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“Well executed but nothing to see”
Review of EcoVentures

Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Cromarty
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Boat trips from the beautiful village of Cromarty. Wildlife regularly encountered includes; the resident colony of Bottlenose Dolphins, Seals, Seabirds and the occasional Minke Whale. Daily sailings from Easter through until October weather permitting. Booking highly recommended.
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Well executed but nothing to see”
Reviewed September 6, 2013

A well run business. The RIB boat was fun and I enjoyed being out at sea however we saw no wildlife other than a token bird or two. This is how it goes, as obviously wildlife are wild and can't appear on demand. Bit gutted though :-(. Head towards the Dolphin watching point at Chanonry point for free views of dolphins.

Visited September 2013
Thank LondonLassy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“the best day of our holidays --as voted by the kids!!”
Reviewed August 31, 2013

We have just returned from a weeks holiday staying on the' Black isle' every day held something really special for us, 2 families with 2 twelve year old kids We booked in advance --thanks trip advisor for warning me to do this and had the most amazing 2 hours on the RIB or semi rigid boat that Sarah the captain skillfully piloted through the Moray and Cromarty Firth, We were lucky --remember these are wild dolphins and don't appear to order but almost as soon as we reached the mouth of the Moray Firth there they were approx 20 dolphins Adults, adolescents and really young calves --only 3 weeks old, As a seasoned whale watcher I was very impressed the way that Sarah just idled the engine letting the boat drift slowly allowing the dolphins to approach us if they wished and were not pestered or followed as they were feeding they came really quite close up to the boat about 3-4 meters at the closest and we were fascinated watching them eventually they drifted off out to sea and we went to look at the cliffs seeing lots of sea birds and 2 buzzards on the cliff face this is a fab trip, very safe but exciting and as I said was the highlight of a fantastic week Thanks Sarah very professional and entertaining worth every penny of the money the trip cost

Visited August 2013
1 Thank alynCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartlepool, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A great experience”
Reviewed August 21, 2013

First up we took this trip to see the dolphins in the Cromarty/Moray Firth but we didnt see any, but then again they are wild animals!!!!! Apart from that Sarah took us on the water after first giving us a rundown of what to expect in the boat and views we would see and giving us waterproofs and life jackets. The boat was very stable and Sarah took us to local points of interest like the oil rig, seal colony and birds trying to spot the dolphins, she was very knowledgeable about the area and was disappointed not to have spotted any dolphins for us, She gave us a good ride in the boat and we would definitely recommend Sarah and EcoVentures.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank 365Stephen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A real white knuckle ride!”
Reviewed August 20, 2013

A great experience! Once in a lifetime.. We went with our 2 kids (9 and 5years) both enjoyed it. But I clung onto the 5 year old as I felt he was too light and may fly off the boat. It was quite bumpy!

Did not see dolphins but we will try again!

Good for teenagers as a special treat. The boat goes right up to the cliffs of the Moray Firth and out into the North sea (not too far though as the dolphins are seen in the Firth).

Worth going to Channory point lighthouse as well for shore based dolphin watching, but it does get windy...

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Fauzia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hastings, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Total waste of money”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We paid £25 a head for a boat trip advertised as "wildlife watching". We were shown a bouy marking a wreck, part of an old oil rig and a nice view of Cromarty (no wildlife involved). We were shown a small colony of shags and cormorants (yay! wildlife!). Apart from that, the only living thing anybody on our boat saw in 2 hours was one seal that popped its head out of the water for about three seconds. When I pointed out to the management that this was not what she had been paid to deliver, she was apparently unable to understand what the problem was. Instead of offering a refund, she behaved as if she had been insulted, and tried to argue with me in an attempt to get me to change my opinion and declare that I'd had a great time and that there was no problem. This boat trip was a complete waste of money, and of a day of our holiday. Rubbish.

Visited August 2013
4 Thank Ge0ff23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoVentures, Owner at EcoVentures, responded to this review, December 16, 2014
Firstly, we were sorry to read this review. The last thing we want is for anyone to leave feeling that they have had an unhappy experience out on the water with us. We are a small, friendly company who work very hard to engage with all of the passengers who visit us throughout the season. This is borne out by the large number of repeat customers that we see returning year after year. There is however a limit to what we can do.

We do of course understand people’s disappointment when we are not able to find dolphins, particularly when sightings have been good on previous trips as was the case on the day you joined us. Sea conditions and visibility were also good and we were able to cover all of the usual spots where dolphin encounters are likely. As sometimes happens, they were just not in the area during those 2 hours. We would love to share with everyone who joins us for a trip the special privilege that is watching wild dolphins, but we can’t and nor would we ever make any claim to be able to do so. All of the wildlife we encounter is truly wild and as such we do not ever guarantee sightings. This is made very clear on our website, it is explained at the time of booking and reinforced once again during the pre trip introduction/ safety brief. To accept those terms, and to make a booking on that basis but then demand your money back when nothing is sighted we feel is somewhat unfair. Particularly as your travelling companion confirmed for your benefit that she had indeed been told that sightings could not be guaranteed at the time of making the booking.

The trip we run also takes in a little of the history, an explanation of the modern industries and economy of the area, a ship wreck site, war fortifications and the bird colony. We mention all of these things in passing whilst we cover key areas favoured by the dolphins. We are a locally owned and operated company and we find most people are interested to learn a bit more about the area they are visiting as described by the people who live and work there. If we were to motor around for 2 hours, pointing out nothing, we feel many people would quite rightly feel short changed. As any keen birdwatcher will know, August is not the best time to visit the bird colonies, particularly if you are interested in seabirds and again this is clearly stated on our website.

We are not sure quite what you expected to have been ‘delivered’ but as skipper on the day my response was merely to point out to you that wild animals do not appear on demand and that we had made every possible effort, as we do on every trip, to try and find dolphins for you, to interpret your surroundings and to make your trip enjoyable. We also offered to show you some additional shore based watching sites nearby which, with a little patience, may also have offered some rewarding sightings.

Sadly it seems that we live in a in a world where the true meaning of ‘wild’ is in danger of being lost. This is not a manufactured experience and we are completely open and honest about that. It is a true ‘Wildlife Watching’ adventure and anyone undertaking it has to accept the uncertainties and occasional disappointments that go with that. It is what makes every trip different and the encounters that we do have so special.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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