Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve (Photo: Mike Sudoma/Students on Ice)
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Susan Moynihan
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Baie-Comeau

This small Canadian town, located on the north bank of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, was founded in 1936 by a Chicago newspaper baron who deemed the location ideal for a paper mill. The mill, prominently located on the shore, is still one of the main industries (along with hydroelectric power), but don't let that discourage you from seeking out the village's charm. The surrounding landscape is part of UNESCO's Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve, and the port offers a scenic, laidback vibe that is a welcome alternative to today's usual hustle and bustle.

Ships dock at the commercial pier, where shuttles (in the form of yellow school buses) take passengers the 1.5-mile distance to the tiny downtown: basically a two-block stretch of Boulevard de Salle with a few shops, a hotel restaurant, a coffee shop and a microbrewery. Or go by foot; the walk is delightful, along a riverfront path. Three larger-than-life megaphone-shaped installations invite strollers to pause, sit and look out to sea, the scenery amplified by the pleasing acoustics. The waterside park is frequented by locals out jogging, walking dogs or playing petanque (a French lawn game similar to bocce ball), and is a great spot for whale-watching.

About Baie-Comeau


Pro

This peaceful port offers an authentic glimpse of small-town life along the St. Lawrence, with abundant natural beauty on and offshore.

Con

Tiny downtown without much to do; if you're looking for action beyond planned excursions, you might be disappointed.

Bottom Line

Seeing only a handful of ships per year, Baie-Comeau is a restful alternative to more crowded ports along the busy waterway.


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Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Currency is the Canadian dollar, colloquially called the loonie. The closest bank to the cruise terminal is Services Financiers Baie-Comeau, located at 45 Place La Salle on the port end of downtown.

Language

Quebec is a French-speaking province, but most people speak fluent English as well.