SABLE ISLAND & 100 WILD ISLANDS EXPEDITION

A four day, three night expedition on coastal research vessel to explore the 100 Wild Islands and Sable Island National Park. Hike with wild horses, visit with Sable Island's scientists, view the largest grey seal colony in the world and adventure by zodiac, sea kayaks and ROV viewing of Sable's famous shipwrecks. This is a trip unlike any other in the world.  

Expedition overview

2019 Sable Island & 100 Wild Islands tour dates:

September 25th-28th (11 seats available, 12 total)

13 guests, 7 crew

For the first time, an opportunity exists to visit both the 100 Wild Islands and Sable Island National Park in a single expedition.  This exploration-based, hands-on expedition will have you experiencing the best that the islands have to offer: kayaking to islands with white sand beaches; hiking with wild horses; viewing the largest Grey Seal colony in the world; meeting with the scientists of Sable Island; and even exploring shipwrecks of Sable with our ROV.

Guests will join our research vessel, for 4 days / 3 nights as we cruise the coastline of Nova Scotia and venture out to the edge of the continental shelf. This is by no means a luxury cruise ship. It is an offshore research vessel capable of taking us where other ships are unable to go. Our small group size ensures the very best of experiences in every sense.  

Departing Halifax, the first day will be spent in the 100 Wild Islands archipelago, with choice of sea kayak tour or zodiac tour of the islands with a mid-day lunch, prepared on beautiful Borgel's island.  

 

That evening, we'll make our way overnight to Sable Island arriving mid-morning. The next two days we will explore Sable from two different locations, the Main Station area & ponds and the Bald Dune area, in search of wild horses and the largest grey seal colony on earth.  Researcher Zoe Lucas, who is also president of the Sable Island institute, will join us.  An opportunity to view some of the shipwrecks of Sable Island with our ROV camera will also be provided.

This active and diverse coastal expedition is a true small group exploration of our wildest areas aboard a modern coastal research vessel. This is not a luxury cruise ship.

100 Wild Islands (day 1)

Off Canada's east coast lies a little known, yet natural treasure - a vast and beautiful archipelago of over 100 wilderness islands.  This is one of the last remaining and intact ecologically rich island groups of its size in North America.  In the 100 Wild Islands wilderness, untouched white sand beaches, idyllic sheltered coves and windswept headlands welcome the intrepid wilderness paddler or sailor. 

The unique boreal rain forests, bogs and barrens, and over 250 kilometers of shoreline have been largely undisturbed by humans over the last 10,000 years.  A rich diversity of birds find refuge in the islands, from majestic eagles and osprey to over 100 species of seabirds, shorebirds, and songbirds. Unmatched opportunities for exploration and discovery.  The 100 Wild Islands is a project by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust www.100wildislands.ca 

Sable Island National Park Reserve  (days 2 and 3)

300 kilometers off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada at the edge of the continental shelf, lies a lonely bar of sand shaped by wind and ocean currents.  It is a terminal moraine pushed by glaciers 10,000 years ago that is home to over 400 wild horses and the largest grey seal colony in the world, topping 400,000. Sable Island is far away from any modern amenities and services, exposed to the open Atlantic Ocean, with the Gulf Stream and Labrador currents on either side. This is the wild of the wild, remote and extreme yet positively beautiful and gentle. This expedition is for those who seek wild reality and remoteness, to be immersed in an environment that functions entirely on its own and to visit it with just a handful of others.  It is a place unlike any other in the world. - Fred Stillman, Expedition Leader

Trip highlights

  • Expedition vessel from Halifax to 100 Wild Islands preservation area and Sable Island National Park

  • Private accommodations with ensuite washroom for 4 days / 3 nights aboard the ship

  • Guided Sea Kayak tour of Borgle's Island and surrounding islands within 100 Wild Islands area

  • Lunch on Borgles Island prepared by your guides

  • Meeting with Zoe Lucas from the Sable Island Institute

  • Orientation of Sable Island by Parks Canada staff

  • 2 Days’ Guided Exploration on Sable Island with Kattuk Expeditions (beach landing dependent on wind and surf conditions)

  • Visits to the many grazing areas of the island's wild horses near main station & Bald Dune areas

  • From the grazing areas, a climb to the top of Bald Dune on Sable I.

