Best North Devon Boat Trips: Ultimate Guide

Awesome North Devon Boat Trips:

The North Devon coast is located in the southwestern part of England and is renowned for its unparalleled natural beauty. Stretching along the stunning Atlantic Ocean, this coastal paradise is best enjoyed by boat.

When you hit the water and do a North Devon Boat Trip, you’ll be in for an enchanting and unforgettable experience. By sailing on these waters, expect panoramic views of rugged cliffs, golden beaches, and charming coastal villages dotted along the shoreline. Not to mention the incredible opportunity to spot diverse wildlife, from majestic seabirds to playful dolphins.

This has to be one of the most wholesome weekend activities, offering a real opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether it’s a leisurely cruise along a coastal route or an active RIB adventure, boat trips are an amazing way to have fun, relax, and rejuvenate the body and mind!

Read on to discover the Best North Devon Boat Trips currently available! 🌊 ⚓ ☀️ ⛵ 🤿

#1 Adventure Ribs

If you’re looking for the best way to spot UK marine life on a North Devon Boat Trip, be sure to check out Adventure Ribs, brought to you by the Ilfracombe Princess Team.

They offer 1 or 2-hour Discover cruise tours onboard their 10m Humber RIB, led by an experienced and qualified skipper, featuring a full commentary on the local marine life, iconic landmarks and geological formations.

Each Discover tour takes a unique route, adapted to sea conditions and the most recent wildlife sightings. On a good day, you’ll be in with a chance to spot seals, dolphins, porpoises, and a wide range of seabirds. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a whale!

Embarking from Ilfracombe Harbour, the Discover cruises are equally picturesque, and tailored towards customers as much as possible.

You can book online here or call 07837 569 667.

#2 The Big Yellow Boat

The Big Yellow Boat cruises the coast to spot seals, porpoises and dolphins. Offering tours of one of the most dramatic landscapes in England, aboard their MCA approved vessel.

They have been serving Ilfracombe tourism for over twenty years and are fully licensed to carry 100 passengers, with their boat purpose built for coastal cruising!

The Big Yellow Boat features a rooftop terrace and an outdoor area on the lower deck (perfect for capturing some epic Instagram content), as well as an indoor area to escape the sea breeze.

There are various coastal cruises to choose from. Some of them take you eastward, passing by Hele Bay and Watermouth Harbour, leading you to the renowned smuggler’s caves and the striking Exmoor cliffs.

Alternatively, there are trips heading westward, where you can admire Bull Point Lighthouse and the famous Tunnels Beaches before arriving at Rockham Beach, home to a colony of Atlantic Grey Seals.

Their vessel, the Ilfracombe Princess, also offers a delightful evening cruise, allowing you to experience the local landmarks in a different light. While onboard, you can have a refreshing drink and enjoy some relaxing music.

Ps. The Big Yellow Boat welcomes dogs onboard. For animal lovers, this has got to be the best North Devon Boat Trip company! 🐶

Book online or call 01271 879727.

#3 Ilfracombe Sea Safari

Ilfracombe Sea Safari offers award winning Devon Boat Trips that include fun, adventurous and educational tours amidst the natural beauty of the North Devon Coast.

The tours on offer feature different boat adventures including wildlife and coastal cruises, fishing trips, swimming with seals and much more!

Their 1 to 6 hour tours use a ‘SeaSwift’ Catamaran and three Humber Ribs, which are safe, stable boats that allow you to get up close and personal with North Devon’s diverse wildlife.

The boats are equipped with padded seats to make you extra comfortable and are even suitable for passengers who suffer from sea sickness (due to the vessel’s exceptional stability).

All of the vessels only carry up to 12 passengers so they offer a more personal experience without the crowds.

Book online before they sell out or call  07827 679189.

#4 Lundy Island on the MS Oldenburg 

Lundy Island is just off the beautiful North Devon coastline, at the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and the Bristol Channel. This island, owned by the National Trust, is renowned for its unspoiled natural beauty and incredible wildlife, notably its famous puffin population and numerous rare bird species.

