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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67 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Gradings


    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.

  2. Love Skye Tours


    Coach Tour



    Love-Skye tours around some of the most stunning scenery in the world. Your local guide, Angela has intimate knowledge of Skye’s hidden beauty spots. Our tours are friendly, flexible and very good fun! We promise a trip like no other.

  3. Gradings

    • 4 Tour
    4 Tour

    Inverness, Loch Ness & Nairn

    Join us on a tour of the Scottish Highlands including Loch Ness, Inverness and Nairn. We offer a small group tour service allowing you to experience the delights of the area often missed in larger coaches.

  4. Gradings


    The Highlands and Islands Fastest RIBS ...eXperience the Thrill !

  5. Loch Shiel Cruises


    Boat Tour


    • 3 Tour
    3 Tour


    Unique guided cruises on beautiful Loch Shiel with local Jim Michie who provides a live commentary on all aspects of the area, while keeping a keen eye out for the resident Golden & White-Tailed Eagles, Divers, Red Deer & other Rare Wildlife.

  6. Western Isles Cruises


    Boat Tour



    Welcome to Western Isles Cruises. The Western Isles is a 64ft passenger boat of wooden construction. We offer daily excursions to some of the most remote parts of the West Highlands including Inverie, Tarbet and the islands Eigg and Rum.

  7. Eda Frandsen Sailing


    Sailing Charter Companies



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

  8. Aigas Field Centre


    Wildlife Tour



    Welcome to Aigas Field Centre - awarded 'Best Nature Based Experience' by Visit Scotland. Learning holidays at Aigas are a unique and unforgettable experience for anybody who wants to learn more about Scotland's superb natural history.

  9. Gradings

    Fort William

    Welcome to Caledonian Discovery Ltd

  10. Seascape Expeditions


    Boat Tour



    Seascape offers an exciting experience with trips out of Ullapool to the Summer Isles and surrounding area, aboard a RIB (rigid hull inflatable boat).


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