One day Whale Watching course on and around Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim

About this event

As part of Biodiversity Week, the IWDG is hosting a series of guided land-based whale watches around the Irish coast on Saturday 21st May, and one of the sites we’ve chosen is Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim.

Given the logistics of getting out to Rathlin, this was too good an opportunity not to explore its offshore waters. So working with our friends at Kintra Tours and Rathlin Ferry, we’ve put together a one day Whale Watching package comprising both a 2 hr guided whale watch from Rathlin’s West Lighthouse and a 4 hr whale watch trip exploring the island’s offshore waters searching for whales and dolphins.

This event will be led by IWDG Sightings Officer, Pádraig Whooley and is aimed at anyone with a keen interest in wildlife or the enthusiast who’d like to learn more about cetaceans in Irish waters, whale watching field skills and how to become more involved in the reporting schemes Given the walking distances on Rathlin and the offshore nature of the boat trip, this event may not be suitable for children under 16 years, or people with mobility issues, or indeed anyone who has concerns about sea sickness; but rest assured we will only proceed with the boat trip if the weather outlook for the day is favourable.

The itinerary

• Meet at Ballycastle pier for @ 07: 45am for 08:00am Express ferry to Rathlin

• Bus to West Light for guided 2 hr land-based whale watch.

• Return on foot to harbour for light lunch around 13:30 (bring your own!)

• Whale Watch trip around Rathlin (14:30-18:30)…weather permitting!

• Returning to Ballycastle

• Debrief & End 18: 45

Cost (please note you will be charged by Eventbrite in euro)

€77 or approximately £65 Stg. per person

€65 or approximately £55 Stg. for 2nd & 3rd level Students


This package includes the following:

• Express ferry to Rathlin (one way)

• Island taxi to the West light (one way)

• Guided 2 hr land based whale watch (AM)

• Guided 4 hr Whale watch boat trip (PM) retuning to Ballycastle

• Resources on day

What you should bring

• Dress for field conditions with comfortable walking shoes/boots

• Rain gear recommended and warm sweater… it can get cool offshore even in May!

• Optics (Binoculars and/or wildlife spotting scope)

• Camera (fully charged with plenty of space on memory card)

• Suggest you pack a light lunch with flask. Ginger snaps, fruit and water for the boat!

• Other: Stugeron or other travel tablets if prone to sea sickness, sun hat and sun block

Early bookings on Eventbrite recommended, as this event should be over subscribed. In the event of our having to cancel due to poor weather, a full refund will be provided.

Enquiries to email, phone 353 86 3850568.