Marine Discovery Penzance

Join us aboard sailing catamaran Shearwater II on a voyage in search of the wildlife of Mount’s Bay. In the company of our experienced crew, immerse your senses in the ocean environment for an unforgettable ocean adventure.

Marine Discovery have been running award winning wildlife watching sailing trips from Penzance Harbour since 2005, making them the longest continually operating sea life watching company in Cornwall. A wildlife watching trip under sail aboard catamaran Shearwater II offers you an unrivalled experience: built by record breaking French yachtsman Francis Joyon, she has a fine sailing pedigree. Sailing is a peaceful, environmentally friendly way of exploring the ocean world, with no noisy diesel engines to disturb the sea life. The netting between the two hulls means you can “fly” over the water and sometimes even get a bird’s eye view of the dolphins as they swim with you. Or if you are feeling a bit more sedate, there is comfortable seating for all at the stern of the vessel.

The waters around west Cornwall are home to some remarkable marine wildlife – their position at a crossroads of different seas and currents means that it’s possible to find a wide range of species. These include grey seals, a huge variety of seabirds, harbour porpoises and three different species of dolphin. Whales are always possible though most frequent in the summer months, and seasonally ocean sunfish, bluefin tuna and the occasional basking shark can be spotted. Sightings vary with the season and even with the day and cannot be guaranteed of course, but the sightings record at Marine Discovery is unrivalled.

A major part of what Marine Discovery does is the collection and analysis of robust scientific data while on trips, so by joining them on one of their voyages means you are contributing to this research. Their findings are fed into collaborative work with NGOs and higher education establishments – this not only helps inform conservation measures, but also helps the crew decide where to go searching to give you the best chance of finding the animals you have come to see.

Bring your camera and binoculars, and join Hannah, Duncan and their friendly team for an unforgettable ocean adventure!

Three different trips are on offer: the two hour Bay Discovery focuses on the inner bay area, and is ideal for families with children; the three hour Ocean Discovery is the most frequent and popular trip; the four hour Discovery Voyage is aimed at the real sea life enthusiast. Children’s discounts apply on the Bay Discovery and Ocean Discovery trips.

Accessibility Please mention on booking if there are any relevant additional needs. While there is no specified disable access on either of the two piers we use to embark, if the tide is right we can arrange access from a more level slipway. Wheelchairs can be lifted aboard, though unfortunately it's not possible to wheel them on, so a degree of mobility is required.

Safety and comfort Shearwater II is coded for commercial use by the MCA and receives regular maintenance and inspections. All passengers on board wear lifejackets supplied by Marine Discovery, and waterproof jackets and trousers are offered when conditions dictate. There is a marine toilet on board. Trips are weather dependent – if the skipper decides trips are cancelled for safety reasons then refunds or alternative dates are offered.

Bookings Schedule and availability can be checked online at, where bookings can be made. Alternatively customers can call 07749 277110 to book (and save the online booking fee).

  • PinPenzance / Marazion
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