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We will not operating any trips by ship for the 2023 calendar year.  Please click here for detailed information on our 2023 helicopter trips to Sable Island NPR.

Expedition overview

2022 Sable Island ship expedition dates TBA: 

An opportunity now exists to visit Sable Island National Park Reserve by small expedition vessel.  This exploration-based, hands-on expedition will have you experiencing the best locations of Sable Island, it's over 500 wild horses and the largest grey seal colony in the world topping 300,000. You'll also have an opportunity to meet Zoe Lucas, Sable Island researcher for over 40 years and head of the Sable Island Institute.

Guests will join our research vessel in Canso, Nova Scotia for 4 days / 3 nights as we venture eastward overnight to Sable's north side. This offshore vessel will be our home for the journey and well be landing on Sable Island via zodiac twice each day.  Because of our ship's smaller size, we are able to be closer to the shore and maneuver to various locations with ease. Our small group size ensures the very best of experiences in every sense.

Two full days from sun-up to sun-down will be spent exploring Sable from different locations, beginning with the Main Station area & ponds and the Bald Dune area, in search of wild horses, many migratory bird species and grey and harbour seals.  

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.

Trip highlights

  • Expedition vessel from Canso to Sable Island National Park Reserve for 3 nights (2 full days on Sable)

  • Private accommodations (based on double occupancy) for 4 days / 3 nights aboard the ship

  • 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 professional guides

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

  • 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 2 & 3

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

  • A menu of local foods paired with local wines


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

  • Wildlife viewing / observation

  • Wild horse viewing

  • Zodiac tours

  • Photography 

  • Ocean travel



Day 1

  • 4:30 PM. - Arrive at Government Wharf, Canso for group welcome and check in

  • 5:00 - Ships orientation and safety briefing

  • 5:30 - Underway crossing to Sable Island

  • 6:30 - Overview of expedition by Kattuk guides and dinner


​Day 2

  • 5:00 a.m. - Arrive at Sable Island National Park and set anchor

  • 7:00 - Breakfast aboard ship and introduction to the day's activities 

  • 8:15 - Muster to aft of ship to embark zodiac to Sable beach landing

  • 8:30 - Orientation on Sable Island by park staff 

  • 9:00 - Interpretive walk/horse viewing toward west light and ponds with Kattuk guides

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

  • 1:15 - Continued horse / sea viewing

  • 4:00 - Return to ship for coffee & snacks, and rest

  • 6:00 - depart by zodiac for sunset walk on Sable Island

  • 9:00 late dinner on ship 


​Day 3

  • 7:00 a.m. - Breakfast aboard on ship

  • 8:15 - 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 Bald Dune.

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

  • 4:00 - Return to ship by zodiac

  • 6:00 - Sunset zodiac tour of western end of Sable (with landing)

  • 9:00 p.m. - Final / farewell dinner, slide show presentation, depart for Canso

​Day 4

  • 8:00 a.m. - Arrive Canso, leisurely buffet breakfast 

  • Farewell to Kattuk guides and ships crew

What's included


All coastal transportation provided by Leeway Marine - Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ship's crew, hiking/ nature guides, zodiac transport,  dinner on day 1, breakfast lunch and dinner on day 2 & 3, breakfast on day 4.  All activities outlined in the above itinerary.  A portion of the tour cost will be donated to the Sable Island Institute.



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. Due to Covid restrictions, we can not book two individuals who are not travelling together, in the same room. All bookings are based on double occupancy.

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 Canso, Nova Scotia, 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 deposit of $1000 and credit card information is required at time of booking. Final payment is due at least 30 days prior to your tour date.  A full refund will be returned to anyone cancelling more than 30 days prior to departure.  Trips are non-refundable after 30 days prior to departure, unless local or national pandemic restrictions change during that time, preventing you from visiting. In that case, all fees will be refunded. 

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 coastal environment and Sable Island NPR is roughly 300 km from Halifax Nova Scotia near the edge of the continental shelf. With the exception of your guides and ship's crew, help is far away.



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. 

  • 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 

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