Whale Watch West Cork

Our Mission…

Whale Watch West Cork is dedicated to providing our customers with a safe, comfortable and educational whale and dolphin watching experience. We seek to impart detailed knowledge on the marine mammals and other wildlife we encounter and on the wider issues of marine conservation through informed commentary with special emphasis on the current threats facing these unique animals and their fragile environment. We directly support conservation measures through education and research.

Whale Conservation and Education

Our trips are always oriented towards education with a strong conservation message and we are the ONLY whale watch operator in West Cork to have a qualified zoologist available and information sheets on EVERY trip. With state-of-the-art hydrophone and camera equipment available onboard along with our detailed interactive commentaries we create an informative and educational experience that few other operators are able to recreate. Children who come on board all get a chance to drive the boat and learn as much about the marine environment and the need for conservation as possible. This is in addition to the whales and dolphins and other wildlife we may see. Whale Watch West Cork is the only marine tour operator in West Cork dedicated solely to whale and dolphin watching. We do not run angling trips; this is against our conservation policy, which means there are no nasty fishy smells on board!

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Safety Policy

Our safety policy is based on the Irish Department of Marine safety code for passenger boat operations at sea. We voluntarily EXCEED the legal requirement for safety equipment. All our boats are fully licensed by the DoM and have the latest safety equipment including lifejackets for all passengers and crew, a self launching life raft, distress flares, emergency DSC marine VHF radio, an E.P.I.R.B (emergency position indicating radio beacon) and the latest in navigation equipment, over and above that required by the licensing authority. We encourage everyone to wear a life jacket at sea (although not a legal requirement) and routinely put the junior members of the group in a life jacket when going to sea. We are in constant contact with our office on land and they regularly monitor our progress throughout every tour. There is a full safety briefing prior to departure.

Environmental Policy

We are acutely aware that we consume a large amount of fuel during a season whale and dolphin watching and we strive to establish ourselves as a carbon neutral group. In this endeavour we have installed computer-controlled engines in all our boats to ensure the greatest fuel efficiency and the greatest reduction in emissions. We also service our engines very carefully to ensure emissions are maintained at a low level.

Responsible Whale and Dolphin Watching

Whale Watch West Cork is committed to an accreditation protocol, which dictates that all boat operators should be properly trained to conduct marine wildlife tours in order to maximize the opportunities for customers and minimize pressure on the animals and habitats being viewed. All our skippers are fully trained and boats licensed to conduct marine wildlife tours. We will never pressurise wildlife and operate a "no trace" policy

- we take only pictures and leave only our wake -

Ensure your whale and dolphin watch operator conforms to the following:

  • Has a Zoologist/Naturalist on all whale and dolphin watching tours
  • Has a DCMNR/Department of Transport qualified Captain
  • Holds a full DCMNR/Department of Transport passenger boat license
  • Provides complimentary information sheets or packs
  • Holds valid boat and passenger insurance
  • Conforms to a recognized code of conduct
  • Provides a hydrophone for passenger use
  • Supports non-invasive research
  • Makes educational materials and books available for customer reference
  • Provides an interactive commentary throughout tours
  • Holds appropriate accreditation from a recognized body

Whale Watch West Cork is a "RESPONSIBLE" whale and dolphin watch operator.

Our Captain

Our Captain, Nic Slocum has been watching whales and dolphins from boats for over 20 years whilst observing and studying the marine wildlife around the Irish and UK coasts. Through his detailed observations of the whales and dolphins of West Cork and his abiding passion for the West Cork coastline and its diverse wildlife Nic has developed a sound understanding of when and where whales and dolphins may be found along the southwest coast. With his commitment to the conservation of the whales and dolphins of West Cork, his onboard interactive commentaries and his experience as a whale watcher, Nic Slocum is ideally qualified to host whale and dolphin watch tours for families and cetacean experts alike off the rugged and beautiful West Cork coastline. A qualified Zoologist, Nic has a PhD awarded by the University of Surrey in the UK. Nic holds Irish DCMNR/Ministry of Transport approved Certificates of Proficiency in First Aid on Board Ships and Personal Survival Techniques and has a Category B endorsement to his License to Operate issued by the DCMNR/Ministry of Transport in Ireland. In addition Nic holds an Advanced Powerboat Certificate issued by the Irish Sailing Association and a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification issued by the Royal Yachting Association. Nic is a qualified SAA Dive Leader (SCUBA) and a veteran of escorted expeditions to remote corners of the globe including New Zealand, Australia and Africa. Nic writes a regular newspaper column entitled Marine Conservation Matters and is frequently asked to comment on marine matters on national and regional radio. Nic has appeared on and provided consultancy to television programmes such as the BBC 999, ITV This Is Your Life and Channel Four A Place By The Sea.

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Some notes from our visitors...

Hi Nic
Myself and my girlfriend Tori were on your boat on Friday. We just wanted to email you and thank you for such a wonderful day. We found the commentary from yourself to be very insightful and entertaining. We understand how patient you must be when out searching for whales but the time flew by and all in all it was great value for money and we will be recommending your trip to many of our friends.
Thank you and kind regards.
Stephen McKenna
whale watching in ireland
Hello Nic
I would like to say thanks for the hours of pleasure I enjoyed on the good ship Voyager on Saturday afternoon last. I enjoyed our chat and had my own special pleasure in the sounds and movement of the ship and the spray of the sea and the wind (Dick is blind). I also found it interesting, for the first time, to examine the control for the engine and the compass.
You can certainly put me on your list for future crew members and I certainly will come back on board, especially when I have any visitors.
It was a great pleasure.
Dick Craig
whale watching in ireland
Hi Nic,
My son David and I were on your whale-watching trip this monday morning.
We had a great time - and are still babbling to my wife and all our friends about the enormous thrill of seeing the large fin whales.
And just the sound of their blow (blåst in Danish/Norwegian) can still give me goosebumps.
Although there was a lot of heavy photo equipment on board – I’m quite satisfied with the picture in this mail – taken with my backpocket camera.
Feel free to use it on your site if you want to… Again – it was a wonderful experience.
I am sure you will get many Danish guests – people who must see for themselves, what I was babbling about…
Henrik Nielsen
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Whale Watch West Cork
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Did you know...?

The Blue Whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on the earth. A fully grown female Blue Whale may reach lengths of over 32 metres with a weight of nearly 200 tons. The Fin Whale which we see regularly in Irish waters is the second largest animal to have lived on the earth and may reach lengths of 22 metres and weigh over 65 tons.
whale watching in ireland
The Japanese and the Norwegians will account for the death of over 2000 whales during the next 12 months. Few people eat whale meat and the Japanese had over 4000 tons in cold storage before the last whaling season where they killed over 850 animals. There is so much oversupply of whale meat as a result of the the whaling activities of the Japanese and the Norwegians that the Japanese are feeding it to dogs.
whale watching in ireland


I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
E. B. White

whale watching in ireland