Donelda's Puffin Boat Tours

Donelda's Puffin Boat Tours

Donelda's Puffin Boat Tours
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About
Donelda's Puffin Boat Tours is one of the 100 Must-See Destinations in Unforgettable Atlantic Canada! On the 2 1/2 - 3 hour boat tour you'll be amazed at the beautiful rock formations on the way to the Islands , a stop to look at an old sea cave as well as a stop or two to feed some Bald Eagles. The Bird Islands are home to Grey Seals, Bald Eagles ,Atlantic Puffins and other sea birds. Our vessel, Highland Lass has all removable windows down both sides (refit 2012) for easy viewing and taking pictures from the comfort of your seat.Our tour spends over an hour at the Islands viewing birds (more if necessary) this does not include the time spent feeding Bald Eagles on the way to and from the Islands or stopping for anything else of interest, whales dolphins, gannets etc. The tour is offered in English , however there are written transcripts ( limited numbers of each ) of the whole tour available on the boat in English, French and German to make your experience more enjoyable. Please note that tours can be cancelled due to unsafe sailing conditions.
Englishtown, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
306 reviews
Excellent
269
Very good
28
Average
3
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4
Terrible
2

Grumpyogre
Guelph, Canada152 contributions
May 2022
So disappointed that they were not able to get the license yet for the 2022 season, so they had to cancel our booked trip.
Written September 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Because Covid I did not operate the past two years. This year Transport Canada required more to finish the passenger vessel inspections and I had no prior notice. When I tried to buy the required items, they had to be ordered and then wait for them to come in, then to be installed, call for another inspection and wait for that day to come.  In order to finish the inspection, I need passenger liability. The Insurance company that I dealt with the past 26 years had changed carriers and instead of a renewal it was a whole new application, again with no prior notice. These companies are in England and who knew they would be closed for a week for the Queen's birthday! These were all things that were out of my control. The same as when we have to cancel a sailing because the winds are higher than I am allowed to sail in. I have disappointed people then, but they are very understanding and don't give me a 2 star rating for a situation that was totally out of my control.
Written October 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Canadian_hikerGuelph
Guelph63 contributions
Aug. 2022 • Couples
Donald and Captain John are really dedicated to giving their customers an unforgettable experience. The tour is 90 + minute boat ride out to Bird Islands and back. At Bird Islands we saw Atlantic puffins, gray seals, double breasted and great cormorants, black backed gulls and I kid you not, at least 20 bald eagles.

Captain John takes the boat back and forth so people on both sides of the boat can see the birds and seals. This is done with the motor turned down so Donalda can point out all the wildlife. She wants to make sure everyone sees everything that there is to see out there. Donalda also gives information on the life cycle of the puffins, where they breed, when they migrate back to the ocean, etc. This is all done with honest enthusiasm and a touch of humour. Incredible value for the money and I highly recommend this tour.
Written August 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alyunya422
Los Angeles, CA32 contributions
Jul. 2022
Owned and operated by a very lovely couple for decades, this was an extremely relaxing yet educational experience. We saw a plethora of puffins, eagles, bergamots, and other birds, and had plenty of time of time to photograph and observe them. The added bonuses of our trip were presence of the couple's grandkids providing plenty of information and entertainments of their own, as well as watching Donelda feed an eagle near the mainland (to dissuade them from going to the islands) and seeing the eagle retrieve the treat in flight.
I would definitely recommend people to support this wonderful couple and check out their tour.
Written August 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bwviney
Lincoln, CA18 contributions
Jul. 2022
This bird island tour was a great experience. The boat was reasonably comfortable, the guide was very informative. Saw many different birds a grey seals also. Fun watching Eagles being fed from boat.
Only drawback is no facilities on boat, use the portable before boarding.
Written July 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Knutsfordians
Knutsford, BC17 contributions
Jul. 2022
This was an interesting tour, and we saw lots of birds and seals. Donelda did a good job pointing out where the puffins were (as another reviewer stated, they are small). She drew our attention to the other birds as well.

A couple of brief observations:
1. The boat doesn’t have a bathroom, and it seemed that some of the little people on the trip certainly could have used one. So make sure that you and your family all relieve yourself before boarding g for this 3 hour tour (insert Gilligan’s Island theme song here)
2. Based on our trip, try to sit on the port side (the left side, it the one with the steering wheel). Captain John tends to bring the boat into the islands with that side toward the islands first, so the people of the port side tend to see more things ,and see them first. He does swing around so the starboard side people are closer, but after the port side have already had their turn.
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for the review of your time on my boat . I'll make a couple of comments or clarifications . In order to have a bathroom onboard I need a holding tank and in order to have a holding tank it needs to be pumped out . There is no where's that I can go to get the tank pumped out so while I would love to have a toilet to help all the little people out it is not possible . I am covering the expense for the port a potty as opposed to sending people to the public toilets at the ferry . We do turn the boat so all gets to see as much as possible .Lets face it not matter what side he brought the boat in on somebody is going to see first and someone second .
Written July 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

wendy033
Hamilton, Canada11 contributions
Jul. 2022
This boat tour was fantastic. The commentary was excellent; she did a great job explaining the different birds etc and where they could be found so everyone could see them. The boat moves very slowly around the lslands so you can see seals, puffins, cranes, eagles , razorbills and more. Thank you for a wonderful experience
Written July 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for your kind words . It really does make it all worth while . Thank you for sharing your vacation with us.
Written July 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

The Rick S
Florida21 contributions
Jul. 2022 • Family
This tour was great!!! We got to see all of the birds that Donelda mentioned as well as lots of seals. Recommend bringing a pair or binoculars and a nice camera with a great zoom lens for photos. Highly recommend this experience!
Written July 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your recommendation of our tour . We try very hard to provide a great experience for everyone .
Written July 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BandB-1508
Toronto, Canada479 contributions
Jun. 2022
A great experience. Excellent value for money. Donelda MacAskill is a fantastic tour guide. Captn John MacAskill is a great skipper. We saw all the birds promised and learned a lot. (Puffins are really small, by the way.) The boat was truly fit for purpose -- the windows come out so we could see quite clearly without having to leave the comfort of our seats (and the roof overhead). I got some great photos (for an amateur with relatively limited equipment -- 55 to 200 zoom lens). Binoculars make for better viewing. The road to the Englishtown ferry is fine, and Donelda's check-in hut/shack is not far before the ferry. It is easy to miss but not hard to find again. CAA discount works well.
Written July 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review of your time with us .We are happy that you enjoyed our boat as well as the birds and Islands.
Written July 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

em
Nova Scotia, Canada12 contributions
Jul. 2022
A great experience! Donelda made sure everyone knew where to look, shared loads of information, and ensured everyone was safe, comfortable, and happy. Also, shoutout to them for delivering a quality tour while still fishing lobster in the mornings!
Written July 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your kind words . We enjoy sharing the Islands with our visitors as well as lobster fishing .
Written July 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

georgie
London, UK4 contributions
Jun. 2022 • Couples
Fun and informal boat tour and Donelda was very friendly and informative. Would highly recommend to anyone travelling in the area.
Written June 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for sharing your vacation time with us . We are happy that you enjoyed your time with us .
Written July 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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DONELDA'S PUFFIN BOAT TOURS (Englishtown) - 2023 What to Know BEFORE You Go