Upon arriving, guests quickly understand why National Geographic magazine rates this town in the Top 50 must-see places in the world. Along the Upper Saint Lawrence River, Gaspé provides some of the oldest and most intriguing attractions. Its unique geography consists of lush arboreal forests, 350-million-year-old mountains and hundreds of crystal rivers that teem with salmon and trout. Grand vistas of land and sea are abundant, making binoculars essential to glean spectacular looks at unspoiled habitats. The mixture of French history with so many other diverse cultural elements also highlights the distinct Gaspésien community.

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  • Walking in Forillon National Park

    Follow a path through the fields and forests of Forillon National Park, stopping to take in the natural beauty and tour some of the historical homes from founding families.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a leisurely forty-five minute drive along the coast to Forillon National Park, an immensely scenic area that divides the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Gaspe. The park is somewhat mountainous, bordered by sea cliffs and almost entirely covered by dense forest.

    In time, you will reach the Grand-Grave heritage site, a restored fishing village with historical homes, barns and exhibits that reflect life here in the 19th century. Continuing on to a nearby trailhead, you will begin a moderate walk into the wonderfully inviting landscape. The sights along the way will be spectacular, as the trail affords panoramic views of Gaspe Bay and winds through bucolic fields dotted with historical buildings.

    You may stop at the Hyman House and Store, which was erected in 1864, when Grand-Grave was booming. It was built with techniques and materials specific to the vernacular neoclassical tradition and has been deemed a National Historic Site. A path from the store leads to another architectural treasure: the Dolbel-Roberts House, named for the two families that lived there successively from 1915 to 1970.

    Finally, there is the Blanchette House, where costumed interpreters are usually on hand to answer questions about the Grand-Grave farming and fishing community. Following your walk through this historical site, you will return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes 2 1/2 hours of easy to moderate walking over mostly even surfaces and covers approximately 1.5 miles in distance. There will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with walking difficulties. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes. Transportation is by local school bus.

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  • Perce On Your Own

    Spend several carefree hours strolling about the village of Perce, taking in its history, breathtaking natural beauty and charming atmosphere.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a spectacularly scenic seventy-five minute drive south, passing rugged seaside cliffs, sweeping bays and some of the most extraordinary landscapes in eastern Canada. The sights in every direction are inspirational.

    Arriving in the delightful fishing village of Perce, the next two and a half hours are yours to explore on your own. With no schedule to follow, you are free to spend as much time as you like in your favorite spots.

    History buffs might enjoy the Charles Robin sector, which is named for an 18th-century businessman that controlled much of the local cod trade. Some of his original warehouses for processing fish still remain, lending the area an historical flair.

    Nature lovers might walk to Mont-Joli, an overlook that offers a magnificent view of Perce Rock, one of the world’s largest natural arches. Its name derives from the fact that the sea has pierced holes in the massive limestone monolith creating arches, although only one remains.

    The neighboring island is Bonaventure, home to North America’s largest breeding colony of gannets. You are sure to spot them flying about and nesting on the island’s sheer cliffs.

    Perce also attracts art lovers, so feel free to browse the galleries for original artwork. It’s a fine way to make the most of your time before returning to the pier.

    Please note: Walking on this tour is at the guests’ discretion during the free time in Perce. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the bus, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes. Transportation is by local school bus.

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  • Cruise to Perce Rock & Bonaventure Island

    Enjoy a close-up view of the iconic natural landmarks that define Perce by cruising around massive Perce Rock and then walking a natural trail on Bonaventure Island.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a spectacularly scenic seventy-five minute drive south, passing rugged seaside cliffs, sweeping bays and some of the most extraordinary landscapes in eastern Canada. The sights in every direction are inspirational.

    Arriving at the village of Perce, you will board a boat and cruise toward Perce Rock, one of the world’s largest natural arches. Its name derives from the fact that the sea has pierced holes in the massive limestone monolith creating arches, although only one remains.

    Once attached to the mainland, Perce Rock can be reached on foot at low tide. However, the most practical way is by boat, as it can easily maneuver around the famed monolith. The single pillar at the end of Perce Rock once supported an arch and is known as The Obelisk. It’s quite a sight to gaze up at the sheer cliffs, which rise nearly 300 feet above the water.

    Then it’s on to neighboring Bonaventure Island, home to North America’s largest breeding colony of gannets. Incredibly, 200,000 birds usually nest here, and you will see many of them while walking the island’s heritage trail. It’s a great opportunity to stretch your legs, stroll through fields of wildflowers and perhaps see a 19th-century home. Afterwards, you will retrace your route back to Gaspe.

    Please note: This tour includes nearly 3 hours of moderate walking and covers approximately 3 miles in distance. There will be inclines, gravel, grass and uneven surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition. Guests who suffer from motion sickness should take the necessary precautions. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended.. Transportation is by local school bus.

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  • Best of Gaspe and Forillon National Park

    Admire the many historical sites along the shores of the Forillon National Park, including a World War II fort, Canada’s tallest lighthouse and a 19th-century manor house.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a picturesque drive along the coast to Fort Peninsula, a World War II naval base in beautiful Forillon National Park. It is the only completely preserved shore battery from the war, as you will discover while strolling about the fort’s tunnels, storage rooms and large guns.

