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Home to the only French-speakingsociety in North America, Quebec isdistinct from the rest of the continent.Covering over one million squarekilometres, Northern Quebec forms thegreater part of Canada's largest province, aland where nature reigns supreme and theinfluence of the Arctic is strong. On thisexciting new tour we will explore both thenorth and south sides of the Gulf of St.Lawrence, seeking mammals such as theMoose, Caribou and Black Bear inhabitingthe province's impressive forests, andwhales such as Beluga and Blue Whale thatcome to feed each year in the rich waters ofthe St. Lawrence River and off the GaspéPeninsula. A sparsely populated province,civilisation clusters mainly around the northshore of the great St. Lawrence River and inhistoric Quebec City, which sits at thenarrowing of the St. Lawrence and is themost easterly point connecting the northand south shores of the river. The GaspéPeninsula forms the south shore of the St.Lawrence, with the Chic Choc Mountainscreating a rocky backbone along the centreof the peninsula and marking the end of thefamous Appalachian Chain.We begin our holiday with a flight toMontreal and then transfer to Quebec City,the only fortified city in North America. Iftime permits, we will do a short walking tourof the old town, which is a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site, before driving towardsTadoussac on the north shore of the St.Lawrence. We will stop en route at CapTourmente, hoping to see a few 'earlyarrivals' of the Snow Geese which visitannually during the Fall. The mouth of theSaguenay Fjord on the St. Lawrence Riveris renowned for its superb marine-life: it ispossible to see Fin, Humpback and MinkeWhales as well as Grey and Harbour Seals,and there is also a small resident group ofBeluga here all year round! During our 2-night stay at Saguenay Fjord, we will joina whale-watching cruise on the St.Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord,hoping for our first glimpse of the area'sfamous Belugas and other marinemammals. At dusk we will visit a viewinghide, where we have a good chance ofobserving Black Bear.Next we cross by ferry to the GaspéPeninsula on the south side of the St.Lawrence River. Based for three nights inthe heart of the Gaspésie National Park wewill join local guides to explore some of thepark's forest trails looking for Quebec'sthree special members of the deer family:Moose, Caribou and White-tailed Deer. Wewill pass from dense forest to tundra on themountain summits and it is in the latter thatCaribou are found. As we walk, we will lookout for birdlife, including a variety of birds ofprey such as Bald Eagle, Red-tailed andBroad-winged Hawks, American Kestrel,Merlin and Peregrine. We have a goodchance of finding Moose along the trailsand we will look for their huge, elegantforms, which are often surprisingly wellconcealed amongst the trees. After threedays spent enjoying the spectacularscenery and wildlife of Gaspésie NationalPark we continue our drive around theGaspé Peninsula, past beautiful bays,lonely lighthouses and steep cliffs to Percé,a small seaside town on the easternmost tipof the peninsula, its vistas dominated by theimpressive Rocher Percé, a beautifuleroded rock formation jutting out into thesea in front of the town. Percé is an idealbase from which to explore BonaventureIsland, home to the world's largest Gannetcolony - 200,000 Northern Gannets neston this tiny island at the peak of thebreeding season. At the time of our visitthere should still be many birds, if weatherconditions and fish stocks are favourable,though nesting will be over. Blue,Humpback, Fin, Long-finned Pilot andMinke Whales, as well as Atlantic White-sided Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises, visitthe waters around Percé and Gaspé eachyear to feed, often being seen near toshore, and we will make whale-watchingexcursions in search of these cetaceans, aswell as seabirds such as auks, Double-crested Cormorant, and Surf, White-wingedand Black Scoters among many otherspecies. We will also spend a day in thestunning Forillon National Park, where themighty Appalachian Mountain chain, whichoriginates in the southern United States,finally gives way to the Atlantic Ocean.Among Forillon's variety of forest andmountain animals are birds such as Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks, Osprey,migrating flocks of Blue Jays, White-throated, Lincoln's and White-crownedSparrows, and such warblers as AmericanRedstart and Yellow-rumped, Magnolia andBlack-throated Green Warblers, whilstmammals include Beaver and Black Bear -signs of the latter being obvious all over thepark!Quebec is home to a wealth of wildlife, aswell as some of Canada's most beautifulscenery: craggy peaks tumbling down tojagged coastlines, maple and birch-cladmountainsides, and gîtes oozing old-fashioned French charm presenting anenticing landscape for the keen naturalist toexplore.Eastern Canada: Whales,Bears & Fall MigrationA 12-day holiday focusing on the special marine and land mammals of Quebec, as well as migrant birds and spectacular scenery. Monday 9th September - Friday 20th September Cost: £4,395Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationQUEBECUSANEWBRUNSWICKGULF OFSAINT LAWRENCEGASPÉ PENINSULAGASPÉSIENATIONAL PARKFORILLONGASPÉNATIONAL PARKPERCÉPRINCE EDWARDISLANDST LAWRENCE RIVERQUEBEC CITYBAIE-SAINT-PAULTADOUSSACFJORDDU SAGUENAYMONTREALOutline itineraryDay 1Arrive Quebec.Day 2Cap Tourmente andBaie-Saint-Paul.Day 3/4Whale-watching,Tadoussac andSaguenay Fjord.Day 5/7Wildlife excursions,Gaspésie National Park.Day 8/9Whale-watching andvisit to BonaventureIsland, Percé.Day 10Forillon National Park.Day 11Depart Gaspé.Day 12Arrive London.AccommodationComfortable gîtes, hotels andauberges, all with private facilities.FoodAll included in the price.GradingA. Mostly easy wildlife walks butsome more demanding optionalhikes.FocusWhales and other mammals, plussome birdwatching.LeaderPaul Stanbury.Single room supplementTo be advised.Web quick search: CAN06189Gaspésie National ParkBlack BearBeluga Whales

