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

Latest Bold Coast Charter News:

Updated September 23 Due to the impact of Covid-19, we regrettably cancelled our entire Machias Seal Island seabird watching tour schedule for the 2020 summer season. We look forward to once again offering tours during 2021.

Read 2020 summer season updates here

If you are interested in a tour booking for next summer, we will likely be moving to an online reservation service and will post more details here before the end of this year.

Also please note that individuals and groups who previously had booked and were cancelled last summer are getting priority booking for next year. Because of this, we regret that availability of tour spaces during 2021 is expected to be very limited.

We extend our best wishes for good health and safety to you and yours during this ongoing challenging period -- thank you for your interest in our tours.   ~  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.

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 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 from late May until August 9. Our limited tour availability is subject to change as booking requests are received either call or e-mail with your preferred dates to get up to date information on availability.

To make a tour reservation:

Advance reservations are made by phone or by e-mail. Once we have acknowledgedl that tour space is available on your preferred date, a deposit of one half the total cost is then necessary to confirm your reservation.

Deposits in the form of a check or money order may be mailed to the address shown below we do not accept credit cards. Deposits 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. Regulations restrict visits ashore on the island to a maximum of three hours.

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