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“Friday the 13th & Who needs Dolphins?” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cork Sea Safari

Cork Sea Safari
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We offer fun and informative Sea Safari tours of Cork harbour and its many attractions, combined with the unique opportunity to experience high adventure and pure exhilaration.
Carrickfergus, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Friday the 13th & Who needs Dolphins?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2012

The words you don't want to hear when you've booked a tour “Sorry we are going to have to cancel" spoken by Jason the guide on the day we booked out tour.....Friday the 13th! He spent 45 minutes valiantly trying to fix an engine problem. From his arrival at the dock 15 minutes before the tour was due to depart he explained the problem, and that if we could bear with him he would do his best to fix it. It wasn't to be, but through the entire process he kept us fully informed and when the time had finally come to break the news that he didn’t want to waste any more time he was fully apologetic and looked genuinely distraught at disappointing us. As we really didn’t want to leave Cork without taking this tour we asked that if the problem could be fixed would we be able to join the tour tomorrow. He asked us to call him, and he would let us know. True to his word later that day when we called, he said the problem had been resolved and joining the tour the next morning would be no problem. The reason I wanted to document this sorry tale is to give you an example of the safety, attention to detail and customer care that Cork Sea Safari Offer. Safety needs to be your priority on a trip like this and it was definitely the case here.
So fast forward 24 hours and we were back on the dock. Once again Jason arrived well in advance of the tours scheduled departure. Straight away he welcomed us and thanked us for coming back. Then we went down to the boat with the other groups of travellers going out with us for a quick safety demonstration, how to put on life jackets and the provision of high quality sailing jackets. Then we climbed aboard and off we went. Jason explained that you had to move slowly towards the mouth of the harbour due to speed limit on the water to protect rowers, this gives you plenty of time to check out the surroundings and places like Black Rock Observatory that you pass en route, but once you get past the point where the limit ends, let me tell you the boat really opens up.
Jason had explained that chances of seeing Dolphins on the trip were 50/50. It’s a big sea, and he can only know where they have been, not where they are. Over the next 3 hours we travelled 63 miles of some of the most beautiful coast line I have ever seen trying to track them down. On this occasion it wasn't to be. Please don't let this put you off. The Tour is more than worth it even if Dolphins had never been mentioned. Jason is really knowledgeable about the local area, and was more than happy to point out highlights, explain the history and even take you up close for more photo opportunities of local spots like Roaches Point Lighthouse. Perfect weather conditions and amazing visibility still can't show you Dolphins if they aren't there. Eventually after exhausting every possibility we headed back. When safely on dry land, Jason couldn’t have been more apologetic that we didn’t get to see Dolphins and even went so far as to offer us 50 percent discount if we want to take the trip again in the future. Do not hesitate to book with this fantastic, safety conscious organisation. 2 tips - park at the nearby city hall multi story, reasonable pricing and a 2 minute walk to the dock. Also have a coffee in the nearby Cafe Gusto right beside the dock, amazing coffee and the use of the bathroom, as there isn’t one on board. You'll see why when you see the boat :)

Visited July 2012
6 Thank Stevie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent trip. Definitely worth going.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2012 via mobile

We took the dolphin tour on the bank holiday weekend Sunday. Weather was fine, not too much sun, not very windy and luckily not raining.

At the beginning, Jason explained the chances of seeing dolphins are 50 50. The same information is available on the website before booking, so we understood the risk. Jason also offered to give us a chance to welcome a massive cruiser ship getting into Bobh harbour from the sea. It was beyond the three hours' tour and Jason offered it for free.

Everything needed to know was explained along the way to the entrance of the harbour, where the dolphins are supposed to be seen. It feels like very cold when the boat was traveling at some speed, but coats, hats and gloves were provided, so it wasn't too bad.

As soon as we arrived at the entrance of the harbour, we spotted some dolphins. We then spent one hour + going around / after them. It was hard to capture those beautiful creatures on camera, especially when the boat was moving, but it's the experience lasts longer, rather than photos. Jason also drove the boat very fast at some stage to create a wave for the dolphins to follow, which worked out very well.

We were then taken to Cobh harbour. The view there was absolutely amazing and you got to view it from the sea.

I chose not to stay in Cobh for the cruiser arrival and went back to Cork instead.

The trip was definitely beyond my expectation and I would undoubtedly recommend this to anyone who visits Cork.

4 Thank Lai W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
42 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Incredible, a must for anybody not just visitors to cork”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2011

Took the trip to kinsale from Lapps quay.
Firstly it was a fabulous day, sun shining calm seas and it coincided with cruise liner leaving cobh.
Skipper made the day, not once did we feel he was rushing to get us to kinsale, we followed the cruise liner for a while then out to roches point to see dolphins, then probably best thing I have ever seen, the dolphins escorted cruise liner past the lighthouse at roches point by leaping from water just in front of it. After a while we moved on to kinsale by following the coastline, stopping in various points where skipper explained locations. It was a fantastic day very exciting when we hit some rough patches

6 Thank Ray F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“worth the trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2011

It takes about 40 minutes to get out of Cork harbour to the place where dolphins are sighted (near Roche's point). Then the tour stays out there for about an hour looking at (or for) dolphins. The trip was almost cancelled due to bad weather and I was afraid that we wouldn't see any dolphins at all. Luckily as soon as we got there somebody spotted a fin sticking out of the water and we brought the boat over. There are about 7 in the pod and they were jumping a lot so we got a great view of them. Then we did some circles in the boat and the dolphins followed us and played and surfed in the wake. The worst part is the rain on your face because the boat is very exposed and it can be a bit uncomfortable at high speed. Next time I will wear sunglasses and a warm hat.

Visited August 2011
5 Thank Girliboi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Just fantastic fun - well done Cork Sea Safari”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2010

My husband, two sons and I booked for the Dolphin tour on the last Sunday in August. We arrived in plenty of time only to realise they booked us for the wrong Sunday! Well we nearly cried, BUT ALAS DONT DESPAIRE AS Sean our skipper who could see the obvious distress on our faces soon came to the rescue and offered us an alternative that turned out to be JUST FANTASTIC & the highlight of our visit to Cork. Sean pickup us up at approx 3.30pm (on his return from the dolphin tour) where we had the boat to ourselves for the journey to Cobh. There we picked up some passengers off the Independence of the Sea, second largest cruise ship in the world. It was really amazing being in a RIB underneath the great bow of the ship and you get a sense of the fastness of its hull, pure cool I have to say. We picked up six passengers who hailed from the UK and like ourselves were out for a bit of fun. We headed out Cork Harbour and before long spotted a family of dolphins, Sean manoeuvred the RIB so we could get maximum exposure and with wonderful weather conditions we took millions of pics. We headed a little further west along the coast and spotted some grey seals finally ending up in Kinsale Harbour drinking the most wonderful pints of Murphy’s in the Pullman bar. Great stuff entirely! A few scoops later we headed back down (steep ladder) into the RIB, my husband dropped my sunglasses into the water and I thought they were lost and gone forever. NOT so again our super skipper downed his diving goggles and rescued them from the water. We headed back along the cost, Sean providing us with a few little heart skipping, water drenching moments until we were back beneath the breathtaking “Independence” once again. Cobh should have been our port of departure, however due to the mix up earlier with our booking Sean happily took us back up the River Lee so that we would be on time for our dinner reservation. Thanks you Sean, it was a bit of a rush but we made it in the door with 5 minutes to spare. We got a discount due to our earlier disappointment however in hindsight the 4 hour trip is the best value for money and I would go again. Well done to Cork Sea Safari we had a blast. www.safari.ie

9 Thank gericoolGalway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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