See the best of the remote Inner Hebrides from our comfortable boat, designed for a wild adventure in the Atlantic. Whether you would like to stay dry, snorkel or wild swim – we know you will love this trip! All tours are different as we navigate the sea conditions, but this is what we hope you will experience!
7 days at sea searching for basking sharks & wildlife
Visit the legendary Fingal’s Cave
Landing to meet charismatic puffins at the Treshnish Isles*
Snorkel in temperate kelp forests and reefs **
Visit the resident seal colonies
Opportunity for whale and dolphin watching
Swim & explore the white shell sand lagoon
Pelagic seabird watching from the boat, manx shearwaters, storm petrels, gannets
*Puffins in July trips only
** Snorkelling participation requires a minimum experience level, see more information here.
This 7 day 7 night itinerary is based from the Isle of Coll, situated in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, a stunning but remote part of the UK. Access to the island is by Calmac ferry from the beautiful coastal town of Oban where your adventure starts.
We advise you to arrive to Oban the day before your tour due to the early ferry times, for more information on travel please see our FAQs.
Day 1 (Saturday)- Travel to Coll (0620-0900 Ferry) head to boat for Activity day 1. Check into accommodation on return.
Day 2-7 (Sunday-Friday)- Activity days.
Day 8 (Saturday) – Travel back to Oban (1230-1510 Ferry)
On the Tour
Once you arrive on the island our friendly crew will meet you and take you straight to the boat for your first day at sea where we will head to the lagoon. This is the perfect place for beginners to test the waters, and those with more experience to take advantage of the abundant life and crystal-clear visibility.
Each day will focus on searching for wildlife and snorkelling. The deep waters around the island create excellent feeding opportunities for sharks, whales and dolphins. Photographers and naturalists will keep themselves busy with the plentiful bird life.
Our fantastic itinerary includes many other highlights of the Hebrides, it’s flexible in nature to allow for the wild Atlantic conditions. Here is a flavour of what to expect.
Swimming with Basking Sharks
The Sea of the Hebrides is the only Marine Protected Area (MPA) for basking sharks in the world. Swimming alongside these gentle giants is a moment you will never forget. Visit these endangered animals responsibly, with our dedicated and passionate team.
Over the past decade, we have developed our Code of Conduct for encountering sharks to ensure their welfare & protection. This practice ensures both shark and customer safety which is our highest priority and allows you to get the best chance of a memorable experience.
Basking sharks migrate to the Hebrides every summer to feed and potentially breed. You can find more about them here, along with reading what it takes to find and swim with them here.
Swimming with Seals
Scotland boasts one third of the world’s grey seal population, swimming with these curious animals is a moment you will remember. We have multiple options around the islands where we have resident seal colonies to visit – as well as the cute common seals that can even be spotted from the harbour!
Hebrides Lagoon Swim
A favourite of many visitor. The white shell sand lagoon has fantastic visibility and sheltered conditions. The currents squeeze through the many channels creating lush kelp forest & algae gardens. Making it a haven for lots of marine life and seals.
Whales, Dolphins & Atlantic Wildlife
The Hebrides are known as a worldwide hotspot for marine wildlife. Being situated on the edge of the Atlantic means we have fast access to productive feeding grounds. We have both resident and seasonal marine mammals that we can encounter. Along with the large seabird colonies we have the chance of some great encounters. Check out the marine life guide here.
Visit Puffins at the Treshnish Isles
Our favourite characters visit the islands from spring to the end of July. Rest your sea legs on the beautiful Isle of Lunga, an idyllic lunch spot to enjoy a picnic the puffins. This island is a bird watchers paradise with breeding colonies of puffins, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes and shags.
Explore the kelp forest
We offer a snorkel excursion every day of the trip, whether that be at the lagoon, seal colonies, tidal channel drifts, fingal’s cave. Atlantic kelp forests are more productive than coral reefs and there is a vast amount of marine life to discover around them. The guides will help you find lots of critters ranging from the smallest nudibranch to biggest lions man jellyfish.Have a look at our underwater wildlife guide here.
Visit the legendary Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa – the basalt columns formed from volcanic activity fringe the cliffs of the island, plunging in to the water. An adventure playground which will be a highlight for snorkellers, swimmers and watchers alike. Snorkelling in this natural wonder should be on every bucket list!
Located in the Hebrides on the edge of the Atlantic means we can often experience very strong winds. This can mean it’s too rough to be at sea or make boarding dangerous.
In this instance we will arrange land activities. In addition to shore snorkelling, we can explore the island’s local wildlife, landscapes and history. There are fantastic habitats such as sand dunes and machair to discover. Historic castles, standing stones, pete cutting and local stories of life in the islands. Wildlife such as eagles, hen harriers, otters, hares and corncrakes are all things to keep an eye out for – as well as the iconic highland cattle!
Life on the Island
In the evenings enjoy the quiet life Coll has to offer, with remote beaches, otter spotting and stunning sunsets. This idyllic island is home to an award winning restaurant and accommodation providers, but if wild camping is more your style you won’t be short of peaceful spots to enjoy.
Who is the tour for?
For the ocean loving adventurer who wants to maximise their opportunities for shark encounters – the seven day tour is for you. This tour is about the wildlife, however you would like to enjoy it – be it in the water or on board the boat. To join our in water activities you must be comfortably able to swim a minimum of 100m unaided in open water. With the remote location we operate in there are some physical challenges such as boarding the boat by ladder and landing on the islands without facilities, please see here for more information.
The natural world is very unpredictable, not a zoo or an aquarium, therefore sightings are never guaranteed. We can however promise that you are visiting a wildlife hotspot with a highly experienced and passionate team. Our boats are comfortable cabin RIBs built for the wild Atlantic conditions which are closely monitored by our experienced skippers. We will do our very best to give you a great experience!
Our 7 day shark weeks run from mid July for five weeks only, with only 10 spaces per boat these tours sell out annually.
If you are participating in our in snorkelling activities please check our hire equipment information. You will need to input your requirements and sizes at the time of booking – find our wetsuit size charts here. If you intend to bring your own gear make sure you’ve read the minimum standard of kit needed. Here’s an advice document on what is best.
Ready to Book
After booking you will receive a confirmation email with a linked information document. You will also be contacted by our team to help you book accommodation in Coll and we’ll send a brochure with all the options.
This books up very very quickly as there are limited rooms on the island. You must book your room at the time of booking to ensure you don’t miss out. Once you have booked the tour we can suggest B&B / self catering rooms which we reserve for our passengers. You can check out the rooms at Tigh Na Mara B&B & Coll Hotel & Coll Bunkhouse and there are also pitches for campervans or camping on the island.
Basking sharks & marine wildlife migrate to our shores during spring for feeding & breeding. The Atlantic warms up, bringing an explosion of life which we can explore beneath the waves. Take a peek at what you can do with us!