Saguenay Quebec Wonderful welcome to the QM2

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#1
Brooksville FL
3,610 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Aboard the 9/29/17 QM2 Quebec City to NYC .
We experienced an overwhelming welcome and spectacular departure in Saquenay .
Never saw anything like it on any cruise .
Seemed the whole town came out , dressed in period costumes , jugglers , clowns and such.
Blueberry pie for everyone. Music all day long from folk songs to a orchestra ..
Couple thousand people at the dock , playing music and waving flags . QM2, lots of horn blasting also.
Big fireworks display as we entered the fjord also.
This added to the thousands who sent us off at the dock in Quebec City .
Wonderful ports .
#2
West Midlands
503 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
That's absolutely wonderful. So envious thinking of those still on board that we met on the NY-Quebec segment.

Sad to have left but had to return to work to pay for the next one
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#3
Vale of Glamorgan
3,560 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Sounds amazing, thanks for posting
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#4
Scotland and France
498 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by Lynnewob
That's absolutely wonderful. So envious thinking of those still on board that we met on the NY-Quebec segment.

Sad to have left but had to return to work to pay for the next one
This thread made me look again at my Saguenay photos from 2016 on the Marco Polo! The costumes and the welcome from the residents made it a very special day! There again, every port of call in Canada was a special day!

I hail from the West Midlands (Stourbridge) and stopped off at Cradley Heath last Saturday to pick up a sun canopy for our trailer tent in France! These are the 'lower cost option holidays' (never paid more than €17 per night incl. electricity for 2 adults, trailer tent and car) that enable us to book the slightly more expensive holidays on cruise ships!
#5
Farnborough, Hants England
534 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
We were on that trip and Saguenay was fantastic. We missed the fireworks as we were on the wrong side of the ship. MAC retired, what did you think of Sept Iles? We were less than impressed.
#6
Scotland and France
498 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by Summergee
We were on that trip and Saguenay was fantastic. We missed the fireworks as we were on the wrong side of the ship. MAC retired, what did you think of Sept Iles? We were less than impressed.
Sept Iles was bizarre! I crossed at the traffic lights just outside the port area and then worked out that I could repeat the exercise some 1253 times with the time we had available ... Determined that there must be more to find and teamed up with another Scots couple in a walking quest to find the town - eventually we found a medium-sized Shopping Centre (used up 10 minutes or so to explore it) ad then settled on a Timmy Hortons cafe (mediocre coffee and donut - made Greggs appear haute cuisine!) to rest the sore feet.

Sept Iles appears to have been included for the visit to the indigenous people's settlement. If this is not for you, there's very little else to see - the town has a thriving fishing industry and has no need of a tourism industry - so it doesn't bother!

I believe that it has been dropped from some of the 2018 Cruises - makes sense with the new speed limits on the St Lawrence. It would be gutting to have a reduced time at Saguenay, Quebec, St Johns etc and then find that there was a 6-7 hours stop at Sept Iles! You would wonder what you had done to deserve this!
#7
Brooksville FL
3,610 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Summergee
We were on that trip and Saguenay was fantastic. We missed the fireworks as we were on the wrong side of the ship. MAC retired, what did you think of Sept Iles? We were less than impressed.


Sept-Isles certainly is not a must do port .
We did a tour that visited the old Hudson Bay Trading Post that was interesting ( and our highlight ) and the local museum which was fairly new and short on exhibits . I couldn't believe that one of the tours offered was to the aluminum plant . Sounded strange at first but may have been interesting as this area exists on the iron and mineral deposits far back into the Quebec wilderness that they built a railroad to access .
Some spotted a whale or 2 from shore which could be a tourist thing if
they use some of those many fishing boats that were there ?



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#8
120 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
The Saguenay departure was amazing. I think we were all blown away by the response of the locals. They must have stayed on the dock until after dark. I had to wonder if they give this kind of welcome to everyone? Such hospitality. I hope everyone was nice to them and spent lots of money. I had the opportunity to speak with Captain Wells about the departure. He said he had never seen anything like it all of his years at sea.

We did the hike to the Saguenay Fjord National Park. It was spectacular. The weather was perfect. It was a very hard hike with a big elevation change. A park ranger was provided and she gave a great naturalist tour. Not for the out of shape or infirm.

Sept-Iles was bizarre. Unfortunately, the Aluminum plant tour was sold out. As we pulled out, I felt like I was leaving them to face the White Walkers. Winter's coming.

We asked the officer of the watch if any whales had been sighted? He laughed and said it was dark out. He couldn't see anything. The ship's watch reported two sightings at dawn.

