Seal Watching

Observation des phoques

An Unbelievable and Unique Experience!

In the heart of winter, snow and ice combine to transform the Islands into a living lunar landscape. Starting at the end of the month of February, hundreds of thousands of harp seals (the nomads of the icy sea) make their way to the shores surrounding the archipelago to give birth to their pups.

For 2 to 3 weeks, adult seals and their newborns can be observed in their natural habitat: a spectacular landscape of snow and ice brought to life by the presence of this enormous troop for as far as the eyes can see.

The Château Madelinot hotel offers many different packages including a helicopter excursion to the shores, giving you the chance to get up-close to the little seal pups (whitecoats) and admire how the newborns blend in with the snowy shores. Truly an unbelievable experience!

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What you need to know:

Upon your arrival in Iles de la Madeleine

  • You will be greeted by a representative of the Chateau Madelinot (French, English or Japanese)
  • After the check-in, there will be an information session on the content of the package, the Seal Observation tour and the Iles de la Madeleine
  • You will also receive all the necessary tickets for the different activities.

Seal Observation Tour

  • The helicopters depart from the hotel
  • There are 3 departures every day : 07:00, 10:30 and 14:00
  • The length of the excursion is 3 hours, including the helicopter ride
  • The departure time will be determined by our organisation (however, client preferences will be considered) and will be transmitted to the clients around 19:00, the evening before
  • Viewing a video on security as well as signing a waiver of responsibility is obligatory
  • A survival outfit (Mustang suit) as well as boots, if necessary, are supplied. It is however recommended that you bring your own boots (snowmobile-type).
  • Bring your own gloves and hats. We only have a limited supplies of these.
  • Sunglasses and suntan lotion are recommended
  • Finally, don’t forget your camera…


The activity « Seal Observation » is directly linked to the weather conditions. If the helicopter flights are delayed or cancelled, a new priority list based on the chronological departure of each client will be drawn out and you will be advised accordingly.

Cancellation policy

If your “Seal Observation” tour is definitely cancelled and it becomes impossible for you to see the seals before your departure from Iles de la Madeleine, this portion of your package will be reimbursed.

Click on the image to view the video