Basking Shark Tours

The Basking Shark is the second biggest fish in the sea, second only to the Whale Shark and MUCH bigger than the more infamous Great White. These docile sharks feed on plankton in the upper levels of the sea and the rich waters around the Isle of Man provide the perfect feeding grounds. The Isle of Man is one off if not the primary spot for watching Basking Sharks in the world with large numbers of sharks congregating to feed during the summer months (from May to September). The west coast of the island in particular attracts many Basking Sharks and it’s not uncommon to be able to count 10 sharks and upwards at once. Whilst on a clear day these beautiful creatures can be seen from the shore (especially Peel breakwater and the footpaths between Peel and Port Erin) by far the best way of getting up close and personal with a Basking Shark is to take a Basking Shark tour.

Basking Shark Tours 1Several charter boats operate from the port of Peel and each skipper has significant experience in getting you close to these amazing sharks, some of which reach 36 feet in length. Because a Basker feeds right on the surface and has an inquisitive nature sharks will often approach right to the very side of a boat and even rub along side. Again it’s worth mentioning that these sharks pose absolutely no danger to man, they have no teeth so at worst would be able to give you a nasty suck! The Isle of Man has strict rules on how vessels can approach Basking sharks and your skipper will be trained to make sure that the sharks are not disturbed. It’s the sharks inquisitive nature that will bring them close to you ready for that perfect photograph!

The Isle of Mans reputation for Basking Shark watching is well deserved and a Basking Shark Tour should be seen as a “must do” for anybody with even the smallest interest in the natural world. As well as seeing Basking Sharks it’s also not that uncommon to find Dolphins and various Whale species (including Killer Whales) in the waters around the island.


  1. Any of the tour boats should be able to advise better on this but people do get in the water to dive with the Basking Sharks.

  2. My partner and I would have loved to take a trip around the Calf to look at the seals in the last weeks of July, but everything was deserted. This really is the land that time forgot

  3. As a local boat owner I can only speak from my own experience and I’d say you were lucky not to have somebody take you out with little chance of seeing anything + a good chance of being sick. The 2 weeks towards the end of July featured strong north west winds on the Island, a wind direction which always cuts up very rough around the west and south of the Isle of Man. This summer has been a particularly windy one and it’s a real shame that it’s meant more people haven’t got to enjoy the great coastline and wild life available.

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