Boat Trips, Wildlife Tours, Self Drive Boats, Fishing, Glass Bottomed Boat, Sailing and Kayaking

What to expect and how to choose the trip for you

Gairloch Harbour is the base for several trip operators, and you will be spoiled for choice. When deciding, think about the trip you’d like, the time you have available, whether or not children are coming along and the weather.

There really is something for everyone.

For adventure, and the best chance of spotting whale, dolphin and eagle, we’d suggest either Hebridean Whale Cruises on their 600hp fast Rib, or the new Catamaran with Gairloch Marine Life Centre. Both will take you out into the Minch when conditions are right, and you have every chance of seeing that Minke whale, Common Dolphin, harbour porpoise and white tailed eagle.

We’d suggest shorter trips within the loch itself if there are young children on board. You can have an hour or so on Alice, the Glass Bottom Boat or self drive with Glendale Boat Hire. Glendale also operate short blasts around the bay on their ex-MOD Rib.

There are two fishing/angling charter boats operating from the harbour, and you can book a trip at the harbour hauling traditional creels. Note: This boat does not operate from the harbour, but is based in Badachro.

Hebridean Whale Cruises

Orca 1 is an 11mtr ‘Humber’ RHIB (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat) Extremely fast, with twin 300 hp engines, and she needs to be because she will take you far off into the Minch on the lookout for sea mammals. You will often go out to the Shiant Islands, where there is an incredible nesting ground for Guillemot, Puffin, Shag, Cormorant, Razorbill and occasionally White Tailed Eagle and Manx Shearwater.

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  • Fun, Fast Furious

  • Excellent chance of wildlife spots

  • Less suitable for infirm or very young

Alice the Glass Bottomed Boat

A genuine ‘Through the Looking Glass’ experience! Take a tour around the harbour’s edge and nearby islands and see what’s beneath the boat. An incredible look into the world of crabs, starfish, sea squirts and so much more.  Who knew there was so much happening below!

An ideal trip for young and old alike, Alice is extremely safe being a converted ships lifeboat and you are guaranteed to see something truly fascinating.

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  • Safe, steady and relaxed

  • Unique views!

  • Ideal for children

Gairloch Marine Life Centre & Cruises

Come and join us on our daily boat trips between March and October where we monitor and survey Hebridean wildlife including Harbour Porpoises, Whales, Grey and Common Seals and Dolphins, plus a huge variety of seabirds including White Tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, Black-Throated Divers, Great Northern Divers to name but a few.

We operate 2 boats, Seaquest and Starquest. Choose Starquest for shorter trips on the loch, and the fast Cat Seaquest for longer trips out into the Minch, passing Skye and within sight of Raasay, Rona, the Shiants, Harris and even Benbecula and Lewis on a clear day!

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  • Quick, Stable Catamaran

  • Excellent chance of wildlife spots

  • Marine Biologist crew with wildlife conservation affliations

Glendale Boat Hire

Self drive on Loch Gairloch! Glendale have three self drive boats for you to head off and explore the area. Nothing better on a nice day!

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  • Self drive – the only one in the Highlands

  • Easy to drive

  • Ideal for fishing – gear provided

Vision Fast Rib Rides

Also from the Glendale Office is Vision, the ex-MOD fast Rigid Inflatable Boat for a splash and dash around the loch

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  • Self drive – the only one in the Highlands

  • Easy to drive

  • Ideal for fishing – gear provided

Shellfish Safaris

Authentic fishing boat experience

Available all year round. As seen on David Attenborough,  BBC1 and recommended in the Observer. Voted one of the quirkiest tours in the UK by the Guardian.

See creels hauled from the deep. Everyone can lift a creel to see what comes from the deep. A crab, lobster, starfish….even some shellfish to take home. Ian McWhinney is the only locally born tour operator in the area. His family have fished from Dry Island for hundreds of year.

Trips are approx 90 minutes. Start at 10 am and every 2 hrs alter that. Maximum of 10 passengers per trip.

Adults £2, Under 16 £15

All trips leave from the historic Dry Island Pier, Badachro and must be pre-booked by phone or email.

  • Professional locally born guide

  • Safe, sheltered locations

  • Unique trip on the loch

  • Not suitable for the infirm

Ewe Canoe

Ewe Canoe offers exciting adventures in canoes, kayaks, sit on tops and kids kayaks. Explore sheltered sea lochs, wide sandy bays and idyllic lochs surrounded by mountains. Friendly, qualified and experienced, Conor ensures your adventure is fun, informative and memorable.

Everybody has different hopes and needs, so I never mix groups – when you book with Ewe Canoe it will be just your group out on the water. No experience needed, just a desire to explore the coastline and wildlife from a different angle.

Great for families, friends and couples, you’ll be sure to have a great time exploring at your own pace.

  • Professionally guided

  • Safe, sheltered locations

Gairloch Canoe and Kayak Centre

Cory Jones runs Gairloch Canoe and Kayak Centre and can take you sea kayaking from Gairloch harbour or from the Centre’s base at Shieldaig Lodge on the south side of Gairloch. Trip are designed to be relaxing and at a pace to suit you. A full set of safety equipment is carried by their guides and kayak and paddle hire is included in the cost of the experience. Enjoy paddling the scenic coastline and watching seals from your kayak.

Options on Gairloch are half day sea kayaking (evenings possible) or full day sea kayaking.

Cory also offers full day canoe experiences on the iconic Loch Maree with its richness of islands and wildlife. Step into the footsteps of Queen Victoria and the Druids by visiting Isle Maree.

For more information or to make a booking phone on 01445 741738 or email (

  • Professionally guided

  • Safe, sheltered locations