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  • Discover the Innu Culture

    Become immersed in the traditions of the indigenous Innu by visiting a First Nations village where their culture is celebrated through art, cuisine and folklore.

    After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a wonderfully scenic drive along the coast of the St. Lawrence River to Ekuanitshit, a First Nations community in an area where the Innu people have lived for thousands of years. The name itself translates to “take care of the place where you live”. Upon arriving, you will stop in a church decorated with original Innu artwork that will provide an enlightening immersion into the Innu culture.

    Continuing on, you will visit the House of Culture, a gathering place that celebrates the First Nations people. Although the building is rather new, it was designed to reflect traditional Innu longhouses and the Innu’s sense of belonging to the surrounding Mingan islands.

    While here, you will learn how the Innu have long used indigenous herbs and shrubs for medicinal purposes. The plants are often prepared as pastes and poultices or chewed raw to treat a variety of afflictions, including stomach disorders, headaches and toothaches. Although more than 500 medicinal plants have been officially recorded, many others may have been forgotten over the centuries as that knowledge was typically passed down orally.

    Finally, you will have the opportunity to sample traditional Innu cuisine. The exact items will be chosen that day, but you might expect to sample wild game, smoked fish, fresh berries and Innu dishes flavored with herbs. Afterwards, you will return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 90 minutes of easy walking/standing that includes some steps and 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 transportation, 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; an umbrella; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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  • Walking Tour of Havre-Saint-Pierre

    Stroll through the streets of lovely Havre-Saint-Pierre, an easy-to-walk village in one of the most beautiful settings on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River.

    Leaving on foot from the pier, you will soon arrive in the heart of Havre-Saint-Pierre, a spectacularly scenic village settled in 1857 as a base for fishing and logging. Those two industries drove the economy until the 1940s, when the world’s largest deposit of ilmenite—the chief source of titanium—was discovered north of the village.

    Although mining is now the chief industry, Havre-Saint-Pierre still celebrates its past, as you will soon realize walking around the compact downtown. One of the highlights along the way is the House of Roland Jomphe Culture, a former general store from the 1940s that showcases the history of Havre-Saint-Pierre through photographs and other historical items.

    The village’s interpretation center on the wharf is another fount of information. It focuses on the area’s arctic and alpine flora, unique fauna and distinctive geology. The coastal rocks are particularly strange looking, as many of them are freestanding monoliths that rise more than 25 feet high. It’s a wonderful setting for beautiful Havre-Saint-Pierre, which has long been shaped by the forces of nature and the villagers’ connection to the land and sea.

    Your walking tour ends back at the pier, but you may remain in the village and return later on your own.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 90 minutes of easy to moderate walking. There will be some uneven surfaces and a few steps to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have an able-bodied companion to push their wheelchair. The tour is not considered suitable for those with walking difficulties. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

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  • Ile Quarry Exploration

    Cruise to lovely Ile Quarry for a leisurely nature walk around this pristine, monolith-dotted island that offers some of the most diverse terrain in the region.

    After departing from the pier, you will soon arrive at a small marina, where you will board a Zodiac boat and begin cruising the waters of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. One of the first islands that you will pass is Ile du Fantome, where you will behold its bizarrely shaped limestone monoliths and coastal ledges.

    It’s quite the sight and makes as excellent introduction to your arrival at Ile Quarry, another island characterized by massive ancient monoliths. Over the centuries, the erosive powers of the wind and sea have sculpted the monoliths into tall fanciful shapes that tower over the landscape, particularly the shoreline. The monoliths may date back more than 500 million years, when a shallow tropical sea covered this area.

    You will have time to explore these strange formations while accompanying a naturalist through the spectacularly scenic landscape. Other habitats include a boreal forest, peat bogs, barrens and cliffs. In fact, the variety of terrain is what makes Ile Quarry so special.

    The island is also wonderfully diverse with regard to flora and fauna. Some of the vegetation usually only thrives in arctic and alpine regions, and it may well be in bloom. Birds are also abundant and include peregrine falcons, ovenbirds and ruby-throated hummingbirds.

    In time, you will cruise back to the mainland and return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes nearly 3 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing. The guided walking tour on the island is over 2 hours and covers 1.5 miles over mostly even surfaces. There will be some steps to negotiate and participants must be able to enter and exit the boat on their own. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with walking difficulties who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Participants who suffer from motion sickness are cautioned to take appropriate measures prior to commencing the tour. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

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  • Ile Niapiskau - Daughter of the Sea

    Hike a natural trail on the Ile Niapiskau, a nearby island known for its oddly shaped monoliths and remarkable biodiversity.

    After departing from the pier, you will soon arrive at a small marina, where you will board a boat bound for Ile Niapiskau, an island in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. The island’s most distinguishing feature is its large concentration of limestone monoliths, which the erosive powers of the wind and sea have sculpted over the centuries.

    Upon arriving, you will enjoy a relaxing walk, accompanied by a naturalist that will explain the most unusual aspects of Ile Niapiskau. The monoliths will be the stars of the geological story, as they date back more than 500 million years, when a shallow tropical sea covered this area. In fact, because of their origin, the islands of the Mingan Archipelago are known as “daughters of the sea.”

    Local poet Roland Jomphe named many of the monoliths, and one of the trails on Ile Niapiskau bears his name. The most famous monolith is Bonne Femme, the “Good Woman.” However, you are welcome to interpret its shape however you please.

    The naturalist will also point out interesting flora. You might see Mingan thistle, which is usually found in arctic regions, and colorful saxifrage, the so-called “rock breaker,” as it often grows in crevices. Birds are also plentiful on the island, and you may spot cormorants, razorbills and puffins. You may even catch sight of a seal while cruising back to the marina.

    Please note: This tour includes nearly 2 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing. The guided walking tour on the island covers 1/4 mile. There will be some uneven and gravel surfaces and numerous steps to negotiate and participants must be able to enter and exit the boat on their own. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with walking difficulties. Participants who suffer from motion sickness are cautioned to take appropriate measures prior to commencing the tour. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

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  • Petite Ile Au Marteau

    Enjoy a relaxing walk around an immensely picturesque island just offshore, where you will admire the natural setting and see the meticulously restored lighthouse.

    After departing from the pier, you will soon arrive at a small marina, where you will board a boat bound for Petite Ile au Marteau, an island in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. A short cruise takes you to this small island that is crisscrossed with natural trails.

    During your time on the island, you will be accompanied by a naturalist and explore the bountiful nature that makes this one of the most beautiful islands in the reserve. Some of the vegetation usually only thrives in arctic and alpine regions, including certain species of azaleas and bearberry. The diversity of plants is remarkable throughout the island, and you may also see tamaracks, bird’s-eye primrose and purple cinquefoil.

    Birds are the dominant animals, and there is no telling what you may spot. Peregrine falcons, ovenbirds and ruby-throated hummingbirds all live here. You might even catch sight of dolphins and seals offshore. In fact, walrus were once so prevalent on Petite Ile au Marteau that it was called Walrus Island.

    Although people no longer inhabit the island, you will have an opportunity to visit the lighthouse that keepers occupied from 1915 to 1987. The lighthouse is now fully automated and only the keeper’s residence remains as a reminder that the light once had to be turned on manually. In time, you will cruise back to the mainland and return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes nearly 3 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing. The guided walking tour on the island covers 3/4 of a mile. There will be some gravel surfaces and steps to negotiate and participants must be able to enter and exit the boat on their own. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with walking difficulties. Participants who suffer from motion sickness are cautioned to take appropriate measures prior to commencing the tour. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light sweater or jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

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