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Saguenay Cruise Port Guide

Ha! Ha! Pyramid. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Ha! Ha! Pyramid. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

The Saguenay cruie port promotes itself as a winter vacation destination, but it doesn’t mean cruise visitors can’t also enjoy this port in Canada’s Quebec province.

The docks welcome cruise visitors with a host of services. They include a visitor information center, reception staff, bistro, live entertainment, free wifi access and local shops.

Saguenay sits at the meeting place of the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence rivers. The city, which is 120 miles north of Quebec City, has a population of 145,000 people. It was first settled back in the 1840s. There is plenty to see and do.

Attractions and Excursions

A city tour is a good option for getting visitors to the highlights of the area. They include Saguenay Fjord, the Little White House, the striking Ha! Ha! Pyramid in La Baie district and the Pulp Mill of Chicoutimi. Expect to pay about $70 to $80 per person.

Saguenay Fjord National Park, the most popular attraction, is the location of a two-mile-wide and 65-mile-long fjord. This dramatic and photographic site is the most southern fjord in the northern hemisphere and home to four species of whales. Whale watching is a common excursion. Some operators were offering a four-hour shore excursion with prices starting at $90 per person.

Heavy rains led to a massive flooding in 1996 by the Saguenay River that cost seven lives, displaced thousands of people and left more than one billion dollars in damages, according to one estimate. As a result, the region has two attractions that commemorate the devastating flood. They are the Little White House and the Ha! Ha! Pyramid.

The Little White House was a humble home that survived the flood and gave hope to the people living in the area. It is now a historical park with an adjacent museum.

The stunning Ha! Ha! Pyramid in the La Baie district is about two miles south of the cruise docks. This contemporary art pyramid, nearly 70 feet tall, was named after the nearby Ha! Ha! River.

Chicoutimi began as a fur trading post and later became a prosperous pulp and paper manufacturing town. The Pulp Mill is a National Historic Site. Tour prices usually start at $70 per person.

Cruise Weather

Like other cruise ports in Canada, Saguenay has an average daytime temperature in the low 60s Fahrenheit and high teens Celsius during the peak cruise month of September, according to the Canadian Department of the Environment.

The average high in October drops to 49 Fahrenheit, while the high in August is

Average rainfall hovers around four inches in August and September and dips to three inches in October.

Visitors should plan on long pants and a light jacket or windbreaker because of both cool temperatures and a windchill factor.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
July 13, 2022

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