Staffa Trips
About
Iolaire sails twice daily from Iona at 9.45am or 1.45pm OR from Fionnphort at 10am or 2pm. The trip lasts just over 3 hours and you can get on or off at Fionnphort or Iona. The Iolaire is a brown wooden boat and returns to Fionnphort first at 1.15pm or 5.15pm and then to Iona 10 minutes later. The sea journey takes 45 minutes and en route a wide variety of sea life may be observed. Once at Staffa a commentary is given and Fingal's Cave can be seen from the Iolaire. Passengers are landed weather permitted and given at lease one hour ashore which allows time to walk into Fingal's Cave or up the ladders to see the puffins when they are in season. There is always something exciting to see and the crew will be happy to welcome you on board the Iolaire.
Isle of Iona, Scotland
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travellers' Choice
2024

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Travellers talk about
(84 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles827 reviews
Excellent
795
Very good
29
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
2

Alan F
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
We booked at short notice as the weather had been very wet earlier in the week. The website was easy to use and I thought the trip reasonablely priced at £30 .
On the day the weather was beautifully sunny with a little breeze. The staff could not have been more helpful and the commentary pitched at just the right level. We were warned about the swell going to Staffa and even offered our money back if people wanted to pull out - no one did. Souwesters were provided but there was inside cover. Souwesters were needed as there was indeed some soaking going on but it ll added to the experience.

We landed safely and given an hour which was ample time to go to the cave and climb the steps and walk on top of the island.

We were a week or two too early for the puffins but the experience was fantastic. We were dropped of at Iona where we go had a nice lunch and visited the abbey which was ok but a little underwhelming if not for the history.