  • Meals on board ship: Dinner on Day 1; breakfast and dinner on days 2-3, and breakfast on day 4

  • Delicious picnic lunch on days 1-3

  • NS lobster dinner prepared on Sable Island

  • Visiting the largest grey seal colony in the world on Sable Island

  • A menu of local foods paired with local wines

  • ROV viewing of shipwrecks at Sable Island

Activities

  • Walking / hiking on sand beaches and over sand dunes on horse paths

  • Wildlife viewing / observation

  • Wild horse viewing

  • Guided Sea Kayaking

  • Zodiac tours

  • Photography 

  • Ocean travel

  • Shipwreck viewing by ROV

 

 

 

Itinerary

 

Day 1

  • 5:00 a.m. - Arrive at Halifax peir for trip orientation

  • 5:30 - Depart Halifax en-route to 100 Wild Islands

  • 10:30 - Arrive at 100 Wild Islands for kayak or zodiac tour

  • 12:30 p.m. - Lunch on Borgle's Island 

  • 2:30 - Return to ship and get underway to Sable Island

  • 4:00 - Presentation of Sable Island horses, seals and island ecology

  • 7:00 p.m. - Dinner is served with complimentary local wine tasting

Day 2

  • 6:00 a.m. - Arrive at Sable Island National Park

  • 7:30 - Breakfast aboard ship and introduction to the day's activities 

  • 8:45 - Muster to aft of ship to embark zodiac to Sable beach landing

  • 9:30 - Orientation on Sable Island by park staff 

  • 9:45 - Interpretive walk/horse viewing toward west light and ponds with Zoe Lucas

  • 12:30 p.m. - Picnic lunch prepared by your guides

  • 1:15 - Continued horse / sea viewing

  • 5:00 - Return to ship with optional sunset kayak / zodiac tour of Sable Island north beach

  • 6:30 - BBQ on deck with optional ROV shipwreck viewing during dinner with complimentary local wine tasting

Day 3

  • 7:30 a.m. - Breakfast is served on ship

  • 8:30 - Muster at aft of ship to embark on zodiac to Sable

  • 8:45 - Land and hike to Bald Dune and nearby ponds for horse viewing

  • 12:30 p.m. - Picnic lunch at the top of Bald Dune.

  • 1:30 - Continued walking/horse viewing in Bald Dune area.

  • 5:00 - Return to ship by zodiac

  • 6:00 - Begin return route back to Halifax

  • 7:00 p.m. - Final / farewell dinner, slide show presentation

Day 4

  • 8:00 a.m. - Leisurely buffet breakfast 

  • 12:00 p.m. - Arrive at Halifax pier, end of expedition

 

 

What's included

 

All coastal transportation provided by Leeway Marine - Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ship's crew, hiking and kayaking guides, kayak tours (all equipment included), zodiac tours, lunch and dinner on day 1, breakfast lunch and dinner on day 2 & 3, breakfast on day 4.  All activities outlined in the above itinerary and wifi.  A portion of the tour cost will be donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Sable Island Institute.

Accommodations

 

Accommodations are comfortable but basic, all cabins are double, three above deck have recently added private bath (head, shower, sink). The ship has a fully functional galley and a comfortable lounge area for dining and entertainment, others are below deck doubles and with shared bath. It should be noted that this is a comfortable, capable research vessel and not a luxury cruise ship. 

About the ship

 

Our ship for this expedition is the M/V Leeway Odyssey. A shallow draught, offshore research vessel that is comfortable, dry and has a full galley. The ship's capabilities allow us to get in and close to the islands while also being capable of venturing offshore with ease.   The rear working deck allows us to carry kayaks, zodiacs and an ROV. The ship's crew are experienced, friendly and give 100% every time to ensure guest satisfaction. More ship details can be found here.