The cold, nutrient-rich waters off CapeCod provide outstanding whale-watching opportunities. Indeed this isone of the top destinations for cetaceansanywhere in the world. Here Humpback,Fin, Minke, Pilot and North Atlantic RightWhales are all on the cards, as are AtlanticWhite-sided Dolphins and HarbourPorpoises . not to mention a littlesightseeing in Boston and the charmingand historic town of Plymouth.On this 6-day holiday we will fly directly toBoston, Massachusetts, and transfer to thehistoric and picturesque waterfront town ofPlymouth, our base for this 4-night stay inNew England. From here we will take fourhalf-day whale-watching trips out to theStellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuarywhere, from April and May onwards,summering concentrations of whales buildup to feed on sand lance, capelin, herringand mackerel. Here Fin, Minke, theacrobatic Humpback and Long-finned PilotWhales may all be seen, plus a range ofdolphin species and possibly even thecritically endangered Northern Right Whale. It is the entertaining Humpback Whale,however, that is likely to be the star of theshow! A Humpback breaching is one of themost exciting sights in nature and, if we getclose enough, the sounds and smell ofthese magnificent creatures will alsoremain in the memory. These whales arehighly migratory and feed voraciouslyduring the summer months to build up fatreserves before moving to tropical watersfor the winter, during which period theyoung calves are born. The Humpback'sunmistakable long flippers, the longest ofany cetacean, earn a quirky local relevancein the creature's scientific name, Megapteranovaeangliae, which translates as 'big wingof New England' a reference to the fact thatthe first described specimen came fromthese northern waters.We will also be on the look-out for suchother marine highlights as HarbourPorpoises, Leatherback Turtles, BaskingSharks and Ocean Sunfish, plus amultitude of seabirds. Depending on theweather conditions, it is possible to seethousands of Wilson's Storm-petrels,together with smaller numbers of Great andSooty Shearwaters and some dainty Red-necked Phalaropes. The contrast in size asgroups of these tiny seabirds feed aroundthe enormous whales is truly remarkable! During our stay there will be plenty of timeto explore Plymouth, where the narrowstreets, clapboard houses and antiquesstores give a familiar old-world feel to thispart of New England. Famous for the 102pilgrims who disembarked here inDecember 1620, the Plymouth waterfront isalso home to Mayflower II, an exact replicaof the 1620 Mayflower. The area along thewaterfront, and to the south, is excellent forterns, with Common, Arctic, Roseate andLittle Terns breeding here, whilst offshorerafts of Common Eiders may be seen. Italso attracts an interesting range ofmigrating shorebirds, amongst them PipingPlovers, and a good variety of passerinessuch as Horned Larks and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows. During the autumn, thetime of our visit, southbound migration willbe in full swing and we additionally haveevery chance of a few avian surprises. We may also have some time forsightseeing in Boston prior to our returnflight to London (or you may wish to extendyour holiday with a stay here). Despitebeing New England's largest and mostimportant city, most of Boston's historicaland architectural attractions can be foundwithout having to walk far. Its 375-yearhistory has left much of interest to choosefrom, whether it be the site of the BostonTea Party (during which ships were forciblyboarded and unloaded), or the relaxingatmosphere of Boston Common (the oldestpublic park in the USA, and home to avariety of resident and migrant Nearcticpasserines). Here we hope to see Red-tailed Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay,House Finch, Northern Cardinal andCommon Grackle, alongside more familiarspecies such as Rock Dove, EuropeanStarling and House Sparrow - remindersof home that, all too soon, we must return to! Boston, New England & its WhalesA 6-day holiday focusing on the outstanding dolphin and whale-watching off Cape Cod, one of the top destinations for cetaceans anywhere in the world, plus a little sightseeing in Boston and the charming and historic town of Plymouth.Thursday 22nd August - Tuesday 27th August Cost: £1,795Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Boston; transferPlymouth. Day 2/4Daily whale-watchingcruises from Plymouth.Day 5Boston; depart Boston.Day 6Arrive London.AccommodationA comfortable hotel in the historictown of Plymouth; all rooms withprivate facilities.FoodBreakfasts only are included in theprice. Allow £100 for main meals. GradingGentle walking only. Grade A. Easyand optional.FocusCetaceans and birds.LeaderIan Nicholson.Single room supplement£380. Web quick search: USA01190Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryATLANTIC OCEAN CANADA USA BOSTON PLYMOUTH Wilson's Storm-petrel Piping PloverHumpback Whale