Cote-Nord: 13 things to know about cruises aboard the Bella-Desgagnes

Bella-Desgagnés is the ship that supplies Anticoste Island and the lower North Shore communities that are not connected by road. Every week, the boat chases between Remuski and Blanc-Sablon, stopping at villages with distant names like Tate-a-la-Belain, La Tabatier or Unamen Shipu.

You can board it as a passenger to get from one community to another, but you can cross 138 and board it for a week-long cruise to the north coast.

A memorable trip, different from any other cruise!

Here are 13 things you can expect when traveling to Bella-Desgagnes:

You will discover another universe.


Courtesy of Cindy Nadeau

Nordic and wild landscapes. Villages with 100 or 200 inhabitants. Colorful house on stone. Unexpected weather. Sunrise in St. Lawrence Bay. They, the whales, the sea breeze … riding on – as many call out affectionately – will be enough for you to feel the change in the scene of a long voyage. Especially when leaving Kegaska, the village where Route 138 “stops”, or passing through the Mingan Islands, along the coast of Anticosti or on either side of the huge St.-Augustine fjords.

You will be on a ship “at work”.


Courtesy of Cindy Nadeau

The primary purpose of the Bella-Desgagnés is to supply the lower north coast and to serve as a “road” within certain communities. The “cruise” aspect is part of his DNA, but that’s not his priority. So it is very different from a traditional cruise. Here, it’s the freight that shows the way, and this part will be an integral part of your experience. Your stopover times, for example, will be consistent with the ship’s transshipment time, may be changed if necessary, and some stops may be canceled if the weather is too bad to dock.

You will make small stops.


Head-to-the-whale

Sarah Bergeron Wellet

Head-to-the-whale

Bella-Desgagnés works 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 10 months a year. Each week it serves 12 different ports, some of which are very difficult, round trips. It matches more than 20 stops. Needless to say, it runs smoothly, and you won’t have time to fish backcountry during transhipment! Typically, stopovers last between 1 hour and 3 hours, and halts that occur at night on outbound trips occur during the day on the return trip or vice versa.

You will eat delicious seafood from the north coast.

Lobsters, crabs, oysters, scallops … Surprisingly Le Bella-Desgagnes doesn’t boast much about it on its website, but local seafood is (very) frequent among the dining room menu choices and in addition to the daily fish options. Great luxury!

You will see the village where the film was shot Great temptation.


Nordic Relay / Courtesy

Harrington Harbor, a fishing village built on a rocky island, is even more photogenic than the movie that introduced it to the public in 2003, with its boardwalks, colorful houses, clothes lines and fishing boats. A favorite.


Harrington Harbor

Sarah Bergeron Wellet

Harrington Harbor

You will also discover the village of Gilles Vigneault.

Natashquan, which can be reached on Route 138, is a stop with a mythical aura on the cruise. If you have enough time on the land, you can discover the traditional site of Les Galets and see the huge white sand beach of the village … whose waters are clearly warmer than you think.

You will definitely see anticosti deer.


Courtesy of Sébastien St-Jean

The island of Anticosti and its 7900 km is home to 2,000 white-tailed deer. Some of them have taken up residence in Port-au-Prince, the only village on the island and your landing place. When exploring the beach or museum you are (very) more likely to come across a few.

You go to the Labrador border.

The last stop of the boat, Blank-Sablon, is located on the border of Labrador. The landscapes are great, the air is fresh and it feels a bit like being at the end of the world. Unlike previous coastal villages, Blanc-Sablon can be reached by road from Quebec: you have to take a “little” walk through Labrador; A total of 30 hours journey to Montreal.

You can book trips to discover communities.


Julie Perier, a teacher at La Tabatier and guide with Voyage Cost at La Tabatier-Mutton Bay.

Sarah Bergeron Wellet

Julie Perier, a teacher at La Tabatier and guide with Voyage Cost at La Tabatier-Mutton Bay.

