About Dolphin Spotting Boat Trips
A Dolphin Spotting Boat Trip offers a fun, educational experience for all ages, sailing from New Quay in West Wales for over 65 years. Enjoy an unrivalled experience from start to finish. Our boats sail exclusively within the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation, home to hundreds of bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals. ‘Sea Watch Foundation’s Recommended Boat Operator’, and our skippers are all ‘WISE’ qualified, ensuring your boat trip will be conducted in accordance with the marine code of conduct.'
We are the original multi-passenger boat company on the west coast of Wales. When you make the decision to join a boat which can carry more people at once you help to reduce the number of boats resulting in a less intrusive method of watching dolphins, cutting down on the associated traffic from dolphin watching boats.
During our trips you will learn about the lives of the bottlenose dolphins and why they choose to reside in Cardigan Bay and all the other marine wildlife which thrive within the Special Area of Conservation.
Dreamcatcher only carries twelve passengers so it is best to book in advance. She is a beautiful boat, built in 2018 specifically to offer all round viewing without a wheelhouse at the front or the back, so passengers can look over the side of the boat all around.
New Quay is situated at the heart of Cardigan Bay where hundreds of bottlenose dolphins are resident in the waters peaking between April and October but to a lesser degree all year round. Our dolphin spotting boat trips are the best way to optimise your chances of a close encounter with these wild dolphins, in their natural environment and our skippers respect the conservation code so your enjoyment won't be at the expense of the dolphins.
Your crew and skipper will guide you while you travel down the coast to passing seal haul-out areas, an auk colony, and sites of interest. The longer trips will travel further down the coast as far as the peninsular of Ynys Lochtyn, five miles along the coast, near to the village of Llangrannog. The tip of Lochtyn island is a natural feeding area for the dolphins and one of the best places to look when they are not spotted in and around New Quay bay, they are not always there but it is a stunning place to visit and the journey has amazing views.
We don't chase the dolphins, we let the dolphins approach us and very often they come unbelievably close to the boat even with their young which gives us an unforgettable experience. Their frequent socialising and feeding activities are visible above the water as bottlenose dolphins can breach over four meters into the air, creating spectacular displays. This is not always close to the boat and naturally we cannot promise dolphins on every trip but we do our best to ensure each trip is enjoyable and interesting.
We are associated with the SeaWatch Foundation and by paying for your seat you are making the trip possible for a volunteer researcher who can travel for free on board who will then have the opportunity to monitor the wildlife from the sea rather than from land. The Sea Watch Foundation monitor the bottlenose dolphins on behalf of the welsh government and rely solely on donations for their valuable scientific work. If you have the time, please visit the charity's website and learn more about what they do around the U.K. and the Cardigan Bay monitoring project: https://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk
During all our trips, the experienced skipper and crew will keep their eyes on the water but you are advised to do so too as there is also the possibility of spotting a much less obvious harbour porpoise. Keep your eyes on the skies throughout the trip, gannets, shearwaters, oystercatchers, cormorants & shags and depending on the time of year auks in their thousands will be seen as well as various gull species and even the rare chough if you are ‘eagle eyed’.
Sunfish are spotted every season but not as regularly of course as the numerous Atlantic grey seals which often pop up to see who is passing through their territory. Join us and enjoy an unrivalled experience from start to finish, hop on board for a day you won’t forget! Thank you for reading - see you on the water.