The most popular way to visit Lundy Island is aboard MS Oldenburg, the island’s very own passenger and supply ship, adorned with its original brass and wooden fittings from the 1950s! If you’re looking for the most authentic North Devon Boat Trip, this is it!

Departing from either Ilfracombe or Bideford a few times a week during the period from March to October, this historic vessel returns on the same day, providing you with ample time to explore the wonders of the island.

The journey by boat lasts approximately 2 hours in each direction. During this time, you can indulge in the boat’s amenities, including the bar, buffet, shop, and information centre. There’s also lots of outdoor space to take in the picturesque views and, if you’re lucky, spot the dolphins that frequently accompany the ship along its route.

You can easily book the MS Oldenburg online here.

#5 Appledore to Instow Ferry

The Appledore to Instow Ferry is a small ferry service linking these two pretty villages situated just north of the historic port town of Bideford. Operated by volunteers, the ferry trip across the River Torridge takes approximately 10 minutes.

The ferry operates from the beginning of April until October, during high tide, for about three to four hours each day. As high tide times vary daily, it’s essential to check the timetable for accurate information.

This North Devon Boat Trip is the perfect choice for families with young children or people who don’t quite have their sea legs yet! Bicycles, strollers, and dogs are all welcome on board.

On either side of the ferry crossing, there are tons of activities to enjoy. These include crabbing in the estuary, taking in the long sandy beach at Instow, and exploring the North Devon Maritime Museum in Appledore.

#6 Cheeky Monkey Pleasure Cruises 

Local fisherman, Dave Gabe, operates the Cheeky Monkey, which is a traditional wooden fishing boat, providing a charming North Devon Boat Trip.

Dave offers three-hour river excursions along the Torridge River starting from Appledore village, as well as charter fishing trips into the Torridge estuary.

During the river cruise on the Cheeky Monkey, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the scenic countryside and observe the diverse wildlife along the historic river. Dave will share intriguing local history, point out places of interest, and help you identify the various bird species that inhabit the river.

As the fishing boat can accommodate up to 10 people, it’s an excellent choice for larger groups.

The Cheeky Monkey’s trips are available from May to October. To secure a spot, you can make a booking in advance by either calling 01237 422307 or visiting the Appledore Quay Gift Shop.

In case the Cheeky Monkey is not available, don’t worry! Appledore boasts other skippers offering boat trips along the river. Simply inquire at the Quay to find out which other boats might be running at that time.

#7 RIB Rides North Devon

RIB Rides North Devon offer some exhilarating boat trips onboard their passenger RIB.

As you hop onboard this skippered RIB ride from Appledore, you’ll get to see the incredible North Devon coastline and its diverse wildlife.

Whether you’re looking for thrilling excitement or a relaxed tour around the coast, RIB Rides North Devon has something for everyone.

Individual and group bookings are welcome. To book, simply call 07970 409 051 or use their online form.

#8 Wild Frontier Charters

From Cave Cruises to Seal Swimming, Wild Frontier Charters offer some of the best North Devon Boat Trips out there.

On one of these epic coastal cruises, you’ll get to explore North Devon’s stunning coastline aboard their modern catamaran the “Wild Frontier”, taking in outstanding natural beauty and plenty of spectacular wildlife like dolphins and seals.

To book this North Devon Boat Trip call 07447 060036 or reach out to Wild Frontier via email.

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    Final Thoughts

    Whether it’s a leisurely river cruise along the Torridge River or an adventurous voyage into the vast Atlantic you’re seeking, North Devon boat trips never cease to amaze, leaving visitors with cherished memories of this coastal paradise.

    If you do venture out to sea, I’d love to see photos and hear about the wildlife you encounter – just comment below.

    Sharing is caring, so if you know anyone looking to do a North Devon Boat Trip, please do send this article their way!

    Happy Sailing! ⛵️

    Do note that: The running of North Devon Boat Trips are weather and sea dependent. If sea conditions or the weather are not safe the trips will almost certainly be cancelled. Also, this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase through any links. This income goes towards the sites running costs and enables me to provide readers with free content.

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