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"I felt like I was
dropped into a
National Geographic

- Carole, Winter 2022 visitor



A full day of guided exploration of Sable Island National Park Reserve.

Departs Vision Air Services Helicopter Terminal. 

Max group size 7.  Cost $3,350 CDN per person + HST

Price includes $100 fuel surcharge.

Winter trips add $250 per person for survival suit.

Visiting Sable Island NPR during winter


Did you know that Sable Island is a winter destination too? 

Winter is a special time to visit the island for many reasons that you cannot experience in the other seasons. Sable Island has relatively mild temperatures compared to mainland Nova Scotia and winter is an exciting time to see the thick "woolly" coats on the majestic wild horses, perfect for capturing stunning photos. More than 300,000 Grey Seals, the largest colony on earth, grace the shores and dunes of Sable Island during the season. This is the only time of year to see the seals in various stages of breeding, weaning and mating. The sights and sounds of hundreds of thousands of seals on the island is incredible; the magnitude of this event can only be experienced in the winter and in person.  A guest of ours commented "I felt like I was dropped into a National Geographic movie". Details for your expedition, unlike any other, are below.  For the 2023 season, Parks Canada is only allowing a total 35 guests to visit the island on these fully guided adventures.

About Sable Island NPR

300 kilometers off the coast of Halifax, 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 approximately 10,000 years ago that is home to over 500 wild horses and the largest grey seal colony in the world. Far away from any modern amenities and services, in the exposed open Atlantic ocean with the Gulf Stream and Labrador currents nearby. 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 handful of others.  It is a place unlike any other in the world. - Fred Stillman, Expedition Leader

Expedition overview

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 full day 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 Halifax International airport. Upon arrival you'll be greeted by your guide and pilots. After completing the island's pre-boarding biosecurity process and receiving a safety orientation, we'll board the  aircraft, a 1.25 hour flight has us landing on the helipad at Sable Island NPR.  After an introduction to the island by Parks Canada staff, your Kattuk Expeditions guide will lead a hike along the beaches and 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 the 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.

Trip highlights

  • Return 300km helicopter flight to Sable Island National Park Reserve from Halifax

  • 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

  • Insight into daily life on the island


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

  • Wildlife viewing / observation

  • Ecological interpretation

  • Bird watching

  • Photography 

  • Flying

  • Solitude


  • 6:15 a.m. - Arrive at Vision Air helicopter terminal for flight orientation

  • 8:00 - Depart Vision Air Services Airport en-route to Sable Island

  • 9:30 - Land on Sable Island National Park Reserve

  • 10:00 - Orientation by Parks Canada staff

  • 10:15 - 12:30 p.m. - Exploring the dunes and beaches in search of wild horses

  • 12:30 - Lunch at Visitor's Quarters building

  • 1:15 - 4:15 - Continued hiking / exploring including the north beach seal colony

  • 3:00 - Time to muster and prepare for 3:30 p.m. departure

  • 5:30 p.m. - Arrive back at Vision Air Services (island departure times vary depending on time of year)

What's included

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.

Things that aren't included

Transportation to Vision Air terminal Halifax, travel insurance, gratuities to guide, 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 deposit of $500 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 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 and park staff, 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 in the summer and slightly milder temperatures during the winter

  • 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

  • Walking stick, small backpack

  • Mask

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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