A warm winter has melted plans for tourists who were hoping to get a chance to see Magdalen Island baby seals up close this year. The ice isn't solid or safe enough for observation tours.

The observation season runs from February 24 to March 11 when baby harp seals are visible on ice floes. With no cold snap in the forecast, tour organizers have decided to cancel.

Hôtels Accents, the sole company which organizes the tours, takes visitors, many of whom come from China and Japan, by helicopter to ice floes. ​

Ariane Bérubé, who is in charge of sales with the company, said clients were contacted by phone. And the company offered to help them rearrange their travel plans. 

More than 60 per cent of reservations have been renewed for next year and about a dozen clients have decided to come anyway.

Bérubé said El Niño is having an impact around the world, and people expected the season to be cancelled.