We will be traveling to Maine in August, 2019. I was looking into the Puffin tours thinking it would be a fun thing to do, but at $150 pp, that’s a bit out of reach. Are there any less expensive tours out there?
Capt Fish audobon tour is $41, Google Mainepuffin.com
Unless you go with Bold Coast Charters out of Cutler, you won't get to land on an island and see the puffins close up -- really close up. The price is much steeper than the $41 quoted above, but it's worth it for the experience. Weather permitting, you'll spend about an hour in a blind with puffins hopping around the rocks just outside, walking about on the roof, flying to and from the water, etc. If you're lucky, you'll get some shots of them bringing fish to their hatchlings.
We did a puffin tour in Maine several years ago, out of the Rockland area. Puffins are small and really fast. We did see some from a distance, mixed in with gulls and other birds. I would recommend other water tours to see lighthouses and seals and learn about lobsters. Some of the boats pull up lobster traps. Cost is about $40 per person on the trips out of Bar Harbor.
I agree with Bonnie. People think puffins are the size of penguins. In reality, they are more the size of robins.
Our family really loved seeing many puffins on our whale watch trip out of Bar Harbor. I was able to easily get many amazing photos with a super zoom point and shoot camera. We all agreed that the trip where you can be in a blind is on our to do list. The whale watch was long and cold, so I wouldn’t recommend that tour just to see puffins. Puffins are small, but if you enjoy bird watching, really want to see puffins, and have realistic expectations, it is worth your time.