Just a few cable lengths from Quebec City, the lovely village of l’Islet-sur-Mer is known as “Mariner Country.” Nearly 200 sailors, captains, pilots, shipbuilders and ship’s carpenters hail from here. The maritime museum houses over 12,000 items and documents paying tribute to people who spent their lives along and on the River. They include the legendary Captain J.-E. Bernier (1852-1934), a tireless navigator who plied the waters of the Tropics, the St. Lawrence and the Arctic.
- In the Sea Roots exhibition, you can admire unique 19th and 20th century maritime artifacts and hear some authentic tales of adventure and shipwrecks, all evidence of how Quebeckers’ lives have long been tied to the St. Lawrence.
- Joseph-Elzéar Bernier, a captain at age 17, lived in the days of the last great sailing ships and exotic trading voyages. An exhibition introduces you to this exceptional character, who asserted Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic.
- Take a guided tour of the fascinating ship model room, with more than 200 miniature models of ships that marked Quebec and Canadian history.
- Step aboard two impressive ships in drydock: the HMCS Bras d'Or 400, a military prototype, and the CCGS Ernest Lapointe icebreaker, a proud retired Canadian Coast Guard ship.
- What’s the difference between a sailboat, a bark and a canoe? Find out at the boatyard, and learn about some Quebec shipbuilding techniques.
- Brush up your steamanship and learn how to tie different knots and make rigging. Quick! Can you unfurl the mainsails?
- Do you have the soul of a poet? Then compose a tribute to the sea! Record a maritime message at the Museum and it will be broadcast over a huge outdoor loudspeaker – a public work of art by Pierre Bourgault.