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“another great cruise on Gairloch”

Gairloch Marine Life Centre & Cruises
Beetham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“another great cruise on Gairloch”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

once again we had a great trip out with Ian on MV Starquest. Had some great views of a plethora of seabirds, with two ticks to boot for me - White-Tailed Eagle over Longa Island and Great Northern Diver. Also spotted a number of seals around the loch. It's great to go on this trip because Ian knows his stuff and where to look for the wildlife, plus a bit of local history thrown in. This is the second time we have been on a cruise with these guys and our daughter, aged 5, absolutely gives it the thumbs up. She has been asking regularly since our last visit to go on Starquest again. If that's not a good recommendation, I don't know what is. If you are in the vicinity of Gairloch, or looking for a good day out, give it a go. Thanks guys.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank NickKirkham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Brilliant nature-watch cruise at Easter”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Our trip aboard 'Seaquest' for the 2 hour wildlife and cetacean watching cruise was great today as we had a sunny, sparkling (but somewhat chilly) day here at Gairloch. Sea state during around cruise around the island of Longa and return via Badachro was calm and we had good sightings of Cormorant, Shag, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Great Black-backed Gull, Heron, Great Skua (bonxie), Oystercatcher, Common seal and Grey Seal to name just a few. We didn't see any whales or dolphins but we'll catch them next time - maybe ?
Commentary by our skipper "Ian" was interesting and informing and there was ample printed and photo information on board for our younger wildlife watchers.

This was our third trip out on 'Seaquest' and if you get the weather and calm sea, I cannot see a better way to spend a couple of hours watching wildlife and admiring the splendour of the landscape featuring the snow-capped Torridon hills, Skye and the outlying Western Isles (70 miles distant).

Visited March 2013
Thank ArcticExplorer51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“poor trip in”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Spent 60pounds. On this trip,only to see ,3. Seals & 5 species of birds
this did not reflect what they advertised on the information board.
Would advise not to go on this boat
Three oldies'

Visited June 2012
3 Thank ivan m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lifesabeachthenudive, Owner at Gairloch Marine Life Centre & Cruises, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for your recent review. We are always happy to receive feedback about our trips enabling us to address areas where we might make improvements.

On this occasion we do remember your visit, back in June 2012, and indeed your return to the visitor centre two days after your trip to raise concerns about the lack of wildlife seen during the two-hour wildlife cruise. We believed that we had addressed all of the points you had raised face-to-face, however as your comments reflect that you may not have been happy with our response we will address them again….

We operate wildlife cruises, this encompasses all wildlife seen around the shores of Gairloch and by your own admission you did see wildlife during your trip which included seals and birds.
A board outside the building records sightings on a daily basis and more detailed sightings data, held since 1989, can be viewed inside the visitor centre, this offers visitors a monthly breakdown of cetacean activity showing increase and decline of each species over the past 24 years.

Every cruise is different even for the skipper and marine biologist guide. The time of year you decide to visit, the sea state, wind speed and direction and tides all play a part in what may or may not be seen during your two hour visit. Wildlife can be unpredictable and certainly does not appear on demand. However the advantage we do have is the huge diversity of wildlife including many sea and shore birds, otters, atlantic grey and common seals, basking sharks and many species of cetaceans including harbour porpoise, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, minke whales to name but a few. Of course we do not record all of these on every cruise after all these are wild animals and as such have no set agenda. This is often what makes our trips so exciting the anticipation, never knowing what you may encounter.

When you returned to the visitor centre two days after your trip you also commented on how knowledgeable your guide was and that you were Impressed with his commentary throughout the trip, it’s a pity you failed to mention this in your review.

Finally our two-hour cruises are £20 per adult, which we feel is great value for money. It is not our policy to offer a refund should we not encounter wildlife, however if we did you would not have received a refund as by your own addmission we did encounter wildlife during your trip.

We hope this clarifies all the points raised and should you return to Gairloch in the future we would be delighted to take you out again.

Ian & Sam French
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“skipper knows his stuff”
Reviewed March 11, 2013

We didn't see any mega fauna but the skipper is a marine biologist and really knows his stuff, found out the difference between a cormorant and a shag, spotted loads of different seabirds and found out about them all a really worth while trip, would definitely go with them again.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Crispin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matlock, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic Boat Trip”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

I have been out with Gairloch Marine Wildlife Centre & Cruises severl times and have had a fantastic trip each time. Skipper Ian is very knowledgeable and informative and he and takes time to speak to each of the passengers and answer questions. We spotted seals, porpoise, dolphins, skuas, herons, puffins, gannets and many more, and the highlight of one of our trips was having Minke Whales swimming around the boat.
The wildlife centre is also worth viewing, with interesting information, and a selection of books and gifts for sale.
I will definately be going out on this trip again and would reccommend anyone visiting the area to do so too.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank lolz0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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