Whale & Dolphin Research Survey

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Duration : 7 or more days
Starting Price : 1050USD/Person

Tour Description

Ever thought about a wildlife holiday with a difference...why not join us aboard our research yacht Silurian for an unforgettable experience. Explore the wild, rugged landscape of the Hebrides (the islands found off the west coast of Scotland), encounter the very best of UK wildlife, all the while contributing to a valuable, well-established monitoring programme...the ultimate in eco-tourism!

To view a short film about life aboard, please click here.

The Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust conducts live-aboard expeditions throughout our field season (April - October) from our research yacht Silurian.  Every year we welcome aboard enthusiastic participants who are willing to contribute directly to our research work. Participantss will, in effect, become marine mammal scientists for the duration of the survey; living and working aboard Silurian, assisting with day-to-day running, as well as working together as a team to carry out visual and acoustic surveys.

"The team was very knowledgeable and committed to conservation in the Hebrides and left us with the conviction that the data that we gathered was contributing to establishing an important base-line picture.” Graham Dock

Participants will assist fully in the collection of data, with mega-fauna and sea bird identification training provided.  Acoustic and visual methods are combined to produce comprehensive data sets. During encounters photographs are taken of dorsal fins to try and identify the individual, gaining a better understanding of species movements and interactions with each other.  The data collected, and subsequent information produced is essential when monitoring the distribution, relative abundance and habitat preference of cetacean species in the Hebrides. Only with coherent data can effective conservation and management strategies be designed to enable long-term protection of the amazing species found in our waters.

"The week on Silurian in June was one of best trips I've done. Great communication beforehand, very friendly crew and fellow volunteers and some fantastic sightings. I hope to make this my annual treat." Tibor Beetles, 2015 Participant

On board Silurian, you will have the opportunity to see first hand the amazing variety of marine wildlife the UK has to offer including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sharks and seabirds. You will explore some of the remotest, wildest parts of the British Isles, anchoring each night in a different secluded bay off one of the many Hebridean islands, venturing ashore to explore.  The opportunity to gain sailing experience is also available, although no certificates are issued.

More information on specific surveys will be provided on request. There is a monetary value attached to participating, costs vary between £895 - £1,395 - this includes accommodation (aboard) and food throughout the duration.  The income generated allows HWDT to continue this well established research programme, you can be assured that without your contribution the research couldn't be undertaken.

2017 Survey Dates:   

  • 10th – 16th April: Tobermory rendezvous, £845 (Limited Availability)

  • 2nd – 8th May: Tobermory rendezvous, £895

  • 11th – 17th May: Tobermory rendezvous, £895

  • 5th – 13th June: Kyle of Lochalsh rendezvous, £1,175

  • 15th – 23rd June: Kyle of Lochalsh rendezvous, £1,185

  • 28th June – 9th July: Tobermory rendezvous, £1,395 (Limited Availability)

  • 12th – 20th July: Tobermory rendezvous, £1,195

  • 14th – 25th August: Tobermory rendezvous, £1,395

  • 31st – 8th September: Ullapool rendezvous, £1,185

  • 18th – 29th September: Ullapool rendezvous, £1,295

For more infomation, please contact Morven Russell on volunteercoordinator@hwdt.org or call +441688 302620.  Alternatively, please visit the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust website.

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