Fodor's Expert Review Grosse Île National Park
For thousands of immigrants from Europe in the 1800s, the first glimpse of North America was the hastily erected quarantine station at Grosse Île—Canada's equivalent of Ellis Island. During the time Grosse Île operated (1832–1937), 4.3 million immigrants passed through the port of Québec. For far too many passengers on disease-racked ships, particularly the Irish fleeing the potato famine, Grosse Île became a final resting place. Several buildings have been restored to tell the story of the tragic period of Irish immigration. It's necessary to take a boat tour or ferry to visit the park (some day-long cruises depart from Québec City), and you should reserve in advance.
Croisières AML offers guided cruises that depart for Grosse Île from Berthier-sur-Mer, on the south shore of the St Lawrence. The six-hour tours, offered from May to October, cost C$54, which includes admission to the island (v29412859www.croisieresaml.com).