Puffin trips to Machias Seal Island - more puffins than anywhere in Maine!

Latest Bold Coast Charter News:

Updated August 27 As our 2021 summer tour season has now drawn to a close, we want to thank our first-time and returning customers for their support, following the challenges of the previous year.

We expect to begin accepting booking requests for the 2022 season sometime towards the end of this year details will be posted here on our website well in advance so we recommend checking back at that time.

Once again, a big thank you to all our tour participants for a successful season!

~ Captain Andy

Dear Fellow Birder or Nature Lover,

Greetings I'm Captain Andrew Patterson and I would like to invite you to join me on a visit to possibly the most remarkable bird watching destination in all of North America!

Machias Seal Island is a small (15 acres), low-lying rocky offshore island situated ten miles from Cutler, the closest point of departure on the mainland. The island is designated a bird sanctuary by the U.S. and Canadian Wildlife Service, and is also the site of a manned light station, maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard. Ownership of the island has been under dispute for many years, with both the United States and Canadian governments claiming sovereignty.

Each year, the island becomes the summer nesting home for a great number and variety of migratory seabirds including Atlantic puffins, Razorbills, Common murres and Arctic terns. Other species which are present during the summer months are Common terns, Black guillemots and Common eiders. In addition, seabirds such as petrels, shearwaters and gannets are frequently sighted on the water, and many other shore and land species are found on the island as well. Machias Seal Island is the largest puffin colony on the Maine coast, with thousands more birds than any other site!

Interested in a visit to Machias Seal Island? Here's what you need to know:

The price for the approximately five hour excursion is $160.00 per person. Note: pricing will likely increase for the 2022 season.

Bold Coast Charter Co. is the only tour operator in the United States permitted to bring visitors ashore on Machias Seal Island, and spaces on our island landing tours are very limited. Only one tour is scheduled daily, reservations are necessary and almost all tours fully book well in advance.

In addition, access to the island itself is dependent on favorable sea conditions, which naturally cannot be controlled or reliably predicted in advance. Please note: Island landings are not guaranteed and sea conditions may result in only the opportunity to view the seabirds from the waters close by and around the island. Further, all tours are subject to cancellation in the event of unfavorable weather or seas. See our frequently asked questions page for additional details.

Tours are conducted starting in June and continue until through early August. Our limited tour availability is subject to change as booking requests are received.

Note: Booking requests for the 2022 season will not be accepted until close to the end of this year details will be posted here on our website well in advance so we recommend checking back at that time.

Tour reservation information:

Booking requests for the 2022 season are not being taken at this time. We expect to begin accepting booking requests towards end of this year details will be posted here on our website well in advance so we recommend checking back at that time.

Once a reservation has been received and confirmed, either a deposit or an advance payment is required to secure the booking. Deposits and advance payments are returned in the event of trip cancellation. See here for our cancellation policy and for multi-day booking information.

Check out our listing of local accommodations as well as attractions and activities in our area.

Trips depart from Cutler Harbor see our area map & directions page.

Departure times vary each day due to weather and tidal conditions, but the majority of our tours are scheduled in the morning. Departure times can be as early as 7 am but a later departure is also a possibility. Because of this, it is essential that individuals having reservations telephone the evening before in order to reconfirm their reservations and to receive the correct departure time.

Trips are conducted aboard the BARBARA FROST, a custom forty foot US Coast Guard inspected passenger vessel (heated cabin and restroom equipped), the fastest and best equipped tour vessel serving the area. Travel time to the island is approximately 45 minutes. Island sanctuary regulations limits the time actually spent ashore to protect the nesting seabirds from excessive disturbance.

Things to remember to bring are: Warm clothing (very important!), suitable wind or rain proof outerwear, sturdy footwear, hat, camera, binoculars, bag lunch or snack. Raingear is also a good idea if showers are forecast.

The outstanding natural beauty as well as the magnificent display of life which annually flocks to it makes Machias Seal Island a most unique birding destination. I can tell you a visit there will not soon be forgotten.

Hope to see you here on the Bold Coast soon!

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P.O. BOX 364
CUTLER, ME  04626
e-mail: info@boldcoast.com