Hebridean Whale Cruises offer you a choice – you can take one of our offshore trips into the North Minch in search of whales and dolphins, or an inshore wildlife cruise in and around Loch Gairloch.
To have the best chance of seeing whales and dolphins you must travel to their feeding grounds, and that means an offshore voyage. We are the only operator in Gairloch who will take you offshore – out of Loch Gairloch and into the vast open waters of the North Minch, between the mainland and the Western Isles.
The North Minch is one of Scotland’s recognised hotspots for whale and dolphin sightings. Undersea mountains beneath the Minch deflect powerful currents up to the surface. The waters above these mountains are rich in nutrients and are frequently visited by whales, dolphins and many other marine species, together with an abundance of exceptional sea birds.
We constantly monitor three key feeding grounds in the North Minch – Rona Bank, north of the island of Rona, Staffin Peaks off the northern tip of Skye, and Burma Bank, east of the Shiant Islands. We also watch the waters beyond the Rubha Rèidh lighthouse. And we take you to where whales and dolphins are currently most likely to be found.
See Our Offshore Cruises for more details of the cruises.
Loch Gairloch is roughly five miles long and about three miles across at its widest point. Sheltered from the open sea, with a shoreline of rocky promontories, sandy beaches, small islands and wooded bays, Loch Gairloch is a haven for wildlife.
We explore this rich and varied shoreline as far as Port Henderson on the southern side of the Loch, visit Longa Island, and cruise through open water against the stunning backdrop of the Torridon mountains.
Here you will encounter seals, perhaps glimpse an otter in the shallows, watch Gannets plummet into the water, come close to sea birds which are normally difficult to see. There is a chance that you might spot a Harbour Porpoise or a Bottlenose Dolphin and, later in the season, an occasional Minke Whale which has strayed inshore.