Best time to travel to Quebec

Baby Seals in Quebec

Check out these heart-melting scenes from life of harp seals in their natural habitat

Best time: late February–early March

Baby Seals
Baby Seals

Late February and early March are the most memorable months to observe harp seals and their life cycle. Every year at that time mother seals give birth to their pups and spend around two weeks feeding and taking care of them in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

While their mothers swim, thousands of whitecoats carelessly lounge all day long on ice surrounding the Îles de la Madeleine, which offers a perfect opportunity to see them really close. In order not to disturb the harp seals, special helicopter tours deliver small visitor groups to the island for a few hours, during which you can have a great time in the wilderness of ice.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Quebec to see baby seals?

The ideal time to witness baby seals in Quebec is during late February and early March. At this time, mother harp seals give birth to their pups and spend about two weeks nursing them in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. During this time, several whitecoats rest on the ice surrounding the Îles de la Madeleine, providing a chance to see them up close. Show more

Where is the best place to observe harp seals in their natural habitat?

Îles de la Madeleine is an excellent location to observe harp seals without disturbing them too much. The island keeps the doors open for visitors while providing a chance to observe the seals up close. To ensure minimal interruption to the seals, small visitor groups are allowed to land on the island via specially arranged helicopter tours. Show more

How long do mother seals spend with their pups in the Gulf of St. Lawrence?

During the nursing period of their pups, the mother seals dedicate about two weeks in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. As the mother seals bask in the sun, whitecoats rest on the ice floating in the Îles de la Madeleine. After their nursing period ends, the mother seals leave their pups behind to fend for themselves and return to the ocean. Show more

What is the recommended way to travel to Îles de la Madeleine to observe the seals?

To get a better view of the seals in Îles de la Madeleine, it is advisable to use the specialized helicopter tours. The helicopter tours are uniquely arranged and deliver small groups of visitors to the island. During the tour, visitors have the opportunity to view the seals in their natural habitat and are carefully guided to prevent harm to the seals and maintain a pleasant experience. Show more

Are there any regulations in place to protect the seals during the observation tours?

Yes, regulations are in place that ensure the safety and protection of the seals during the observation tours. The Quebec government closely regulates the tours to ensure minimal interference and disturb the seals. To minimize disturbing the seals, visitors are given strict guidelines not to approach or interact with them too closely as it could cause them distress. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin