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Cruise to Ramsey Island in West Wales and see the wildlife and seabirds

Updated on September 29, 2015

Ramsey Island is a wildlife reserve in West Wales

Ramsey Island is a wonderful wildlife reserve owned and managed by the RSPB and situated just 1 km offshore from St Davids in West Wales. In Welsh it is known as Ynys Dewi, and Dewi Sant is the Welsh name for the saint whose name is immortalised in the city nearby. In other words it is named after St David, the patron saint of Wales. It is a wonderful place to visit.

Viewing this island from the coast of Pembrokeshire may make you want to visit it, and this is possible via the various cruises that operate as well as landing parties that are organised and for which it is possible to book up. Landing rights have only been allowed to Thousand Island Expeditions so you need to book with them if you want to set foot on the island.

You can even spend a day on Ramsey Island and take part in a guided walk led by the RSPB Warden. On such a trip you will learn about Ramsey Island's history, find out about what it is actually like to live on this remote island, and most importantly, see and learn about the wildlife found there.

Ramsey Island

Ramsey Island from St Davids photo by Donar Reisskoffer
Ramsey Island from St Davids photo by Donar Reisskoffer

Seals and seabirds - Ramsey Island wildlife

Ramsey Island is a paradise for nature-lovers and bird-spotters. It has the most important Grey Seal breeding colony in the south of the UK. Seal pups can be seen on the island's beaches in September and October.

Rare Choughs

The island is one of the best sites in Wales where you can see Choughs, which are a rare species from the crow family that like to live on remote cliffs. Other types of bird that breed on Ramsey Island include Ravens, Common Buzzards, Peregrine Falcons, Northern Wheatears, Manx Shearwaters, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots.

Not surprisingly there are of course species of seagull that live on the island too. Bird-watchers will not be disappointed on a Ramsey Island cruise.

Porpoises and Whales

Besides the seals that can be seen on the rocky shores and in the ocean you can also see Porpoises that gather and feed in the Ramsey Sound.

Thousand Island Expeditions offer a Whale and Dolphin Experience in which you will be taken out into the Irish Sea whereas well as searching for whales and dolphins the boat will head for the island of Grassholm.

Species of whales that can be spotted include Common and Rissos Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises, Fin and Pilot Whales and Orca. You are also likely to see Puffins, Shearwaters and Atlantic Grey Seals.

See Ramsey Island RSPB Nature Reserve with Thousand Islands Expeditions

Ramsey Island Cruises

Cruises to Ramsey Island are operated by Thousand Island Expeditions and Ramsey Island Cruises but only the first of these offers actual landings on the island.

Thousand Island Expeditions offer various options. Their Ramsey Island Landing departs at 10am and 12 pm, returning at 4pm. The prices are £15 for adults and £7.50 for children with the special reduced price of £11 and £5.50 for RSPB members.

Thousand Islands Adventure

The Thousands Islands Adventure is a 90 minute cruise around Ramsey Island on a traditional vessel and with a marine wildlife expert on board to talk about all the birds and animals you can see. The cruise goes through the swirling currents and visits the island's bays as well as passing by some of the highest cliffs in Wales. The cruises depart at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 4.30pm and 6pm. Adults pay £24 and children are half-price.

The Landing and Around option offers a few hours actually on the island plus a cruise around it and costs £34 for adults, £17 for children, whilst RSPB members can go on this trip for £30 for adults and £15 for children.

Guided Walks

it is also possible to book a Guided Walk on Ramsey Island in April, May, June, July, August and September with the price of £17 for adults and £8.50 for children or £13 for adults and £6.50 for children.


Other trips include an evening cruise to see the Puffins and Shearwaters return to land, a visit to the island of Grassholm as well as Ramsey, or you might enjoy a simple fishing trip.

Thousand Island Expeditions have several boats including the Gower Ranger and the Ocean Ranger. They all depart from St Justinians Lifeboat Station. There are shuttle buses from St Davids to take you there if you don't have a car.

Ramsey Island Cruises have had over 40 years experience of offering cruise and fishing services. Ramsey Island Cruises offer private charters by arrangement. Dogs are welcome aboard the boats which are called the Barracuda Too and the Coral Ann.

The websites for both these Cruise companies are given below so you can find further details and make a booking.

© 2010 Steve Andrews


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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you too, Erthfrend!

    • erthfrend profile image


      8 years ago from Florida

      This place sounds like an absolute dream! Seals are one of the many animals I have always wanted to see but have yet to see in the wild. I think I would be totally captivated just by seeing them! Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for enjoying and commenting on my hub, Uma07!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for taking me on a tour to this beautiful Island...but I don't want a 90 minute cruise around Ramsey Island,I want to spend a few days on it.Nice hub and I keep coming back because I know you'll have some new and nice places of visit to share.Awesome!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Eiddwen!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      You've got me on a mission now . I am ashamed to admit that I haven't actually been here and it is practically on my doorstep. A beautifully written hub. I look forward to visiting this beautiful Welsh jewel. Take care Bard of Ely.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Yes, it does and is!

    • bojanglesk8 profile image


      8 years ago

      Looks like a nice place to visit.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Bard, What is RSPB? Your words have "painted" a sense of being there. Thanks!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for reading my hub and posting, Steph!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Love this hub - our family vacations often take us to islands and trails to look for wildlife and beautiful spots for taking photographs. Ramsey Island sounds simply beautiful and a place we'd all enjoy.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for posting, A Dane in Spain!

    • A Dane in Spain profile image

      Dorte Holm Jensen 

      8 years ago from Torrox, Malaga. Spain

      I can almost smell the salty water and feel the breeze. Thanks for sharing.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      8 years ago from Central Oregon

      I always love your writings. Been working a data-entry gig, worn out from keyboarding. :0) behind on my reading.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Lilly!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      8 years ago from Central Oregon

      Bard of Ely, Thank you for this beautiful presentation! Makes me want to hop a ship, and visit.


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