St Ives Boats
St Ives Boats
4.5
Boat ToursFishing Charters & ToursSightseeing ToursDolphin & Whale WatchingNature & Wildlife Tours
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
About
We offer daily boat trips leaving from St Ives harbour, when seal watching along the coast at Seal Island or across the bay at the famous Godrevy lighthouse we explore one of the UK’s most stunning areas. We are licensed by the MCA to carry 12 passengers up to 60 miles. Our most popular Trip is the one hour trip to Seal Island, which we run hourly (weather permitting) on a daily basis. Seal Island is home to a colony of Grey Atlantic Seals and is 3 miles west of St Ives. The boat, Dolly P, clings to the coastline before reaching Seal Island where we observe the seals and have the opportunity to chat about aspects of life in the ocean. The other boat trips we offer are trips to Godrevy Lighthouse, trips to Hell's Mouth and Private Charters, including Ashes Scattering Services. Bookings can be made online at stivesboats.co.uk
St Ives, Cornwall, England
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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Travelers talk about
(171 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
471 reviews
Excellent
396
Very good
46
Average
13
Poor
4
Terrible
12

Philip M
2 contributions
Jul 2022
The guys who took us out couldn't have been nicer and they were extremely knowledgeable.

Everyone on the boat had a great time and we saw several seals during the trip.

If you're travelling to St Ives I'd definitely recommend booking the Dolly P.
Written July 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jules
Slough, UK39 contributions
Sep 2020 • Couples
Absolutely a must.

Parked at the leisure centre car park and there is a bus to take you to town - worth the £1 remember your mask but otherwise bit of a walk.

Met by Danni who gave a good welcome and confirmed directions to meet the boat.

At the lighthouse excitedly waited for our boat. Boarded and greeted by Mike and Mike. The captain definitely can steer the boat and Mike was authoritative in instructions and although we were not provided life jackets I felt very safe, they are not necessary (of course available on board).

We speed through the waves bouncing along on a beautiful sunny day - if sea sick perhaps give it a miss but it is so much fun.

Arrived at the seal island and able to get quite close to see these wonderful animals. Mike was very knowledgable and provided extremely interesting facts. We spent considerable time looking at the animals before our return journey. Again bumpy and a little wet but left the boat with beaming smiles.

We had exceeded the expectations and thoroughly enjoyed this trip!
Written September 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AshDoubleA
Birmingham, UK78 contributions
Jul 2020 • Couples
A great visit to St Ives, I booked online at stivesboats.co.uk and the process was very easy and simple. Paid in advance and the instructions were very clear.

Booking online avoided the need to carry cash and decide amongst the boat trip sellers near the sea front.

Very nice boat, spacious and enough room for everyone to sit down, move around and take lots of photos. Mike and mike were brilliant hosts. Very knowledgeable and happy to answer questions.

Seal island is great, lots of wildlife and you get very close to the seals. Won’t be disappointed.

Dog friendly too! The Jack Russell loved the boat ride and the attention from the crew!

Hands down the best boat trip in St Ives.
Written July 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

D F
1 contribution
Jun 2021 • Family
We were booked to take a trip out as a family, however due to weather conditions the trip was cancelled. Quite understably, the weather was warm and sunny but the waters did seem choppy and other boats were not leaving the harbour either. We knew this when we booked the trip.
However arriving for our trip - 30 mins before expecting to depart - waiting along the pier as per the email the night before requested, there was no one to be seen. Waiting for 15 mins on the pier right next to the Dolly P stand and walking to the end of the pier noticing the boat sitting out in the harbour it became obvious we were not getting far.
I made a call to the office number shown on my email and spoke to a helpful woman who informed me the trip had been cancelled and that we had been sent an email the night before. This wasn't the case, only the email informing us to be there 30 mins before. Although the woman was quite determined that we had been sent an email and checking through my spam/junk this was still not the case.
I asked if we would receive an refund, the woman said yes you should get this in the next couple of hours.
After waiting two days, still no refund.
A call was made again to see chase the refund and a woman informed us this would be going through now.
I shall await this.

If only Dolly P could have placed a sign up to say the trip had been cancelled along the pier where the company board is this would of helped.
Being told I had been sent an email when I clearly hadn't, along with chasing our refund just felt like poor organisation.

I hope Dolly P can avoid this happening to anyone else in the future.
Written June 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

debbiet
Cheshire, UK311 contributions
Jun 2022
This trip was a mixed bag. Positive points first. The guide on the boat was an expert working in marine life rescue for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue. He was really excellent when it came to educating the group on seals, sharks, whales etc and how tough they can be to rescue. Brilliant to listen to him and ask questions. I could listen to him all day. We saw loads of seals, gannets and other wildlife and a few of them were very curious and came close to the boat. Beautiful remote location we travelled to. Fascinating.

