Cardigan Bay Dolphins

Join us on a boat trip to see Cardigan Bay dolphins.

Cardigan Bay Dolphins
Cardigan Bay Dolphins
AMAZING encounter on one of our four hour trips. Dolphins (a group of males with a female and calf pairing) in a highly charged social interaction. Great viewing for the lucky passengers who were on board!

Cardigan Bay is famous for its bottlenose dolphins. There are about 250 bottlenose dolphins in the area.

New Quay is one of the UK’s best locations for observing them. Being at sea will allow you the closest encounter with these fascinating creatures.

Largely because of these dolphins, parts of Cardigan Bay have been selected as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). This is a European designation that will help to ensure that the area and its wildlife are safeguarded for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations

Cardigan Bay has plenty of food for the dolphins; their habitat hasn’t been destroyed by industrial development or big towns; the water is clean and they are largely left alone.

Bottlenose dolphins are intelligent and extremely sociable, often performing ‘tricks’,such as leaps and they like to ride the bow wave of the boat – all of which makes them great fun to observe at close quarters. Dolphins have been known to help each other when they are injured. They also hunt in teams.

Dolphins are mammals like us. They breathe through lungs unlike fish who breathe through gills. Although dolphins can swim to depths of over 250m, they are generally shallow divers and stay underwater for only a few minutes at a time, before returning to the surface to breathe.

Cardigan Bay dolphins
Bottlenose dolphins escorting Anna Lloyd on an 8 hour trip.

Working with the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, we have been surveying Cardigan Bay dolphins since 1996.

We’ve gathered data on the Cardigan Bay dolphins and other marine mammals that are regularly spotted, such as harbour porpoise and Atlantic grey seals and more unusual species such as basking sharks and sunfish.

It is theorised that the bottlenose dolphins and the harbour porpoise compete for food.

There are other types of marine mammal that call Cardigan Bay their home. Sightings of harbour porpoise and Atlantic grey seals are also common.

There is also lots of other marine life just off the New Quay coast, which can usually be seen from one of our boat trips.