    Next, you will visit Cap-Bon-Ami, a series of high sea cliffs known for their scenic beauty. The cliffs provide prime breeding grounds for seabirds such as black-legged kittiwakes and double-breasted cormorants. Great blue herons, terns and other seabirds inhabit the shore, and it’s quite a sight to watch them interacting in their natural environment.

    Continuing on, you will soon reach the Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse where you will make a photo stop. Erected in the 1850s, it is the tallest lighthouse in Canada and deemed a National Historic Site. The circular structure is built entirely of locally quarried limestone and faced with white marble.

    Just up the coast stands Le Boutiller Manor, another National Historic Site. Built around the same time as the lighthouse for merchant John Le Boutillier, the seaside manor is one of the few surviving examples of vernacular Quebec architecture. After your stop here, you will return to the pier via a scenic route that passes through an 18th-century village.

    Please note: This tour includes just over 2 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing over mainly flat surfaces. There will be a flight of stairs to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the bus, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. However, Fort Peninsula and Le Boutiller Manor are not wheelchair accessible. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes. Transportation is by local school bus. Fort Peninsula is undergoing construction work and may not be available. Should this be the case, additional time will be provided at the other stops.

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  • Walking Tour of Gaspe

    Take a leisurely walk through the streets of Gaspe, admiring its architectural treasures and learning about its fascinating history.

    After departing from the pier on foot, you will soon arrive in the heart of the historical and cultural section of Gaspe. The city’s name is derived from a First Nations phrase that means “land’s end,” an appropriate description because Gaspe sits on the very tip of a peninsula.

    Europeans arrived in 1534 when French explorer Jacques Cartier erected a cross here. He is held in such high esteem that it is almost impossible to escape Cartier’s influence and name while in town. In 1934 the city erected a commemorative cross to mark the 400th-anniversary of him setting foot here. There is a Jacques Cartier Monument National Historic Site with sculptures of the first encounter between Cartier and the indigenous people that greeted him. The Gaspe Museum is perched at the tip of Jacques Cartier Point, and much of your heritage walk will be along Rue Jacques Cartier. The explorer is that important to Gaspe.

    While strolling through the beautiful downtown, you can also expect to learn about other significant moments in the history of Gaspe. You may see a 19th-century hotel that is now the bishop’s residence, a former Neoclassical bank building that has been converted into boutiques, and homes of some of Gaspe’s most important settlers, which once housed Brazilian, Italian and Spanish consulates. Following this enlightening walk through Gaspe, you will walk back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes 2 1/2 hours of easy to moderate walking over uneven surfaces and covers approximately 1 mile in distance. There will be a flight of stairs to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with walking difficulties. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes.

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  • Perce Whale-Watching

    Cruise the waters off Perce looking for whales, which are found in abundance in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and then come ashore and browse the village on your own.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a spectacularly scenic seventy-five minute drive south, passing rugged seaside cliffs, sweeping bays and some of the most extraordinary landscapes in eastern Canada. The sights in every direction are inspirational.

    Arriving in the village of Perce, you will board your whale-watching boat and cruise into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Just offshore, you will see Perce Rock, one of the world’s largest natural arches, and Bonaventure Island, home to North America’s largest breeding colony of gannets. They are magnificent sights, perhaps only eclipsed by the spectacle of a whale breaching the water’s surface.

    Numerous species of whales inhabit the gulf and there is no telling what you will see. You may catch sight of a blue whale, the world’s largest mammal, or the agile Minke whale, which sometimes breaches the water vertically before landing on its belly or back. Fin whales are also prevalent and so fast that they are nicknamed the “greyhounds of the sea.”

    After approximately two hours of inspired whale watching, you will cruise back to Perce for a bit of free time to explore this charming town on your own. History buffs might enjoy the Charles Robin sector, named for an 18th-century businessman that controlled the local cod trade. Perce also attracts art lovers, so feel free to browse the galleries before returning to Gaspe.

    Please note: Walking on this tour is primarily at the guests’ discretion during the free time in Perce. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the bus and boat, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Guests who suffer from motion sickness should take the necessary precautions. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended. Transportation is by local school bus. Wildlife sightings, while likely, are not guaranteed.

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  • Walking Tour of Perce

    Enjoy a leisurely walk through the fishing village of Perce, admiring the historical architecture and natural beauty, especially famed Percé Rock.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a spectacularly scenic drive south, passing rugged seaside cliffs, sweeping bays and some of the most extraordinary landscapes in eastern Canada. The sights in every direction are inspirational.

    In time, you will arrive in Perce, a delightful fishing village set against a mountainous backdrop. Your walking tour begins near the wharf in the historical Charles Robin sector, which is named for an 18th-century businessman that controlled the local cod trade.

    Continuing on, you will pass Saint-Michel Church and soon arrive at Mont-Joli, which is dotted with grand summer homes. The overlook here offers a magnificent view of Perce Rock, one of the world’s largest natural arches. Its name derives from the fact that the sea has pierced holes in the massive limestone monolith creating arches, although only one remains.

