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Quebec

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

5th October, 2018

After a fabulous day cruising in Saguenay Fjord and then the St Lawrence river, we made our approach towards Quebec just as the sun was setting. By now it was a perfect evening with the wind having dropped and during the final stretch to our berth we passed the Montmercy Falls, which roar down a 272 foot cliff and plunge into the St Lawrence River. Many of our Guests will be taking a tour their including a cable car to the top of the falls. The skyline of Quebec is quite stunning and the impressive Chateau Frontenac stands high above the city and quite the imposing building it is too!!

With the current running at up to 4 knots we really needed the added skill of a docking pilot and a tug as we had to swing through 180’ off the berth and then use the strong ebb tide to help guide us alongside. We were finally all fast alongside just after 1930 and had the gangway ready by 2000. Most guests however decided to stay on board overnight and take to the city the following morning. There were of course quite a few of the crew who decided to head into the city centre.

The crown jewel of French Canada, Quebec is one of North America’s oldest and most magnificent settlements. Its picturesque Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a living museum of narrow cobblestone streets, 17th & 18th century houses and soaring church spires with the magnificent Chateau Fontenac towering above it all. It is set on Cap Diamant and is a very cosmopolitan destination rich in culture, heritage and atmosphere. There is more than a glimmer of Old Europe in its classic bistros, sidewalk cafes and manicured squares.

We had 2 full days alongside so plenty of time for our Guests to explore Quebec. The Shore-Ex Manager Andy had a full tours programme over the 2 days including “Helicopter Flights over Quebec City”, “Old Quebec & Tea at Chateau Frontenac”, “Saint Anne de Beaupre & Montmercy Falls” to name but a few. There was also a complimentary shuttle bus to the city centre which only took 5 minutes so ideal for guest to explore the city independently.

I decided to head out on my bike as I was getting “withdrawal” symptoms after a 5 day “sabbatical”. It was quite an adventure just to get out of the dock as no-one was allowed to walk or cycle in the dock area. Having missed the shuttle bus a local Security Guard came to my rescue and offered to put my bike in the back of his 4x4. Once clear of the dock gates I cycled into town and then on the way back happened to meet up with my cycling buddy Rico, so we decided to head out past the ship and get a quick 25km under our pedals. It was a beautifully paved and scenic cycle path right along the edge of the St Lawrence.

During our 2nd evening in port we had a local group of the best dancers and musicians from Quebec City, who put on a terrific show called “La Compagnie de Danse Migrations”. It was a performance of traditional French Canadian dance, music and song – the Britannia Lounge was packed of course.

At 1900 we slipped our moorings and having swung off the berth we headed up river for the overnight passage to Montreal.

Captain Julian Burgess

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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