Wildlife Watching Boat Trips

Boat trips Living Sea Safari leaving North Landing, Flamborough © Kirsty Brown

Wildlife watching boat trips offer an unforgettable experience for all ages. Yorkshire has several different wildlife watching boat trips to choose from, and this guide will help decide which is the best for you!

Whitby Whale Watching (August - October)

What? These boat trips take you out looking for whales in the North Sea. Over the past few years the whale watching trips on board the Specksioneer, Esk Belle III and Kerrera have spotted minke, fin (the second largest mammal on the planet!), sei, northern and humpbacks as well as thousands of seals, dolphins and porpoises.

Where? Trips depart from the Brewery Steps, Whitby Harbour.

When? Trips run on selected dates between April and November (early and late season trips are advertised as 'Finding Fins'). Peak sightings are August - September. Trips last up to four hours.

Cost? Standard trips cost £40 per person. Prices may be subject to change - these prices are correct as of 2016.

More info? Web www.whitbywhalewatching.co.uk Phone 07941450381

Yorkshire Coast Nature Bird Watching and Cetacean Safaris (July - September)

What? These special full day trips have been designed to allow the flexibility to target the best stretch of coastline depending on where the seabird and/or cetacean action is prior to the tour. Up to 6 hours is spent at sea from Staithes. We use chum to attract the birds to the boat which makes a big difference, often allowing closer views and opportunities for photography! The land based part of the tour is spent sea watching from a nearby coastal watch point to familiarise the group with the seabirds and seawatching techniques.

Where? Trips depart from Staithes

When? Trips run on selected dates between July and September . Peak sightings are August - September. Trips last a full day, starting early in the morning, with a group size of up to 8 people. 

Cost? Standard trips cost £90 per person. Prices may be subject to change - these prices are correct as of 2016.

More info? Web www.yorkshirecoastnature.co.uk

Puffin & Gannet Cruises/Skua & Shearwater Cruises with the RSPB (May - October)

What? The RSPB East Yorkshire Local Group organises two and a half hour Puffin & Gannet cruises every summer aboard the Yorkshire Belle pleasure cruiser to see the seabirds on the cliffs of Flamborough and Bempton. Late summer three and a half hour Skua & Shearwater cruises are run to see skuas, shearwaters, migrant seabirds and cetaceans. All trips have full commentary from the RSPB group.

Where? All the cruises leave from Bridlington Harbour

When? The Puffin & Gannet cruises run on select dates from May - July, whilst Skua & Shearwater cruises run on select dates from September - October. Dates are published for the forthcoming season in March each year and can be seen on the Bempton event pages which can be viewed here

Cost? Adults £22, Children aged 16 and under £11, Children aged 2 and under sail free, Groups of 10 or more 11th (cheapest) ticket free. Prices correct as of 2016.

More info? Phone: 01262 422211 Email bempton.cruises@rspb.org.uk.

Living Seas Safaris with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (May - September)

What? These 45 minute boat trips are organised by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in partnership with local fishing family, the Emmersons. You will go out to sea on the traditional fishing coble, with full commentary from a member of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Living Seas Team.

Where? The trips run from North Landing, Flamborough. They run along Flamborough Cliffs, with great views of puffins, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes on the sea cliffs (between May and July) and a focus on the marine wildlife that lives under the waves and in the sea caves (between July and September).

When? Boat trips typically run at 1pm or 2pm on select Saturdays or Sundays between April and August, and must be booked in advance. Sailing dates are typically decided in March each year, and all are published on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust event pages which can be viewed here.

Cost? The cost is £8 per adult and £4 per child. Prices may be subject to change - these prices are correct as of 2016.

More info? Web: www.ywt.org.uk/living-seas-safaris Phone: 01262 422103 Email: living.seas@ywt.org.uk

Diving Gannet Photography Boat Trips with Yorkshire Coast Nature (May - August)

What? These photography workshops run by the award winning wildlife photographer Steve Race are designed to capture images of gannets as they gather in feeding frenzies. Chumming (throwing dead fish) encourages the gannets close to the boat. The workshop will be tailored towards photographers who are keen to learn about and practice some of the essential skills of wildlife photography, especially capturing birds in flight and action photography. We will be looking at how to capture that perfect image and covering technique, autofocus, shutter speeds, exposure and basic camera settings.

Where? The boat trip sails around Bempton  and Flamborough Cliffs. Details of meeting point etc on booking.

When? Trips run May - August each year. Dates are decided for the forthcoming season typically in March each year, and can be viewed here.

Cost? £70 per adult. These trips are extremely popular and do book up quickly. Prices may be subject to change - these prices are correct as of 2016.

More info? Web www.yorkshirecoastnature.co.uk Call 01723 865498

Summer pleasure cruises and bird watching trips - Yorkshire Belle

What? The Yorkshire Belle Pleasure Cruiser runs daily trips throughout the summer. A selection of cruises are available - a one hour trip that goes to the tip of the headland and the Flamborough Lighthouse, a half hour trip that goes around Bridlington Bay, and longer one and a half and two hour cruises that goes along the north side of the Headland and past the seabird colonies. 

Where? The Yorkshire Belle departs from Bridlington Harbour

When? Daily one hour cruises run from April to October (note that these do not go past the seabird colony); longer trips which take in the seabird colonies run during the week. All trips are weather dependent and sailing is subject to weather conditions. 

Cost? Prices vary, from £5 for a one hour cruise to £10 for a two hour cruise for an adult. See all prices here. Prices may be subject to change - these prices are correct as of 2016.

More info? Web www.yorkshire-belle.co.uk Phone 07774 193404/07950 648838

North Landing summer pleasure trips

What? Local fishermen the Emmersons run a 30 minute birdwatching and pleasure trip aboard their traditional fishing cobbles. These boat trips differ to the Living Seas Safari in that there is a reduced commentary whilst on board, and they do not last as long.

Where? The trips run from North Landing, Flamborough and go along Flamborough Cliffs.

When? Trips run at1pm every day during the summer (June - August) providing weather conditions allow - so please ring first. The boat has a limited capacity but a second sailing will go ahead providing that there is interest.

Cost? The cost is £5 for adults and £2.50 kids. Prices may be subject to change - these prices are correct as of 2016.

More info? Phone: 01262 850575