Puffin Island Wildlife Cruise || Starida Puffin Island Cruises, North Wales


Are you stuck for something fun to do during these remaining weeks of Summer? Do you like pleasant views, boats and wildlife? Then do read on..

I'm from North Wales (incase the bio didn't give it away). When my partner visited me, it was already decided that we were going to do a day trip to Beaumaris. A major perk being, he has a fondness for bird watching. For years I've heard things about the trips you can take around Puffin Island but have never done one myself. So, as you can guess, we did one together. Not knowing how full up they'd be, I booked our tickets online at Starida a few weeks in advance. It was a mighty risk given the PMSing ways of British weather, but it thankfully paid off. The sun was shining over us all day long. If you aren't willing to take the gamble, you can buy tickets at the Starida kiosk on the pier on the day you wish to go. It cost a total £18 for two adults, but the prices do vary so double-check on the site prior to taking my word for it.

The cruise itself lasts for roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes, but you have to be at the kiosk 30 minutes in advance to pick up your tickets. You may think that's annoying but believe me, once you're seated with the steady motion of the water as your view - you'll think these 30 minutes are a perk to the trip. It most certainly added to the overall experience.

The cruise itself was lovely, you get a fair amount of time circling Puffin Island and the journey was smooth. The crew were friendly and happy to assist you in anything. Upon sitting down you are offered a blanket - which I would 100% recommend accepting, even if you don't feel cold at the particular moment. The Captain appeared really friendly and came to greet us all after we had docked. It was an all round great experience.

Ironically, we didn't see that many Puffin's (which was apparently rare.. yay for us being a special group?), but we did see an array of species of birds, many seals, and fish. But to me the best part was the scenery, as it was beyond beautiful. So if you aren't big on birds, fear not. The view enough is worth the price. Starida offers an array of outings to choose from - from wildlife, photography speciality cruises, fishing trips to speed boats. They have something to suit any party. Have a browse here and see if anything peaks your interest.

First the photos, and then my handy-dandy list for you if you're thinking of doing a cruise. Enjoy!


Things I'd recommend taking with you:

Camera: Duh, right? But you will want to capture some of the moments whether it be with a fancy professional camera or your trusty phone, just make sure you aren't looking through the lens for the entirety of the ride. Take a moment to appreciate the calmness of the water, the laughter of families, and the pleasant sounds of the wildlife going about their day. Your mind can capture a moment and etch it into your memory too, not everything has to be proven by a Facebook photo.

Fluids: This was one we didn't do ourselves but I'd suggest it. Take a small bottle of water or whatnot in your bag, you may be thankful for it. If you have children, they may appreciate some snacks. Maybe even kick it up a notch and take some hot chocolate (or coffee) in a thermos, your hands will certainly like the warmth if you don't end up drinking it.

Glasses: Both sunglasses and prescription (if you require them). I was not the brightest of the bunch (I blame the early morning) and didn't think of taking my glasses as I only need them for long vision at home. But when you're mistaking a seal for a rock, you'll be wishing for them. Better to be safe than sorry. And the sunglasses are self explanatory - it'll be bright. Nobody wants to be squinting against the sun for an hour.

Change: May be obvious but you're expected/asked politely to tip the Captain and crew at the end of the trip. They don't make it awkward in the slightest if you can't/don't, but it is polite to do so. If you're like me and often just carry a card to save the hassle of change, make a note to take a few coins in your pocket.

Binoculars: If you already own them, bring them. If not, it's no biggie. Might just be handy.

Bonus recommendations:

As you're walking onto the boat, sit to your right. You'll be more up close to the Island itself. It's a shame that the boat doesn't circle the Island with a change of direction so both sides of the boat get to view the scenery up close without majority of the view being the backs of peoples heads, but I wholeheartedly put that down to time limitations.

If you're fond of stories and like to hear about the history of the Island and boat, sit in the front. Though they have a megaphone on the boat that ought to help the Captain's voice travel to the back, it is semi difficult to hear him over the water, wind and people's discussions. So definitely sit near the front. The stories themselves are a lovely touch and though he must recite the same stories countless times a year, he doesn't once sound it. You feel as though you are the first lot to take the cruise.

My fondest memory of the trip is the ride back to the dock. Everyone was off their phones/cameras, the excitement had buzzed down leaving everyone contently quiet, children were happy as they ate the snacks their parents had brought along, the elderly couple sat opposite to us were no longer staring through binoculars, instead they held hands and laughed quietly at their whispered conversation, the crew guy who had been up and down throughout the journey was leaning against the front of the boat and was the epitome of peaceful.. It was all perfect. That was the moment I wish I could of photographed.

***Bloggers note: I started this blog post back in May but completely forgot (I'm catching my friend's Dory brain), I thought I'd upload it anyway as the recommendation still stands and I didn't want my partner's photos to go to waste. 

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