Acadia Birding Festival: Pelagic Cruise

Sat, 06/19/2021 - 4:30pm

About this blog:

  • Eliza is a sophomore in high school. She loves birds, looking for birds, and most everything related to birds. She also plays the piano, is an active Girl Scout, and loves gardening. She is very excited to be fully vaccinated and to be able to see her friends and family! 

On the weekend of June 5, I was lucky enough to attend the Acadia Birding Festival (link here) with my family. Hosted in and near Bar Harbor every year, it is known for attracting birders from all over the country. This was my first year going, and I am planning on going next year as well. I would highly recommend the experience! 

The first activity I was signed up for was the Pelagic Cruise, which most festival-goers attend. It cost $100 per person this year, which may influence your decision whether or not to do this trip. One of the things I learned on the trip was how to pronounce pelagic correctly (pəˈlajik), which I had not been doing. The cruise takes off from the Bar Harbor town pier, and lasts about four hours (although this year it went a little long). The large boat, named Friendship V, takes you up to 25 miles offshore, although that depends on the weather. Some of the more regular birds include Atlantic Puffins, Common Murres, Razorbills, Northern Gannets, Common and Arctic Terns, Bald Eagles, and Common Eiders, among many more possibilities. I was able to see all of the above birds this year, which was very fortunate.

If you get seasick, this trip may not be for you. I personally did get sick a few times on this boat ride, but most people were fine and able to bird without concern. The crew is very nice should you feel under the weather, and has many options to help you feel better. As part of the crew, there are also bird experts on board giving commentary and helping you to see all birds of interest. 

Overall, it was a great experience and I would recommend doing it for all people who are interested. Happy birding!