The Whalewatch Explorer is our flagship cruise and gives you the best possible chance of a magical encounter.
At various times throughout the season we regularly see minke whales, basking sharks, common dolphins, white-tailed and golden eagles, common and grey seals and a variety of seabirds including gannets, manx shearwater, skuas, puffins, razorbills, guillemots and fulmars.
Mon, Tue, Thu & Sat
Apr - Oct
- Up to 6½ hours at sea, searching the rich waters between Mull, Coll, Ardnamurchan, the Small Isles and the Treshnish Isles*
- The opportunity to see minke whales, basking sharks, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, common and grey seals, white-tailed and golden eagles, harbour porpoise and a wide variety of seabirds**
- Experienced skipper and professional wildlife guide on every cruise, to show you what to look for and make sure you don't miss a thing
- Complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day
- The chance to contribute to our fascinating research projects or just sit back and relax
- Departure from the pontoons in Tobermory or the pier in Kilchoan
** Seeing these fantastic wild animals in their natural habitat is a real privilege and one that we sincerely hope we can share with you. However, we understand that they appear on their own terms and sightings on any particular day cannot be guaranteed.
Please select a date to begin your reservation
The next Whalewatch Explorer is 1st April.
Next 5 Days
Frequently Asked Questions
Booking is highly recommended. The Whalewatch Explorer is usually limited to 45 passengers and it often fills up, particularly in the height of summer.
The "Big 3" on the Whalewatch Explorer are minke whales, common dolphins and basking sharks.
Our first minke whale encounter is usually in April and common dolphins in May. We then see both species regularly throughout the season until we finish in October. Basking sharks are less reliable but we often have good sightings in July and August.
We can usually find at least one of these three but it is important to understand that we have absolutely no control over any of the animals we hope to find. They are 100% wild and that is what makes every encounter so special. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that we can't guarantee any sightings on a particular day. Guides will be on hand throughout your cruise to help you find some wonderful creatures, share their knowledge and answer any questions that you have, which we hope will result in an enjoyable and memorable day no matter what we find.
Please prepare for everything - the west coast of Scotland is famous for throwing all four seasons at you in one day! We've put a wee list together of some essential kit:
- Plenty of warm layers
- Packed lunch
- Suncream and sunglasses (if it is sunny then you can burn very easily at sea)
There is ample space inside for you to store a spare jumper or jacket so please ensure you bring enough to keep warm and dry.
Lunch is not included. You should bring a packed lunch with you.
Tea and coffee is complimentary and offered throughout the day but we don't have anything fancy. If you can't survive without your fennel & popcorn flavoured tea then please bring your own and we'll happily furnish you with hot water and a cup.
We also have a small shop selling snacks such as crisps and chocolate bars.
We go in search of animals which inhabit the sea and if it's a particularly windy day then our chances of finding those creatures may be greatly diminished. We always have one eye on the weather and if it's looking too rough then we simply won't go to sea. We would much sooner cancel the cruise than take you out knowing that our chances of a good encounter are poor.
In the days preceeding your cruise, if the Skipper decides that cancelling is unavoidable, we will contact you and try to move your reservation to an alternative day. If that's not possible then we will offer a full refund or a voucher to return in the future, whichever you prefer.
Hopefully not but if you're at all worried about it then we recommend you take a look at some of the remedies that are available. We are unable to provide any medication on board so please come prepared. There are motion sickness tablets, hyoscine (or scopolamine) patches and acupressure bands.
On board, all we can offer you are ginger biscuits - a fantastic natural remedy!
Whales, dolphins, porpoise, seals, otters and seabirds all breathe the same air as you and I. No matter what the weather is doing, they have to come to the surface.
The best place for spotting and viewing wildlife is from the top deck but we also have lots of room inside if you want to stay dry.
We welcome passengers of all abilities. Wheelchairs can be brought on board but for safety reasons we have to stow them for the duration of the cruise. We have plenty of seating and our crew will do everything they can to ensure your comfort throughout the day and assist you, where needed, to access all areas of the vessel.
There is a small step up from the pontoon when boarding.
We have no age limit but urge caution as the Whalewatch Explorer involves spending 6 hours at sea. If you have any concerns about how your child will cope with spending that length of time on a boat then we suggest you consider the Ecocruz to begin with.
Children under 5 years go free but it is essential that you book places for everybody in your group. We are restricted to a maximum number of passengers, no matter how small they are, so can only guarantee spaces that have been booked in advance.
All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
For large groups we are able to offer a small discount, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Dogs are welcome but we do ask that you keep them restrained and under control for the duration of the cruise. Consider that there are likely to be a number of other passengers on board who may not love dogs as much as you do.
Yes, basic toilet facilities are provided.
Please see out contact page for details on how to get here.
We depart from the pontoons in Tobermory (Postcode PA75 6NR).
We ask that you arrive 15 minutes before departure at the gravelled area between the floating pontoons and the Mull Aquarium. Here you will find one of our team who will check you in.