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Cork Whale Watch, Union Hall

4.7
Must see · Dolphin / Whale Watching · Nature / Wildlife Tour
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Cork Whale Watch offers wonderful opportunities to observe whales and dolphins and a host of other marine wildlife in West Cork. These productive coastal waters provide critical feeding habitat for a diversity of species including cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), basking sharks, seals and sea birds, along with prolific fish life.

If you've seen film footage or natural history documentaries on whales from anywhere in Co. Cork or Waterford, the chances are it was filmed with Colin Barnes from the MV Holly Jo. Among these contributions are RTE's "Wild trials" series over several years since 2002, "Wild Journeys", "Living the Wildlife" and in recent years Colin has worked with both BBC Autumnwatch (2011) and Winterwatch (2012) and most recently BBC's "Great British Year" (2013) to film large whales along the Irish South coast.

As a former fisherman of 40 years experience observing whales in West Cork, Colin is Ireland's longest established and most experienced whale watch operator and has been enthralling whale watchers and wildlife enthusiasts in West Cork since 2001. Colin has contributed to and co-authored scientific publications on fin whale photo-identification and humpback whale distribution (2014) with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, and contributes to the All-Ireland Cetacean Sighting Scheme, by reporting sightings directly to IWDG. Colin is a rare breed of conservationist, who has evolved from the fishing industry, his passion and understanding of local marine ecosystems is second to none.

We operate out of Reen Pier, just 5 minutes outside of Union Hall. So, if you are staying in Skibereen, Leap, Rosscarbery, Clonakilty, Bandon, Kinsale or Cork City, then Cork Whale Watch are your nearest whale watch operator, offering plenty of free car parking space within easy walking distance of the pier, ensuring you start your whale watch trip fresh and "stress free".

Colin is available for longer filming and research charters during summer and winter.

Summer Timetable (Trips are a minimum 4 hour duration)

Our rates are as follows:

• Adults €50

• 3rd level students €40 (valid student card),

• Children (under 18 yrs): €40 (1st child), €30 (2nd and others)

Trip times: April - September (4-5 hours duration, subject to weather & demand)

10.30am to 2.30 pm

3.00pm to 7.00 pm

Winter Timetable October - March (Trips generally 4 hrs+ duration)

10.30am to 3.30 pm

How to get to Reen Pier?

Go into Union Hall and drive through the main street until you reach the church (St. Brigid's) on your left (heading away from village). Take left at the church, where Reen Pier is signed. Take 1st right after 200 mts (again signed for Reen Pier) and stay on this road, keeping the lake on your left, and you can't miss Reen Pier. It's a 5 minute drive from Union Hall to the car parking area. A local map showing Reen Pier is available on our website www.corkwhalewatch.com in the "Frequently Asked Questions" section. We have additional street signage from Leap and Union Hall.

You can book your place by:

1. Phone: +353 (0)86 3850568 or 353 (0) 86 3273226

2. email: info@corkwhalewatch.com

3. On Facebook
Plan your visit to Cork Whale Watch and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Union Hall trip itinerary planner.
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Cork Whale Watch reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
621 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Brilliant ! Lots and lots of dolphins, few humpbacks and minks. Good enthusiasm and great day out! ! 
    Brilliant ! Lots and lots of dolphins, few humpbacks and minks. Good enthusiasm and great day out! !  more »
  • We had an amazing morning. Saw 4 whales, dolphins and seals… captain was knowledgeable and boat trip was smooth. It was a perfect morning 
    We had an amazing morning. Saw 4 whales, dolphins and seals… captain was knowledgeable and boat trip was smooth. It was a perfect morning  more »
  • A magical experience with the much experienced and informative Colin Barnes on a morning trip out of Reen Pier. Dolphins were numerous and the icing on the cake was watching a Humpback whale... 
    A magical experience with the much experienced and informative Colin Barnes on a morning trip out of Reen Pier. Dolphins were numerous and the icing on the cake was watching a Humpback whale...  more »
Google
  • Highly highly recommend this experience! Colin and his partner have years of knowledge simply bursting from them both. They knew exactly where to bring us to get amazing interactions with dolphins, seal, whales and even a basking shark! Outstanding day. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
  • My fiancé and I had the pleasure of boarding the Holly Jo for Cork Whale Watch. We had an amazing time. We saw whales, dolphins, seals and even a basking shark! Colin was so welcoming and knowledgeable. His knowledge of sea life was unmatched. He made our experience so much more enjoyable. 10/10, I would recommend to all ages. A truly unique experience I’m looking forward to partaking in again.
  • We had a wonderful time aboard the Holly Jo, i thought my children would be bored after an hour or two but they thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted to go again the next day. The scenery is stunning and we can't wait to go again. Thanks Colin, Ines and Padraig :)
  • We knew this is pot luck as you never know what you will see. Colin had told us the humpback whales had moved on so next year I'll go in June as that is when they are around, but we got to see the dolphins, wonderful to see them there was hundreds of them but so fast..hard to get a photo. We see a whale shark breach twice in the distance and we seen minke whales several times. Its a long trip and hard on the leg's. On the way back we got close to the coast and spotted sone Atlantic seals. Well worth it.
  • Liam and his staff take great pride in their work. Liam is very professional in his work and I felt my dog was in good hands when I left her in for boarding with Liam. I would highly recommend San Martin kennels.

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