Dolphin Survey Boat Trips

By booking your dolphin watching trip with Dolphin Survey Boat Trips you are supporting the research of the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre as each trip carries a volunteer researcher from CBMWC.

Join a  1, 2, 4 or 8 hour guided boat trip with New Quay’s experts. Enjoy the dolphins, porpoise, seals and birds that visit this beautiful part of the Welsh coastline.

Proceeds from ticket sales support this locally-based vessel business and CBMWC research projects.

Please note that sightings are not guaranteed as these are wild animals.

BBC Television presenter Mike Dilger joined one of Dolphin Survey Boat Trips 4 hour trips. Watch the video clip below and see the amazing encounters he had with some of the Cardigan Bay bottlenose dolphins.

 All day surveys

A fantastic opportunity to join experienced researchers from the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales’ Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) on an All Day (minimum 8 hour) marine megafauna survey in Cardigan Bay with Dolphin Survey Boat Trips (DSBT).

Throughout the survey researchers and volunteers from CBMWC will collect important information on marine species in Cardigan Bay and the surrounding waters.

This is a great opportunity to see some of Wales’ fantastic coastline as well as our wonderful marine and seabird life. By joining a survey trip you will be contributing to marine conservation in Cardigan Bay as well as having the unique opportunity to join our team of experts.

All day trips provide avid wildlife watchers with the opportunity to explore Cardigan Bay by boat and to see Cardigan Bay’s Big Three: bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises and Atlantic grey seals (seal pups during the pupping season September/October).

As well as the Cardigan Bay BIG 3 sightings in previous years have included, common dolphins, sunfish, numerous jellyfish species, possible Minke whale sightings and sightings of thresher sharks. For those keen twitchers there are many wonderful sightings of sea birds including gannets, Manx shearwaters, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, puffins (and pufflings), skuas, scoters, petrels and occasional views of other shearwater species, great views of nesting auk colonies, in particular on New Quay headland, a fantastic sight from April until end of June when the adults and their chicks head out to sea.

Survey trips are run by and conducted aboard Dolphin Survey Boat Trips’ motor vessels, Anna Lloyd or Sulaire.

Anna Lloyd is a state of the art bespoke catamaran built in 2014, famous for their increased stability and thus perfect for long days at sea. Anna Lloyd is fully licensed and MCA registered to carry 12 passengers and is equipped with all necessary safety equipment and a part-sheltered deck and toilet.

Sulaire is a single hull modern charter boat and has been used as a platform for dolphin research in Cardigan Bay since the 1990’s. Sulaire is fully licensed and MCA registered to carry 12 passengers and is equipped with all necessary safety equipment and a part-sheltered deck and toilet.

2017 dates:

Tuesday 4th April
Friday 14th April
Saturday 29th April

Monday 8th May
Thursday 18th May
Wednesday 31st May

Friday 9th June
Saturday 17th June

Monday 24th July
Saturday 29th July

Wednesday 2nd August
Saturday 12th August
Friday 18th August
Wednesday 23rd August
Thursday 31st August

Sunday 10th September
Thursday 21st September
Saturday 30th September

Monday 9th October
Friday 20th October

Please note in addition to scheduled dates, we may also run All Day surveys at short notice to take advantage of any ideal weather conditions. If you would like to be included on a mailing list to be notified of these short notice surveys then please contact CBMWC on

We also recommend that you keep an eye on our website, Facebook page and Twitter feeds for updates.

How to book

For more details and to book your place on one of these unique boat trips please call CBMWC on 01545 560032 between 10am and 4pm. The cost is £60 per person for the day, payable in advance when you reserve your place. Full refunds will be given if trips are cancelled by Dolphin Survey Boat Trips. Places must be booked and paid for in advance due to limited spaces. All trips will depart from New Quay harbour and will last approximately 8 hours, occasionally longer depending on survey route for the day.

These specialist trips run subject to the weather conditions forecast, a decision whether the trip will go ahead will be made as soon as possible but to avoid disappointment we try to make the decision as close to the departure date as possible (usually 20-48 hours before departure), although they are subject to last minute cancellation. We will always do our best to contact all passengers booked and therefore rely on passengers providing us with the appropriate contact details. We also ask that all passengers contact the CBMWC by telephone prior to travel to confirm the trip departure details and any for any additional information required. Please note mobile phone signal in this area is unreliable.

Please bring your own food (the skipper, researchers and volunteers particularly like biscuits and cake!), warm clothing, binoculars, sensible shoes and don’t forget your camera to capture those unforgettable moments!

Please remember that these are surveys for wild animals, sightings of particular species cannot be guaranteed and that you are joining a scientific survey. The boat used may be subject to change at short notice.