Ireland’s greatest river opens out to the Atlantic Ocean at Carrigaholt on the Loop Head Peninsula, County Clare -
home to Europe’s largest group of bottlenose dolphins.
This Special Area of Conservation at the Mouth of the Shannon, is an important feeding ground for a wide range of wildlife, including the bottlenose dolphins, pelagic seabirds and grey seals. The coastal geology is fascinating, providing you with stunning backdrops. Every trip is different - given this dynamic environment and habitat.
With over 25 years of experience dolphin watching here at the Mouth of the Shannon, our encounter rate is one of the highest in the world and the best opportunity to see dolphins in Ireland.
Dolphinwatch offers one of the most exciting activities and wildlife attractions on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Celebrating 25+ years, this family business has a genuine and responsible approach to sharing this unique marine habitat:
Gold Certificate - Ecotourism Ireland
Gold Certificate - Irish Responsible Tourism Awards
Excellence Award - Trip Advisor
Named in the Top Ten Wildlife Attractions in Ireland - BBC
Ambassadors of the Wild Atlantic Way
Our passenger ship, Draíocht, which means Magic in the Irish language, departs from the Castle Pier in the charming village of Carrigaholt in Co. Clare on the Loop Head Peninsula, to bring you on an extraordinary adventure.
While on the trip you learn about the wildlife, the geology and the maritime history in this unique part of Ireland.
Dolphinwatch has been a committed partner in the research and protection of these wild dolphins since pioneering dolphin watching in Ireland in 1992, earning us the highest award from EcoTourism Ireland and the Irish Sustainable Tourism Awards.
Geoff Magee is your Skipper & Guide, giving you a fascinating live commentary during the trip. Geoff has over 35 years experience both dolphin watching and inshore fishing. He has learned the dolphin psyche over the years of studying their patterns of behaviour and has a keen interest in sea birds. He is well versed in the story behind the extraordinary geology of the Loop Head Peninsula.
This year we are delighted to welcome back Mary Kate to her third season crewing with us! Mary Kate has her masters degree from UCC in Zoology, having done her thesis on these Bottlenose Dolphins, she is a font of information! We have a new crew mate, Deborah, a sea bird specialist and Marine Zoologist who, like Mary Kate, is there to answer any questions you might have and look after your safety, comfort and enjoyment. Their enthusiasm for their job is infectious!
Geoff Magee is your Skipper & Guide, giving you a fascinating live commentary during the trip. Geoff has over 35 years experience both dolphin watching and inshore fishing.
Susanne is your crew in the off-season and in the office to get you booked, ticketed and on board with ease during the busy times. She has a lifetime of experience on the water and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge about the wildlife at the Mouth of the Shannon.
Minnie, the boat dog, is in charge of passenger entertainment and “Snack Patrol”, making sure everyone on board is enjoying their snacks and sharing…
Fennell's Bistro in Carrigaholt offers our passengers a 10% discount on day of sailing.
Ask the crew for your ticket back to avail of this tasty opportunity.