Get involved directly with whale and dolphin research by visiting some of the remotest islands in the Hebrides on this great conservation holiday: witness some of the most breath-taking scenery, gain sailing skills and contribute to the protection the marine environment – all in one trip!
Regular visitors include minke whales, common dolphins, Risso’s dolphins plus the occasional ‘rare species’ while our resident populations of bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises are sure to delight. As part of the field team onboard our research vessel, Silurian, you will be helping us to produce the data sets that our science department will use in logistical analysis in the winter months.
All in all, a very exciting and worthwhile way of spending nine days.
The Isle of Mull is one of the best bases for watching whales and dolphins in Britain.
These people offer excellent short whale watching breaks:
This popular weekend break gives you two days on the boat exploring the islands (Eigg, Muck, Coll, Tiree, Staffa, all with their own character and charm). You will sail through the whale and dolphin grounds and land on islands with colonies of puffins, razorbills, gannets, shearwaters, and otters…The people who run these trips carry out marine research and they work closely with local charity the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
One client wrote:
The most memorable part of the holiday was the surveys trip … seeing Minke whales and basking sharks on such a beautiful day – I will remember this for many years to come. We even moored on a tiny island close to Coll and Tiree – it was like being on a Pacific atoll … seals swimming, white sand, clear blue sea – just perfect. More
Cruises on board a gaff cutter to St Kilda, the Orkneys, the Shetlands and North Rona, as well as the Hebrides, as well as the Hebrides. Boarding usually at Mallaig. See a wide variety of wildlife at close quarters, from whales (Sperm, Killer, Northern Bottlenose and Sei whales. and of course Minke), dolphins and basking sharks to red deer, eagles and otters. If you would like to find out more about what we see, take our Hebridean wildlife tour.
Island Cruising in The Hebrides: cruise to remote Islands around the Hebrides. We specialise in trips to St Kilda and some of the following Islands en route, Scarp, Taransay, Monach Isles and the Flannan Isles. The trips are either of 4 days or 6 days duration and the itinerary is worked out as we go along. North Rona, Sula Sgeir and the Shiant Isles can also be visited, as can Mingulay and the Southern Isles.
The Guardian has put together this list of the best whale watching locations in the UK. It mentions the follwoing sites.
- Moray Firth: as was shown on Springwatch you can watch the most northerly known population of bottlenose dolphins right from the shore – often only a few feet from the shingle. No binos needed! The best place to view them is Chanonry Point on the Black Isle. Humpback whales can also be spotted in the outer Moray Firth. Visit seawatchfoundation.org
- The best place to watch Killer whales is the Shetland Isles, especially at Esha Ness. They are becoming commoner.
- Isle of Mull – minke whales. Mull was the first place in Britain to offer dedicated whale-watching More here wspa.org.uk
- Cardigan Bay has a population of 130 bottlenose dolphins which can be seen from the shore at New Quay. The pods feed here from April to September.
- St David’s Head in Pembrokeshire: dolphins and possibility of fin whales in the summer.Here new-quay.com
- Common dolphins can be seen at Durleston Head in Dorset.
- Sites in Cornwall: Lizard Point, Gwennap Head and Cape Cornwall for dolphins, pilot, killer and minke whales marinediscovery.co.uk
According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Norway’s annual hunt of minke whales could cost the Scottish economy up to £15m, and threaten the viability of the whale-watching industry there. The last report on whale-watching in Scotland published in 2001 estimated the industry was worth £7.8m a year, but tour operators have doubled since then from 80 to 165.