Ride Richelieu From Lake Champlain To St Lawrence River…
Our self guided Richelieu River Sea Doo tour in Quebec was a fantastic PWC adventure that I’d highly recommend to any boater. Cruiser, runabout and Sea Doo, Jet Ski or Waverunner personal watercraft owners have much in common when it comes to selecting a good destination for a boating tour, so if you’re looking for a new marine adventure or more rides like it, this one’s for you (To view full magazine story, click on the article above)
Richelieu River Sea Doo Tour: First Time for Sea Doo & Jet Ski in Quebec…
Although I’m experienced with Sea Doo touring, I hadn’t done any prior Quebec cruising on my Sea Doo GTX S 155. I had lots of questions about where to go and what to expect. Like other boaters, I was looking for well-marked, navigable waters, good marina facilities, boat-friendly shore side lodgings and restaurants, and a scenic, safe voyage. I also needed to be able to converse in English.
I found all this and more on our 800-kilometre tour centred around Quebec’s Richelieu River, with sojourns into Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River. Riding Sea-Doo watercraft, Frank & Beth Crocco and Johnny Biasi & Trish Robinson joined my wife, Marsha, and I on this voyage. What we discovered and the advice I can offer are equally applicable to those who choose to do this tour (or any part of it) in other kinds of boats or at a more leisurely pace.
Richelieu River Sea Doo Tour: East of Montreal…
Located just east of Montreal, the Richelieu River flows about 170 kilometres from the north end of Lake Champlain downstream to the St. Lawrence River at the City of Sorel-Tracy. Throughout history, everyone from the Iroquois and French explorers to traders and military expeditions have navigated the Richelieu. Today, it’s an important part of the international “Lakes to Locks” recreational route that enables boaters to cruise from the Montreal/St. Lawrence area down the Hudson River to New York City or to connect to the Erie or Oswego canals.
Richelieu River Sea Doo Tour: Jet Ski Friendly Lodgings…
For those of us that want to spend each night ashore (not much sleeping room on a PWC or a runabout), the regional Tourisme Montérégie suggested some of their finest waterfront lodgings (see photos and listing below), in tour order – Auberge du Lac Champlain (Venise-en-Quebec), Manoir Rouville-Campbell (Mont-Saint-Hilaire), Auberge de la Rive (Sorel), and Auberge Hadfield (Saint-Marc-sur Richelieu). Each either has its own docks or an adjacent marina, and offers excellent lodgings plus an on site restaurant.
Read my entire Sea-Doo tour article, “Riding the Richelieu” as published in Canadian Yachting Magazine.
Here’s a quick Richelieu River Sea Doo Tour snapshot…
Day One –
Trailer to Auberge du Lac Champlain, Venise-en-Quebec. Located across the road from a boat launch, the classy new Auberge du Lac Champlain consists of tastefully appointed rooms and villa style cottages. Offering an outdoor pool, spa, adjacent restaurant and plenty of parking, it’s ideal for staging a PWC trip. Located on the west shore of Lake Champlain’s Mississquoi Bay with fuel nearby.
Day Two, Lake Champlain –
Ride south on Lake Champlain to Plattsburg, NY and Burlington VT, returning to Auberge du Lac.
View Sea Doo Tours Lac Champlain Day 2 in a larger map
Day Three, Richelieu River –
Ride north on Richelieu River and overnight at Manoir Rouville-Campbell, Mont-Saint-Hilaire. Constructed in 1850, the Manoir Rouville-Campbell provides boaters with a magnificent slice of luxurious history in a splendidly landscaped setting. From docks to dining room, outdoor terrace and pub, the Manoir provides excellent respite after a day on the Richelieu. Located on east side of the river, with fuel on the opposite shore.
View Sea Doo Tour Richelieu River Day 3 in a larger map
Day Four, Richelieu & St. Lawrence Rivers –
Ride north on Richelieu and explore east on St Lawrence River to Trois Rivières, overnighting at Auberge de la Rive, Sorel. With docking and fuel available at the Marina Saurel next door, the Auberge de la Rive offers an outdoor pool, on site restaurant and bar. With a boat launch and plenty of parking, it’s also a good staging hotel if you want to start at the St. Lawrence end of this tour. Located on the St. Lawrence, just east of the Richelieu.
View Sea Doo Tours Richelieu River Day 4 in a larger map
Day Five, St. Lawrence River –
Explore west on St Lawrence to Montreal, then ride south on Richelieu, overnighting at Auberge Handfield, Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu. Complete with an outdoor pool and hot tub with terrace snack bar and lounge overlooking the river, the Auberge Handfield also provides excellent dock facilities and a scrumptious on site restaurant. Located on the west side of the river with fuel nearby.
View Sea Doo Tours Richelieu River Day 5 in a larger map
Day Six, Richelieu River & Lake Champlain –
Ride south on Richelieu to Lake Champlain and back to Venise-en-Quebec. Stay overnight at Auberge du Lac Champlain.
View Sea Doo Tours Richelieu River Day 6 in a larger map
Day Seven – Trailer home
Like this ride? Check out my other Sea-Doo Rides!
Riders should reconfirm the routes and services mentioned in this article as they may have changed since publication. Any map is for reference only and any marked lines or locations are not intended as an exact or accurate depiction of positions.