We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

3 of 5 bubbles Review of Groupe Dufour Cruises - CLOSED

Groupe Dufour Cruises
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Craving some adventure and a change of scenery? Come live an unforgettable experience whale watching aboard Groupe Dufour’s sightseeing boat or Zodiacs! Observe these awesome cetaceans in all their magnificence near the Tadoussac coast. Our naturalist guides will let you in on all their secrets! All our cruises are guided by fully bilingual (French and English) personnel. A voyage of discovery you will remember your entire life!
New York City
Level Contributor
36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2013

I think it's fair to say that if you have at least semi-decent weather and see lots of whales, you'll have an amazing time. In our case, it was a calm, sunny day but we saw very few whales. Of course, marine mammals are not under contractual obligation to present themselves on a fixed schedule but I think the guide should be prepared to fill the gap with something informative and/or entertaining. Other than pointing out whales when he saw them, he was silent (in two languages!). On several occasions, the passengers spotted whales before the guide. It was fun to get suited up and spend time on the water...but ultimately not worth the money or the time.
Later in the day, we went to Cap-de-Bon-Desir which was terrific...even though we didn't see a single whale! The park naturalist was amazing and had tons of information and educational resources. She explained that whales follow the food (bien sur!) and that you can often predict where they will be based on the tides. They had seen an impressive number and array of whales the day before and that morning (they record sighting information each day) but nothing that afternoon. It was such a beautiful, dramatic setting and I would definitely go there first rather than going out on a boat or zodiac.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank Suzala103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Thrill seeking cruise - more seeking than thrill...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2013

We signed up for the thrill seeking cruise on the Tadoussac III and this was supposed to be the highlight of our trip. We picked up our tickets for the 9:00 am cruise at the reception of Hotel Tadoussac the night before and the shuttle bus picked us up at 8:30 the next morning. We were given waterproof pants and jackets to wear on top of our clothes. When they say bring warm clothes, they definitely mean it. I brought a warm sweater and windbreaker but I didn’t realize that it can be up to 15C colder on the water than on land and I wish I had also brought a hat and gloves.

The boat was bigger than what I expected as some of the other reviewers have pointed out as well. We were the first group to set out and were out there alone for about an hour which was nice. We saw belugas right when we were leaving the bay and I thought this would be a good sign of what’s to come. It was a very sunny day and the water was calm but unfortunately, there was quite a thick fog above the waters limiting our visibility. With visibility being so poor the captain kept switching off the engine so we could listen out for a whale breathing and then head into that general direction. While we saw a few whales and seals (maybe 5 in total), we saw them through the fog and at a fairly great distance. We also saw them just for a few seconds before they dove which meant we spent the vast majority of the 3-hour cruise just looking for whales.

Once the other boats came out, there were about 5 boats “chasing” to see the same whale. I always felt we were just following the other boats and at times our boat was just sitting there when there was clearly nothing to see. I’m not sure if this was just to while away the time. We then went up the Saguenay fjord in hopes of seeing some belugas which we spotted at a very far distance (we saw two but at times I wasn’t sure if it was the white back of the whale or just some waves they were that far away).

Overall, this wasn’t the experience I was hoping to have and I was quite disappointed having spent $170 on the tickets (for 2 people) and driven up about 12 hours from Toronto. However, I’m not sure if there was much more that Groupe Dufour could have done or if it’s just dependent on luck as to how many whales you get to see when you venture out. Hence I’m just rating this as an average experience. Next time I would try and go with one of the groups that have a smaller boat. Also make sure you bring binoculars as you won’t see the whales as up close as you might expect.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Abby82_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mascouche, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Nice little cruise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

We went to see the whales.... We saw: Belugas, Blue whales, Humpback, Minke, and Fins, and a lot of Seals. It was very windy and cloudy, and we arrived after the animal's lunch, which means they were almost all pretty much asleep, so it was not spectacular, but it was somewhat impressive to see the richness of the wildlife in St-Lawrence river. We will return for sure, and next time it has to be the 3pm cruise....

Visited August 2013
Thank Strutu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2013 via mobile

We paid for a three hours cruise in a zodiac and it was half an hour shorter than that. The trip is advertised to be guided by a naturalist but the guide only informed about the weight and height of the whales.
We expected to be closer but the sight of the whales is as good as the one you get from the shore.

Despite the disappointment, the trip on a boat is exciting because I the amazing environment.

Visited August 2013
Thank ElenaLiarte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

We booked a whale watching cruise on the Tadoussac III. I thought it would be just like going on a zodiac but I was disappointed because the boat was much larger than the zodiacs we saw out there and didn't get any closer to the whales than the really big boats! Most people on the boat got soaked because the boat was going fast and there was a lot of water splashing over the sides, but luckily they provide you with gear so that your clothes don't get wet.

We got a bit unlucky with seeing whales although I don't blame the captain or the guide as they did their best to find us the whales. We saw quite a few minke whales at a decent range, a couple of humpback whales at medium range, and one fin whale at medium range. The small zodiacs got much closer to these bigger whales than we did. We also saw plenty of seals at close range. We were slightly disappointed that we didn't see a blue whale but apparently they're more rare so I wasn't too surprised by this. What really disappointed me was that we didn't see a single beluga in spite of the captain driving around for about an hour along the coast and up the fjord looking for them.

Our guide was decent and repeated everything in both English and French, but he didn't give a ton of info and I wasn't near enough to ask questions. The boat held 40-50 people but the guide didn't have a speaker so I'm not sure everyone could hear him well.

If I had to do it over I'd book a smaller zodiac with one of the other companies to get really close to the whales.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Heidi735
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Groupe Dufour Cruises also viewed

Les Escoumins, Quebec

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing