Protection Island Bird Migration Cruises

Just outside of Port Townsend is an amazing National Wildlife Refuge — Protection Island. Nearly 70 percent of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Straits nest on the island, which includes one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world and the largest nesting colony of glaucous-winged gulls in Washington. The island contains one of the last 2 nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area. About 1,000 harbor seals depend upon the island for a pupping and rest area.

This 364-acre island is covered by grass and low brush, with a small timbered area, high sandy bluffs for seabird nesting, and low sand spits on two ends of the island.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center – in collaboration with Puget Sound Express – hosts special expeditions to Protection Island aboard the Glacier Spirit. Cruises are scheduled on Saturdays in spring and fall, timed to coincide with annual migrations, with special trips planned for Thanksgiving weekend and New Years Eve.

The three-hour cruises depart from the Point Hudson Marina and include a stop at Killisut Harbor/Mystery Bay or Smith Island. Naturalists from the Port Townsend Marine Science Center serve as on-board interpreters and provide commentary on local birds, mammals, geology, history and weather. On-board refreshments are available, or you may bring a sack lunch.

TRIP OVERVIEW

LOCATION

Port Townsend

SEASON

Spring Bird Migration Cruises
1pm Departures: April 29, May 6, 2017
3pm Departure: May 26**
**May 26 is a 2-hr tour at a reduced fare.

Fall Bird Migration Cruises
1pm Departures: October 7, 14, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend Protection Island Cruise
1pm Departure: November 25, 2017

New Year’s Eve Protection Island Cruise
1pm Departure: December  31, 2017

DURATION

3 hours

TOUR TYPE

Birdwatching

TRIP FARES

Adult: $80

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