About Us



Sea Life Mull was previously known as Sea Life Surveys until 2021

It was the mysterious minke whale which first gripped naturalist Richard Fairbairns’ imagination and brought Sea Life Surveys into existence.

Inspired by a close encounter with this magnificent creature in 1982, he took the first tentative steps towards investigating the little-researched cetaceans of the Inner Hebrides. With advice from whale biologists Vassili Papastavrou and Jonathan Gordon, he created the research organisation, Mull Cetacean Project. The aims of the project were to investigate the cetacean populations over an area of 300mi2 to the north and west of Mull using only benign methods to study their behaviour (particularly that of the minke whale) and their place in the ecosystem of the area.

Funds for this work were to be raised by the introduction of commercial whale watching holidays and day trips run by Sea Life Surveys. Data collection was to be carried out from the whale watching vessel by Richard, a crew of student volunteers and paying members of the public under supervision.




In 1994 the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust was created, which has now taken over much of the education and conservation activities of the Mull Cetacean Project. 



In August 2016 Sea Life Surveys was acquired by Staffa Tours. By harnessing the strengths of both businesses, we hope to continue our growth and continue to operate at the high standard that our customers have become accustomed to.



Day cruises take place aboard one of our two vessels — Highest Apple or Sula Beag.

Both vessels are exceptionally well-equipped and maintained to the highest standards. They are rigorously inspected annually by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.



Highest Apple is our brand new vessel for 2019, having been lovingly built to our exact specifications in order to give you the best whale watching experience possible.

She is coded by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency as an EU Class B passenger ship, allowing her to operate almost anywhere on the west coast of Scotland with up to 85 passengers.

She is powered by twin Iveco 450hp engines, giving us more time in the whale and dolphin grounds than ever before. She is also fitted with a state-of-the-art Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilizer system to maximise comfort.

The is ample space for up to 20 passengers on the top deck and seating for all on the lower deck and inside the saloon. During a tour, guests can either rest and relax downstairs or swap around and spend time helping us hunt for wildlife from the top deck, an exhilarating experience.

The top deck provides you with an extra bit of height, enabling you to spot more wildlife.

Toilet facilities are available on board.



Sula Beag was built in Bristol in 1985 and has never missed a beat, running as a passenger vessel her whole life.

She is coded to the highest standard by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency with both a Class VI Passenger Certificate for voyages up to 15 miles from Tobermory with 80 passengers, and a Category 2 coding for voyages up to 60 miles from a safe haven with 12 passengers.Powered by twin Daewoo 120hp engines, she cruises quietly at 8 knots and is exceptionally reliable. We also have an 8kW generator to power information screen and, of course, the kettle!

There is a small amount of seating on the large 360° viewing deck and seating for all downstairs, with space for up to 30 in comfort in the saloon.

The top deck provides you with an extra bit of height, enabling you to spot more wildlife.

There are two toilets aboard.

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Sea Life Mull

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