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Visit Cardigan Bay and see your dolphin


Cardigan Bay

Cardigan Bay

… 200 miles from London
… 150 miles from Manchester
… 100 miles from Cardiff

Cardigan Bay enjoys a rich marine environment, full of wildlife. Throughout the year you regularly find bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise, Atlantic grey seals and a variety of bird life. There are also regular visitors to the bay, which include sunfish, basking sharks and even the elusive leatherback turtle. In recognition of its importance, parts of the Bay have been selected as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) – a European designation that will help to ensure that the area and its wildlife are safeguarded for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

Where can bottlenose dolphins be found

Bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise, Atlantic grey seals and the area’s abundant bird life can all be seen close to the shore. There are peregrines and choughs along the cliffs, and breeding seabirds include kittiwake, razorbill, guillemot and puffin, as well as a large cormorant colony. Keep your eyes peeled to see what you can see!

Recommended boat operators in the Cardigan Bay area

Boat vouchers are available exclusively to adoptees!

Southern Cardigan Bay

Dolphin Spotting Boat Trips

Booking Office, Main Pier,
New Quay, Ceredigion
West Wales. SA45 9NW
Tel: 01545 560800 / 01545 560 375

DSBTrips have large, stable, purpose built passenger boats departing daily between (April and October) offering one and two hour trips, with all-weather canopies and seating designed to give the best view for all passengers. The two hour trip boat is fitted with w/c and cushioned seating and ventures five miles along the spectaclar coastline. Operating from New Quay for over 60 years our experience of providing safe, enjoyable and informative trips for all ages is unrivalled. Our qualified skippers and guides are professional and friendly and put your enjoyment and safety first, we will help you to identify and appreciate the varied wildlife along the coast in addition to some interesting  local history and geology of the area. All of which brings generations back to us year after year. During both our one and two hour trips the Bottlenose Dolphins are regularly spotted but remember they are wild and free here in Cardigan Bay. Dolphins socialise and hunt together and frequently approach the boat sometimes with with young claves and small groups. Less frequently but more spectaculary they can be spotted breaching about 5 meters into the air.  It’s estimated that between 200-300 bottlenose dolphins are semi-resident in Cardigan Bay between May & September. But to a lesser degree they can be seen from New Quay all year around.

Likely species to be seen:

’’Bottlenose dolphins are frequently spotted  but harbour porpoise less often being locally are much more reserved.  Atlantic grey seals are resident all year and can be seen bobbing in the water or  when hauled out of the water both when basking on sloping rock and on beaches with their pups from  Sept onwards. Depending on the duration of trip and season which you visit many birds can be spotted too including Guillemots and Razorbills (Auks), Cormorants,Shags, kittiwakes, Fulmars, Oystercatchers, Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Turns, Choughs,  many gulls but also birds of prey including Red Kites, Buzzards, Kestrals and Peregrine Falcon  much higher up on the headlands so bing binoculars for them.  N.B.The local Auk colony needs to be viewed before late July.


Boats in the harbour

Boats in the harbour

Northern Cardigan Bay/Caernarfon Bay

Shearwater Coastal Cruises

Crud yr Arwel,
LL53 7RS
Contact: Alan Gray
Tel: 01758 740899

Type of trip and vessel: Dolphin watching and wildlife trips on motor vessel taking up to 12 passengers (day trips)
Likely species to be seen: Mainly harbour porpoises and bottlenose dolphins, occasionally Risso’s dolphins. Grey seals can also be seen.


Places to stay to see Dolphins

Houses perched on coastline above

Houses perched on coastline above


Accommodation with dolphin sightings

Near beach accommodation

Accommodation supporting Sea Watch



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