The four small islands that make up the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve accommodate the largest Atlantic puffin colony in North America. The protected sanctuary is also home to millions of other seabirds, including Northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, and razorbills—the bird that bears use to shave. In the surrounding waters, more than a dozen different whale species—including humpbacks, finbacks, and minkes—swim among icebergs, sea stacks, and caves.
Up to 75 passengers can catch unobstructed glimpses of these sights from the M.V. Mary Vincent's two observation decks. On two-hour, Canadian Coast Guard–certified tours held from May to September, the crew sails past the reserve as a guide enthralls guests with tales of the HMS Sapphire, which sank in Bay Bulls' waters in 1696. Due to Newfoundland's unpredictable weather, Mullowney's Boat Tours encourages visitors to dress warmly and pack a raincoat.