The focus of this fabulous expedition wildlife cruise is to find as many cetacean species as we can.  The main destination is the best area of the west coast of Scotland, at the best time of year for spotting these rare animals. From Oban, we cruise the Sound of Mull, the Small Isles and the Isle of Skye to reach the Northern Minch, between the Outer Hebrides and the far northwest of mainland Scotland. Off the coast of Lewis and around the Shiant Islands we will be on the lookout for large baleen whales, namely humpback whales, fin whales and sei whales. In the far reaches of the Northern Minch, nearer the Scottish mainland, we will be looking for orca and pilot whales. The deeper waters of the Northern Minch is where we hope to see Risso’s dolphins and white-beaked dolphins. Minke whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and porpoises can show up at any point of the cruise itinerary. Meanwhile there is also a great opportunity to spot many rare seabird species including Manx, sooty and great shearwaters; storm and Leaches petrel and great, arctic, pomarine and long-tailed skuas. On top of all of that, there are beautiful remote stopovers on offer, with options for exploring onshore, such as the Summer Isles, Handa Island & Sea Stack, Loch Laxford, Loch Nedd, Kylesku, Badcall Islands and Stornoway.

Cruise Map

Cruise Dates 2024

DateNightsSpacesPrice p/p VesselBook Online
15 August 2024100---Elizabeth-GFully Booked
24 August 2024100---Emma JaneFully Booked

Master cabin available (Emma Jane & Lucy Mary Only).

Cruise Dates 2025

DateNightsSpacesPrice p/p VesselBook Online
16 August 2025100---Emma JaneFully Booked

Master cabin available (Emma Jane & Lucy Mary Only).


28 August 2023

We set off from Oban in the Elizabeth G under the expert skippering (is that a word ?) of Alistair, Bosun Craig was ever attentive providing drinks and excellenttable service, Zoe our guide pointing out various wildlife species and Charle our Chef providing delicious meals and snacks all throughout the cruise. I would nominate Charlie for Master Chef. Alistair plotted our course northwards, we saw Dolphins on our first day, poor Zoe couldn't get me to say pods, "herds of them" was my cry, it was amazing that these highly intelligent creatures would actively go out of their way to interact with us, it happened every day and our faces ached with the smiles these fantastic animals generated. We saw Minke whales almost every day as well The Elizabth G may be 60 years old but she is in excellent condition, strong, reliable, steady in a strong wind and swell because of her stabilisers, she has character and a beauty all of her own. She is big enough to give you confidence that she can tackle what mother nature throws at her but small enough to anchor in some truly amazing places. Every day you go ashore and explore another new location. (Weather permitting) Every member of the crew is dedicated to making sure you get the most out of your cruise, excellent food, excellent care, super knowledge of the flora and fauna. You go to bed every evening with your knowledge expanded, your spirits lifted. If you want to see Dolphins, Whales, Harbour Porpoises, Eagles, Shags, Gannets, Manx Shearwater, Gulls of every type, the list of encounters is limited only by the time/length of your cruise, sign up for a cruise as soon as you can. Alistair, the skipper has the utmost respect for the wildlife you encounter, every encounter is on the animals terms, their safety takes priority, he lets the wildlife come to the boat rather than pursuing it. His storytelling is wonderful, every evening he and Zoe join you and he shows you where you have been, where you are going and what weather to expect, there is even a knowledge test at the end of the cruise. Zoe goes through every wildlife encounter, she shares her knowledge enthusiastically. We have seen so much that has enthralled is we have walked in beautiful locations, we have been cared for by the crew, we have had a brilliant holiday. Thanks to Emma and everyone at Hebrides Cruises. David and Tracy

David and Tracy Woods-Thomas

29 August 2022

Hi Emma - It was lovely meeting you both at the start of our cruise, thank you again for all your assistance throughout, all your crew, Angus, Craig, Will and Charlie are all superb ambassadors for your company.  Superb scenery will never forget, anchorages all very protected from elements.  The crew were always there to be of assistance and very knowledgeable.  Food excellent and dietary care taken for Claire.

