Join us for a spectacular nature cruise among the islands and shorelines of beautiful Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island. Take in breathtaking scenery, rugged maritime landscapes, and ocean teeming with wildlife.
PUFFIN & LIGHTHOUSE CRUISE
- Adult Ages 15+
- Junior Ages 6-14
- Child Ages 5 & Under
The season for puffins is done for now, but trips will resume in May of 2024!
One of Bar Harbor’s most popular wildlife and sightseeing cruises!
Join us for an adventure out into Frenchman Bay and the Gulf of Maine to see the most sought-after iconic symbols of Maine: Puffins and Lighthouses!
Ride aboard state-of-the art catamarans with professional and knowledgeable naturalists and crew to see three island lighthouses, including Petit Manan, the second tallest lighthouse in Maine!
The tour begins in Frenchman Bay and visits Egg Rock which is home to the first lighthouse of the tour and a nesting colony of cormorants and gulls. Be on the look out for seals and eagles at Egg Rock! This island is part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge! After visiting Egg Rock, the boat will pick up speed and head out to an offshore island called Petit Manan. This location, another National Wildlife Refuge island, is home to a nesting colony of Atlantic puffins! See not only puffins, but razorbills, guillemots, as well as common and Arctic terns!
We might also have a chance to talk with the researchers based on the island! We collaborate with Friends of Maine Coastal Islands NWR to educate the public about the seabirds that utilize the Refuge as critical nesting habitat. The research interns on the island talk with us via radio, giving us the chance to learn about their work on the island, the status of the puffins and other nesting seabirds, and history of Petit Manan Island.
The tour then stops by Schoodic Island in search of eagles and other wildlife. The boat then takes a scenic ride along Schoodic Peninsula to view the shoreline of Acadia National Park and visit Winter Harbor Light.
Keep an eye out for ospreys and harbor porpoise or watch lobstermen haul up their traps. After a cruise through the Porcupine Islands on Frenchman Bay, the boat then returns back to Bar Harbor.
Binoculars and/or a long zoom lens are strongly recommended for closer views, however they are not required to see puffins.
Binoculars are also helpful for viewing other wildlife such as seals and eagles.
Photos featuring puffins were taken with a zoom lens. Puffins are about the size of a pigeon.
We follow wildlife viewing guidelines in order to prevent disturbance of the seabirds.
- Galley has light snacks and bar, including hot and cold beverages. CASH ONLY for galley purchases.
- Restrooms available onboard.
- Indoor and outdoor seating available. Seating is first come, first serve.
- Passengers are welcome to move around the boat during the trip to view wildlife and scenery from from different levels.
- Vessels are wheelchair accessible.
- Wheelchairs are available at our facility-please contact us prior to your cruise if you would like to use one of our wheelchairs.
- Scripts are available upon request.
- Certified guide dogs are welcome.
- When booking, please make sure to have tickets for all members in your party, including infants, as our vessels are certified to carry a specific number of passengers.
- If you need to cancel or change your reservation, please make sure to contact our ticket office no later than 24 hours before trip departure at: [email protected] or (207) 288-2386.
- WARM & WATERPROOF LAYERS! It is much colder out on the open ocean, even on a hot summer day, and the ride is windy when the boat is underway.
- Camera: this cruise provides many photography opportunities of wildlife, lighthouses, and coastal scenery.
- Cash for galley purchases including renting binoculars.
- Passengers over 18 years of age must bring a valid photo ID for renting binoculars.
- Trips will depart rain or shine, however we will cancel for high sea conditions, thunderstorms, and dense fog. Cruises can cancel up to 30 minutes prior to departure.
- In the event of a cancellation, you will be notified via email and text.
- To rebook your cruise, please contact our office at 207-288-2386 or email us at [email protected]. Refunds will be processed automatically by the end of the day.
- We recommend arriving at the dock 45-60 minutes before departure. Please arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to trip’s scheduled departure.
- Municipal paid parking is available in downtown Bar Harbor and the town pier. Parking is limited in town, and gets very difficult to find later in the day. Please arrive early to find a spot to park!
- Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. is not responsible for any parking fees or tickets due to the duration of trips or cancellations.
- The Island Explorer buses are a free, environmentally-friendly, shuttle service and available during most of our season. Our dock is short walk from their location at the Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor.
- Taxi services are also available for drop off and pick-up at our location.
Due to the conditions of the seas heading out to the puffin nesting island, sea sickness can be an issue for some.
Here are some tips:
- Stay hydrated.
- Try ginger chews, ginger ale, or candied ginger
- Over the counter sea sickness aids should be taken 1-2 hours before the trip leaves the dock. They usually don’t work once the boat is underway.
- Acupressure wrist bands.
- Stay outdoors, looking to the horizon, and avoid the front or upper level parts of the boat.
- Avoid racing to the restrooms or cabins if you start to feel queasy. These locations will make you feel worse.
- The captain and crew will inform passengers of the sea conditions. If worried about getting seasick, passengers have the chance to step off the boat, prior to trip’s departure, to reschedule for a different trip or get refunded.
- The crew are available at all times if you need assistance.
Yes! All ages welcome and kids can certainly enjoy this trip and learn a great deal!
Just a few things to keep in mind:
- Safety- it is crucial that kids have an adult with them at all times. We are out on the open ocean and kids, being curious, tend to wander off, attempt to jump, run, swing and climb on things they shouldn’t and could potentially get seriously injured. It helps to make sure parents are reinforcing the safety rules!
- Seasickness- kids tend to get seasick more easily. Keeping kiddos hydrated, in the open air, and avoiding sugary foods will help keep them from getting seasick.