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May 23, 2018
France just got closer: Discover Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
One ever more popular Destination Saint Lawrence highlight is the French island territory of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, currently featured on a growing number of cruise itineraries. Stopovers in the territory provide an interesting alternative to more traditional Canada New England cruise programs. Indeed, you will doubtless have noticed that international cruise lines invariably include more than one country on cruise itineraries. The reason for this lies in coasting trade legislation which requires international ships to visit at least two countries on all sailings. Cruises departing Montréal or Québec therefore systematically include a stopover in a foreign port of call. Although stopovers tend to be more frequent in US-based ports, sailings to the French archipelago of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are on the rise.
Located a mere twenty kilometres off the southwest coast of Newfoundland at the entrance to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, this tiny French overseas territory is inhabited mainly by the descendants of 19th century immigrants from Normandy, Brittany and the Basque country. The archipelago comprises the islands of Saint-Pierre, Miquelon-Langlade and several other smaller isles. The local culture, accent and vibe are indisputably French which adds a singular splash of European flavour to any cruise itinerary.
The town of Saint-Pierre is built around the port, with attractions, restaurants and shops all within easy walking distance for visitors. Inhabitants number just over 5000 on Saint-Pierre and a little over 600 on Miquelon-Langlade. They will welcome you warmly and delight in helping you discover their islands where local flora and fauna has been preserved down through time. Surrounded by the sea, the islands are home to an abundance of birdlife, as well as wild horses and marine mammals such as seals and whales.
A number of excursions are available to visitors seeking to discover this little corner of France in North America. It is possible to tour the main islands by coach or strike out on an adventure tour of the nearby smaller islands. Visitors can travel from one island to the other by plane or ferry.
From the moment you set foot on Saint-Pierre, you will revel in the freshness of the ambient air, the charm of the colourful wooden houses, and the warmth of a people eager to share with you their culture, their history and their tales of fishing and remote island life.
This distinctive port of call guarantees visitors one and all a singular blend of warm, welcoming ways set to a cultural and linguistic backdrop reminiscent of metropolitan France.