The Croisieres AML VIP Lounge experience offers a new level of comfort for whale watching tours in Tadoussac, Quebec.
Each year, between May and October, the St. Lawrence River explodes with life. This magical estuary, where the waters of the Great Lakes system flush out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and, eventually, to the Atlantic Ocean, welcomes thirteen unique species of whale into its waters.
Whale watching in the St. Lawrence River has become one of Quebec‘s most beloved activities. Visitors travel from across Canada and around the world for unprecedented access to some of the planet’s most massive lifeforms.
There is no location where Quebec whale watching is more celebrated than in the small town of Tadoussac. This scenic town, with colourful houses that dot the shores of the St. Lawrence River, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, all striving for the chance to get up-close and personal with humpbacks, rights, orcas, and beluga whales.
Like the scenic Train de Charlevoix, Tadoussac whale watching has become as much about enjoying the ambiance of the journey as it is about the wonders of Quebec’s Cote Nord.
Whale Watching in Tadoussac
Tadoussac sits at the base of the Saguenay Fjord, where it meets the St. Lawrence River. The confluence of the water provides an abundance of nutrients and plankton that many species of whale simply can’t get enough of.
Whales can be seen in the region between May and October, but they’re at their most active between September and October, although traditionally, there’s a good number of whales during July and August.
With the chance to see thirteen different kinds of whales, including the endangered beluga whale and the epic Blue Whale, the largest animal to have ever existed, Tadoussac is among the best places in the world to enjoy whale watching.
AML Croisieres Luxury Whale Watching
In 2022, local whale watching operator Croisieres AML, which welcomes over 500,000 passengers yearly from ports as far south as Quebec City, recognized that the Tadoussac whale watching market still had tremendous room to grow.
St. Lawrence River whale watching tours typically take place in two different excursion types.
Small, fast RIB boats, light and fast inflatables, that can zip from one active whale pod to another at lightning speed are beloved by photographers and those who love a little adrenaline rush. These boats can get unbelievably close to the whales.
Large, multi-level boats offer a more comfortable experience with indoor seating and outdoor decks, so those looking for a higher vantage point or access to snack bars can spend a little longer out on the water.
Each year, more and more visitors were journeying to see the ocean’s most magnificent creatures. Whale-watching operations from Quebec City to the nearby First Nations community in Essipit were excitedly exploring new options to excite the throngs of wildlife enthusiasts.
The answer came in the form of luxury.
Second Floor VIP Experience
Mimicking the First-Class experience of airlines, Croisieres AML dedicated a section of the second floor of their largest Baie St. Catherine/Tadoussac ship to the luxury experience.
Croisieres AML had previously launched a second-tier to their large whale-watching ships. Access to the VIP second-floor gangway where guests could have unimpeded views of the surrounding waters. It’s also where the onboard naturalist provides the play-by-play of the wildlife action, so guests on this floor can ask questions throughout the journey.
The latest addition to the Quebec luxury whale watching experience comes in the form of the VIP Lounge on the AML Grand Fleuve. This new experience is for those who want to enjoy the most relaxing journey along the St. Lawrence River and up into the magical Saguenay Fjord.
The AML Croisieres VIP Lounge experiences invite its guests to board early and enjoy the second-floor gangway along with a spacious indoor lounge replete with leather seats and massive floor-to-ceiling windows where you’ll never miss any of the whale action.
Enjoying the comfortable lounge wouldn’t be complete without access to open access to local snacks and a fine selection of wine, beer, and spirits. And, as my kids learned, there was free access to all the popcorn that they could eat.
The experience also offers AML’s whale guarantee where, if the ship’s captain deems that no marine mammals have been seen during your cruise, you’ll receive a ticket to a future cruise.
These experiences book up quickly, so if you’re considering the Croisieres AML VIP Lounge experience, book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Have You Ever Tried This Whale Watching Experience in Tadoussac?
Whale watching in Tadoussac is incredible no matter how you experience it. But if you love to travel in style and never want to leave those creature comforts behind, the AML Croisieres experience is for you.
Have you ever been whale watching in Tadoussac? Head over to the We Explore Canada Facebook Community and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people passionate about travel in Canada who love to share their local secrets.
Disclosure: I won two tickets for the Croisieres AML VIP Lounge Experience and was offered discounted tickets for my children. All opinions remain my own.
Kevin Wagar is a founder and editor of We Explore Canada. He has been working in the travel media industry since 2015 when he founded his family travel website Wandering Wagars – Adventure Family Travel.
Over the years Kevin has developed a deep love for his home country and aims to showcase the incredible experiences and amazing small businesses found within it.