Highly recommended.
Written 10 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amanda C
Worcester, UK38 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
We booked a trip to Staffa as I desperately wanted to see Puffins. This trip was excellent and I would recommend it to anyone. There was a mix of children and adults on board. It was a wet day and we were all provided with waterproof coats on the boat and able to keep them on while on the island (this was a really nice touch). On the journey to Staff the skipper and he crew member interacted with us all, told us some history and points to note too. We were lucky to spot a Whale on our trip and time was given to sporting these, and seals. We were given a good hour on the island which allowed enough time to see Puffins and visit Fingals cave if you wanted to. You should note that the island is very open to the elements and you have a steep climb to get to see Puffins and a narrow shore line and rocky path to the cave. So if you have any mobility issues with this type of terrain then I would not recommend the trip) But the climb was worth it. On the way back we were dropped off on Iona rather than back at Fionnphort which was a nice touch.
I would highly recommend Staffa Trips
Written 5 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kirstindia
Scotland, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Cannot praise these guys enough. What an utterly amazing trip! Was just after lockdown so only 8 of us on board. The captain went out of his way to speak to each one of us to make sure we got the most out of the trip ( with masks of course). Extra hand sanitised required before embarking each time and lots of room to socially distance on board.
We had the trip of a lifetime. Even advised us of when we got to Staffa, how to get the best out of our hour and half on land.
The cave is a geologist dream, but there was so much more.
We saw everything, including puffins, seals and bottle nose dolphins. Then we chose to get off at iona for a wonder, before getting the ferry back to Mull later.
Bit choppy on the way back, but we were all well looked after. My partner and I thought it added to the adventure... and I deserved the soaking I got for being too close to the edge.
Would very much recommend!!
Written 23 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pat on the back
Redditch, UK4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Friends
We took a small boat to Staffa where, depending on weather conditions, you can get off to walk to Fingals Cave. There is a handrail along the side of the walkway and the surface has been painted with a nonslip paint. There are steps close to the slipway where you can get to the pathway across to see the puffins in the opposite direction. Some of these steps are very steep and narrow only allowing single file and one way traffic. A consideration if you have a dog to negotiate these. After an hour our boat then took us to Iona. If you get off to explore, the ferry across to Fionnphort only cost £1.85 to cross the small expanse of water.
Written 20 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scotsgirl8
Airdrie, UK19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
An excellent visit to Staffa on board the Iolaire. The two man crew are very professional and extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The day we visited was extremely wet but the provision of the yellow oilskin jackets by the crew ensured that we had a wonderful and mostly dry crossing to the island. Using these jacket while we walked to Fingal's Cave and on the island, also greatly helped us enjoy the wonderful experience on an extremely wet and windy day. I would recommend Staffa Trips to anyone who is planning a trip to Staffa. Thank you again guys.
Written 10 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LincsHappytraveller
Saxilby, UK101 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
We had am amazing day out with Staffa Trips. They pointed out the seals on the way to Staffa then slowed down so we could watch the bottle nose dolphins. The crew gave us lots of information and advice about what to do on Staffa and gave us plenty of time to visit Fingal's Cave and the puffins. Tip - wear good footwear. We were extremely luck with good weather but if the rocks round to the cave are wet it could be quite slippy. The rock formations are uneven but there is a cable to hold on to - and it certainly is worth it. The walk to the puffins means a climb of around 30 steep steps but the nest area is marked so you know where to go. The trip back to Iona was magical with another display from the dolphins but this time they decided to leap out of the water. Again the Staffa Trips crew gave us time to watch the 'show'. A fabulous day out and we would highly recommend Staffa Trips.
Written 19 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie U
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Family
Easy to book online no need to print tickets or have a phone signal to board. Friendly and helpful staff on the boat. Steep steps to get on Island and a thin path along the cliff to fingals cave - not for the faint hearted. We took trip early in April so only a handful of puffins, none could be seen from top of island but boat took us round island to where they had been seen - saw some on wing. Fingals cave is spectacular and well worth braving the cliff path (the first part is the thinest and there is a secure hand rail).
Boat trip out there was excellent and calm, good views journey back was rough and quite unpleasant. Waterproofs were provided but do dress for anything regardless of weather when you set out and get a seat under cover if it is rough if you can.
I would recommend the trip on a nice day, if you had a trip out like our trip back it would have been hard not to be cold and miserable.
Written 13 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LizB
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
Fantastic experience with Staffa Trips from start to finish. Booking online was easy - it was so good to be able to see how many spaces were left and hold on to book the day before for when the weather would hopefully be the best. We were so lucky with blue skies, sparkling seas and a brilliant “escort” on the way out of dolphins and a couple of minke whales. The team really looked after us and when the first sighting happened they slowed down, stopped for a while and turned the boat round so we could all get pictures.
On Staffa itself, we had just over an hour on shore, which was plenty of time to walk along the handrailed edge to the awesome Fingals Cave and back to the steps up to the top of Staffa. We were really grateful for the expert safety advice given before we landed and also the likelihood of seeing puffins. Sadly we were too late in the season for this, but it was great to know that this was probably going to be the case.
We were really glad we’d worn walking boots - some people were in sandals, and although there’s a special non-slip surface painted on the route to Fingals Cave, it is best to wear sturdy footwear. It’s also very steep up the steps to the top so best to take it steady….and leave enough time to come down slowly before the boat heads back!
On our way back we were given the choice of getting off at Ffionphort or staying on to Iona, which saved time and meant we only had to get a single fare back to Mull later on. Thanks for a fabulous experience Staffa Trips, it was worth every penny.
Written 2 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Monica N
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
This is the second time I’ve taken a journey with Staffa Trips from Fionphort. Both have been excellent. The crew is engaging, the boat full of character. Lots of local knowledge and incidental stories. Staffa stunning. They even managed to deliver beautiful sailing weather and pods of dancing, diving dolphins.
Written 7 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HanoiHannahLondon
London29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
Visited Staffa on a blustery September afternoon with choppy seas. Although the drop-off and pick-up was quite hairy, we were able to safely land on Staffa as the Atlantic swell wasn't too bad, and it was a great experience. The tour guide/boat captain were really pleasant and humorous, and it was interesting listening to them talk about their lives on Iona. They really knew their stuff about Staffa too, and made sure we approached Fingal's Cave at the right dramatic angle. Loved sitting up on the raised stern of the boat and really appreciated the oilskins - felt very snug inside them, despite the wind, rain and waves!
Written 29 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 793

STAFFA TRIPS (Isle of Iona) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

All things to do in Isle of IonaTours & Activities in Isle of Iona
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire