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“Exciting, despite the weather” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hebridean Whale Cruises

Hebridean Whale Cruises
Pier Road, Gairloch IV21 2BQ, Scotland
01445 712458
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Ranked #6 of 15 Attractions in Gairloch
Type: Boat Tours, Adventure
Attraction details
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Exciting, despite the weather”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

We went out on the RIB - my first time - and it was such fun, I almost wouldn't have minded not seeing anything. We missed out on whales unfortunately - not through lack of trying - but we were treated to a pod of about 35 Common dolphins, which was just fantastic!

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“When is a booking not a booking?”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013 via mobile

We were planning a trip to the west coast and were really looking forward to this excursion and made a reservation two weeks prior. We arrived in gairloch the day before our planned trip and went down to the harbour to check out location etc and confirm the trip would go ahead. The skipper said it was unlikely as it was going to be a bit choppy and suggested the Friday would be better. We had planned to head to Skye on Friday , but as we really wanted to do the whale trip we extended our stay in gairloch and rescheduled our onward bookings to ensure we didn't miss out. We turned up at the harbour at 9.30am on the friday as requested, to be told sorry they were overbooked and we could not go. We were asked to come back for the 1.30 trip which we couldn't do as we were not prepared to rearrange our schedule again. Very disappointed with the couldn't care less attitude we received that morning. I don't doubt the trip would be excellent but the customer service side of this operation needs work. Why move our booking to the Friday if it was already full, and if not, why bump us if others booked after us. My impression was that the reservation system didn't really exist, it was a case of whoever turns up first gets on- we were there before 9.30, so it wasn't because we were late.

Visited June 2013
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woodpecked, Owner at Hebridean Whale Cruises, responded to this review, August 2, 2013
This review has been sucessfully resolved outside of tripadvisor! I'm just shocked and stunned that this review has not been removed by the reviewer!!!
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Kent
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“What an amazing experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

I first enquired by email about a trip & received a prompt reply. We provisionally booked a trip on Orka1 to the Shiant Islands on 7th May, had a phone message left on Monday the 6th to confirm that the trip would be going ahead. We arrived at 9.30 at the office as we had been instructed to do so, this gave everyone time to get kitted out before the boat left at 10.00am.

The skipper went through safety and the trip got underway just after 10.00am. Although we were not lucky enough to see any dolphins or whales on the trip it was an amazing experience to see so much birdlife in one place. The skipper was very knowledgeable and pointed out different birds
as they came into view. Had a fantastic time and would definitely recommend taking this trip if you get the chance, even if you only see the Puffins.

A big thank you to all at Hebridean Whale Cruises.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Brilliant Day Out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

What a fantastic trip out. (Weather helped a wee bit). Nick is such a knowledgeable skipper ensured that we missed little if anything on our trip. Safety as always was the first consideration but it really is exhilarating skimming over the waves in Orca 1. Absolutely tremendous and I would recommend to anyone who visits Gairloch and its surrounds to book a trip.

Have to the review by Chris_G268 is so WRONG! Looks like he did not listen to what he has been told and, knowing that his mobile signal was dodgy why oh why did he not use a public phone? Plenty of them available.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The boat left before we arrived”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

My girlfriend and I booked on Tuesday April 30th to go on a 4 hour whale watching trip two days later on Thursday 2nd May 2013. We were told to either turn up at 9.30am for the 10 o'clock departure or phone to confirm the trip was going ahead. As mobile phone signals are not so good round Gairloch we simply turned up, and were upset to be told the boat had left at 9am instead! The man at the office claimed that everyone had been told to phone the previous evening to confirm departure but we had definitely not been told this.

With hindsight I'm glad we missed the trip as I wouldn't trust someone to skipper a small boat in open seas who didn't show himself capable of giving his customers clear instructions.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
woodpecked, Owner at Hebridean Whale Cruises, responded to this review, May 6, 2013
Thank you for your comments.
There seems to be some confusion with the phone calls here? Which if it is our fault then we do appologise. Although Gairloch has good reception for Vodafone and O2, other networks will struggle, although every hotel, bar and quite a few street corners have public phones. As a standard we ask everyone to call the night before if it's a morning cruise or the morning before if it's an afternoon cruise because of the north west coasts unpredictable weather, we SOMETIMES have to try and arrange cruises around the weather as was in this case because heavy rain was forcasted later in the morning.
Shortly after you left the office in the morning in question the Skipper brought everyone back as he deemed it unsuitable weather to have passengers out in. We arranged for everyone to have a hot drink and appologised for the weather and their obvious disapointment on having their cruise cut short. So in hindsight, yes you were probably better to have not gone on that cruise.
What I find unexceptable about the events of that day is your personal attack on the most experienced charter skipper in Gairloch who for 18 years has safely and professionally taken tens of thousands of passengers out into the open water of the North Minch to view the whales and dolphins that a cruise in sheltered inshore waters rarely see! I cannot see how a possible mistake on his or your behalf on making a phone call can result in questioning his abilities as a professionally qualified and experienced mariner?
Even though he his obviously very upset at your unwarranted attack at his professional skills as you never actually boarded his vessel to see for yourself, he is still very happy to prove his worth to you and your wife whenever you are in Gairloch again.
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