I was lucky enough to have a trip on Dolphin Spirit in May, courtesy of Visit Inverness Loch Ness. I drove 20 mins to Inverness, along to the Inverness Marina and boarded the boat for a trip around the Moray Firth.
The Dolphin Spirit Wildlife Cruise is family friendly, wheelchair accessible and dog friendly too. There is a specialist guide giving full commentary and the guide we had was extremely knowledgeable about the area, the dolphins, and their habits. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any dolphins nor seals, but it was lovely to see Inverness and surrounding area from the water. It felt strange going under the Kessock Bridge, instead of over it! And the views across to the Affric Mountains were amazing.
Dolphin Spirit is a “Motor Passenger Ferry”, which means she is specifically designed to carry people in comfort. This is also important from a conservation point of view. It means that there is the minimum possible disruption for the dolphins: there’s only one hull in the water, with only one set of propellers. The engines were selected for their low emissions and are connected to a specially configured low vibration drive train.
I spent most of my 1.5 hour trip up on deck! But there is a spacious cabin down below, fully carpeted, upholstered seats and very warm.
Although I didn’t go on it, there is also Dolphin Mischief – a 9 metre Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB). She goes further, faster and offers a lot of excitement in each 2 hour sailing. The beauty of Dolphin Mischief is that she can take dolphin spotters beyond the confines of the Inner Moray Firth, right up into the narrows between the Chanonry Point lighthouse and Fort George and out into the waters off Ardersier. These are some of the best spots to view the dolphins!
Dolphin Spirit costs £18.50 per adult passenger; children aged 4-14 is £12, or buy a family ticket for £55.