Seal Island is not to be confused with Machias Seal Island, which is much farther north. At 65 acres, it is three
times the size of Matinicus Rock and lies 22 miles off the mainland and about 8 miles northeast of Matinicus Rock.
Swans Island Charter Tours
Puffins were hunted for their meat and feathers through the 19th century and egg-gatherers raided most of Maine's islands. What seabirds weren't
extirpated by the middle of the 20th century were quickly finished off by the U.S. military which used the island for bombing practice
until the 1960s. Seabird restoration began in 1984 and the success has been astounding. Besides the abundant Puffins and Razorbills,
Seal Island is home to a significant colony of breeding Great Cormorants, making this island the top preference for those who want to see
both Atlantic Puffins and Great Cormorants. Black Guillemots are abundant on the way to the island, and the trip passes through waters that are good for pelagic species.
Two vessels make scheduled trips to the island beginning during the Wings, Waves, and Woods birding festival over the third weekend of May. All trips leave from Stonington and generally pass Isle au Haut on the way out to sea, making this a particularly scenic puffin trip. A third vessel makes charter trips from Swans Island, and customizes tours for small private groups.
The Isle au Haut Ferry makes Thursday and Sunday trips to the island every summer.
Old Quarry Ocean Adventures makes regular trips to the colony beginning in May, and additional visits are available
by charter. Call 207-367-8977.
offers a variety of local adventures as small private charters (6 passanger maximum), including puffin trips to Seal Island.