A family on charter boat 'Valhalla' (Sail Orkney Fleet) moored in the marina at Kirkwall, Mainland, Orkney
With so many fascinating species to spot in Orkney, the islands’ dramatic coastlines and surrounding seas offer a very different way to discover them. By taking a boat charter or wildlife cruise out around the islands, you’ll have at your disposal a knowledgeable guide who knows all the best headlands and waters to travel to as well as a comfortable and safe vehicle to get you there and back.
It will be one of the most exhilarating experiences of your life. As the boat rocks gently on the swell, the glistening forms of a pod of orca whales break the water’s surface and disappear below the sea, visible just long enough for you to grab your camera for that once in a lifetime snap. Further offshire, you could get to spot anything from a porpoise or dolphin to an orca or minke whale. The lucky few could even spot a humpback, sperm or pilot whale, with recorded sightings in Orcadian waters becoming more frequent.
You may prefer the feeling of bobbing at the base of a towering cliff face and craning your neck skyward to see the swirl of activity above you. Puffins, guillemots and gannets soar, land and feed in the crevices of the sandstone cliffs in a cacophony of crashing waves and bird croaks as you gaze up at the vast colony from below. Depending on the season, Orkney’s sea bird colonies are a hive of activity with fulmars, Arctic skuas, guillemots, razorbills and more taking up residence on the cliffs.
Get you closer to Orkney’s impressive wildlife than you could have hoped and browse the listings to plan your boat tour and wildlife cruise today.
Now open for guided tours, Ness Battery is a remarkable relic of Orkney's wartime past. The tour includes the the mess hall, featuring the famous painted mural. This is a brand new attraction for Orkney, and one not to be missed!