harp seals

Harp seals are born each year on these icy shores in Canada and you can visit

The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is renowned for its abundant marine wildlife, with white-coated harp seals among the most adorable. 

These furry snow-covered creatures are very present along the coastlines of the maritime regions of Quebec. Usually resting on the shore, rocks and beaches, seals are a common sight, summer or winter.

But every February, tens of thousands of harp seals migrate from the Arctic and make their way to the ice surrounding the Magdalene Islands to give birth.

They stay there with their pups usually for 12 to 15 days before leaving them to fend for themselves. 

This beautiful vast landscape of ice and snow is the only place in the world where you can enjoy this immersive experience – the scenery alone is enough to go. 

You don’t have to be an extreme traveller or professional photographer to see the seals and newly born pups in their natural habitat. You can travel to the icy wonderland by air or boat. 

Ice-capable fishing boats allow animal-lovers to experience the first precious weeks in the life cycle of the seal pups. Most tours offer live aboard accommodations, unlimited time on the ice and even the chance to dive and snorkel with the seals. 

These types of boat tours however are subject to the uncertainty of ice conditions and sometimes cannot run due to ice build up. 

Another way you can see them is with a helicopter tour. These small-group excursions offer an aerial view of the seal nursery. Depending on weather and ice conditions, there are also opportunities to walk the ice and see their cuteness up-close. 

Helicopter packages, which come with three nights’ accommodation, range from $1,300 to $1,500. 

Lead photo by

Ocean Lovers United / Daisy Gilardini


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