Across the Icy St. Lawrence River


Member Rating 2 out of 5 by MikeInTown on February 27, 2012

Throughout the week, when the friendly people of Quebec found out my wife and I were tourists, they often offered suggestions on what to see during our visit. One of the suggestions we heard many times was to tour the Ice Hotel. We had already over-achieved on that recommendation when we spent the night there. The other suggestion we heard often was to take the ferry across the St. Lawrence River to the town of Lévis (pronounced lay-vee). We were told we could get a great view of Quebec City from there.

The ferry runs every half-hour and costs C$6 per person roundtrip. The high temperature that day was a frigid 1°F. Needless to say, we took seats inside the heated boat and admired the scenery through the windows instead of from the deck. The St. Lawrence was full of ice. We were told there are ice breakers further up the river working to keep the river passable.

The crossing only took 10 minutes. Indeed the view of Quebec City with Chateau Frontenac standing prominently above the city walls was awe-inspiring when seen from the shores of Lévis but we were wondering if there was anything to see in the town. There was a tourism office in the ferry terminal but it was closed. I stopped by an eatery in the terminal to ask if there were any tourist attractions nearby. I was told there was really nothing other than to walk up the steps to an old fort. We decided to pass on that and just take the next ferry back to Quebec City.

During the ride back, as my wife and I were discussing how we had basically paid C$12 to take a picture of Quebec City, we saw something we had never seen before - ice canoeing. There was a team of men rowing a canoe in the icy river. Each time they encountered a chunk of ice, they would all get out of the boat and carry it across the ice until they were able to put the canoe back into the water. I was surprised no one fell in. I don't know if they were in a race or just trying to get in a good workout. These guys were on a mission. One of the men was constantly yelling out commands. My wife and I actually endured the wind and cold on the deck of the ferry for a few minutes to watch this team of ice canoers - fascinating!

Back on the shores of Quebec City, we left the terminal baffled over the consistent recommendation to take the ferry to Lévis. Maybe we missed something. It was a very nice view but I am not sure it was worth the money.

Quebec - Levis Ferry
10 Rue des Traversiers
Quebec City, Quebec
418 643 8420

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