Welcome Island Birding Cruise
Whether it be the haunting beauty of a loon call, the sharp rasp of a heron or the endless dialogue from the colonies on Welcome Island B, the S.V. Welcome brings you closer than ever before. Join Sail Superior as we invite ornithologist Brian Ratcliff, to embark on the Welcome Islands Birding Cruise. Having worked with the Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, World Wildlife Fund, and Manitoba Department of Natural Resources, Ratcliff has journeyed from the Arctic to Antarctica employing his talents.
This is an absolute MUST for anyone visiting Thunder Bay. In addition to offering unique views of Thunder Bay from the water, these tours, and their amazing professional and knowledgeable staff, gave us the unique one-of-a-kind Lake Superior experience we were looking for. I can't emphasize enough how special these tours made our weekend
Enjoy the expertise of worldly regarded ornithologist Brian Ratcliff as you share in the company of Lake Superior's many avian species.
- Double Crested Cormorants
- American White Pelicans
- Common Loon
- American Bald Eagles
- Great Blue Herons
- Red Breasted Mergansers
- And more!
Departure times: 09h00
Maximum 24 persons.
Availability: Birding Cruises are scheduled for various Sundays throughout the season;
June 6 & 20
July 4 & 18
Aug 1 & 15
Sept 5 & 19
Walk-on bookings: Will be welcomed as long as capacity allows.
Ready to Book?
Pricing (all rates are subject to HST)
Amenities & Facilities
- Bicycle storage/parking dockside
- Sanitized Personal Floatation Device
- Onboard Restroom
- Bilingual Services (by request)
- Bicycle storage/parking
- Smoking of any kind
- Vaping/ e-cigarettes
- Cannabis use
- Bringing your own alcohol
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Age Restrictions?
Sailing charters are an adventure for all; from the young to the young at heart. For anyone under 2 years of age we ask that you bring a PFD (personal flotation device) along and know that they’ll be seated with you for the duration of the tour. If you don’t have one, we will supply one upon arrival. Anyone 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult and will be supplied with a sanitized PFD upon arrival.
With private Zodiac tours, similar rules apply. Everyone is welcome with special considerations taken by the crew to maintain a safe, comfortable and exciting environment. Those under 2 will be asked to come with a properly fitted PFD while the rest of the group will be supplied with one upon arrival. The route and intensity of the ride will remain at the Captain’s discretion to ensure safety for all.
On mixed or non private Zodiac tours we do limit the age and size of children, and may even recommend some adults take a pass. This is because the ride is advertised as a thrill speed ride and we will be heading out into the lake to meet any conditions that arise. Customers are expecting this and we cannot safety take small children into these conditions.
*Zodiac trips may not be suitable for pregnant women or those with serious neck or back pain. Let us know at the time of booking and we’ll help you find the perfect tour to experience this great lake! Trips up the Kaministiqua river are generally very relaxed and can be enjoyed by everyone.
What Happens If It Rains?
Part of the wonder of the Lake is its ever changing conditions; the weather is no exception. Unless there is substantial thunder and lightning just prior to the tour and a ‘Small Craft Advisory’ issued by Environment Canada, everything will remain as scheduled. Be sure to monitor the weather prior to the tour and bring appropriate attire to stay as comfortable as possible. Our captains have the final say and will reach out to you in the case of a postponed tour.
If it starts to rain mid tour, we have covered spaces to shelter you, come in and let the captain and crew brave the weather. Some of the best photographs and images are when the weather puts on a show.
Can I Smoke and/or Participate in Recreational Drugs on Tour?
To maintain the safety and awareness of everyone onboard, no smoking/vaping or recreational drug use of any kind is permitted when on the vessels, or on any of the adjacent docks or waiting areas. Failure to follow this rule will cause the immediate end of your tour and return to the dock. Any fares will be forfeit.
Activity Level Breakdown
Characterized by travel mostly on hard-packed dirt trails or build boardwalks, these tours focus on elements of relaxation and leisure.
Incorporating elements of leisure and physical challenge, this activity level breakdown requires slightly above average physicality. Delivering intermittent challenge and welcomed retreat, these tours combine the best of both.
Delivering a challenge, this categorization is equivalent to a black diamond rating. Incorporating steep switch backs and significant variations in elevation, these hikes require advanced physical fitness.
For those adventurers seeking more of a challenge, these such tours demand extensive dedication and physical exertion. Leading to breathtaking views and soaring heights, the unforgiving terrain and winding trails confront even the most avid hikers.
ASK ABOUT OUR:
Welcome Islands Birding Cruise
Ontario Signature Experience
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
2017 Northern Ontario Industry Leader
2020 Northern Ontario Tourism Awards
World Travel & Tourism Council Safe Travels
Lake Superior Magazine, Best of the Lake