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Dolphin Watching Trips in Scotland

If you’re in the mood to change up your usual vacation, why not go to the west coast of Scotland for your next holiday? This area is home to many animal and bird species; in addition, the Gulf of Corryvreckan is the world’s third largest naturally occurring whirlpool, and the Iona Abbey is one of the oldest and most important religious centers in all of Western Europe.

There are several dolphin watching tour providers in the Oban and Ardfern areas of Argyll. If you are interested in dolphins Argyll, you can choose from Craignish Cruises (departs from Ardfern rather than Oban), Sea.fari Adventures, Sealife Adventures, Coastal Connection, Oban Boat (owned and operated by Allan Strang), and Staffa Tours (also known as Gordon Grant Marine) among many others. Many of these providers use RIBs (rigid hulled inflatable boats) but Craignish offers a sixty passenger catamaran that was purpose built for travel in and around the Gulf of Corryvreckan.

Craignish’s 2 hour wildlife tour operates only when the whirlpool tour is not running, and the whirlpool tour only runs when there is adequate tidal action. They also offer a daily 3 hour tour that includes islands, history of the area, and a wildlife boat trip; this cruise normally departs at 2 pm every day but weather and demand may impact the schedule. A longer cruise to the Garvellach Isles usually departs once a week on Thursdays at 1:30 pm (this departure schedule is also subject to weather and demand). The final cruise offered by Craignish is a 4 hour or day trip for whale watching and wildlife watching; the departure times for this cruise fluctuate based on the tides. The Garvellach tour and the 4 hour/day whale watching trips are not suitable for young children or animals. Prior reservations are strongly recommended for all of Craignish’s cruises.

Oban Boat offers a one hour journey that departs from the railway pier in Oban. These trips run daily starting at 10 am (weather permitting) and the cost is 10 GBP per person for adults (5 GBP for children). Discounts may be available for families or other groups.

Coastal Connection offers RIB trips throughout the area, including a two hour ‘Wildlife and Castles’ trip that costs 30 GBP per adult (20 GBP per child). The tour leaves from Oban Bay and provides views of three castles, as well as bird life, an operational fish farm, and a seal colony.