There were a few things that badly let the trip down. We were asked to wait on a sloping concrete walkway at 1 pm (on the beach) for the boat to arrive, which, at that time of the day, gets quickly submerged in sea water because the tide moves in. By the time the boat turned up (it was late), we were soaked [my trainers took 24 hours to dry out]. We also had to walk into the sea to get on the boat and one guy had to carry his tiny daughter over. Lack of transparency here I think because these companies know when the tide is coming in and they must surely know that trips can sometimes run slightly late. If they would have been up front, I would have had no problem at all. Its the lack of transparency that annoyed the hell out of me. I've been on boats trips before where you have to walk into the sea waist deep to climb a ladder onto the boat, but they always warn you beforehand so that you are prepared to get wet and have your shoes tucked into a bag. The sea did get slightly choppy, but it is the Atlantic so I expected it (some people might not have). Personally, I would not bring a small child or elderly relative either. if you're unsteady on your feet or have mobility issues, I would not risk it.

Thanks to the marine rescue guy, the trip was ultimately enjoyable.
Written June 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Family of three
London11 contributions
Jul 2021
We booked 5 weeks in advance knowing that it would be busy. Two days before the tour they “noticed” we were on their booking system and the boat wasn’t running. We were then booked onto another, different, tour. It wasn’t ideal, but it was fine.

We arrived at the new tour date and time to find we had not been booked on the tour! The petulant teenager who was checking people in was incredibly defensive and tried to shift the blame to us, saying that they have 8 (yes, 8!) people all managing bookings at the same time, moving things about so it wasn’t her fault. She made no effort to apologise or to rectify the problem. I was appalled by her attitude.

The neighbouring business Bluefin heard this problem and quickly and professionally created a solution. My advice, go with Bluefin and give this shambles of a company a wide berth.
Written July 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jessica L
89 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
We booked the Dolly P seal boat trip online ahead of our trip, the email said to meet at the lifeboat station half an hour before. Once we arrived, we were instantly told to walk all the way to the other side of the harbour and told quite flippantly that our feet might get wet. Once we arrived to our next check point, to get into the tender boat which would take us to the main boat we literally had to wade up to our knees. We were wearing jeans so got completely soaked. I do feel like this should have been mentioned in the email so that we could have been prepared as we were then wet for the rest of the day. This being said, we enjoyed the boat trip and thought Mike was great.
Written October 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pathfinder594930
1 contribution
May 2022 • Family
Before we booked to go to seal island, we asked if we could take our pram. They said this was absolutely fine providing we could could collapse it easily in the event of the becoming beached. So with the go ahead, We paid up. Then they changed their mind and I had to leave my £1000 pram on the pier. I felt I had no choice in the end as we had paid £50. Maybe I shoudnt have left it bare in mind my pram is worth a hell of a lot more! It was imperative that we arrived with a pram as we had a hell of a lot of hills to climb up and over to get there, and being pregnant myself, couldn’t carry my child all that way. Hence why I asked the question first and kept in mind that it may be a no answer. But they said yes. It was only after we had paid out a substantial amount their mind was changed.
Once we boarded the boat, we were informed that we wouldn’t be going to seal island atall as it was “ too choppy”, so we’d be going to godrevy island instead. This was very unfair considering the trip was less than an hour.
I have done the trip to seal island 4 times prior to this occasion today, and today was actually the best of the weather!
The skipper had his back to us the entire time and wasnt informative at all. In previous years they’ve actually stopped the boat and been very informative and pointing out different things and facts about the seals. Everybody got up when we arrived at godrevvy as a young man said it was okay to do so, but then suddenly the boat shot off with no warning back to St Ives and people became very unsteady trying to sit down as we weren’t informed the boat was taking off again. This was my first time taking my 18 month old daughter on a boat and thought it would be an annual thing for her as a child as it was for me, but sadly we will be giving this a miss in future years.
Written May 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi there, I'm not sure who you booked a trip with and what boat you went on but it wasn't us. Our Boat is Dolly P and we haven't been to Godrevy Island. Our boat has two crew who take pride in always taking about the wildlife and enjoy educating people. We would be grateful if you would remove this review as they can be very damaging and it wasn't us you took your trip with.
Written May 20, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Leanne L
16 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
We recently booked to scatter our mums ashes with the Dolly P crew. Despite less than favourable weather conditions the team went above and beyond to ensure our events could happen. The trip was perfect and the service excellent thanks so much
Written August 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen T
2 contributions
Jun 2023 • Friends
The boat trip it's self was amazing and well worth the money spent. We are on holiday so the fact the trip is dog friendly so our little pup could come as well was a added bonus as we want him to enjoy his little hol also. We originally booked for 3pm which initially was told was fine so we paid over the phone and then received a message to ask if we could come an hour earlier. As we had already paid £125.00 we felt obliged to take the earlier time slot even though it would have been a rush to get their due to other activities already booked in the morning which was discuss prior with the lady taking the booking. We did find the change very frustrating at the time. However once their we found the staff very friendly and helpful especially occomdating my elderly grandmother who is in a wheelchair to get in and out of the boat.
Overall we would be happy to go again and was deffently money worth spent.
Written June 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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St Ives Boats - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)