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 1 to 10
  1. Loch Shiel Cruises

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    • 3 Tour
    3 Tour

    Glenfinnan

    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.

  2. Summer Queen Cruises

    Type

    Boat Tour

    Gradings

    Ullapool

    Summer Queen is the only boat from Ullapool that cruises through all the summer Isles and lands on the main island Tanera Mhor.

  3. Gradings

    The Highlands

    Walk Wild Scotland offer small group guided walking holidays on the Atlantic archipelago of the Inner Hebridean Islands.

  4. Gradings

    Inverness

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

  5. 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.

  6. Caithness Wildlife Tours

    Type

    Wildlife Tour

    Gradings

    Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area

    Discover the hidden wildlife in Scotland's far north on a tailor-made wildlife tour or guided walk. We offer wildlife watching and walking in small groups to ensure a memorable experience. Spend a couple of hours or a whole day with us.

  7. 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.

  8. Eda Frandsen Sailing

    Type

    Sailing Charter Companies

    Gradings

    Mallaig

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

  9. 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

  10. Gradings

    Halistra

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

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