How To Book An Epic Puffin Watching Tour From Nuuk (+ What To Pack)

Are you looking to book a Nuuk puffin watching tour? In the below post, I have detailed everything you need to know about taking a puffin watching tour from Nuuk.

I found that this experience is the best way to see puffins while visiting Nuuk. In the guide, you will find information about how to book, what to bring, and what to expect on the tour!

puffin watching tour from Nuuk
Puffin watching tour from Nuuk

If you have any questions about taking a Nuuk puffin watching tour please let us know in the comments below!

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Why I booked a puffin watching tour from Nuuk

It is time to admit, I might be a secret birder. I love wildlife and as I have gotten older I am happy to spend hours on end watching birds.

One of my favorite birds is the puffin; I have dreamed of seeing them for years. A few weeks before visiting Nuuk, I had hoped to see them in Vardø, Norway but a break out of bird flu meant the puffin island was closed off to the public.

a puffed up puffin on the cliff edge
A puffed-up puffin!

This failure made me even more focused on seeing puffins in Nuuk and I quickly booked a spot on a puffin boat tour in Greenland from Nuuk!

Booking a tour to visit the puffins is the only way to see them from Nuuk, as they live on a secluded island close to where the fjord opens out into the Atlantic. This tour will go down as one of my favorite things to do in Nuuk in summer.

Key tour information

Below I have outlined the key information for the puffin boat tour in Greenland from Nuuk:

Tour Length: 3 hours
Pick-up: No, you must meet at the company’s office in Nuuk Old Town.
Booking Period: May – September

🐧 Click here to book your spot on a Nuuk puffin watching tour!

How to book a Nuuk puffin watching tour Nuuk

I recommend booking your Nuuk puffin watching tour through Manawa. The website is easy to use, available in several languages, and can display prices in multiple currencies.

When I booked my tour, Manawa didn’t offer activities in Nuuk and we had to do everything in Danish Krone, which ended up being more challenging when it came to the initial budgeting of the trip.

A loving couple of Puffins
Puffins cozy up in their den

Booking through Manawa is very easy. Simply select the tour you wish to do, select the date, time, and the number of participants and finally add it to your cart. While the tour sits in your cart you can choose additional activities and get everything booked simultaneously.

Once you are ready to checkout, you can put in your payment details and pay using most major credit card companies or online payment platforms like Paypal.

A colony of Puffins
I don’t think I would enjoy the crowded living conditions!

Some tours on Manawa require the tour provider to confirm your booking, in these cases, you will not be charged for your tour until they have confirmed. Once the provider has confirmed your tour you will be sent a confirmation email with your booking details.

If the date is not available, you will be contacted regarding different dates and times.

🐧 Click here to book your spot on a Nuuk puffin watching tour!

Where to meet before the puffin boat tour in Greenland from Nuuk

The meeting point of the tour is at the main Nuuk Water Taxi office (Hans Egedesvej 29, Nuuk 3900) by the harbor in the old town.

At the office, you will meet your guide and captain before heading down onto the pontoon where your boat will be waiting. You must be at the harbor at least 15 minutes before departure.

A nuuk water taxi waiting at the harbor
A Nuuk Water Taxi docked at the harbor

If you arrive early you can sit in the office to wait, where there is free water and hot drinks on offer.

Alternatively, there is a great little cafe, Kunguak Café, by the harbor where you can get drinks and delicious burgers. Once everyone has arrived for the tour you will board the boat and your activity will begin

My experience of the puffin watching tour from Nuuk

I loved this tour, it was relaxing and involved doing very little other than enjoying the views and admiring the puffins.

After you leave the harbor you will speed towards the open ocean, past icebergs that are flowing out to sea. As you work your way through the fjord keep your eye out for the other wildlife that calls the area home, such as humpback whales!

A puffin gliding above the water
A puffin gliding above the water

On my trip, the summer fog had set in and I was very concerned we would not be able to see anything once we reached the island. Thankfully, as we got close to the island the fog lifted and we started to see puffins flying through the air as they looked for the perfect fishing spots.

Arriving at the puffin island
The puffin island rising from the fjord

Unlike other birds, puffins have dense bones which are perfect for diving underwater, but distinctly less useful when it comes to flying. Their dense bones make puffins very easy to spot in the sky as they need to flap their wings ferociously to stay aloft.

Puffin flying off out to sea
A puffin taking off to go fishing

Once you reach the island, which is more of a steep rocky outcrop, the captain will cut the engines and you will float there admiring the puffins going about their daily life.

Unlike other places, you can’t go on to the actual island as there is nowhere to dock. However, the best view of the puffins is actually from the water as they have nested on the steep parts of the island.

A puffling peering out of its den
A puffling peering out of its den

We spent around an hour relaxing by the island, watching the puffins squabble with their neighbors, clumsily land, and generally act like little clowns. After about an hour of watching the puffins, our captain informed us it was time to head back to Nuuk.

A puffin trying to come into land
Puffins coming into land is always an ordeal

For the return journey, I took the opportunity to warm up a little in the boat, having spent every minute outside with the puffins.

As I looked through my camera reel, I realized I had easily taken 1,000 pictures of the puffins. In the cabin of the boat, there are hot drinks available and some cookies to snack on.

Puffins greeting each other after a day out at sea
A returning puffin greets their partner after a fishing trip

The tour was everything I hoped it would be and would gladly take this tour again. The guide and captain were both exceptional and provided valuable insight during the journey to and from the island.

The guide informed us about the wildlife surrounding Nuuk and also about the Greenlandic way of life.

Who can’t take a Nuuk puffin watching tour

This tour is very easy and accessible to everyone who can get on and off the boat.

Puffins on the cliff
So many puffins and a few imposters

There is no hiking or walking involved once you are on the boat as you will admire the puffins from the boat.

What to bring on your puffin watching tour from Nuuk

Firstly, you will need to wear warm clothes. While this tour runs during summer, it is not necessarily a warm time and temperatures tend to hover around 8°C (46°F) in the city, but on boat trips, you will find it much cooler.

I recommend wearing some light thermal underwear, a wooly hat, a thick jumper, a windproof jacket, and a pair of Valleret photography gloves.

I visited two places in Greenland on my trip and found that Nuuk was the colder spot, while Kangerlussuaq despite being further north felt warmer.

Me photographing the puffins
In my element photographing the puffins

Along with wearing the correct clothing, I suggest bringing the following items with you:

  • A camera with a telephoto lens – While you are close to the island it always helps to have a camera with a decent zoom lens with you. I took my Sony Alpha 7 iii with a 200-600mm lens.
  • Binoculars – If you don’t have a zoom lens I recommend bringing a pair of Binoculars with you. There is also normally a pair on the boat you can borrow if you don’t have a pair or do not wish to buy some.

Do you have any questions about booking a puffin boat tour in Greenland from Nuuk? Please leave your comments or questions below and I will try and answer them!

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