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Puffins are funny seabirds breading along hard-to-reach coastline in the North Atlantic.
Half the year, they travel at sea. In their colonies, they are social and loyal.
As brave adventurers, they dive deep and fly for miles to bring home a mouthful of fish.

We live and travel like puffins.
We seek & appreciate wild nature and bring home a mouthful of experiences.
We enjoy good company and share a sense for adventure and a curious spirit.

 

Become a Puffin, and travel wise to wild places.
— Sofie Vanmaele (s/v)

 

HOW IT STARTED

In 2012 & 2013, a long solo bike trip through Scandinavia made me change course from policy negotiator to tourism industry professional. Whereas before I had been talking about protecting the environment, I now feel the urge to show the fragile beauty of our planet.

Since I cycled out of my comfort and into the travel zone, I have met incredibly interesting people. Positive people with a vision for the future. I started guiding groups on mountain hiking trips in the North and experienced how enriching small group interaction out in pure wilderness can be.

I started Puffins because it brings together amazing people & creates safe access to extraordinary places.

I promise we’ll do it in the best possible, professional way and at a fair price.


Trollstigen 2012

Trollstigen 2012

MEET OUR TEAM OF DEDICATED EXPERTS

 
Founder, mission control & guide

Founder, mission control & guide

Sofie Vanmaele is a Puffin (S/V) 

With those initials, it was only a matter of time before Sofie would discover she has real sea legs. After having guided dozens of groups on mountain hiking trips in Scandinavia, she chartered a sailing vessel together with a befriended guide to explore West-Greenland with 9 groups of Puffins. When she is not out and about sharing her enthusiasm about the Arctic and expedition yachts with fellow Puffins, she hosts travellers at her guesthouse near the sea.

Join Sofie on an Arctic cruise expedition and sea the world with new eyes.

Scotland guide & International Mountain Leader

Scotland guide & International Mountain Leader

Debbie Sanders is a Puffin

Debbie has covered almost all of Europe’s mountains and is starting to conquer other continents as well. For two decades on end, she has been selflessly sharing all her knowledge and insider tips as founder and chairwoman of the biggest non-profit hiking community of the Benelux “Hiking Advisor” with 5000 members, as author of a book on mountain hiking, as instructor for the Belgian Mountain Federation and as a blogger. She is Belgium’s unrivalled authority with regards to mountain hiking. Debbie is a licensed International Mountain Leader, and as a professional independent available for tailor-made advice and guiding for both Winter and Summer Mountain Treks. 

It is only a matter of time until there is a mountain range named after Sanders.

Iceland guide & landscape photographer

Iceland guide & landscape photographer

Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove is a Puffin

Jeroen is a self-taught and award-winning landscape photographer who lost his heart in Iceland. His awe-inspiring images are the result of pure talent, self-study and an otherworldly environment. For this Icelandophile, it was impossible not to move to Iceland. So he chased his dream and now lives in the world of fire and ice, surrounded by plenty of puffins! His basecamp is in Reykjavik and every chance he sniffs, he is out discovering new gems of his beloved country.

With Jeroen's golden tips & secret knowledge, you will get to explore the real and raw natural charm of Iceland, instead of circling around the familiar.

Greenland guide & Instructor Alpine Climbing

Greenland guide & Instructor Alpine Climbing

Bart Vaganée is a Puffin

Bart Vaganée is a passionate and certified mountaineer with an addiction to the High North. He has extensive hiking and climbing experience in wilderness areas. On his blog Rock ‘n Ice you can read his stories about his ice climbing adventures. With Bart, you are in extremely safe hands! He is Instructor Alpine Climbing and holds a Wilderness First Responder certificate. Since many years, he has been guiding for the Belgian Climbing and Mountain Federation where he accompanied many people on their first steps onto a glacier.. Bart has specialised in outdoor education and thanks to his endless patience and his kind-hearted personality, you’ll not only learn a great many new skills, but will also have the opportunity to tap into his rich knowledge.

Venture safe into the Arctic wilderness with this solid rock.

Lofoten & whale guide & fisherman

Lofoten & whale guide & fisherman

Lauri Pietikäinen is a Puffin

Lauri is a Finnish lumberjack by origin, but has lived in Northern Norway for the past two decades. As part-time fisherman and part-time whale guide, he spent most of his professional life at sea. There are Autumn days, where Lauri comes home with 30 kilo of picked mushrooms. He is a walking encyclopedia on the natural treasures of Arctic Norway and a brilliant storyteller who contributes to the tradition of oral history. His hospitality is unrivalled, his cooking sublime.

Get out with Lauri and return home with a stomach full of the best Nature has to offer and a heart filled with lifelong friendship.

Outdoor equipment expert

Outdoor equipment expert

Jens Behaeghe is a Puffin

Jens runs Mounteqshop, a specialized outdoor shop that excels in personal advice and quick online processing. A carefully selected and wide range of brands guarantee quality gear. Jens has an impressive in-depth knowledge of every product in his shop and knows how to translate technical specifics in human language. Mounteq supplies Puffins with gear and dresses the crew. Our customers enjoy significant discounts on expedition gear & clothing.

A visit to Mounteq is more than just shopping, it is the start of your adventure!