D)

  • Enjoy a gentle boat ride around Bonaventure Island
  • Keep your eyes peeled for some of the 250,000 sea birds found here
  • Explore the charming cultural centre of Percé
  • Learn more about Percé’s rich historical and architectural heritage

 

Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApproximately 5 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Perched at the top of steep cliffs, Gaspé and Percé are breathtakingly beautiful, and the bus ride that joins the two towns is an unforgettable experience. As the bus winds slowly along more than 100 kilometres of rugged cliffs and past sweeping bays, you can admire the most extraordinary panoramas in Eastern Canada.

The Bay of Gaspé, the cliffs of Forillon National Park, the Barachois de Malbaie (sand bar), the unique precipices along the coast in Percé, and, of course, its legendary rock, offer a feast for the eyes.

Upon arrival in Percé, you will board your boat which takes you around the Parc National de I’lle Bonaventure et du Rocher Percé. You will see both sides of the famous Percé Rock, one of the world’s largest and most spectacular natural arches and a proud testament to Gaspésie’s geological heritage. An unshakeable mass of rock and limestone 375 million years old, it measures 433 metres in length, 90 metres wide, and 88 metres at its highest point. Its weight is estimated at five million tonnes. The arch itself is 15 metres high. The rock is a renowned nesting place for cormorants, kittiwakes and seagulls.

Bonaventure Island is home to a spectacular congregation of around 250,000 sea birds, including razorbills, gulls, murres, and puffins. The island also has 223 species of avian wildlife.

After the boat ride you will be given some free time to explore Percé for yourselves. Percé is a fascinating site which has attracted visitors since the 1930’s when it became a popular cultural centre. Artists were attracted and charmed by the colourful fishermen and the incredible beauty of the site. With its magnificent landscapes and diverse activities, Percé lures ecotourism enthusiasts as well as admirers of art and culture.

Percé and its surroundings inspire energy and wonder. You can climb to strategic viewpoints and marvel at the surprising panoramas. Those interested in art and culture will be amazed by Percé’s vitality and diversity. Here, you may meet local artists and artisans or discover Percé’s rich historical and architectural heritage. Percé is an ideal place for shopping; its many souvenir shops, art galleries, and handicraft boutiques offer a wide variety of local and regional crafts and products, certain to inspire a multitude of gift ideas. Here you can enjoy a snack (at your own expense), explore the lovely shops or simply relax in this beautiful environment.

After approximately 45 minutes of free time, you will re-board your bus for the return drive back to Gaspé.

DESCRIPTION CCORRECT FOR 2015

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: The majority of walking on this tour is at the discretion of the individual, however there is approximately 200 metres of walking to reach the tour transport and 400 metres of walking between the coach parking area and where you board the boat. Depending on the tides, the ramp used to board the boat may be steep. Please note that school buses may be used for this tour. We cannot guarantee what wildlife will be seen. There is no stopping on Bonaventure Island. The boat is undercover with a deck for observation. Sturdy shoes and weather appropriate clothing are recommended.


Forillon National Park, Gaspe

WALKING IN FORILLON NATIONAL PARK (TOUR F)

  • Explore Forillon National Park on foot
  • Learn about the way of life of fishing families

 

 

Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApproximately 4.5 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

 

 

Embark on a walking tour of the beautiful Forillon National Park.

The tip of Forillon was declared a Canadian National Park to preserve the wild beauty of its coast. Its majestic landscapes cover a 244 square kilometre area that is carved out of the sea, cliffs and mountains. Here, where the land joins the sea, are born pebble beaches, dizzying cliffs, small coves, rocky capes and fine sand beaches. The presence of ten different rock formations, colonies of seabirds and enigmatic arctic-alpine plants give this park its unique character.

Your walking trail, titled ‘Une tournée dans les parages’ (a walk around the area), begins near the fishing harbour at the Grande Grave Heritage Site. The Hyman and Sons warehouse and Blanchette House will reveal an almost forgotten past and attest to the way of life of Gaspé’s fishing families. The trail will take you back through fields and woods, past a number of old houses and barns. Outdoor exhibits along the way will recount the history of Grande Grave. The bracing sea air and Forillon’s magnificent panoramas are sure to make your walk all the more pleasant!

Following the conclusion of your walk, you re-board your tour bus for the return drive to Gaspé.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2015

 


 

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: Please note that this is primarily a walking tour covering approximately one mile, some of which will be over uneven ground; therefore it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Guests are advised to wear comfortable flat shoes and to dress in layers and you may wish to bring a bottle of water with you. For reference, the drive to Forillon National Park takes approximately 45 minutes; a school bus may be used for the transfer which may be shared with other organisations and not be exclusive to Fred. Olsen. Insect repellent is recommended.


 


WHALE WATCHING ADVENTURE (TOUR G)

  • Board the “Narval III” on the south end of the scenic “Grande Grave” site for an unforgettable whale watching adventure.
Boat Tour
Price£80.00-£90.00
DurationApproximatley 4 1/4 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Enjoy soaking up the exhilarating anticipation as you try to spot the huge back or tail of a whale, be witness to the excitement of hearing the explosive blow, and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins.

This cruise offers you just the right combination of adventure and untamed nature, in an exclusive whale-watching site.

Different types of whales might be spotted in this area including Fin whale, Mike, Humpback, Pilot whale to name a few.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2015 CANADA CRUISE

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This boat is a 48 seater hard shell expedition raft which is partially covered. Your whale watching cruise will last approximately two and a half hours. Raincoats and life jackets will be provided. We recommend wearing sturdy shoes with socks and outdoor, weather appropriate clothing. Please note that we cannot guarantee the sighting of whales or dolphins, as the mammals are in their natural free environment. The operation of this tour is subject to favorable sea and weather conditions. There are no toilets onboard the expedition raft, however there are some at the pier. There is approximately 75 metres of walking on tarred even ground. Guests must be able to get on and off the coach as well as board the raft on your own or with very little assistance.


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