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  • Returning in 2023!

PUFFIN WATCH WITH NATIONAL AUDUBON

Quick Details

Peak
Off-Peak
Adult Ages 13+
$49
$44
Youth Ages 2-12
$39
$34
Child Under 2
Free
Free
Dog Fare Must be leashed or kenneled.
$20
$20
Group Minimum of 30
$45
$40
Peak Season Pricing applicable from July 1-Labor Day

Puffin Watching Tours in New Harbor

New Harbor is only 5 miles from EER making it the closest, easiest and most convenient way to see these fascinating birds. You spend less time traveling and more time with the birds. On the way to the EER you will see Franklin Island Lighthouse, Monhegan Island, the islands of Muscongus Bay and a spectacular view of the Camden Hills.

National Audubon Project Puffin naturalists are aboard every cruise to narrate, help with bird identification and answer questions throughout the trip. Dr. Stephen Kress, who founded Project Puffin in 1973, will occasionally join us as well. He is currently the Director of the Seabird Restoration Program and Vice President for Bird Conservation at the National Audubon Society.

“I am proud of the partnership that Project Puffin and Hardy Boat Cruises have developed. Since 1986, Hardy Boat Cruises and Audubon naturalists have worked together to bring people close to the birds while providing fun and inspiring narrations about the puffins and other seabirds of Eastern Egg Rock. By donating part of the proceeds from each tour to Audubon, Hardy Boat Cruises is helping to insure a sustainable future for this special seabird colony.”
~ Stephen Kress, National Audubon Society; Founder and Director, Project Puffin

PUFFIN POPULATION: As of 2019, there were 188 nesting pairs of Puffins at EER.

SIGHTINGS: The boat circles EER at a distance of 40 – 150 feet from the rocky shoreline. Puffins are frequently sighted on the water and often seen 25 – 30 feet from the boat.

CAPTAINS: – Our team of experienced captains have decades of experience with EER. They are keen birders and have a broad understanding of Project Puffin.

VESSEL: The HARDY III has a 360 degree unobstructed view from the upper deck. The lower deck is enclosed to keep you warm, dry and out of the sun.

PROXIMITY TO EASTERN EGG ROCK (EER): New Harbor is only 5 miles from EER making it the closest, easiest and most convenient way to see these fascinating birds. You spend less time traveling and more time with the birds. On the way to the EER you will see Franklin Island Lighthouse, Monhegan Island, the islands of Muscongus Bay and a spectacular view of the Camden Hills.

SEASON: We open in mid-May to accommodate our serious birdwatchers who have come to rely on us to get them out to the islands for the Spring migration. Our Puffin Watches will end when the birds have migrated. This usually occurs around mid to late August.

DURATION: 1 1/2 hours

EASTERN EGG ROCK (EER): The migratory seabird colony on EER is protected during the breeding and nesting season. No people, other than Project Puffin biologists, are allowed on the Island. The boat will circle the island for about 40 minutes.

OTHER BIRDS AT EER: Other birds found on EER are: Common and Arctic Terns, the endangered Roseate Tern, Black Guillemot, Common Eider Duck, Herring Gull, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Laughing Gull, Northern Gannet, Wilson’s Storm Petrel and Double-Crested Cormorant. Occasional sightings include: Surf Scoter, Razorbill (frequently seen in May and June), Greater Cormorant, Purple Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstone, Greater Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Black Tern and Parasitic Jaeger.

ARRIVAL: Please arrive at the dock 45 minutes prior to departure.

BE PREPARED: Dress appropriately. We suggest dressing in layers. Remember the weather on the Maine coast is changeable and can feel quite cold even in the middle of Summer.

WHAT TO BRING: Bring binoculars, camera, hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

GALLEY: Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks.

PARKING: Paid lot per day, per vehicle. Credit or cash accepted. $10 per day in May, June, September, and October. $20 per day in July and August. For multiple day and overnight parking, the parking fee is payable upon the first day of parking. Long term rates are available. Parking is located around the corner from the dock in a large grassy field. Upon paying for your parking, you will receive a parking validation. You will need to present your parking validation at the dock to collect your boat tickets. Please feel free to drive down to the dock to unload passengers and luggage before leaving your vehicle in the parking lot. The walk back to the dock is about 5 minutes. During the Spring and Fall, parking is payable at the ticket booth on the dock. The parking lot can accommodate buses, campers, RV’s and trailers.