Experience the very best of West Cork’s marine wildlife with Colin Barnes, Ireland’s foremost whale watch skipper, aboard the purpose-built MV Holly Jo.
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 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 car parking space within easy walking distance of the pier, ensuring you start your whale watch trip fresh and “stress free”.

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