United Kingdom·August

HWDT Whale and Dolphin Cruises

Our annual fundraising cruise for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust - 4-nights sailing around the cetacean rich waters of the Minch.

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HDWTWhaleandDolphinCruise

Overview

A UK wildlife watchers dream - during this 4-night cruise in the Hebrides you will be helping gather cetacean sightings data and ID photographs for our friends at the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) who will be receiving a donation of 15% of the proceeds of this fundraising trip. White-tailed eagles, seals, gannets and other sea birds will also feature of course and lots more too as we work along the Minch and its coastlines. It's a great time of year to be out on the water and it is possible that we might spot a basking shark or two as well maybe if we are lucky. You just never know what might turn up with minke whales, common dolphins, Risso's dolphins, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoise all likely. However fin whales, humpbacks and orca all pass through this area.

Highlights

HWDT Fundraiser

HWDT Fundraiser

Join us and you will be contributing towards our donation from the proceeds to the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust.

Cetacean Hotspot!

Cetacean Hotspot!

We will be cruising the Minch in some of the best waters in Europe for spotting whales and dolphins, let alone Scotland.

Citizen Science

Citizen Science

Learn how to become a citizen scientist and log whale and dolphin sightings data into the Whale Track app.

Visit the Shiants

Visit the Shiants

Explore these secluded islands, home in season to the UK's second largest puffin colony and thousands of other seabirds.

Get Away From It All

Get Away From It All

Spend the nights in remote and quiet anchorages whilst enjoying shore excursions to explore.

Beautiful Outer Hebrides

Beautiful Outer Hebrides

Spectacular Outer Hebridean scenery and seascapes.

Schedule

Previous

Next

Tiumpan_Head_PSharman

DAY 1

Stornoway to Broad Bay

Depart Stornoway approximately 2.30pm and head north towards the cetacean shore-watching hotspot of Tiumpan Head at the tip of the Point Peninsula. From here we enter the area known as Broad Bay, a real magnet for whales and dolphins, including a number of rarer sightings each year.

 

Apart from the resident minke whales, common and Risso's dolphins, and harbour porpoise, the bay  plays host every year to humpback whales, fin whales and even orca sometimes too - will we be lucky? 

We will anchor in Broad Bay overnight, enjoying our first meal on board and then watching the sun go down whilst watching for any last fins or whale spouts.

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DAY 2

Broad Bay to Marvig

Leaving Broad Bay in the morning after breakfast, we will have one last look around before heading south. These waters have recently been ratified as the North East Lewis Marine Protected Area, and play host to a well-studied Risso's dolphin population in particular. These lovely animals are often seen by our guests and if we do observe them we will take lots of photographs to help researchers identify individual animals and behaviours.


Our destination is the coastal village of Marvig for our second night. Located on the east coast of the Isle of Lewis, it is a lovely quiet area with chances to spot other coastal species perhaps like seals and otters along the shorelines perhaps. White tailed eagles are also always worth looking out for as there are several territories all along this eastern coastline, with the occasional golden eagle making an appearance also.

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DAY 3

Marvig to the Shiants

Our third day sees us head further out into the Minch on a course for some higher areas of the seabed known as banks, where the currents become more confused and small fish tend to get concentrated making for good hunting grounds for the whales, dolphins, porpoises and the thousands of seabirds that will be breeding at the nearby Shiant Isles. We will spend time carefully searching these areas and may also spot pelagic seabirds such as shearwaters and petrels, before heading for the Shiant Isles themselves and the magnificent sights of the seabirds colonies of puffins, guillemots, razorbills, shags and several others. We will be able to take a walk ashore and enjoy having a look around at these ancient islands before relaxing back on board and taking in the sights and sounds of the seabird activity all around for our third night spent at anchor here.  

Kittiwakes

DAY 4

At the Shiants

After breakfast we will circumnavigate the islands to show you the other seacliffs with their breeding colonies of guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes, a superb spectacle. You will also be able to spot the tell-tale signs of the former occupants of the islands with ruined bothies and field systems visible in certain places.


From here we will head back out into the Minch once more, towards the Shiant East Bank MPA most likely, keeping a watch out for any signs of cetaceans near or far. This can be a productive area as it is another feeding ground for marine life. Depending how far we get we will then return to the East coast of Lewis to one of the sea lochs for our overnight anchorage.

Stornoway

DAY 5

Shiants to Stornoway

This morning we will start our journey back northwards along the Lewis coastline towards Stornoway. This is still a great area for minke whales, common and Risso's dolphins and harbour porpoise so we will be keeping our eyes open all the way.

We will arrive back around midday, passing Lews Castle as we reach the harbour and leaving plenty of time for those catching the afternoon ferry back to Ullapool. The terminal is only a short 5-10 minute through town.

Tickets

Single Ticket

Single Ticket

Add Ons

HWDT Donation

PRICE$12.63/pp

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HWDT Donation

We work closely with HWDT who do great work in safeguarding and understanding our local populations of whales and dolphins. We hope you might like to support them with a small voluntary donation....
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PRICE$18.94/pp

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HWDT Donation

Alternatively, you can join HWDT for just £2 a month via https://hwdt.org/membership.

PRICE$25.26/pp

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HWDT Donation

Thank you for any help you are able to give to support their work.

PRICE$31.58/pp

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Dates

August 8 - 12 2022

FROM$1490/pp

August 7 - 11 2023

FROM$1341/pp

HWDT Whale and Dolphin Cruises

United Kingdom· August· 4 nights

FROM$1341/pp