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7th October, 2015


Overnight we covered the 135 odd miles upstream to Quebec, embarking a docking pilot around breakfast time. By then the sun was beginning to show through the clouds and, beyond the cargo terminal on the south shore, Château Frontenac could be seen above old Quebec City on the north side of the river. In the distance downstream could be seen the impressive Montmorency Falls.

We had the passenger terminal to ourselves and from there, for those who chose not take one of our many tours, it was just a five minute walk to the Petit-Champlain district. Here there were cobbled streets and many characterful old stone building converted from the homes of wealthy merchants into cafés, boutiques and touristy type shops one might expect. It was busy with groups passing through following leaders holding up little flags who were trying to encourage some of their more wayward entourage from stopping to use their selfie sticks and keep up.

We chose not to take the funicular up towards the Château, once the home of the Governor of New France, but walk up the many steps, stopping on the way at a charming small park where the leaves were in a multitude of autumn colours and looked out over the river and above our ship. Further up we turned into a street with some fairly extravagant shops, my heart was in my mouth when Mrs R spent a protracted time in a furrier’s establishment. My wallet escaped unscathed, this time, and we continued on past the City Hall where, judging by the number of photographers around, we came just as some very important people were entering. I was more interested in the Halloween display on the steps, massive pumpkins and sunflowers were complimented by some rather unusual papier Mache statues.

The weather, despite a not over encouraging forecast, stayed mainly fair and all the folks I met said they’d had a great time. Quebec is definitely a place to which I would like to return. Staying until 2300 hours, there was opportunity to eat on board while enjoying the view of the magnificent illuminated Château and other grandiose public buildings.

Captain Philip Rentell

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