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“Bella Jane Boat Trips”

Bella Jane Boat Trips & AquaXplore
Ranked #2 of 7 things to do in Elgol
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Bella Jane Boat Trips and AquaXplore are 2 types of boat trip from Elgol on the Isle of Skye. The Bella Jane trips go to Loch Coruisk, the Seal colony and the Cuillin Mountains. AquaXplore offers exhilarating wildlife and sightseeing trips to the Small Isles of Canna, Rum, Eigg and Soay with regular sightings of marine wildlife such as Dolphins, Minke Whales, Basking Sharks, Puffins, Sea Eagles. All trips offer a unique "no hype" wildlife guarantee so you can be confident in what you are told about what you will see.
Portobello, null, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Bella Jane Boat Trips”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

Bella Jane Boat trips and AquaXplore are all part of the same business which operates from Elgol in Skye.
My wife and I were on a trip on the Bella Jane in late September. We both work in and around Scottish Tourism. I have worked in support of many Scottish tourism businesses to help them achieve their growth plans. We were on holiday on Skye and decided to go on a boat trip. The Bella Jane was superb in all areas. They did all the basic things right (which many do not). Directions were clear, everyone was immediately friendly and helpful on arrival and then the trip itself was first class. Jan on board was an absolute gem, so enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgeable. The skipper was great too and spotted porpoises for us to watch on route. We thought the trip there and back was just right in length and commentary and the hot drinks are a nice touch. We had thought we'd spend 3 hours ashore but it was clearly explained that we'd not get right round the Loch in that time. There was absolutely no problem changing to the standard trip although we felt a bit guilty because this meant that the boat was at full capacity. However, nothing was too much trouble for the staff. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and of course the area is majestic. We would love to have gone on the AquaXplore too but couldn't do everything and this was the last day of our holiday so the budget had already been exceeded. However, we fully plan to do this one day.

Visited September 2012
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2 Thank Mike T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Liverpool
Level Contributor
130 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Second time around”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Went out with this company a second time and the trip was even better. When you are staying in Skye (or Kyle area) they give you access to the many attractions of the small isles. They use a powerful RIB so most the small isles are within reach for a day or shorter trips. No-one can guarantee wildlife sightings but these trips give you an excellent chance of seeing sea and golden eagles. Dolphins, porpoises and minke whales may also be seen at certain times.
On this trip we went for a day in Rum, waliking and seeing the fascinating Kinloch castle (see separate review). The prices are quite high but worth it. I dont give many things five stars but this is one of them. PS go to the loo in Elgol before you get on!

Visited September 2012
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Thank r4m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
36 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“5* experience, if you're visiting Skye put this on your itinerary”
Reviewed August 7, 2012

I'd been eyeing out AquaXplore for some time prior to our trip up to Skye but did not want to jinx the weather by booking a trip! Luck was with us when we were there and we booked a trip with them for the middle of our stay.

We arrived in good time for the morning trip out to Canna...only to be find out that we had, in fact, been booked on the afternoon trip. This after getting up at the crack of dawn to drive from the northern part of Skye! Well, we settled down on the pier in the sunshine to watch the morning trip go out, not feeling particularly hard done by, when the manager came along and offered us a trip out to Loch Coruisk to pass the time. We jumped at the opportunity and spent a glorious hour exploring a very beautiful part of Skye before heading back to Elgol pier to suit up for our main trip.

I was a bit nervous about going out on a RIB, as I'm a complete landlubber who has never been out on the sea. However, being me, I chose to sit right at the front in the middle because if you're going to tackle something it should be done wholeheartedly (not to mention that the skipper said it was the driest part of the boat...). Well. I can honestly say that it's the most fun I have had in a very long time. The boat ride is exhilarating. The skipper is knowledgeable and has a great sense of humour. The stop on Canna is a lovely break in the journey and so lovely to walk around. And the wildlife!! My gosh! My husband and I went out hoping to see puffins and a sea eagle. We saw loads of puffins and a sea eagle but also birds such as black guillemots, guillemots, golden eagles, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes and shearwaters. We saw common and grey seals, and whilst passing Rhum we saw red deer. The best experience by far though, was the 15+ basking sharks that we spent time with - words cannot describe what a magical experience this was and I will always be grateful to our skipper for not rushing off back to Elgol. If you love wildlife, go on this trip. If you love being outdoors, go on this trip. Even if you're nervous about going out on the water, like I was, go on this trip. You won't regret it.

I also want to commend the AquaXplore and Bella Jane teams for their excellent customer service and friendliness. They treated us so well and yet without too much fuss so it felt completely natural. Absolutely superb experience in every way and I cannot wait to go back to Skye next spring/ early summer and go on another AquaXplore trip because I'm hooked! It may not be the cheapest outing on Skye but it is worth every penny.

Some practical tips:
- the loo at Elgol is at the top of a steep hill and not on-site...be aware of this and give yourselves enough time for a comfort break before suiting up for the trip. There is also a loo on Canna.
- Parking can be a bit tricky at the pier, so get there early if you can.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank flothree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
36 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“An outing with a difference”
Reviewed August 1, 2012 via mobile

My husband daughter (15) and I did the aquaexplore experience on Saturday 28th July ......-- they had to change the timings due to weather so we needed to be there earlier... A bit irritating when others didn't apparently get the MSG, so werent there in time to leave early! However it was a fab outing, with porpoises, basking sharks, seals, red derr,and sea /golden eagles!! The weather changed considerably on the return journey, so was much ,more wet than we elected ...but we loved the overall experience. Plus my daughter thought the. Young kipper was cute!

Helpful?
Thank ShoshoEdin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Lovely boat trips to Canna and Loch Coruisk.”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Spent the morning on a boat trip to Canna and Rhum. Plenty of wildlife, dolphins, porpoises and a glimpse of a Minke whale. Great view of the Cuillin mountains from the boat. Plenty of birds in and around Canna, including Sea Eagles and Puffins. The pilot on the boat was a mine of information. Spent an hour on Canna, beautiful island. Plenty seals on the rocks when leaving Canna. Got back to Elgol having thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Trip lasted about 3.5 hours. Took another trip to Loch Coruisk in the afternoon. Again plenty of seals near Loch Coruisk. Enjoyed the walk around the loch. Saw the Cuillin mountains from a different perspective. The cup of tea on the trip home was a lovely touch. Both trips enjoyable, would recommend to anyone. Boats were really up to the job.
On entering Elgol there is a sign stating, last chance to get tickets for boat trips. This is not Aquaxplore, it is a another company operating from the pier.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank ailsa1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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