Whale watching is big business in the Canadian province of Quebec. While driving from the capital, Quebec City, to the Atlantic shore of the Gaspe Peninsula, you’ll see dozens of whale-watching businesses. You can find a whale-watching tour for any taste or budget — from 500-passenger multi-deck boats to small sea kayaks that carry only a few people at a time.
But if you’re like me and your primary attraction is travel and landscape photography, I would recommend taking a whale-watching tour on the south side of Forillion National Park.
During my Gaspe Peninsula coastal drive I didn’t plan to take any whale watching tours, so I passed most of these businesses without stopping. But after spending two days in Forillion, I was looking for more and different photo opportunities, so it struck me that a whale-watching tour could provide me a completely different perspective on what I had been seeing.
I had already climbed to St. Albans observation point, and I had taken a visually stimulating hike along Gaspe Bay. I had also been completely overwhelmed by the beauty of Land’s End on the eastern part of the Gaspe Peninsula. But by taking a whale-watching tour, I was able to get a perspective on the landscape that you won’t find in many tourist photos.
The journey was comfortable while we were navigating through the Gaspe Bay, but it became windy and waves started crashing against the boat when we entered the open sea. I started to think that because of water splashes I would miss amazing opportunity but then I found a quiet spot behind the captain’s cabin. There, I could concentrate on my photography without worrying about the camera. I was rewarded with some unique photos of landscapes and seascapes of Forillion and Gaspe Bay.
And by the way, we saw plenty of whales.
How to Get There
Driving from Quebec City or Montreal to the northwest or from New Brunswick or Main to the south, take Route 132. Take the exit to Boulevard de Grande Greve towards south entrance of Forillon National Park.
Travel Photography Tip
It is ideal to have a weather-sealed camera because of the wind and water splashes. Since all my cameras are not weather sealed I use this very simple and effective trick.
Another option is to rent a sea kayak and to explore Gaspe Bay at your own pace. And there is a good chance you spot humpbacks whales while kayaking.