The cetaceans we are likely to see on our dolphin and whale watching trips aboard our purpose built, twin-engine catamaran, Voyager varies with the time of the year. Common Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises are resident all year round off West Cork. Minke Whales may be seen from May through to December. Family groups of Fin Whales arrive in the early summer months and are resident through to January. Humpback Whales, the great cetacean acrobats, may be seen during our whale watching trips between August and January. Chance encounters may occur with Killer Whales (Orcas), Bottlenose and Risso's Dolphins. The Long Finned Pilot Whale has been seen at different times throughout the year but we consider sightings of this dolphin and the Killer Whale a rarity. During the summer months we run up to THREE whale watching trips daily which includes viewing the seals and the spectacular coastline of West Cork aboard Voyager, our purpose built whale watching catamaran. A specialty amongst our many customers are the sunset whale watching trips - watching the sun go down in the west over Cape Clear Island on our homeward journey.
Whale Watching Trips Ireland
The whales we are likely to encounter during our whale watching tours vary with the time of the year. Minke Whales may be seen in pairs or small feeding groups during May. Groups of Fin Whales arrive in late June and feed over a period of some seven months. In small family groups or in pairs, these fast moving animals are seen regularly both inshore and offshore feeding on small shoaling fish, predominantly herring and sprat. The first Humpback Whale to arrive usually does so towards the end of August with others arriving later in the year during October and November. Whale Watch West Cork have a high viewing success rate of between 82% & 85% when organising their whale watching tours. We will stop at nothing to ensure you have the whale and dolphin watching and marine wildlife experience of a lifetime. Add whale watching tours to your visit to Ireland. It will be the highlight of your Irish and West Cork holiday experience.
All whale species seen in this part of Ireland range over an area between Cape Clear and the Old Head of Kinsale but may frequently be seen feeding in company and with Common Dolphins in attendance. It is not uncommon to have Minke Whales, Fin Whales and Common Dolphins all feeding in the same area. Our whale watch tours specialise in close up views of these magnificent animals and offer spectacular opportunities for taking photographs or simply enjoying the sight of marine mammals few others have ever seen in their natural environment. All our whale watch tours operate to a very strict code and the whale watching guidelines proposed by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. This ensures potential disturbance is kept to an absolute minimum. We carefully monitor the whale's behaviour when we are in their company looking for any signs that they are being harassed. Any unusual behaviour is carefully documented. We are committed to making our whale watch tours educational and informative for all age groups. In turn, we ensure that the whales benefit from our presence through direct financial support for ongoing research and conservation programmes leading to a better understanding of how we might conserve both the whales and dolphins and their environment for future generations. A proportion of all revenues generated from whale and dolphin watching activities is donated to the research fund of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.
Whale Watching Day Trips
During the autumn months we run whale watching day trips, which includes viewing the seals and other marine wildlife along with the coastline of West Cork. Whale watching day trips aboard Voyager also take in the beautiful coastline of West Cork. With spacious wheelhouse, seating both inside and out and a flushing toilet aboard Voyager customer comfort is assured. These whale watching day trips take us down past the Old Head of Kinsale or west beyond Cape Clear to the Fastnet Rock in search of the big rorquals and their smaller cousins, the Common Dolphin.
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