    The neighboring island is Bonaventure, home to North America’s largest breeding colony of gannets. Its cliffs rise 250 feet above the sea and provide an excellent nesting habitat. Tens of thousands of birds can usually been seen around the island.

    Your guided walking tour ends back in Perce, where you will have some free time to further explore on your own. Inspired by the surrounding landscape, artists have been coming to Percé since the 1930s and you will see their works displayed in the galleries and shops. Afterwards, you will return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing over mostly even surfaces, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the bus, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes. Transportation is by local school bus.

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  • Cruise By Bonaventure Island & Perce Rock

    Cruise around magnificent Perce Rock and Bonaventure Island, which lie just off the village of Perce, which you will also explore.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a spectacularly scenic seventy-five minute drive south, passing rugged seaside cliffs, sweeping bays and some of the most extraordinary landscapes in eastern Canada. The sights in every direction are inspirational.

    Arriving at the village of Perce, you will board a boat and cruise toward Perce Rock, one of the world’s largest natural arches. Its name derives from the fact that the sea has pierced holes in the massive limestone monolith creating arches, although only one remains.

    Once attached to the mainland, Perce Rock can be reached on foot at low tide. However, the most practical way is by boat, as it can easily maneuver around the famed monolith. The single pillar at the end of Percé Rock once supported an arch and is known as The Obelisk.

    After cruising around Perce Rock, you’ll head toward the neighboring Bonaventure Island, home to North America’s largest breeding colony of gannets. Incredibly, 200,000 birds usually nest here, and while sailing past the rocky shore, you will see many of them flying about and perching on the cliffs.

    Back in Perce, you will have free time to explore this delightful village on your own. History buffs might enjoy the Charles Robin sector, named for an 18th-century businessman that controlled the local cod trade. Percé also attracts art lovers, so feel free to browse the galleries before returning to Gaspe.

    Please note: Walking on this tour is primarily at the guests’ discretion during the free time in Perce. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the bus and boat, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Guests who suffer from motion sickness should take the necessary precautions. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended. Transportation is by local school bus.

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  • Best of Perce

    Behold the breathtaking sights in and around Perce, including the offshore islands and the village’s wonderfully artistic downtown.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a hour, spectacularly scenic drive south, passing rugged seaside cliffs, sweeping bays and some of the most extraordinary landscapes in eastern Canada. The sights in every direction are inspirational and worthy of a photo.

    You will have the chance to take pictures while pausing at Mont-Joli overlook. It offers a grand view of Perce Rock, one of the world’s largest natural arches. Its name derives from the fact that the sea has pierced holes in the massive limestone monolith creating arches, although only one remains.

    The neighboring island is Bonaventure, home to North America’s largest breeding colony of gannets. More photo opportunities await you at the fishing harbor of L’Anse-à-Beaufils and at Côte Surprise, which offers a different perspective of Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island.

    You will be treated to yet another view of these iconic natural landmarks in Perce where you may explore the village on your own. Inspired by the surrounding landscape, artists have been coming to Percé since the 1930s and their paintings are displayed in the village’s galleries and shops.

    For an insight into history, be sure to stroll through the Charles Robin sector near the wharf. Or pick up author Paul Almond’s “Alford Saga,” an historical fiction series set on Gaspe. Following your free time in Perce, you will re-board your bus and return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 hour of easy to moderate walking/standing, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time over mostly even surfaces and covers approximately 1.5 miles in distance. There will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with walking difficulties. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes. Transportation is by local school bus.

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  • Hiking in Forillon National Park

    Hike a coastal trail in Forillon National Park, a winding path that affords stunning views of the sea before ending at a restored 19th-century fishing village.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a leisurely forty-five minute drive along the coast to Forillon National Park, an immensely scenic area that divides the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Gaspe. The park is somewhat mountainous, bordered by sea cliffs and almost entirely covered by dense forest that is populated by black bears, porcupines, beavers and many species of birds.

    Upon arriving at Petit-Gaspe beach, you will begin hiking the Mont St-Alban trail. Although it ascends rather steeply at the start, the trail then zigzags along the rocky cliffs and opens to several lookouts that offer stunning views of the sea below. You can also expect to observe seabirds such as gulls and eiders.

    In time, you will reach an observation tower that affords a stunning 360-degree view. The large island to the northeast is Anticosti, a Provincial Wildlife Reserve. If it is a clear day and you look south, you may be able to see Bonaventure Island off the coast of Percé.

    Toward the end of the hike, you will arrive in Grand-Grave, a restored fishing village with historical homes, barns and exhibits that reflect life here in the 19th century. Some of the buildings are National Historic Sites; the most notable being the Hyman House and Store, which was built with techniques and materials specific to the vernacular neoclassical tradition. After strolling about this historical site, you will board your bus and return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes 2 1/2 hours of moderate to strenuous walking over mostly even surfaces and covers approximately 3.5 miles in distance. There will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket and an umbrella in case of rain; sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking/hiking shoes. Transportation is by local school bus.

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