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Last updated on July 12, 2021
Forillon National Park, in Gaspésie, offers one of the most amazing snorkeling adventures in Canada. Many seals live along its rocky shores, full of lobsters and fish. Swimming next to these playful animals is a unique experience, which is well worth overcoming the apprehension about the water temperature.
Snorkeling with the seals tours described on this page is not permitted anymore since 2019, due to new regulations for interactions with marine mammals. Inquire locally or with operators for the latest up-to-date information.
Forillon National Park is located in Quebec, in the Gaspé region. To snorkel with the seals, book a tour with Plongée Forillon, a diving club located in a bungalow on Grande-Grave dock (about 40 minutes by car from Gaspé).
Snorkeling equipment, including very thick wetsuits protecting from the cold, are included. You will then reach the spot, along the rocky coast of Cap Gaspé, after a short dingy ride. The activity (boat + snorkeling) lasts about 2 hours.
You will enter the water directly from the boat.
The snorkeling activity takes place along the rocky coast of Cap Gaspé, where a colony of harbor seals has settled. The depth is around 6-10ft/2-3m near the shore, and increases as you move away from the coast.
The harbor seals are the main reason why visitors come to this area. Curious and playful, they get very close to the snorkelers, and sometimes do not hesitate to nibble their fins or come to inspect their mask. Your guide will tell you how to behave in the water so as not to disturb them.
Also have a look at the rocky bottoms, covered in places with a wide variety of algae and seagrass. You will surprise there huge American lobsters, several species of crabs, sea anemones, starfish, as well as some fish.
Underwater visibility is variable but generally good enough to enjoy the activity.
There are many accommodations in Gaspé (about 40 minutes by car from the spot) and on the road between Gaspé and the entrance to the National Park.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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