It was a beautiful trip with perfect weather. I've done the TA on the QM2. I wondered how I would like her on a river cruise. I liked her a lot. And, I didn't get seasick. I love those stabilizers.
#10
Canyon Country, California
3,386 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
Originally posted by MCC retired
Aboard the 9/29/17 QM2 Quebec City to NYC .
We experienced an overwhelming welcome and spectacular departure in Saquenay .
Never saw anything like it on any cruise .
Seemed the whole town came out , dressed in period costumes , jugglers , clowns and such.
Blueberry pie for everyone. Music all day long from folk songs to a orchestra ..
Couple thousand people at the dock , playing music and waving flags . QM2, lots of horn blasting also.
Big fireworks display as we entered the fjord also.
This added to the thousands who sent us off at the dock in Quebec City .
Wonderful ports .
The concert in the out door theater next to the port put on by a full orchestra was amazing and lasted about an hour. The send off was like nothing we have seen before. What a fantastic day.
#11
Canyon Country, California
3,386 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
Originally posted by marchie1053
Sept Iles was bizarre! I crossed at the traffic lights just outside the port area and then worked out that I could repeat the exercise some 1253 times with the time we had available ... Determined that there must be more to find and teamed up with another Scots couple in a walking quest to find the town - eventually we found a medium-sized Shopping Centre (used up 10 minutes or so to explore it) ad then settled on a Timmy Hortons cafe (mediocre coffee and donut - made Greggs appear haute cuisine!) to rest the sore feet.

Sept Iles appears to have been included for the visit to the indigenous people's settlement. If this is not for you, there's very little else to see - the town has a thriving fishing industry and has no need of a tourism industry - so it doesn't bother!

I believe that it has been dropped from some of the 2018 Cruises - makes sense with the new speed limits on the St Lawrence. It would be gutting to have a reduced time at Saguenay, Quebec, St Johns etc and then find that there was a 6-7 hours stop at Sept Iles! You would wonder what you had done to deserve this!
We did take the free bus tour of what there was to see of the town. Did anyone stop and see the indigenous people's settlement.??? I felt bad that no one got off the bus we were on to visit. The young lady that got on board to tell us a bit about it was very nice and seemed proud of what they had to offer. If it had been a bit cheaper we would have stopped but it was $40.00 pp and we thought it a bit high so we stayed on the bus.
It was still very nice that many of the locals came down to the port to see us off.
#12
Lancashier
262 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by marchie1053
This thread made me look again at my Saguenay photos from 2016 on the Marco Polo! The costumes and the welcome from the residents made it a very special day! There again, every port of call in Canada was a special day!

I hail from the West Midlands (Stourbridge) and stopped off at Cradley Heath last Saturday to pick up a sun canopy for our trailer tent in France! These are the 'lower cost option holidays' (never paid more than €17 per night incl. electricity for 2 adults, trailer tent and car) that enable us to book the slightly more expensive holidays on cruise ships!
A true Scot.
#13
Scotland and France
498 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by luckymal
A true Scot.
Elaine is the Scot - I just slipped across the M74 under cover of darkness! She is the one with the very short arms and very deep pockets ... You can hear the coins jangle, but you can never reach them ... I'm just tending towards the frugal
#14
Mississauga, Canada
1,369 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by MCC retired
Aboard the 9/29/17 QM2 Quebec City to NYC .
We experienced an overwhelming welcome and spectacular departure in Saquenay .
Never saw anything like it on any cruise .
Seemed the whole town came out , dressed in period costumes , jugglers , clowns and such.
Blueberry pie for everyone. Music all day long from folk songs to a orchestra ..
Couple thousand people at the dock , playing music and waving flags . QM2, lots of horn blasting also.
Big fireworks display as we entered the fjord also.
This added to the thousands who sent us off at the dock in Quebec City .
Wonderful ports .
I was on this cruise this year - and continued on to Southampton - as well as last year, which was the first time the QM2 came to Saguenay. It may be hard to believe, but last year's welcome was even more lavish than this year's (although there was not a symphony orchestra as there was this time). It was mayor Jean Tremblay's 10-year dream to persuade Cunard to send the QM2 to his city and he was proud to welcome Captain Oprey and everyone at a civic event last year. I missed the mayor's welcome this year, but I understand there was a reception in the cruise pavilion.

Last year's maiden arrival was on a week-day and we were told that thousands of children were given the day off school. As it was this year it was a chilly morning but it was touching to see so many thousands out for the arrival and again for the departure when the weather warmed up. The media estimated 40,000 turned up that day.

There are many videos of that 2016 day on Youtube. There was also much coverage of the festivities as well as on-board the QM2 on Radio-Canada, the French language version of the CBC. Sorry, having just flown in from England I haven't time to search for the dozens of links to all of this, but of course they are easy to find.

Regarding the port of Sept-Iles, it was an almost-last-minute substitution for Gaspé due to the temporary speed restrictions in the St. Lawrence. I hope Cunard will return to Gaspé when conditions permit.


The one interesting aspect of the call at Sept-Iles was the opportunity to hear Mylène Paquette speak about her transatlantic rowing experience during which the QM2 came to assist her when she ran into difficulty and lost three of her four mobile communication devices. She gave a fascinating talk on board the ship and received a thunderous ovation from the capacity crowd. Later she was available for a chat at the small museum in town which had her boat on display.