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IN THE HEART OF THE MINGANIE Havre-Saint-Pierre: the port of call that’s got it all . The charming town of Havre-Saint-Pierre is in the very heart of the Minganie. The town is actually inside the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, the northernmost “Cruise the Saint Lawrence” destination .

HOSPITALITY IS IN OUR NATURE The local residents of Havre-Saint-Pierre refer to themselves as Cayens and are very proud of their Acadian heritage, which is evident in the warm hospitality they lavish on visitors to the area. The salt air and sea ways are deeply imbedded in the town’s lifestyle. As local pœt Roland Jomphe says, people here proudly declare that salt water “runs through their veins.” This port town of 3400 was founded in 1857 by six fishing families from the Magdalen Islands. Originally known as Pointeaux-Esquimaux, the town was renamed Havre-Saint-Pierre after the patron saint of fishermen in 1927.

Havre-Saint-Pierre is becoming an increa­ singly popular stopover for international cruises thanks to a deepwater port that can handle vessels of any size…not to mention town’s many attractions and the amazing beauty and diversity of the backcountry.

PORTAIL PÉLAGIECORMIER TERMINAL Located between the marina and the port, the Portail Pélagie-Cormier Terminal is the place for finding what you’re looking for and your way around. The terminal houses the municipal and regional tourism information centre, reception desk and one permanent Parks Canada exhibit. It’s also home to the offices of boat operators, where visitors can book transportation to parks and other destinations.


ALL OF THE MINGANIE IS YOURS TO ENJOY The Minganie Region spans 360 kilometres (225 miles) of coastline from the Natashquan River in the east to the Au Bouleau River in the west. It’s also home to Anticosti Island, the Grand Lady of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

The Minganie offers adventures and activities of every stripe for nature and history buffs alike. From whale and bird watching to seakayaking and voyages of discovery into the history of this hardy land and the rich Acadian and Innu cultures it was built on. Occupied with over 120 000 deers, the National Park is abound of life and natural beauty.


Each is literally a “treasure island.” You will enter an imaginary world where fanta­ bulous monoliths tell old tales spanning nearly 500 million years. Wild life starring amazing marine birds and richly diversified plant life forming a botanic oasis har-

moniously conspire side by side to awaken a sense of discovery and adventure in visitors. The lighthouses on some islands recall the days of yesteryear and take you back to moments that marked the lives of the era’s lighthouse keepers and mariners. SEA-KAYAKING ALONG THE ARCHIPELAGO The adventure begins on the beach at Havre-Saint-Pierre. The first stopover is Île du Havre, entryway to the many Mingan islands. You’ll enjoy the hidden beauty of the eroded cliffs and seashore as you paddle up island coastlines and may even see seals and minke whales up close.


The Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve has the country’s largest concentration of erosion monoliths. The unique reserve and the surrounding 30 limestone islands and more than 1000 granitic islets and reefs are home to an astonishing array of bird, plant and marine life. Sign up for one of the guided tours that leave from the Havre-Saint-Pierre Marina, and be prepared to be amazed.

THERE’S NO SHORE LIKE THE NORTH SHORE... Activities abound to make even the shortest stopover an event to remember. Havre-Saint-Pierre is a great destination in itself and gateway to all the wonders the Minganie has to offer.




This hiking tour takes you on a journey into the Cayen (Acadian) lifestyle as well as the historical and economic background of Havre-Saint-Pierre and region. You’ll quickly understand why locals are so proud of their Acadian heritage, their unique accent and the tri-colour flag flying high all over town.

This sandy beach stretches out before you for miles and miles. Whether you choose to sunbathe or simply walk along the water’s edge, you’ll find pristine tranquillity your constant companion, with the sound of waves gently lapping the shore and perhaps the occasional whale singing as it swims along the coastline. You can see islands in the Mingan Archipelago right from the beach.

This old general store houses a permanent exhibit whose theme is “the other story,” time-lining the history of Havre-SaintPierre from its founding in 1857 until today. The interpretive centre is conveniently located in the port area and provides an opportunity to learn more about the local Cayens in a self-guided visit or as part of a guided tour.

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN INNU CULTURE Minganie is home to two Innu communities fiercely proud of their culture and traditions  – the Nutashkuan First Nation in Pointe-Parent and the Ekuanitshit First Nation in Mingan.

Mingan was a major fishing and trading post for the Hudson Bay Company. Now also known as Ekuanitshit, which means “take care of the place where you live.” Treat yourself to some real traditional Innu food (it doesn’t get any more natural than this) and drop in for a visit to their new Maison de la Culture to experience Innu history and tradition firsthand. And don’t forget the magnificent Mingan Church. The church is decorated entirely with Innu art for a magical glimpse into the mysteries of Innu culture and its people.

