Viewing the workings of this major Canadian port from a waterfront boardwalk, no one would guess this was once a quiet fishing village. The place boomed after World War II, when large companies decided Sept-Îles would make a good base for expanding northern Québec’s iron-mining industry. But all of the massive infrastructure can’t trump Mother Nature. Beautiful beaches line the coast, and the islands of an archipelago park sit just offshore. Campers and bird-watchers flock here, in part to spot the colorful beaks of the puffins.
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Built on a flat piece of land only a few steps away from the cruise ship pier, Sept-Îles waterfront and its Old District are best explored on foot. Once a quaint little fishing village, Sept-Îles has become a modern and flourishing city.
Sept-Îles has a very rich history indeed. The region was first inhabited by the Innu Nation, and attracted early explorers for the great hunting, fishing and trapping. In 1679 the French established a successful trading post.
Depart the pier by foot and observe the fishermen in action at the fishermen's park; stroll along the boardwalk to the Old Dock built in 1911. Continue onto the tide tower, sundial, whale hunting era exhibit and archipelago mosaic.
Walk to Boudreault Home and Saint Joseph Church for a photo stop before continuing onto a local restaurant to sample locally caught seafood such as scallops, snow crab and Sept-Îles northern shrimp and local berries. Today, these foods are considered exotic delicacies and are in high demand in urban centers, but they were staples for the settlers who came to share the Innu land.
Next walk past the UMEK fish processing plant then continue onto Cartier Avenue. The tour tour will conclude at the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) on flat sidewalks or streets. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Dressing according to the weather; sturdy shoes no sandals, a windbreaker and appropriate outdoor clothing is recommended as Sept-Îles has a subarctic climate despite its location at around 50 degrees latitude.
A cruise of the archipelago offers visitors front-row seats to a unique spectacle, with the blue sea and sky as a backdrop and the cries of the seabirds as the musical accompaniment to complete this magic tour. Discover the flora, fauna, history and mysteries of the archipelago during an unforgettable adventure!
Depart the pier and walk to the marina where you will board the zodiac. Don a life jacket and get ready for an unforgettable two hour zodiac experience on this Silver Shore Expedition tour.
During tour the guides will tell the sad history of two shipwrecks that occurred in the area, the Le Corossol and the Jean-Marc Soucy.
Navigate around Manowin Island, also a bird sanctuary. This island owes its name to the Innu word manouan, meaning "where we collect eggs." This island is known not only for its unique bird-nesting cliffs, but also for its limestone rock formations.
Marvel at the myriad seabirds (murres, eiders, ducks, razorbills, Atlantic puffins, auks, black guillemots, long-tailed ducks and more) that occupy the Île du Corossol bird sanctuary. This sanctuary is one of the most important protected marine bird sanctuaries in Eastern Canada because of the diversity of species present.
Corossol Island also has one of the many lighthouses built in the area to help navigate the mighty St. Lawrence, one of the last vestiges of the golden era of maritime trade.
Enjoy a close-up look at marine mammals whose fleeting yet extraordinary appearances linger fondly in the memory.
Petite Basque and Grande Basque Islands were named in honor of the Basque people, who for more than one hundred years came to the region to fish, hunt whales and trade furs.
Return to the marina and walk back to the pier.
This tour is recommended only for guests in good physical condition. The walk to/from the boat is approximately 300 metres. Although little walking is required, guests must be able to manoeuvre in and out of the zodiac which involves a high step. Ocean ride involves fast acceleration and may be a bumpy at times. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility, back/neck/hip problems or those who suffer from motion sickness, or guests who utilise a wheelchair. Dress in layers, bring a jacket, wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and appropriate outdoor clothing is recommended as Sept-Îles has a subarctic climate despite its location at around 50 degrees latitude. The operation of this tour is subject to wind and weather conditions. Space is extremely limited. Guests must book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
The know-how of the Innu community goes back a thousand years. Its people are proud to share their knowledge with you. Encounter the Innu in their natural milieu and discover their rich culture and way of life. The Innu camp is not open to the general public and is an exclusive access tour. Don't miss this truly unique opportunity.
