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Week Basking Shark and Wildlife Tour
Tour At A Glance
- Low impact small group guided by marine biologist
- Based on Isle of Coll, Available July & August
- Snorkelling or Boat based passengers
- £1250 per person excluding accommodation
- Pick up from the ferry terminal, Isle of Coll
- Runs Saturday - Saturday - 7 days / 7 nights (1 extra day from 2022)
Our flagship tour and the ultimate mix of adventure, activity and Hebridean wildlife. These trips are organised at the peak shark time and suit photographers, wildlife enthusiasts or those who want to maximise their time in the Hebrides. The tour is focused on basking sharks with a flexible itinerary around the experiences listed below.
Our Week Tours have a high success rate of great encounters. We have amazing wildlife, landscapes and coastline as we are located on the edge of the north Atlantic. This means the weather can be variable and over a week you have the best opportunity to take advantage of the weather windows!
This is the tour we recommend to everyone, we have our longest running success and satisfaction from this trip. Simply speaking it's the best trip to do no question.
Accommodation options are mixed ranging from bunkhouse, self-catering cottages, B&B and Hotels. Please email for details.Book Now
We will meet you at the ferry terminal on the Isle of Coll at approx 09:00 there will be a chance to drop off bags and gather things before heading out for our first day.
We usually head to the crystal clear waters of the islands. With the water only a few metres deep, the visibility excellent and white sand onto healthy reefs, it’s a stunning area. We may choose a different location if the sharks are closeby or the weather dictates we need to go somewhere else.
We'll spend a few hours here where you can get used to cold water snorkelling, low impact techniques and perhaps making sure your own gear is up to scratch. Although it's an outstanding location for photography too! Following our swims we will then spend the rest of the day looking for sharks and other wildlife. Whilst we are in the area, there are also good chances of spotting minke whales, common and bottlenose dolphins and porpoises. We even have rare visitors such as orca, sunfish and leatherback turtles! In addition there are abundant seabirds including bonxies, terns, fulmars, razorbills, guillemots and shags.
On return from the trip mid afternoon you will be able to check into your accomodation, make any additional reservations and visit the shop for any more supplies.
The rest of week will be dictated by the weather and see below for some of the options.
Swim with the second biggest fish in the world! We will look for basking sharks the whole trip and with a week to play with we should have plenty of opportunities. Basking sharks will be the focus of the week with all the other trips fitted in whenever the best conditions occur.
On this trip we visit a very special lagoon, well protected from the wind and one of the sunniest places in the UK! The water here is crystal clear, unpolluted Atlantic Ocean with a white shell sand base, surrounded by fringing kelp forest reefs. This marine paradise holds a large resident seal colony which we snorkel with, holding both common/harbour seals and grey seals. We have other locations throughout the islands that provide opportunities for interaction with these inquisitive mammals.
We will be in an area of rich feeding for many cetacean species. The area is recognised to have importance for harbour porpoises which are seen regularly. Common dolphins are a popular species and frequently bow ride on the boat; sometimes we are lucky to encounter super-pods with hundreds of individuals. The resident bottlenose dolphins are the largest in the world making them a spectacular sight. The minke whale is the most common whale in our waters, sometimes interacting with the boat. If you are really lucky you may encounter the resident orca pod with our favorite being the charismatic John Coe!
A very popular excursion to puffin island and photographic opportunity not to be missed. Up to 3000 puffins nest on the island along with a variety of other seabirds such as guillemots, razorbills, fulmar and shags. We can also see predatory birds such as skuas (bonxies) and black backed gulls hunting here, sometimes making for heartbreaking viewing! The puffins migrate early in August - book on Week 1, 2 or 3 for the best chance of a puffin encounter.
The famous Fingal's cave! The basalt columns formed from volcanic activity fringe the cliffs of the island and plunge into the water. A great playground for snorkelling around the caves and islands along with landing to explore the interior of the cave. We organise this when there are calm conditions and no-one else around so we can fully enjoy this amazing location!
These bays are AWESOME! There can be an option to visit them when the weather is best as the bays have unbelievably clear water and stunning scenery. The coastal photography opportunities here are fantastic and it looks more Caribbean than Scottish! They make a great lunch stop whilst we're out having adventures and are an iconic part of the Hebridean seascape.
If we have some windy weather keeping us on shore, we arrange land tours to explore the island's local wildlife and landscapes. There are fantastic habitats such as sand dunes and machair to explore. Historic castles and standing stones, peat cutting areas and wildlife such as many birds (e.g. white tailed and golden eagles, bonxies, terns, guillemots, fulmars, corncrakes), along with otters, seals and hares. We can even see basking sharks in remote corners of the island and you'll be sure to hear some local stories of island life.
We'll usually visit the Isle of Tiree at some point during our week! There is a lovely bay at the village of Scaranish which is very idyllic on a calm sunny day! There is a supermarket and a hotel close by that you can enjoy a coffee or drink in the sunshine ot get some extra supplies! We'll likely use the opportunity to fuel the boat here too. Sometimes the local creel fisherman will be landing their catch so there's always something interesting going on and will give you an insight into Hebridean island life.
We are able to organise an evening dive for qualified divers and there are lots of dive sites with excellent visibility. We usually dive at an excellent artificial reef covered in colourful invertebrates which is great for underwater photography. Conditions are usually good with a maximum depth of 10m, white sand seabed and minimal current. This is extra cost and limited places. See here for details on the dive.
Accommodation is based in self catering cottages, bunkhouse, B&B and hotel in the main village on the island. They are a 5 minute walk down to the boat and close to hotel bar & restaurant, cafe and shop. You can buy supplies at the shop, order packed lunches on the island and eat out for dinner. Otherwise you can self cater for the full trip if you prefer.
Room options are:
- Twin/ double share with shared bathroom
- Twin/ double share with en-suite
- Single occupany in a twin/ double with shared bathroom
- Single occupany in a double with en-suite.
We do have rooms reserved on the island during our tours so please contact us in the first instance.
- Seven days basking shark and wildlife boat tour
- Amazing wildlife, scenery and culture
- Knowledgeable and experienced guides
- Hot drinks on board
- Onboard binoculars, books and information guides
- Pick up / drop off at Ferry