Hands on ice-canoe experience soon available for tourists

Hands on ice-canoe experience soon available for tourists

Photo: Mariannlï

Every year at Quebec City’s winter Carnival, one of the most watched activities is the ice-canoe race across the St. Lawrence River. It is televised and watched more outside of Canada than in the country itself, but if you want to participate, you have to have a boat, a team, and the right conditions which cannot necessarily be found in a lot of places.

There is apparently a lot of demand from people outside the province who would like to try the sport, but don’t have all the requirements needed, so a group of entrepreneurs from the area have decided to make the experience available as a tourist attraction. One of the organisers is a canoeist herself, and they hope to make a go of it offering a ride on an ice-canoe with some hands-on participation which they hope will attract a certain number of enthusiasts. The idea has been exploited before but with little success. This time around there will be a better organization, better preparation, and a more touristic aspect making it part of an adventure tour happening. With the success of the Ice Hotel and other winter activities in the area the group sees an untapped potential which they think could turn a profit.

The season only lasts about three months, from December to March, so to make a go of it the organizers are putting all their effort into a short timeframe to hopefully make it a profitable endeavor. It will cost $250 to take part in a crossing with three tourists by boat, and two guides. There will be two outings a day from Christmas to mid March and if Mother Nature holds true to form, all should go according to plan. Their program will be called “Canots à glace Québec” and they’re hoping to attract a lot of European visitors who come to Québec to enjoy other winter sports, such as dog sleds, skiing and winter camping.

Life in Québec staff writer

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