Puffin & Whale Expedition
Looking for something a little different?
Looking for your own private or small group adventure? Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Expedition is the answer.
Utilizing Gatherall’s comfortable and safe small catamaran tour boat, each expedition is limited to a maximum of 6 explorers. The small group size ensures that you get maximum attention from our professional, knowledgable and friendly guides. This intimate adventure focuses on one of nature’s most splendid and incredible wildlife reserves.
MAKE SOME MEMORIES.
Unleash Your Inner Explorer
For those seeking a truly personalized experience, Gatherall’s features its newest experience – our Puffin & Whale Expedition.
Created for more adventurous, this small boat experience – lead by one of Gatherall’s senior naturalists – offers an opportunity to search out whales and local marine wildlife and explore our striking coastline from the safety & comfort of our smaller tour boat. For over 30 years the Gatherall family and crew have been delighted to share our home and its incredible wildlife with travellers from the world over. This new adventure brings provides you with an opportunity to share in all that we’ve learned through generations on the sea.
With a maximum of six (6) explorers, this expedition is designed to provide guests the freedom to choose the focus of the adventure. Want to spend all 90 minutes with the whales – that’s up to you our fellow explorers (and the whales of course). Want to spend more time checking out the fabulous coastal vistas or chilling with the puffins – it’s your call. Our naturalist is onboard to guide you through this very special journey. Only 25 minutes from downtown St. John’s, Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Expedition is a journey unto itself!
Prefer to have the expedition limited to your reservation party only? Choose the Exclusive Option.
This 90 minute adventure can be booked as an exclusive expedition for you and your companion(s) only. When you choose the Exclusive Option, we will not book any other persons on the same expedition which allows your adventure to be fully customized to your interests. Minimum fees apply.
A Personal Experience
Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Expedition is a special, small group experience limited to a maximum of six (6) explorers to ensure that you have loads of space and attention from our crew. With a small number of participants our naturalists share their in depth knowledge of puffins, whales, icebergs, and our maritime heritage. Please note that wildlife & iceberg sightings vary greatly by season – check our FAQ for best times. This experience is not available for children under the age of 14 or persons with mobility issues.
The explorers of old had no choice but to rough it – but you don’t.
For your safety & comfort, Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Expedition is hosted on board of our smaller catamaran tour boat. This 8 metre (26 ft) power catamaran is a time tested hull and is capable of open water exploration. Spacious and comfortable seating is provided for all expedition participants. Just like Gatherall’s large catamaran tour boat, our smaller cat is equipped with a life raft and all required safety equipment plus it even boasts an on board washroom (just in case). The open deck arrangement allows you to move about for the best viewing angles and to chat casually with your guide.
We want to make sure you have the best experience possible and that means you need to know when to visit.
While Gatherall’s Puffin and Whale Expedition adventure is available throughout our full tour season, the peak times to encounter puffins, whales and/or icebergs can and do vary by date. For your information and to help with planning your Expedition, we’ve provided the suggested times to experience each of the main attractions.
Puffins arrive early May and can be viewed in large numbers through until mid September with a few staying till the 3rd week of September. Timing for the other seabirds (murres, guillemots, gannets, kittiwakes, fulmars & more) varies by species.
Whale sightings typically peak during the period from mid-June through to mid-August. While whales can arrive any time after the middle of May and stay through to the end of September, sightings outside of the peak season are a bonus!
Iceberg season in our region is typically during May and June. Although we are at the end of Iceberg Alley and see fewer bergs than northern Newfoundland, the bergs here are often very dramatic as they near the end of their journey.
Spectacular coastal scenery abounds during our cruise throughout the entire season! Learn more about the incredible geological formations and how the sea has nurtured and impacted our culture for thousands of years.
Schedule & Reservations.
Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Expedition is offered twice daily at 8:30 am and 6:30 pm.
Expedition guests must be booked in advance.
Our 8:30 am departure time provides you an opportunity to get out on the seas early in the morning before the other tour boats start their day so there is less traffic. The 6:30 pm depart time is the best time for photography as the early evening light is softer allowing you to capture the colours more easily.
Puffin & Whale Expedition explorers should be on hand 25 minutes before the departure time booked.
In the event of inclement weather warranting cancellation (Captain’s discretion), reservation holders can choose to reschedule to an alternate time, or move their reservation to the larger vessel (subject to availability), or request a refund for charges applied.
Gatherall’s staff are more than happy to answer any and all questions you may have – we’re only a phone call / email / text or tweet away! If you’re in the area please feel free to drop by.
Our most up-to-date tour schedule is available in real time online – just click any “Book Now” button to check availability.
The Expedition (small boat) will only operate provided that there are a minimum of four (4) persons confirmed for the scheduled time. No exceptions including last minute changes and cancellations.
If you want to be guaranteed to depart on a specific date / time (weather permitting of course) please select the Exclusive Option which will confirm the booking regardless of minimum participant numbers. Of course, our terrific Puffin & Whale Watch Cruise (large boat ) operates as scheduled with no minimum number of participants required.