Quebec City – Ferry Across the Icy St. Lawrence

When people visit Quebec City, they usually stay in the Old City. However, my coworkers and I caught a glimpse of the ferry plying through the icy waters of the St. Lawrence River. That got us thinking to what is on the other side of the river. We soon found out from the hotel concierge that the city of Lèvis sits on the southeast side of the river. Plus, we really wanted to experience a ferry across the St. Lawrence with all the winter ice still floating around.

This river scene at dusk piqued our interest about an icy ferry ride and what lies across on the other side.

The St. Lawrence at the end of March was still very, very icy.  The flow of the river carried all the ice quickly down stream.  We watched with amusement as one ferry was carried downstream past the ferry dock on the other side.  The boat had to work hard to go back upstream against the flow and the ice pushing downstream.

As the ferry actually got into the thick part of the ice, you could hear an amazing crunch.  The sound was loud and crisp.  It somehow matched the subzero temperatures of the day.  It was an amazing feeling to be on a boat breaking through ice.  It was a very worthwhile ride.

The St. Lawrence River is one busy waterway.  Freighters slowly chugged by us on the ferry.  Some may have come down from the Great Lakes on their way out to the Atlantic Ocean and destinations afar.

Looking back to the shore that we left, we could see the Chateau Frontenac tower over the rest of Vieux-Quebec.  The newly minted copper roof is still truly copper at this point in time.  Many years down the road, it will be the copper-green that we often see on other Canadian Pacific (now Fairmont) hotels across Canada.

If you ever are in Quebec in the winter, then I do recommend the CAD$6.50 (March 2013) for the round trip crossing.  Also, I recommend briefly walking around Lèvis just to get a sense of a smaller Quebec town apart from the usual destinations like Quebec City and Montreal.



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