Saguenay Fjord, Canada Cruise Port
A relative newcomer in terms of becoming an official city, the cruise port of Saguenay, Canada is surrounded by natural beauty. Although the area was settled in the 1840s (with earlier French explorers using the area as a fur trading post, and used for centuries by the Montagnais tribes), it wasn't until 2002 that Saguenay was formed by joining with several other cities, such as Chicoutimi, Jonquière, and Laterrière. Situated on the Saguenay River in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, the port (called La Baie) is a stopping point for those exploring the wonders of the area, such as Saguenay Fjord and Saguenay Fjord National Park. The city of around 145,000 residents is an eclectic mixture of historic and modern sights; it links to nearby Lac Saint-Jean to draw tourists, especially from the more populous Quebec City. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Saguenay, Canada:
The Saguenay Fjord is the fourth largest in the world. Your first introduction to it will likely be on the cruise ship, but take a tour even closer (espeically by Zodiac raft) to get the full impact of the towering cliffs that reach to the sky and plummet far below the river's surface.
The area highlight is the Saguenay Fjord National Park, which extends to both sides of the St. Lawrence River. There are plenty of hiking trails, dunes, whale-watching spots, and encounters with flora and fauna (including wolves, black bears, lynx, beavers, and moose).
There are three regions to the park, which can be explored on your own or with a guide. For a challenge, tackle Via Ferrata (with the assistance of a professional guide), where you'll climb steep rocks comprising three circuits that cover the cliffs of Baie Eternite and give you amazing views from the top.
About half an hour north of Saguenay is Zoo de Falardeau; a Wildlife Observation Center that not only displays animals, but rescues and rehabilitates them. Footpaths get you close to the animals, the guides are knowledgeable, and the petting zoo (which once had a baby tiger) is hugely popular.