Isle of Portland Boat Trip
Snapper Charters are delighted to offer scenic boat trips around the Isle of Portland throughout the spring and summer months. Enjoy a leisurely cruise from Weymouth Harbour to Chesil Cove and back, taking in impressive sights of East and West cliff along the way.
During the trip we'll steam along Portland Harbour Breakwater to catch a glimpse of the abandoned forts before continuing past the Grove and Church Ope Cove. We'll hug the shoreline as we pass the sea caves
Once we round the headland at Portland Bill we'll make a brief stop to look at the seabirds nesting on the ledges beneath the cliff. Finally we'll make our way to Chesil Cove where you can enjoy far reaching views along the length of Chesil Bank and admire the pretty and colourful cove.
This trip goes there and back in the same direction (this in unavoidable due to the location).
This is a relaxed sightseeing tour without a commentary. Advanced booking essential.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Price: £35 per person
Maximum capacity: 12 passengers + crew
See full trip description and FAQ's below
What does the Portland boat trip involve?
Our Portland boat trip starts with a slow steam down Weymouth Harbour. Admire the pretty cottages, lifeboat station and bustling quayside before we round the pier head and make our way into the bay. We'll then make a slight turn and head towards the break water. Sit back, relax and admire views of the Nothe Fort and Newtons Cove as we steam.
Isle of Portland cruise from Weymouth
We'll start by steaming along Portland Harbour breakwater to enjoy an up close look at the abandoned forts. The fortifications were built in the early 1800's and played an important role in coastal defence, before they were decommissioned following the Second World War.
The forts are closed to the public, although much of the infrastructure remains in tact to this day. You'll see the remnants of canons and other military equipment strewn on the rocks below. Sometimes we're lucky enough to see seals sunning themselves in the shallows.
Church Ope Cove & The Grove
We’ll then continue along Portland's eastern side so you can admire the Grove and Church Ope Cove. The pretty beach is lined with colourful beach huts and flanked by towering cliffs, which are popular with climbers.
Further along the coastline you'll see the sea caves beneath the coast path. Few people know these are here because they can only be seen from the sea! While we're too big to go inside you'll catch a glimpse as we pass by. After heavy rainfall there's sometimes a waterfall tumbling over the cliff edge and into the water below.
Portland Bill lighthouse
Next, we’ll reach the southernmost tip of Portland, where you'll see Portland Bill lighthouse and Pulpit Rock. The red and white striped lighthouse is an iconic landmark on our coastline and ensures the safe passage of thousands of ships each year. From the boat you'll get a unique viewpoint and they'll be plenty of opportunities for photos.
Just past 'The Bill' there are some ledges where sea birds congregate to nest and feed, including gulls, cormorants and shearwater. Sometimes you'll see them drying their wings on the cliff edge and other times they will be 'rafting' in the water below.
West Cliff & Chesil Cove
West Cliff is one of our favourite parts of Dorset's Jurassic Coastline. The dramatic cliffs tower above us and are a stark reminder of Portland's rugged geology and exposed coastal location.
After a short steam we'll reach Chesil Cove, where we'll stop to take some photos and admire the scenery. You'll hear the roar of the pebbles as the waves roll into the shoreline. You'll also see the incredible sight of Chesil Bank - the longest beach extend into the distance.
During our sunset trips we'll stop here to watch the sun dip below the horizon and the sky turn various shades of orange and pink!
We'll then make our way back to Weymouth the same way we came, albeit it at a quicker speed.
Chance of spotting wildlife
There is a chance of spotting wildlife on all of our sightseeing boat trips and the Portland trip is no exception. Keep your eyes peeled throughout the trip for dolphins, birds and seals. Over the years we've been incredibly fortunate to witness some incredible sights. You never know what you might see!
Of course, wildlife is not guaranteed as the sea is not a zoo. We think this makes it all the more special if we are lucky enough to spot something during the trip.
"We did the Portland Bill Trip on Easter Sunday and it was totally amazing, it was fantastic seeing the Lighthouse and caves in a different angle, we also cruised around to Chesil Beach and this was beautiful seeing all the lovely wild sea birds. I totally recommend this trip. Can’t wait to book on another soon. ".
Karen - Google, 2021
Will the trip still go ahead in the rain?
Yes, we still operate our trips in the rain. We only cancel if the winds get too high.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, you are more than welcome to bring your dog on our sightseeing trips. Please note we also run fishing trips so there may be remnants of hooks and bait on board. Also, it can be noisy and it does get hot in the summer.
Is there a commentary/guided tour?
There is not a formal commentary or PA system on board. This is a relaxed sightseeing trip with passengers invited to relax and take in the scenery. That being said, the skipper and crew will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Can I book the whole boat?
Yes, you can book the whole boat for private charter. Simply book all 12 spaces available on our booking site. If there are less than 12 spaces available, it means another family is already booked on the trip.
Is there a toilet on board?
Yes, there is a toilet on board.
What should I wear?
Please dress appropriately for the weather. It can get chilly at sea even in the summer. We recommend wearing a hat and sun cream.
Is the trip cheaper for children?
Unfortunately, we do not offer cheaper tickets for children – tickets are based on a per person price. All passengers including children must have a valid ticket including babies.
Can I bring food and drink?
Yes, you are more than welcome to bring your own food and drink to enjoy during the trip.
What is your cancellation policy?
If Luke, the Owner/Skipper of Snapper Charters deems the weather unsuitable for an Isle of Portland Boat Trip or the minimum passenger number has not been met the trip will be cancelled with as much prior notice as possible. You will usually be contacted the evening before when we have access to the latest weather report. You will be contacted on the phone number/email address provided at the time of booking to try and arrange alternate dates. If we are unable to agree upon a mutually suitable date and transfer your booking, you will receive a cancellation email (please keep an eye on your junk mail folder) and full refund of any money paid. If you (the customer) would like to cancel a Isle of Portland Boat Trip a full refund will be given up until 72 hours prior to the trip commencing. To cancel please click the 'view booking' button in your confirmation email and follow the instructions. It is also possible to transfer your booking to another date up until 72 hours before your trip. No refund will be given for cancellations that occur less than 72 hours before your trip.
Where do we meet you for the trip
Advance booking is essential. Meet us on the pontoon outside Bennetts Fish and Chip shop. Arrive 15 minutes prior to departure. We kindly ask you to wait on the harbour wall until we've finished cleaning the boat/unloading passengers. Please leave plenty of time for parking as it can get busy, especially in the summer. Address: Trinity Road Weymouth Dorset DT4 8TJ Owner/skipper Luke: 07833492948
What happens if we're running late?
Please make every effort to arrive 15 minutes early and ensure you are in the right place and ready to go. We run all of our trips back to back, so it's essential that we leave on time. If you arrive more than 5 minutes late, we are afraid the boat will depart without you and NO refund will be given. We do not want to cut the trip short for the people who have made it there on time.
About Snapper Charters
Snapper is a 12m power catamaran that operates out of Weymouth Harbour. We specialise in running small group fishing and sightseeing boat trips with a maximum of 12 passengers.
The boat is wide and stable making her comfortable for longer journeys. There is plenty of outdoor seating and we welcome people to get up and walk around during our trips. There is a toilet on board for your convenience.
A sightseeing trip aboard Snapper is a popular family activity in Weymouth. Many families come out with us year on year.
Please note we do not offer a commentary during our sightseeing trips. But, if you have any questions please feel free to ask the skipper.