November 7, 2016
Havre Saint-Pierre: inspiring
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If your ship is scheduled to call into port at Havre Saint-Pierre, you will find yourself in Québec’s North Shore region, about a 14-hour drive northeast along the Saint Lawrence from Montréal. The municipality is home to a little over 3000 inhabitants and extends along some 175 kilometres of coastline. To lend you a better sense of geographical isolation, Havre Saint-Pierre is located near the end of Highway 138 which continues on to Kegaska, about two and a half hours to the east. The villages beyond that are linked by coastal or air shuttle.
The majority of ships calling in at Havre Saint-Pierre dock just minutes by foot from the Portail Pélagie-Cormier terminal. There passengers will find travel information staff and a team of Parks Canada specialists on hand to assist them in maximizing their stay in the region.
Whenever more than one ship is in port, the second is anchored only minutes from the port area and passengers disembark at the marina adjacent to the welcome facility.
One regional must see is the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada which can be enjoyed via boat tours departing from the marina. To make certain that you get to see one or other of the islands of the Mingan Archipelago, it is essential to book ahead through your cruise line.
A visit to the Inuit Cultural Centre at Ekuanitshit will provide you with an insight into Inuit customs, traditions and ways of life. The centre is located several kilometres from the port area. Excursions organized by cruise lines include a visit to the permanent exhibition, The World of the Inuit, which celebrates the culture, language and harmonious relations enjoyed by the First Nations peoples of the region. You may wish to include a typical Inuit meal or sampling of local specialties on your tour program. The centre is an ideal place to pick up unique creations by local artisans.
Allow time after your planned excursions to stroll into the village and explore Place des Artisans where you will find an interesting selection of local crafts. Then round out your visit with a stop at Roland Jomphe Cultural Centre for an insight into Acadian history and influence in areas across the region.
For individuals in search of peace and quiet, a stroll along the coast will provide just that, along with amazing vistas of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
If time in port allows, you may wish to rent a vehicle and explore the villages of the Mingan coastal area. As the region extends over an area of some 200 kilometres, it is preferable to map out a detailed itinerary and book well in advance.
Additional activities on offer in the region will provide visitors with insights into the history and culture of Havre Saint-Pierre and the surrounding area. Consult the list of packages offered by your favourite cruise line or check out the offerings onsite.