SABLE ISLAND HORSES, DUNES AND SEALS
A full day of guided exploration of Sable Island National Park.
Departs Vision Air Services Terminal, Halifax International airport. Max group size 8. Difficulty 4/10. Cost $3,150 CDN per person + HST
300 kilometers off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada and 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. Far away from any modern amenities and services, in the exposed open Atlantic ocean with the Gulf Stream and Labrador currents on either side. This is the wild of wild, so 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 it's own and to visit it with just a hand full of others. It is a place unlike any other in the world. - Fred Stillman, Expedition Leader
***COVID 19 UPDATE*** Due to social distancing restrictions and safety practices, additional measures to protect guests, park staff, helicopter staff, and Kattuk staff will be taken. These measures may include additional sanitizing of footwear and baggage handles, PPE worn during close spaces and inside aircraft, on-island outdoor washroom facilities and social distancing of 2 meters when possible. Any equipment provided by Kattuk Expeditions will be sanitized with a Health Canada approved cleaning solution prior to each use. Staff will wear masks when necessary. Anyone feeling ill or exhibiting flu like symptoms will not be permitted to participate. Thank you for your co-operation.
2020 Sable Island helicopter tour dates:
July 27th with photographer Sandy Sharkey (sold out)
July 29th with photographer Sandy Sharkey (sold out)
August 18th fly-in, guided (sold out)
September 7th fly-in, guided (sold out)
September 16th fly-in, guided (sold out)
As a licensed Parks Canada tour company, we are proud to offer an experience of a lifetime. An opportunity to visit Sable Island National Park in a single day. With it's stunning, ever changing sand dunes, hundreds of wild horses and the largest grey seal colony in the world, this will be a trip that you'll remember for the rest of your life.
On this dawn to dusk expedition we will be travelling by twin-engine, Sikorsky S-76 A++ offshore helicopter. The aircraft itself is an adventure and with it's agility and ability to fly great distances in a variety of conditions, it is the perfect vehicle to ensure your trip to Sable Island is a successful one. The helicopter will land on the helipad and does not require specific beach landing conditions.
Our expedition starts at Vision Air Services located at the IMP helicopter terminal at the Halifax International airport. Once we board the aircraft, a 1.25 hour flight has us landing on the beach at Sable Island. After an introduction to the island by Parks Canada staff, your Kattuk Expeditions guide will lead a hike along the dunes to the areas most frequented by the island's horses and seals. A delicious picnic lunch is included and prepared by your guide. After lunch we we continue our hike to other areas of the island. When the hike concludes we'll gather at main station and prepare for our departure back to he mainland.
Whenever possible, we'll visit with researcher Zoe Lucas, head of the Sable Island Institute. In order to lend our support to the research taking place on the island, a portion of your tour cost goes to the Institute.
Return 300km helicopter flight to Sable Island National Park Reserve from Halifax
Helicopter flight along the length of Sable Island National Park
Meeting with Zoe Lucas from the Sable Island Institute
Orientation by Parks Canada
6-8 hours of guided walking and exploration by fully equipped Kattuk Expeditions guide
Visits to the many grazing areas of the island's wild horses
Delicious picnic lunch
Guided walk will include the main station and some outbuildings (exterior), the areas most frequented by horses and Grey Seal colony
Walking / hiking on sand beaches and over sand dunes on horse paths
Wildlife viewing / observation
7:00 a.m. - Arrive at Vision Air helicopter terminal for flight orientation
8:00 - Depart Halifax International Airport en-route to Sable Island
10:00 - Land on Sable Island National Park Reserve
10:15 - Transfer by jeep to main station
10:30 - Orientation by Parks Canada staff
10:45 - 12:30 p.m. - Exploring the dunes and beaches in search of wild horses
12:30 - Picnic lunch
1:15 - 4:15 - Continued hiking / exploring including the north beach seal colony
4:15 - 5:00 - An opportunity to take time on your own
5:00 - Our final farewell on the beach, time to take it all in or get those extra photos in, then we muster and transfer to helicopter and depart
7:30 p.m. - Arrive back at IMP terminal (island departure times vary depending on time of year)
Your flight to and from Sable Island National Park Reserve aboard a Sikorsky S-76 aircraft, properly equipped Kattuk Expeditions guide from beginning to end, a delicious, organic, locally sourced picnic lunch, farewell on the beach, all park and landing fees, a donation to the Sable Island Institute, an experience like no other in the world.
What's not included.
Transportation to Vision Air terminal Halifax, travel insurance, gratuities, items of a personal nature and any incurred cost related to weather (it is very rare, but possible to be stuck on the island due to weather and, cost for accommodation may be applied by Parks Canada).
Payment, cancellation policy.
A credit card is required to hold your reservation and full payment is due 14 days prior to departure. Please note that when booking this excursion, you must ensure that you are available for the day following the tour date as well. This 2-day travel window is due to island weather conditions and is offered to us by Parks Canada. All guests are expected to be available for either day. Cancellation must be made 30 days prior, otherwise full payment is required.
Preparing for a trip to Sable Island.
Although only 300 km from mainland Nova Scotia, Sable Island is one of the most remote places in Canada. You must dress appropriately for this and for the weather, keeping in mind that there are no trees or shelter other than the Parks Canada buildings. In case of emergency, with the exception of your guide, 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 the island, however your guide will carry VHF radio in communication with the park's main station staff. If guests choose to take time on their own at the end of the day, each guest will be required to carry a two-way UHF radio (provided) in communication with their guide.
Suggested items to bring:
Comfortable, active clothing for the time of year and weather. Dress in layers, expect cooler temperatures on the island
Comfortable walking shoes /hiking boots. Walking in sand all day is tough, make sure you'll be comfortable
Hat, sunglasses & sunscreen
Water bottle. There is potable water on the island. Your guide will have extra for the hike.
Camera (goes without saying)
Walking stick, 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
Book this trip by calling us toll free
9:00AM - 6:00PM Monday to Saturday
Price: $3,150* CDN + HST
in Halifax (902) 407-1377
" 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
Documentary film producer Brad Rivers follows us on our October 2017 trip to Sable Island.