NATASHQUAN IS ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC AND HISTORY This aboriginal region has only been accessible by road since the opening of Route 138 in 1996. Natashquan is the birthplace of pœt and singer-songwriter Gilles Vigneault, who found his muse in the town’s colourful characters and striking North Shore vistas. His poetry has touched the hearts of millions of people in Quebec and around the world. Gilles Vigneault figures prominently in Natashquan’s cultural life today. The “Vieille École” where he first went to school is now a museum with exhibits on life here as told through his songs. The Bord du

cap Interpretive Centre is a replica of the Natashquan general store with 35 themes time-lining the town’s history, as well as a space dedicated to local traditional music, especially the songs of Gilles Vigneault. Make sure you visit the Galets Fishing Camp. Known as the Magasins du Galet, these small buildings on the outskirts of town were once owned by the fishermen of Natashquan and used to store tackle, salt and dry cod, and seal oil. They now belong to small independent local fisheries.

INSPIRATING SYMPHONY Rivière-au-Tonnerre was first settled in 1853 by families from Anticosti Island. It’s easy to understand why they chose such an awe-inspiring seaside location to call home.

The view at the Rivière-au-Tonnerre Waterfall is impressive to say the least – the river drops

33 metres (over 100 feet) — and the sound is impressive too, a thunderous symphony and inspiration for the river’s name. Rivière-au-Tonnerre’s award-winning Maison de la chicoutai is a must-see on Quebec’s Route des saveurs (flavour trail). The Maison promotes the fruit the region is famous for, the cloudberry, and its many tasty possibilities.


They showed their gratitude and love for their new home in many ways and especially in the divinely beautiful Rivière-au-Tonnerre Church. This impressive century-old wooden structure was built by over 300 volunteers, and decorated end to end in series of wood designs handcarved by local townspeople.

A WHALE OF A GOOD TIME The whales await you in the open waters at Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan. You can also visit the Mingan Island Cetacean Study Centre, founded in 1979 by noted whale biologist Richard Sears. This non-profit research organization is dedicated to the ecological study of marine mammals.


The centre offers visitors the chance to see lifesize sculptures and frescos, a sound room to familiarize yourself with the different sounds whales emit in their natural habitats and the

chance to ask onsite biologists questions about these giants of the deep. While in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, stop over at the Parks Canada welcome centre in the same building. Seize the opportunity to see “Islands in the sea,” a new exhibit on the Mingan Archipelago’s “treasures” and the marine environment surrounding the region’s islands. Enjoy your voyage to the “Islands in the sea!”


This fishing village was originally known as Piashte Baie, after the river that runs through it. In 1925, it was renamed after the Belgian natu­ralist Johan Beetz, who settled here. Beetz fell in love with the region’s wildlife, and helped cofound the Quebec Zoological Society. You can learn more about this multifaceted man by touring the manor he called home, a place the townsfolk affectionately call “the castle.” The manor was declared a national historical monument in 1979 and now houses the Pourvoirie BaieJohan-Beetz, a fishing and hunting outfitter.

AGUANISH, THE DEVIL’S COOKING POTS The town of Aguanish, Innu for small shelter, really lives up to its name. The town is sheltered by the massive dunes along the Aguanus River. Guided Trait de scie (saw tooth trail) boat and hiking tours take you to the mouth of an 8 metre (26-foot) wide canyon that is over 1 kilometre long (more than half a mile) with small waterfalls cut by strong currents into the pink granite that forms the riverbed. During this exciting family adventure, you’ll also see the giant holes drilled into the riverbed by the raging current. The holes are so polished they look like cooking pots, which explains their nickname: the devil’s cooking pots.






Total berthing length: 300 m Draught: 9 m Berth: 108 m With berthing dolphin: 171 m Wharf apron: 19.5 m

2.3 m

MARINE REFERENCES Nautical charts no. 4429 and 4430 from the Canadian Hydrographic Service Latitude 50° 14’ 10” N Longitude 63° 36’ 30” O

SERVICES AVAILABLE ON DEMAND • Fuelling trucks/stevedoring company • Drinking water – conditional • Lighting • Electrical power – small vessels only • Boarding ramp – upon request • Stevedoring • Temporary storage of merchandise • Shuttle service • Tugboat service



1010, Promenade des Anciens, Havre-Saint-Pierre (Qc) G0G 1P0 Tel. : 418 538-1515 — Fee free : 1 877 538-1515 info@rendezvousminganie.com

1010, Promenade des Anciens, Havre-Saint-Pierre (Qc) G0G 1P0 Tel. : 418 538-1520 — Fax. : 418 538-1545 info@porthsp.ca


Profile for Cruise the Saint Lawrence

Havre-Saint-Pierre - Gateway to the Minganie  

Havre-Saint-Pierre: the port of call that’s got it all. The charming town of Havre-Saint-Pierre is in the very heart of the Minganie. The to...

Havre-Saint-Pierre - Gateway to the Minganie  

Havre-Saint-Pierre: the port of call that’s got it all. The charming town of Havre-Saint-Pierre is in the very heart of the Minganie. The to...