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“This is a must do! The reviews are spot on and perfect trip!”

Donelda's Puffin Boat Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed 14 August 2011

Others have said it well so will just add that this is a once in a lifetime tour and the narrator, Donelda is my heroine! Here quiet and delightful sidekick and hubby are the real McCoys and make your tour phenomenal. I have never before seen such wonders up close. She's truly a "eagle whisperer" and throws fish at the end to Charlie who comes within reach of her. THe seals literally wave to you. The surf was up and very rocky but the Capt. was superb at navigating these rough waters and you are one with nature in all her glory.
Suggest dinner or stay at Cabot Shores after. Neat ferry to other side, all of 2 minutes. This is truly a magical place and Donelda an amazing woman.

Thank NewHampshirePeppie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (232)
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190 - 194 of 232 reviews

Reviewed 4 August 2011

My mother, brother and I ventured out on Donelda's Puffin Boat Tour on our visit to the Maritimes in June. Anyone who was travelling Nova Scotia during that time knows how consistently bad the weather was.... rain (just this side of snow, it seemed) and wind...just all-round weather for stoic types. We paid our $34 for a trip that promised puffins (about 7 miles off shore at Bird Island), bald eagles, and the chance at spotting a seal or two. Donelda and her husband, Captain John, departed into St. Ann's bay amidst some pretty impressive swells. We had just left dock and a call came in that another couple - booked for the tour - had taken a wrong turn. John turned around and WAITED for the latecomers and helped them on to the boat. Where else would you get this kind of service from a tour? Only in the Maritimes, I say. We resumed our journey with Donelda's informative, insightful and humorous narrative about life as "lobstermen", the history, flora, and fauna of the area, and so much more. As we moved along to the entrace to the Atlantic, it was clear that the weather was such that the seas were not safe to be taking passengers the additional few kilometers to Bird Island. Alas, no puffins today. But we did see bald eagles - one of which was lured by a fish tossed by Donelda for the benefit of those of us with cameas. Donelda announced that we'd be turning back for safety reasons, and that her guarantee of "No puffins, no pay" would be honoured. I was shocked that after the wonderful service - including the offer of seasickness bracelets to the less hardy of the passengers - there was a queue of people wanting their money back. Unbelievable. I am ashamed of the people who would take advantage of hard-working, friendly, and honourable people for the sake of a $34 boat ride. Donelda and John gave a wonderful tour. Puffins or not, worth every penny of the cost, and highly recommended!

6  Thank Canuckexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2011

We really enjoyed our excursion to Bird Islands with Donelda and Captain John. The islands were covered with many different species of sea birds, and Donelda could explain each one of them to us. Facts and stories were so interesting. Puffins are such unique little birds, and thanks to Donelda's eyes, we didn't miss seeing one of them. The Bald Eagles stood majesticly on the cliffs waiting for a chance to rob a nest, and we actually saw that happen. It is an experience you don't want to miss!

Thank Cherylp24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2011

My husband and I took this boat cruise to bird/seal watch. It was great and we both really enjoyed it! Donelda is obviously very passionate about what she does and this is evident when she is making sure everyone see's the different types of birds and can clearly locate them. She was back and forth from the front of the boat to the back making sure that we all got the most out of the trip...and we did! I really wanted to see seals and I thought at most, if I was lucky, would see one or two. Overall, we probably seen about 30-40!...it was a pleasant surprise and a highlight of my trip to Cape Breton.
This is a great family business and they made it well worth the visit. We'd do it again...see you next time we're in Cape Breton!!

1  Thank sazzycat27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2011

This is a must for anyone visiting the Cape Breton area. Donelda is a wonderful person and has quite the wealth of knowledge about the area, the puffins, eagles, and all the other birds and sea life. She ensured everyone saw all of the different species of birds and all the gray seals popping their heads out of the water. She would quickly point out the eagles tucked away in alcoves and the puffins in their nests. You can tell she loves what she does and enjoys providing this tour to all. She shows much compassion and concern for the animals. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip and would take it again in a heartbeat.

Thank Shannon1013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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