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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold AwardThe Telegraph Travel Awards Winner 2017

Whale-watching from Mull

Enjoy the delights of Mull and the thrill of a memorable whale watching experience.

*As featured in the Guardian Travel  from 13th June 2015*

“You never forget spotting your first whale!” Emma Cook – The Guardian

Spotting a whale in the wild is still one of the greatest thrills in nature.  On this popular three night short break, you will spend a full day whale watching from the Isle of Mull accompanied throughout by knowledgeable and enthusiastic marine biologists. They will help you spot minke whales, basking sharks, dolphins and porpoise as well as a diverse range of native seabirds.  You can even do your bit by helping out with data collection.  A simply unforgettable experience – and all easily accessible from the central belt of Scotland and therefore from any of the main airports or other travel routes.

As well as the full day’s whale watching, you’ll have the chance to explore the rest of the island, which boasts a highly diverse eco-system. If you have more time, then take a look at our Mull Wildlife Experience, a four night holiday including the whale-watching trip and a day’s land-based wildlife safari, or extend your stay for a complete Mull Week of Wildlife.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Apr - Sept

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Day One – Journey to the Isle of Mull

Your journey starts as you take a 45 minute ferry ride from Oban to Mull and make your way to your base for the next three nights.  We offer a choice of hotels both around half an hour’s drive from the ferry port.

Day Two – Whale-watching trip

Your whale -watching trip departs from Tobermory this morning. The trip lasts up to seven hours, visiting the whale and dolphin grounds. After a short introduction by the skipper, marine experts will be on-hand to guide you through the day and answer your questions. Hot and cold beverages are available on board, but you will need to bring any food required – as well as a camera of course!

Day Three – Free day to explore

Today you’ll be able to explore more of the island which is also a haven for bird watchers, and has several stunning sandy beaches including Calgary beach – one of the most famous in Scotland.  Perhaps take another ferry to the peaceful island of Iona, the birthplace of Scottish Christianity and the final resting place of the former Labour leader, John Smith.

Day Four – Return home

Today you will make your return journey home.

Hotel Option A – Dervaig

This cosy 17th century droving inn is ideally situated between Tobermory and Calgary in the pretty Victorian village of Dervaig.  Popular with the locals, who come from far and wide to soak up its convivial atmosphere, this is a place where visitors can enjoy traditional island hospitality, regular live music and wholesome highland fayre.  Hearty meals and lighter bar snacks both feature fresh seafood and the finest Mull beef and venison.  Accommodation (including family rooms) is quietly situated away from the hustle and bustle of the bar and residents can escape to a private lounge/TV room with glorious views over the village and glen.

Hotel option B – Tobermory

Small but perfectly formed, and resides amidst Tobermorys elegant conservation area. High above the harbour, you can escape the village bustle yet are still just a short walk from Main Street. Sweeping views across the bay can be enjoyed from large comfortable sofas in one of the two guest lounges. With just six small, but beautifully furnished, bedrooms two even have a four-poster bed the friendly owners aim to make your stay a rather luxurious home from home.

Public transport

This holiday is also perfectly feasible for those who prefer to travel by public transport. Oban can be reached by train from Glasgow and ferries are met by regular bus services to Tobermory, from where the whale-watching trip departs.

Note: if using public transport you will need to stay in Tobermory.

If you would like to explore more of the island, we would recommend having access to a car, and we can arrange car hire locally on request.


Map Mull Wildlife

This holiday is based on the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland. It is possible as a self-drive holiday, or you could opt for public transport.


Option A Dervaig – £365 per person for departures in April and £395 per person for May to September.
Option B Tobermory – £455 per person for departures in April and £485 per person for May to September.

Prices are based on two people sharing an ensuite room for three nights on a bed & breakfast basis. Price includes return ferry crossing for a car and two adult passengers, and a full day whale watch.

Single occupancy supplements are £120 staying in Dervaig and £230 if staying in Tobermory.

Note for families: We do not recommend this full day trip for children under the age of 12. A shorter more general marine wildlife-watching trip with four hours at sea – more suitable for children under 12 and for those who are hesitant about longer trips on boats – is also available for a reduction of £20 per adult. Children sharing a family room with two adults cost from £150 with this shorter trip.

Public transport

It is also perfectly feasible for those who prefer to travel by public transport. Oban can be reached by train from Glasgow and ferries connect to regular bus services to Tobermory, from where the whale-watching trip departs. If using public transport you will need to stay in Tobermory. Alternatively, if you would like to explore more of the island, we can also arrange a local hire car. Ask us for more details.

Note for wildlife trips:

We of course cannot guarantee that you will see any of the wildlife described – these are wild animals and as such cannot be called to order. No refund will be made if you are not lucky enough to see any of the animals described, despite the very best efforts of the guides.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday. Included will be some information on the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust to help you learn more about their work in conserving whales, dolphins and porpoises in Western Scotland, along with how you can help their efforts with their “Whale Track” app and by visiting their discovery centre.

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.

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Check availability for Whale-watching from Mull

This holiday can be arranged from late April until late September.

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