Bella lets us land in the village, but it doesn’t offer organized trips. On the other hand, it has a partnership with Solidarity Cooperative at Fair Tourism Voyage Cost. With it, you can book trips to different shores (earlier, in season).

The trip often involves a short trip on foot or on a school bus with a local guide, with whom you can discuss and discover the unique lifestyle snippets of the Lower North Shore. Required. One of these trips is, for example, to Unamen Shipu in the Innu community.

There are also other types of activities offered by Voyages Coste, such as a photo safari at Blanc-Sablon or a taste of a smokehouse in Port-Manier.

In the high season, Parks Canada, for its part, organizes a trip to discover the amazing rock formations of Niapiskau Island in the Mingan Islands.


Niapiskau Islands, Mingan Islands

Sarah Bergeron Wellet

Niapiskau Islands, Mingan Islands

You will be treated to various presentations on the board.

In the summer, guide-interpreters from ROMM (Marine Mammal Observation Network) host various conferences on board. Presentations in North Shore villages, shipbuilding or marine environments, Labrador tea tastings, film screenings, whale watching sessions, meetings with crew members; Interventions are varied and not to be missed.

Your cabin will be simple, but comfortable.


A unique cargo-passenger ship, the Bella-Desgagnés will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2023. Its cabins are small, but they are fresh and comfortable. Seven types, for two or four people. They all have a single bed, a porthole, a TV and a desk, as well as a private bathroom with sink, toilet, shower … and heated floor!

You will have wide eyes when you see the ship tranship.


Courtesy of Cindy Nadeau

It is not every day that you travel on a merchant ship in an isolated boreal region. Im-pos-C-Blae is a huge crane technique that unloads containers, and don’t be impressed by everything that goes through Bella. Absolutely everything goes there: winnebagos, fresh tomatoes, prefabricated houses or “2x4s”.

You will meet great people.


Courtesy of Sébastien St-Jean

This will be on board, with attentive crew members, with transit passengers or with cruise passengers from different backgrounds. And it will also be on the ground, accidentally during trips with welcome local guides or during your daily walk in a small village so far from us. It’s a big part of Bella’s experience, which can stay with you for a long time.

L.E Journey and Stopverse

Remusky

6 September-Isles

Port-Mania (Anticosti)

Haver-Saint-Pierre

Natashaquan

• Kegaska

Roman-Unamen Shipu

ড Head-to-the-whale

Snafbox

Saint-Augustin-Pakuashipi

Blank-Sablon

• (Same journey on the way back, in the opposite direction.)


Courtesy of Sébastien St-Jean

To find out

Price

• Round trip rate for 7 nights: জনপ্র 1649 to + per capita tax in high season (or $ 1233 + low season tax). This price does not include alcohol, grants or guided travel. Prices have been reduced for ages 15 and under and 65 and over.

It is possible to make a tailor made trip and choose your departure and arrival port.

This season, 7-day packages from Rimouski, Sept-Îles and Havre-Saint-Pierre are on sale until September 25th.


Of Kegaska and Route 138

Sarah Bergeron Wellet

“End” of Kegaska and Route 138.

Travel

আরও Learn more about all travel (except one in Mingan Islands): voyagescoste.ca

জন্য For a trip (in season) to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, passengers are given information once on board.

Useful information

– Bella has a dining room, a cafeteria, a small bar on deck 8, lounge and several rest rooms with air-type seats (many of which have an entertainment screen).

– The board has Wi-Fi. It works well in several geographical areas, but not everywhere.

– The ship can accommodate 420 passengers, 40 crew members and about 120 traveling cruise material. Some cabins are always reserved for the residents of this area.

– For more information: relaisnordik.com


In May 2022, near Quai de Saint-Augustin.

Sarah Bergeron Wellet

In May 2022, near Quai de Saint-Augustin.

We made the trip possible thanks to Tourisme Côte-Nord and Relais Nordik.

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