CONTACT: Linda Wallace (bookings) & Paul Sharman (business development)
TELEPHONE: 07871 463755
ADDRESS: 22 North Beach, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2XQ
Type of vessel and trip: The MV Monadhliath is a fully-converted fishing boat specifically designed now for carrying passengers to observe whales, dolphins and other marine and coastal wildlife via our two custom-built raised viewing platforms with seating, and for live-aboard cruising and charter thanks to the cabins below deck in the former fish hold. We can carry up to 12 passengers on our day trips, and can sleep 8/9 on our overnight cruises plus our 3 crew. The Monadhliath is certified by the Coastguard to carry passengers up to 60 miles offshore in complete safety which means we can include St Kilda on 1 or 2 of our itineraries each year – always a highlight!
We offer cruises ranging from 2 to 6 nights in length, plus 3/4 and full-day trips, along with occasional hosted and themed cruises adding an additional element to the wildlife watching such as landscape photography, sea kayaking, wild swimming, remote hiking, nature writing and art – all led by an expert in their field. We are always interested in talking to groups and trip leaders who might like to charter the boat for any type of trip, of any length, around the Hebrides and can discuss itineraries and adding other options to suit. This can be for private holiday use, for filming or for research purposes. Please just call us or get in touch to discuss. We mainly sail from our base in Stornoway for the summer, but move to Mallaig for a few weeks in the early and late season when we can cruise around Skye and the Small Isles more easily.
If you are not keen on boats, then we also offer a guided wildlife-watching minibus day-trip from Stornoway too. This can often include a trip to the well-known cetacean-watching hotspot on Tiumpan Head if conditions are good for some shore-watching for whales and dolphins too. If you are visiting Skye then please check our other wildlife tours at www.skyefari.com .
Likely species to be seen: harbour porpoise, common dolphin, Risso’s dolphin and minke whales are the most common species that we come across. However, a wider range of other whale and dolphin species use this area to feed in or travel through: this includes various species of beaked dolphins to humpback whales and even orca too. Basking sharks are also seen each year once the summer has warmed the waters up.
Seabirds are also a highlight and puffins, guillemots, razorbills, gannets, shags, kittiwakes, fulmars, and gulls are great to watch, as are the growing numbers of white-tailed sea eagles that we regularly see around the Isle’s of Lewis and Harris. The Shiant Isles are a regular stop for us, and in the early season are amazing to see with their breeding colonies with important numbers of puffins and razorbills in particular.
Our longer cruises obviously increase the chances for more unusual encounters as we can cover more ocean in our search. Pelagic seabirds such as skuas, shearwaters and petrels are also frequently spotted in the Minch on our trips. Once we get inshore along the coastlines then more wildlife such as otters, seals, deer, golden eagles and other species can often be spotted too.
CONTACT: Lynne & Murray McLeod
TELEPHONE: 01851 672469
ADDRESS: Miavaig Pier, Uig, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9HW
Type of vessel and trip: wildlife cruises on a rigid inflatable – takes up to 12 passengers (day trips).
Likely species to be seen: Risso’s and white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, harbour porpoises and basking sharks.
CONTACT: Anne Mackinnon
TELEPHONE: 01471866288; 222
ADDRESS: Sealadh na Mara, Elgol, Isle of Skye IV49 9BL
Type of vessel and trip: we operate 3 boats. The vessels are Misty Isle, a 42ft open wooden launch and Heather Grace a 30ft wooden launch which both specialize in trips to visit Loch Coruisk and the common seal colony. The third boat is a fast Cygus Cyfish 33 which will be running trips to Rum and Canna to see the puffins and to look out for cetaceans.
Likely species to be seen: various wildlife including cetaceans, seals, and birds including puffins.