The Innu are a millenary people with over 10,000 years of history. They are one of the most populous First Nations in Québec. Before the Europeans' arrival on the continent, the Innu were a nomadic people. Living in tents made of animal skins, they followed species such as the caribou in order to survive, and rivers were their main pathways. Still today the Moisie River is, for the Innu, one of the most important access ways to their traditional land.
The Innu way of life has always been a seasonal cycle of activities based on harvesting resources as they become available: wild berries in the fall, caribou in the winter, salmon and geese in the spring. Caribou were used in many different ways. Their meat, skin, bones, antlers and teeth were used for food, clothes, shelter, tools, weapons, ornaments and toys. Summer was a time for gathering and heading to the banks of the St. Lawrence to trade fur with Europeans and buy food.
Depart the pier by school bus for the short scenic trip to the Innu Camp. Upon your arrival to the banks of the Moisie River, you will be immersed in the many aspects of traditional and contemporary Innu culture, history, beliefs and traditions. Learn about traditional Innu medicine, snowshoe weaving and production, and drum making. Listen traditional Innu chants, enjoy a demonstration of traditional dance and taste fresh food prepared in a traditional manner.
After enjoying the culture of the Innu board the school bus for the short journey back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking approximately 400 yards (375 metres) on uneven and slightly inclined ground (sand, gravel, pebbles & stones) to visit the entire camp and 5 steps into the log house. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Dressing according to the weather; sturdy shoes no sandals, a windbreaker and appropriate outdoor clothing is recommended as Sept-Îles has a subarctic climate despite its location at around 50 degrees latitude. Transportation will be in a local school bus. This tour requires a minimum number of guests in order to operate. This tour is exclusive to cruise line passengers and not available to the general public. Don't miss this truly unique opportunity.
Surrounded by sea and forest, Sept-Îles boasts breathtaking scenery and a rich history that has been forged over centuries. The Sept-Îles region has been known and visited by Europeans for almost 500 years and the presence of Native tribes dates back more than 7,000 years.
Old Trading Post
Depart the pier by school bus and drive to Old Trading Post via the Innu community. Ever dreamed of traveling back in time? Relive the past by visiting a unique site: the Vieux-Poste (Old Trading Post). Immerse yourself in 1842, at the time of the Hudson's Bay Company, in the replica of the old trading post occupied successively by the French and English from 1673 to 1842. This fur trading post was the first European establishment in Sept-Îles. It was initially used for trading fur with Innu hunters. Later, during its heyday, fur was exported to European markets as well as salmon from the Moisie River and oil from seals hunted in the Sept-Îles archipelago. In this place of meeting and trade, you will discover the daily life of the postmaster, woodsmen and Innu hunters.
Next visit the Regional Museum. The rich and fabulous history of the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River is told at the Musée régional de la Côte-Nord. The museum's permanent exhibition, Land of Discovery: The Great Journey, invites you to explore 8,000 years of history. Whether your interests tend toward nature, industry or culture, the exhibition will help you discover the true character of the region, providing a glimpse into the courage, tenacity and pride of the local inhabitants.
Enjoy brief photo stops at the magnificent sandy beaches-one reason the city of Sept-Îles is renowned for its beauty. Only minutes from downtown, with the sea on one side and the forest on the other, Sept-Îles's enchanting beaches stretch endlessly along the shore.
Return to the pier where the ship is awaiting.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking approximately 120 metres (96 metres) on dirt path and uneven ground. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Dressing according to the weather; sturdy shoes no sandals, a windbreaker and appropriate outdoor clothing is recommended as Sept-Îles has a subarctic climate despite its location at around 50 degrees latitude. Transportation will be in a local school bus.