Tours by Style
1-Day Pelagic Trips
Come with us and ply the oceans for such great birds as albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions, storm petrels, tropicbirds, noddies, and more! Our 1-day Cape pelagic seabird trip is extremely popular, and rightly so. Indeed, Cape Town pelagics are among the most famous seabirding trips on the planet. But from time to time we also help arrange some of the other world-famous pelagics or we simply include these as part of our set-departure tours, e.g. New Zealand, Australia, Cape Hatteras off the renowned Outer Banks of North Carolina, San Diego, and Monterrey Bay in California, the Dry Tortugas in Florida, and across the world. Some of the South American pelagic trips are absolutely incredible, e.g. the seabird trips off Lima, Peru (fancy a Peruvian Diving Petrel or some of the species occurring closer to the shore, such as Humboldt Penguin or Inca Tern?). And then of course there’s Alaska, with it’s two puffin species, all the other alcids, and altogether phenomenal seabirding opportunities. Please see details of our main Alaska tour, and then we also get out to more remote parts of this vast state on the extension.
Pelagic birding trips encompass a very specialized type of birding. They are greatly loved by experienced birders (well, at least those who don’t suffer from seasickness). Pelagics are an easy way of getting a bunch of life-birds, and the chance of seeing a rarity or two on a pelagic trip is high. Suddenly a “mega” can appear out of nowhere while we’re miles offshore, sometimes in response to chumming. A pelagic birding day is a very exciting thing to embark on!
But beginner birdwatchers are often afraid of pelagic boat trips. The thought of going out on a small boat in search of seabirds, braving possible seasickness or enduring cold and wet conditions rightly worries many would-be pelagic-goers. We include a pelagic seabird day trip (or occasionally two) on quite a number of our birding tours across the world, but of course they’re not compulsory; if you opt out you can either stay back at the lodge relaxing and watching or photographing birds, or you will be taken on conventional (terrestrial) birding while the rest of the group is out at sea.
If you want to get a feel for what a seabirding trip is like then please take a look at the Cape Town pelagic trip footage on our video gallery. These Cape pelagics usually depart from Simonstown or Hout Bay and sail past the scenically spectacular Cape Point and nearby Cape of Good Hope into the open ocean. Very exciting!
Please note that pelagic trips can be postponed or canceled completely if sea conditions are too rough and waves are too high because of wind. Safety always comes first, and we won’t go out if the skipper decides that the seas are going to be too rough.