Go to main content of the website
1-855-986-2211Book now

Seal pup-watching

“Because one day we realized that we were so privileged to be surrounded by so much natural beauty that we had no choice but to share it.” – A pioneering Madelinot observer of seal pups on the Magdalen Islands 

 

Every year since then, enthusiasts of nature, wildlife observation and photography have travelled to the Magdalen Islands to experience this incomparable nature experience. 

 

Looking for a unique winter trip? Need to escape and find some inspiration? 

The ice floes of the Magdalen Islands are your next destination! 

Be one of the lucky ones and join this excursion named one of National Geographic TOP 25 travel destinations.

Please note that, for the 2021 season, places are limited for those wishing to take part in the excursion.  So act quickly and find out about the best options available to you!

Concept

For more than 40 years, guests have been able to take part in a unique experience every winter – watching seal pups on the pack ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Transported by helicopter, only a few privileged guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a Canadian wildlife immersion experience between February 24 and March 9, 2021.

This winter adventure is open to everyone. Join us for a unique aerial experience as we watch harp seal pups being cared for by their mothers and take photographs of the faces of these adorable white seals against the backdrop of an endless expanse of ice and snow. The Magdalen Islands are the only place in the world where you can enjoy this harp-seal-watching experience.

Also, if the ice is thick enough, our helicopters can land a few meters away from the spectacular herd of harp seal pups. Accompanied by our guide, you'll have the privilege of watching them close-up in their natural habitat. 

Not only will you get to watch the seals, but you'll also be awed by the immensity of the unique landscapes you discover and thrilled with the wide range of activities. 

THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Unfortunately, climate change in recent years has forced us to think about how best to continue offering the winter experience. The whitecoat package is essentially based on optimal weather conditions that allow pack ice to form on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

The safety of our customers and our teams is the priority that guides all our decisions. Consequently, any external change that has an impact on safety may force us to suspend our operations without notice.


Since 2010, we have had to cancel the seasons planned for 2011, 2016 and 2017, due to a lack of ice cover which precluded safe helicopter landings. This realization about the impact of climate change has since led us to contribute to several national and international studies on the subject. In our own way, through the precarious environmental conditions in which the whitecoats find themselves, we want to highlight how this global reality is evolving.


As a result, the 2021 season can only be confirmed 14 days before it is due to begin. A decision will be made in the week of February 8, 2021, depending on the conditions of sea ice formation on the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence.

WEATHER AND CLOTHING

blanchons-iles-de-la-madeleine-meggy-turbide

The average temperature on the Magdalen Islands in February and March ranges from  -10 to -20 degrees Celsius.

Equipment provided as part of the package:

For the helicopter outings, each guest will be provided a Mustang survival suit. This suit is warm enough to wear on the pack ice. However, we recommend that you wear a polar fleece outfit or thermal underwear underneath the suit. Boots are also available if needed.  
*Note that all participants are required to wear a Mustang survival suit on helicopter excursions.

Also, winter hats and mittens are sold at the hotel shop.

Snowshoes, poles and all other equipment needed for the activities are included as part of the outings.  


Recommended clothing:

We recommend that you bring the following items to be able to fully enjoy the outdoor activities: 
– Winter jacket and pants

– Warm boots
– Fleece top and bottoms or thermal underwear
– Winter hat and gloves (bring gloves for easier operation of your camera)

blanchons-iles-de-la-madeleine-raquette

AVAILABLE PACKAGES

ALL-INCLUSIVE Package with all meals

Package includes:
 

  • Airport (YGR) welcome and transfer
  • Accommodation at the Château Madelinot
  • 1 helicopter tour to the pack ice 
  • Mustang flotation suit
  • Land activities adventure
  • Tour leader
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Resto Bistro Accents

 

Learn more

ALL-INCLUSIVE Package with break

Package includes:
 

  • Airport (YGR) welcome and transfer
  • Accommodation at the Château Madelinot
  • 1 helicopter tour to the pack ice 
  • Mustang flotation suit
  • Land activities adventure
  • Tour leader
  • Breakfast at the Resto Bistro Accents

 

Learn more

Hotel and helicopter expedition

Package includes:
 

  • Accommodation at the Château Madelinot
  • 1 helicopter tour to the pack ice 
  • Mustang flotation suit
Learn more

ACTIVITIES

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES IN THE ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE 


For a total of 3 choices of activities done per day (*which are reserved the day before), opt for an outdoor activity, a safari photo or even a cultural activity, depending on what you feel like. Let our passionate and experimental outdoor guide show you the most beautiful corners of our archipelago!

Why choose an all-inclusive package? To enjoy your stay without having to worry about planning your itineraries, activities or meals. To experience real immersion within the community in the encounters that you will have, all in the company of a local guide who cares about providing you with an authentic experience that meets your expectations.

A schedule is posted daily and offered to all package guests. You can choose from a total of 4 activities per day, in addition to the helicopter excursion, in the following categories: an outdoor activity, discovery and photography or culture and discovery.


N.B.: The schedule is subject to change at any time by hotel management based on weather conditions prevailing during your stay. We want our activities to take place safely and enjoyably. If ever an activity has to be cancelled, the management team will make sure that alternative activities are offered. We trust that we can count on your cooperation and understanding!

PRICING AND INFORMATION