What's not included

 

Transportation to and from Leeway Marine Halifax, travel insurance, gratuities, overnight accommodation pre and post tour, items of a personal nature and any incurred cost related to weather (it is very rare, but possible, to be forced to remain on Sable Island due to weather and, cost for accommodation may be applied).

Payment, cancellation policy

A credit card number and $500 deposit is required to hold your reservation and full payment is due 21 days prior to departure. Please note that if weather conditions require the cancellation of the expedition, guests will be refunded 100% of the tour cost.  All guests are expected to be available for the duration of the expedition.  Cancellation must be made 14 days prior, otherwise full payment is required.

 

Preparing for this expedition

This is a marine adventure and as a result, a variety of weather conditions are possible. It is recommended that you be prepared for any and all conditions. The 100 Wild Islands are a very wild coastal environment and Sable Island is roughly 300 km from mainland Nova Scotia at the edge of the continental shelf. With the exception of your guides, help is far away.

 

Clothing:

You must dress appropriately for this experience and for the weather, keeping in mind that there are no trees or shelter on Sable Island other than the Parks Canada buildings.  We strongly recommend a waterproof jacket and pants, gloves and warm hat, thermal and base layers.  And for sun and hot conditions, please bring a sun hat, sun glasses and shorts or light hiking pants.

  • Comfortable, active clothing for the time of year and weather. Dress in layers, expect cooler temperatures on the island (avoid cotton)

  • Base layers, thermal layer (fleece/ down jacket)

  • A few pairs of socks (avoid cotton)

  • Waterproof jacket and pants

  • Comfortable walking shoes/hiking boots.  Walking in sand all day is tough.  Make sure you'll be comfortable.

  • Hat, sunglasses & sunscreen

Medicines / First Aid:

In case of emergency the ship and your guides will be properly equipped with expedition first aid kits and training. On this expedition help is far away. If you are on any medications, it is advised that you bring 1 week's supply with you; and if the medication is life-crucial, bring all that you have.  There is no cell service on Sable Island, however your guide will carry a VHF radio in communication with the Park's main station staff and there is satellite phone at Main Station and on our ship. 

Gravol: As we will be crossing 300 km of ocean to the edge of the continental shelf, and conditions can vary greatly, it is highly advisable that you bring Gravol (Dimenhydrinate) even if you aren't prone to seasickness. Once we're en route, it will be difficult to acquire should you feel the need.

Food allergies and sensitivities:

You must make us aware of any food allergies or sensitivities well in advance of the trip departure. We will do everything we can to accommodate you and ensure your dining experience is a pleasant one. 

Other suggested items to bring:

  • Water bottle. There is potable water on the ship and Sable Island. Your guide will have extra for the hike and kayak tours.

  • Camera (goes without saying) waterproof if possible

  • Walking stick/pole, small backpack

If you have any questions, please contact us between 9:00AM and 6:00PM Atlantic Time  

at 1-844-6-KATTUK (528885) or email at info@kattukexpeditions.com 

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" I would happily recommend Fred Stillman and Kattuk Expeditions for any adventure you might choose. Fred is the epitome of professionalism and especially the most dedicated guide you could ever find. I went with Fred and 3 others to Sable Island in August for a trip I'd been dreaming about - forever! It was truly one of the best days - and trips - of my life. It wasn't just the fact that I was visiting a national treasure - Fred had every little detail down to a science and made the day simply outstanding. Fred and Kattuk are on my speed dial now so that I don't miss a thing!" 

-Anne Calder, Sable Island August 2017

Book this trip by calling us toll free

9:00AM - 6:00PM Monday to Saturday Atlantic Time

Price:

$5,250 (Below deck double cabin w/shared bath)

$5,450 + HST (Above deck double cabin w/private bath)

1-844-652-8885 

in Halifax (902) 407-1377

Route map, click to enlarge. 

Documentary film producer Brad Rivers follows us on our October 2017 trip to Sable Island. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Borgle's Island in the 100 Wild Islands area

Zoe Lucas with Rick Mercer on Sable Island

Kattuk Expeditions is a happy group of outdoor professionals who take pride and joy in showing others the best in nature Eastern Canada has to offer.

© 2019 copyright Kattuk Expeditions Ltd.  

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