Chris Head

20 August 2022

My long-anticipated cruise on the Emma Jane exceeded all expectations! The weather was superb with glassy seas much of the time. James and Lynsey were amazing at spotting wildlife and getting the ship close-enough for the most incredible viewing of two humpback whales and up to four simply enormous fin whales off the east coast of Lewis. We saw literally hundreds of common dolphin (many deliberately joining us for a spot of free bow-riding), a pod of Risso's dolphins (with tiny calves), nearly a dozen different white-tailed eagles, three otters, and hundreds of assorted seabirds. Chef Jordan produced five-star meals every single day and Bosun Ashley made sure the ship was sparklingly clean all of the time. We almost ran out of prosecco wine, which was produced whenever we had some special sighting to celebrate; in other words, practically every day! Thank you to all four wonderful staff for creating lifelong memories of what even James & Lynsey admitted was one of the best cruises they'd ever experienced.

Adrian Ellison

20 August 2022

It did what is said on the tin! An amazing experience with multiple sightings of fin whales (the second largest whale on the planet), humpbacks, minke whales, porpoises, many dolphins converging on the Emma Jane to ride our bow-wave, with white-tailed sea eagles, otters and deer to complete our adventure. The crew was unfailingly helpful while being very efficient and as enthusiastic as their passengers. Super food, spotlessly clean accommodation and like-minded fellow travellers. Fantastic!

Mike and Joan Williams

30 August 2021

Dear Emma - We just want to say a heart-felt ‘Thank You’ for such a wonderful experience!
From the friendliness and confidence of the crew (a special thanks to Craig for putting me straight on the number of nights!!!) to the stunning spectacle of dozens of leaping dolphins and the knowledge of the ‘frequent flyers’ who obviously love travelling with you - truly unforgettable!  
Chris’s experience inspires confidence and his easy (to our eyes!) practicality and knowledge of the area are awesome. Alexa is a font of knowledge and we wouldn’t have seen half the things we did without her pointing them out to us. Especially the difference between the different cetaceans! Tracking two male Orca added a thrill too! Sian’s cooking should also get a mention - it’s amazing how she served up so many great dishes in such a small space. All we have to worry about now is how to shrink waistlines…I’m running out of superlatives so again many thanks for the experience - I think it’s fair to say that Whale Watching in the Northern Minch is a roaring success!  Hope to see you again in the future!

Euan & Mo Peters

30 August 2021

We had a fantastic trip, with great sightings of various wildlife. Minke whales, common and Risso’s dolphin and porpoise were seen throughout the trip. Eagles, skuas, divers and shearwaters were also seen. The enthusiasm and knowledge of Lynsey regarding all wildlife, was admirable and extremely helpful to us as wildlife lovers.The food throughout the trip was consistently good and very plentiful. The service provided by Cat was brilliant, she was so attentive from morning till night, a true credit to the company. Our accommodation in the master suite was clean and comfortable. Overall, a special trip with every possibility of a further booking.

Mark Jacques

30 August 2021

Excellent holiday with plenty of wildlife opportunities. Incredible numbers of dolphins and harbour porpoises seen throughout the cruise. Numbers of Minke whales good plus a juvenile basking shark. Well organised, good fun and we learnt a lot. Thanks to Alexa for her superb wildlife knowledge, Sian for the wonderful food, Craig for his attentiveness and help, and Chris the skipper who picked all the right places for sightings and overnight moorings.

Colin & Carol Wilkie

30 August 2021

What a great trip! Visited so many islands, with walks ashore on many. Plenty of wildlife seen - whales, dolphins, porpoise, basking sharks, seals, many birds including some rare ones. Crew well organised and hospitality excellent. We were very well looked after by Skipper James, Bosun Cat, wonderful meals from Sarah and well guided and informed by Lynsey! The ship was very comfortable. This is a great way to see parts of Scotland that you would otherwise never visit.

David Seaton

30 August 2021

This was my second cruise with Hebrides Cruises, and it won't be my last! We saw Common and Risso's dolphins as well as Minke whales, and were able to observe some fantastic behaviour while watching them. We also saw White Tailed and Golden eagles, as well as many different sea birds. Added to this was spectacular scenery as well as interesting trips ashore, where we could go for guided walks or head off alone if that was preferred. The knowledge and enthusiasm of our guide Linsey, and skipper James was also much appreciated. Finally, we were very well taken care of by our bosun Cat, and Sarah provided us with plenty of excellent food. All in all it was a fantastic trip, thank you.

Kathy Balmanno

Need extra info?

If you have any enquiries about our cruises or would like an informal chat about your plans, please email using our Contact Us page. If you prefer phone Emma any-time on +44 (0) 75851 51611 or +44 (0)1631 711 986