Wildlife Cruises

".... one of the most important habitats on the planet for a rich diversity of water-oriented birds. The cruises are a fun, fascinating way to experience that diversity". —Seattle Post Intelligencer.

2017 Cruise Dates


Spring Bird Migration Cruises

1-4 pm | Saturday, April 29, May 6
3-5 pm | Friday, May 26 
2:30-5:30 pm | Sunday, June 18 
Summer Puffin Cruises
6-9 pm | Saturday, July 8, 15, 22, 29
6-9 pm | Saturday, August 5, 12
Adventuress Sail
1-4 pm | Sunday, Sept 3
Fall Bird Migration Cruises
1-4 pm | Saturday, October 7, 14

Thanksgiving Cruise 
1-4 pm | Saturday, November 25

New Year's Eve Cruise 
1-4 pm | Sunday, December 31 


Tickets for Bird Migration Cruises and Puffin Cruises are $80 per person* or $60 for members* of PTMSC, Audubon, Burke Museum, or Washington Ornithological Society. Child or group rates may be arranged. Proceeds go to support educational programs at PTMSC.

Tickets for Adventuress Sail are $85 per person ($65 for members)

(DISCLAIMER: Depending on weather conditions, the cruise may go to either Protection Island or Oak Bay/Port Ludlow area.)

*fee is subject to 9% WA State sales tax

Questions? Email cruises@ptmsc.org or call 360-385-5582


About Protection Island

Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to breeding, nesting, and flyway populations of marine bird species at different times of the year. The island contains one of the few nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area. About 1,000 harbor seals use the island as a pupping and rest area, and elephant seals often haul out to molt there during the summer. We have been leading seasonal wildlife cruises to view the changing community of birds and mammals using the sanctuary since 1994. Our cruises are hosted by seasoned naturalist Roger Risley, who provides excellent commentary on the natural history of the island and the wildlife sighted. Join us on one of the cruises below!

To learn how Protection Island came to be designated a National Wildlife Refuge through the work of two local women, read The Protection Island Story.

Bird Migration Cruises

Our Bird Migration Cruises offer a unique opportunity for an idyllic natural science adventure, enabling people to gain a better understanding of our marine ecosystems and interrelationships which abound in these waters.

If the weather is good, the cruise will go to Protection Island—a National Wildlife Refuge located at the mouth of Discovery Bay—or it may head south toward Port Ludlow to remain in protected waters if the weather is rough.

Puffin Cruises

Each summer Protection Island comes alive as thousands of seabirds arrive to breed and raise their young, including rhinoceros auklets, glaucous-winged gulls, pigeon guillemots, black oystercatchers, two kinds of cormorants, and of course the tufted puffin.  

Although we can't guarantee a sighting on every outing, the chance of spotting a puffin on our evening Puffin Cruises is very good. 

Protection Island Adventuress Sail

The PTMSC offers one sailing adventure to the Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge aboard the 101' historic schooner, Adventuress.

On this cruise, you can help the crew sail this historic vessel while enjoying a leisurely tour of the wildlife sanctuary. As on all our cruises, a Marine Science Center naturalist who knows the island very well will help you see and appreciate its wildlife.


Bottom 6 photos by Mike Reudink