Boat charters and wildlife cruises in the Highlands

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  • Dolphins on the Moray Firth
    Dolphins on the Moray Firth

The wild and unpolluted waters surrounding the dramatic Highland coastline are more than just a blue fringe to fine scenery. They are well worth exploring in their own right so take a wildlife cruise around the inner Moray Firth or from the western seaboard and experience the resident aquatic wildlife such as whales, dolphins and seals.

East coast

The bottlenose dolphins of the Moray Firth are perhaps the most famous cetacean species in the northern waters. Here, the cool rich feeding grounds allow them to grow bigger than bottlenose dolphins anywhere else in the world.

Around the inner Moray Firth, many different operators offer wildlife-watching cruises and most operate between March and October.

To ensure maximum enjoyment, and the welfare of the dolphins, choose a member of the Dolphin Space Programme (DSP) for your excursion. DSP accredited operators are committed to providing high quality wildlife watching trips which do not cause disturbance to marine wildlife and are trained on how to approach a wide range of marine life including seals, seabirds and basking sharks, as well as cetaceans such as the minke and killer whales which can also sometimes be seen here.

Alternatively, if you'd rather stick to dry land, the mouth of Cromarty Firth, Chanonry Point near Fortrose, North or South Kessock beside Inverness and Fort George are all good shore watching places.

West coast

The western seaboard also offers excellent cetacean watching. Boat companies cover large stetches of the Highland west such as Lochaber, Ardnamurchan and Wester Ross sailing out of Mallaig, Armadale, Kyle of Lochalsh and Gairloch.

Various dolphin species can be seen of the west coast, as well as minke and killer whales. Harbour porpoises,the smallest of the species, are also spotted regularly.

If you stop off at Handa, near Tarbet, north of Scourie, you'll also see one of Britain's largest guillemot colony, plus puffins, razorbills, great and Arctic skuas.

The experienced and knowledgeable skippers leading these cruises give you your best chance of seeing these amazing creatures in their natural element. And while sightings can't be absolutely guaranteed, there's also the thrill of encountering something really special such as Atlantic white-sided dolphins, pilot whales or even sperm whales which have all been see in Highland waters.

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61 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Northshots

    Type

    Photography Tour

    Gradings

    Kingussie

    Northshots Photo Tours and Hides

  2. Gradings

    Inverness

  3. Spindrift Boat Trips

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Skye & Lochalsh

    Come aboard Spindrift for a wildlife watching and island visit. Visit the beautiful Isle of Rona or the Isle of Raasay from Portree pier.

  4. Diver's Eye Boat Trips

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Skye & Lochalsh

    Let us welcome you aboard for a 'Seaskye Adventure' in the captivating North West coast of Skye.

  5. Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kyle of Lochalsh

    Seaprobe Atlantis is Scotland's ONLY Semi-Submersible Glass Bottom Boat. Offering trips from Kyle of Lochalsh Easter - 31st October. Regular trips run daily to see all the local wildlife Above & Below the waves. All trips include the Seals

  6. Spirit of Adventure

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • Awaiting Grading
    Awaiting Grading

    Kyle of Lochalsh

    Join us on a fully guided wildlife adventure , set amongst the most spectacular scenery in Britain. Binoculars provided. Toilets and refreshments available. Sea Eagles, Puffins, Whales, Dolphin and Seals all live and visit our local area.

  7. Gradings

    Fort William

    Welcome to Caledonian Discovery Ltd

  8. Wilderness Guides Canoeing

    Type

    Tour Guides

    Gradings

    The Highlands

    Wilderness Guides offers guided canoe trips on the beautiful lochs and rivers around Fort William. Canoeing is a fun and easy activity, perfect for all ages and experience. Day and overnight trips are available, as well as canoe rental.

  9. Dolphin Space Programme

    Type

    Coach Tour

    Gradings

    Moray Firth

    Hoping to see the famous Moray Firth dolphins or other marine wildlife like seals, porpoises, whales and seabirds? Look no further.

  10. John O’Groats Ferries

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    John o' Groats

    John O' Groats Ferries offer Orkney Island Day Tours from John O' Groats and Inverness every summer morning. Wildlife Cruises daily from John O'Groats departing 2.30pm. 90 mins duration.

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