When it comes to Ireland you surely do not expect whale watching to be an experience you can be a part of but this is possible. In fact, Ireland has some of the most underrated whale watching opportunities for you to take advantage of, with two of them being presented below. If you are interested in truly wonderful whale watching in Ireland, these 2 should be on your list, both present in the Cork area, which is where most of the whales are visible.
Cork Whale Watch is actually the oldest whale watching operator. It has been mesmerizing wildlife enthusiasts ever since 2001 in west Cork. Colin Barnes, the one you will most likely talk to on a tour, has been monitoring both dolphins and whales for over forty years now. It was his passion for the environment in a combination with a unique ability to find whales that increased the popularity of the entire operation. In fact, he was featured in various wildlife documentaries and did work with fin whales and humpback whales.
The vessel that takes you on the whale watching tour is MV Holly Jo. It is mainly a research platform used to take biopsy sampling research and photo-identification for humpback and fin whales all around the Irish coast. You will be happy to learn that Cork Whale Watch operates the entire year. The boat is also available for films or research.
On the tour you will be greeted by Colin Barnes, skipper, together with his huge experience in mapping and fishing. His specialty is close encounters with dolphins and whales. This is why you can expect wonderful experiences together with minke, humpback and fin whales. Rissos and bottlenose dolphins together with sea birds and seals only make the experience more special.
Voyager, the boat that accommodates clients of Whale Watch West Cork is a twin-engine properly equipped catamaran. It was especially built for dolphin and whale watching tours in West Cork. It can carry a maximum of twelve passengers so you may want to book ahead. Voyager is quite stable and fast, offering great visibility, making it perfect for any local wildlife watching tour. Passenger comfort is really high but if you want more, you can enjoy a larger boat with a maximum capacity of 50 passengers.
Every single day between April and December the Voyager will leave County Cork’s Baltimore Harbor at 9:30 AM and 2:15 PM. You can reach the harbor in 15 minutes via car from Skibbereen. Be sure that you are there around 20 minutes before the official departure time. You should dress warmly and bring along drink or food. Sunscreen and sunglasses are always recommended. If you are in the area, try Cape Clear Island as it is a refreshing break, right at the middle of the whale watching tour.
Besides the two recommended whale watching tours in Ireland, there are others that can be considered, with numerous sightings being possible even when you go on a regular bike tour. Try to prepare and always listen to the indications of the crew. This will allow you to have a better chance of enjoying the entire experience. Also, do not forget your camera as you will surely want it since sightings are quite common when tours are organized.