Located in the Atlantic Ocean, 300 kilometres southeast of
Halifax, the smile-shaped sandbar became Canada’s 43
national park in 2013. The 34-square-kilometre island is
known for its wild horses, plentiful grey seals, 350 bird species,
sand dunes, extensive beaches and vegetation that ranges
from yellow water lilies to red cranberries. So why have so
few Canadians visited this natural paradise?
Prior to Adventure Canada’s first cruise to Sable Island in 2014,
getting to this Nova Scotia island wasn’t easy. Most visitors
arrived on 70-minuteMaritime Air flights fromHalifax. (You
must charter the entire plane for between one and seven
passengers. Individual seat bookings and credit-card payments
aren’t accepted.) Flights are often delayed for days or even
weeks by fog, high winds or poor landing conditions on the
eight-kilometre-long beach runway.
Our Adventure Canada ship cruised southwest fromSt. John’s,
Newfoundland for 33 hours until we reached Sable Island.
Dining, entertainment, a well-stocked library and enrichment
lectures by Parks Canada staff, marine researchers, ecologists,
ornithologists and authors made the time pass quickly.
Cruising allowed us to visit several areas of the island, much
more than day-visitors see. (People who arrive by plane must
depart before dusk, because Sable Island has no overnight
tourist accommodations. Camping is not permitted.) We
enjoyed three shore excursions and two tours on Zodiacs
(sturdy, inflatable rubber boats) over three days.
Sable Island was on our bucket list for years.
Zodiacs shuttle passengers between the ship and Sable Island
Story and Photos by
Barb and Ron Kroll
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