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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68 results, currently showing 11 to 20
  1. Hebridean Whale Cruises

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Gairloch

    Welcome to Hebridean Whale Cruises. Operating whale watching and wildlife cruises from Gairloch, on Scotland's spectacular north west coast. We also offer Chandlery goods, fishing tackle and permits to fish in local rivers and lochs.

  2. Gradings

    Drumnadrochit

    Welcome to Castle Cruises Loch Ness. IV63 6TX Join us to enjoy Fresh Clean Loch Ness air, Magnificent Views of the Loch, Great Glen & Castle Urquhart, Facts, Legends & local History. We take pride in providing a more personal experience.

  3. Gradings

    Dunvegan

    Take an exhilarating 25 minute boat trip to see the seal colony and observe these playful sea mammals at close quarters.

  4. Eda Frandsen Sailing

    Type

    Sailing Charter Companies

    Gradings

    Mallaig

    Eda Frandsen offers the finest traditional sailing in the Western Isles of Scotland.

  5. Loch Ness Cruises

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • 4 Tour
    4 Tour

    Drumnadrochit

    LUXURY CRUISING ON LOCH NESS Hourly cruises on our luxury 12 passenger cruiser, Nessie Hunter IV.

  6. Gradings

    Fort William

    Sail through the Great Glen along the world famous Caledonian Canal for an unforgettable experience of Scotland's mountains, lochs and glens. All cruises depart from Banavie, just 5 minutes from Fort William.

  7. Isle of Skye Yachts

    Type

    Sailing Charter Companies

    Gradings

    Ardvasar

    Isle of Skye Yachts offer a varied selection of boats for your holiday so you are sure to find something to your taste.

  8. Speyside Tours

    Type

    Whisky Tour

    Gradings

    Dufftown

    Welcome to Speyside Tours

  9. Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Portree

    Welcome to Isle of Skye Wildlife Tours

  10. Gradings

    Halistra

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

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