The beautiful shores of lake Saimaa attract ever more tourists, hikers, boat riders, and canoers around. Meanwhile, the native of lake Saimaa, the Saimaa ringed seal, widens its range back to the areas it once disappeared from. Please take the presence of the endangered seal into account when travelling in Saimaa area.

Study your destination and its rules beforehand. The national parks of Linnansaari and Kolovesi are among the most important areas of the Saimaa ringed seal. Because of this, certain restrictions have been set considering moving in the area. Wherever you go when in nature, please do not litter nor keep noise.

When travelling in the home waters of the Saimaa ringed seal, the main rule is to let the seal be. In the water the seal may be curious and might even follow a boat or a canoe moving at a leisurely speed. However, do not approach the seal if you see it. You can observe it from afar with binoculars.

Study the Principles of seal-friendly tourism in Saimaa area (

Follow the priciples both when travelling alone and when using the services of entrepreneurs offering seal safaris, boat trips or rental boats or canoes etc. in Saimaa area. The Principles of seal-friendly tourism were set in spring 2022, as the growing tourism and the growing population of the Saimaa ringed seal created a need for a common way of acting. The Principles ensure the entrepreneurs take the seal into account in all their services and actions, creating a base for ethical tourism in which the seals won’t be disturbed and customers will learn about the endangered species.

Entrepreneurs and seal-friendly tourism

A drawing of a seal lying on a rock, with a text saimaa ringed seal, let´s keep the seal on the rock.

The entrepreneurs engaged to the Principles of seal-friendly tourism are listed at the end of the Finnish page “Saimaan matkailuyrittäjille”.

Entrepreneurs mentined on the list or using the seal-friendly tourism logo are certified for engagement to the Principles of seal-friendly tourism in Saimaa area.

Thank you for your responsibility when travelling around the home waters of the Saimaa ringed seal!

The project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union. The material reflects the views by the authors, and the European Commission or the CINEA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Last updated 14 June 2023