Getting Here (By Car and Ferry)

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The Lower North Shore is accessible by road and ferry for about nine months of the year. There are three routes to choose from:

  • From Quebec via Highway 138 and the Nordik Express
  • From Newfoundland via a ferry at St. Barbe
  • From Labrador via highway 387 starting in Baie-Comeau (Quebec), connecting with the Trans-Labrador Highway (hwy 500) and a ferry service from Goose Bay to Cartwright, Labrador
Relais Nordik
Relais Nordik

Route 138 follows the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and ends in Natashquan. From Natashquan, the ship Nordik Express takes over, carrying people and freight along the Quebec Lower North Shore. You can embark at Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Natashquan or Rimouski. This passenger-cargo ship has a large windowed observatory, cabin space for up to 60 people, a dining room and a cafeteria. As the ship stops in each port to unload supplies, you will have time to stretch your legs and visit the remote and unique villages and their attractions. From Blanc-Sablon, the ship’s terminus, you can explore Route 138, which picks up again and extends 65 kilometres (40 miles) west to Old Fort on the Lower North Shore. Heading east, Blanc-Sablon is just 2 kilometres (1 mile) from the Quebec-Labrador border where Route 510 begins. The length of the trip to Blanc-Sablon depends on where you board. The trip from Rimouski to Blanc-Sablon lasts approximately 3 days. The trip between Havre-Saint-Pierre and Blanc-Sablon lasts 2 days. Although it is not a conventional passenger ferry, you can bring your vehicle on-board.

How to get here from Newfoundland
How to get here from Newfoundland

Marine Atlantic operates a ferry service between North Sydney (Nova Scotia) and Port Aux Basques (Newfoundland). Once in Port Aux Basques, drive north on the Trans-Canada Highway to Deer Lake and take Route 430. Drive through Gros Morne National Park, and head for St. Barbe. Labrador Marine Services operates a daily ferry service with the M/V Apollo between St. Barbe (Newfoundland) and Blanc-Sablon (Quebec), a 90 minute-long crossing.


From Baie-Comeau (Quebec), Route 389 will take you to Labrador City. It is an estimated 8 1/2 hour drive on a combination of paved and gravel roads. For updated information on road conditions, contact the Quebec Ministry of Transport at (888) 355-0511. Once in Labrador City, travel 526 kilometres (327 miles) of gravel road on Route 500 (Trans-Labrador Highway) to Goose Bay, passing the impressive Churchill Falls, home of Canada’s largest hydroelectric dam.

Labrador Marine Services operates a ferry, the M/V Sir Robert Bond, from Goose Bay to Cartwright, a 13-hour trip. Finally, drive 413 kilometres (257 miles) on Route 510 all the way to Blanc-Sablon.

For more ways to get to the Lower North Shore please click here