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whale watch locator    Whale watching 

Summer is whale-watching season around Orkney:

Visit Orkney during the summer months, from June through September and your chances of spotting a killer whale, minke whale or long-finned pilot whale in the waters around Scapa Flow are pretty good.

Any time of year, you can expect to see grey and common seals. They hang around coastal areas, keeping fat in Orkney's fish rich waters.

Whale watching for landlubbers:

If your sea legs aren't what they should be, you are in luck. This is one place that you can whale watch from land. Watch the western waters, off the cliffs and shores of Orkney's western islands and you've a good chance of spotting a whale or two. Locals recommend both Cantick Head and the Old Man of  Hoy, as good places from which to watch the waters for whales.  And so do the Seawatch Foundation for whom a link is given at the bottom of the page.

But there's more......

If you are lucky you might also spot Atlantic white-sided dophin, white-beaked dolphin, common dolphin, bottle-nosed dolphin, harbor porpoise and the whale-sized Risso's dolphin.  Or perhaps spotting a basking shark off the Old Man of Hoy would make your holiday even more memorable?

Eighteen different species of whales and cetaceans have been spotted:

Besides the killer whale, minke whale and long-finned pilot whale, Orkney whale watchers have seen:

Blue Whale

Beluga Whale

Sperm Whale

Sei Whale

Fin Whale

Northern Bottlenose Whale


Cuvier's Beaked Whale

Sowerby's Beaked Whale

Dolphins in Scotland

Chase the whales across open waters:

If you take the ferry across Pentland Firth, from Scrabster in Scotland to Stromness on Orkney's West Mainland, keep a sharp eye for whales. Or book a coastal wildlife tour. In previous years there have been whale watching tours in June, July and August. This summer such boat trips will be organised by Sea Orkney (http://www.seaorkney.co.uk/) . We would be happy to make enquiries on your behalf.

Some Cantick Head Sightings

Whale below CH

Sea Watch Foundation - for further information on Cetaceans, species ID
and recent sightings in British & Irish territorial waters.
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