Welcome Aboard

Experience Spectacular Wildlife On Our 4-Star Award Winning NOSS BOAT TOURS
Around Bressay & Noss National Nature Reserve

Join Marie & Brian – A ‘Natural’ born and bred Shetland couple, both highly experienced and knowledgeable crew about the local area, aboard The Noss Boat ‘Seabird’ – a very spacious twin engine catamaran for the highlight of your holiday in Shetland.  On this amazing wildlife spectacular you get to enjoy close up views of Shetland’s abundant wildlife.  We are consistently ranked The NO.1 Noss Boat on TripAdvisor and awarded ‘Boat Tour Operator Of The Year – Scotland’ at the Scotland Prestige Awards.    

Our Tours

Awarded
‘Boat Tour Operator Of The Year – Scotland’
at the Scottish Enterprise Awards 2022

  • Safety at the heart of what we do: In the interest of passenger safety, comfort, and welfare, we always sail with a minimum of two crew, this gives you a richer experience and to make sure you have an unforgettable tour with Seabirds-and-Seals.
  • Awe-inspiring sights & sounds: Get up close & personal to this extraordinary seabird metropolis, home to 25,000 Northern Gannets and thousands of other seabirds towering the sandstone cliffs of Noss. Superb opportunities to see and photograph Shetland’s wildlife against the stunning backdrop of the 181-metre-high Noss cliffs. 
  • Amazing gannet diving experience: We bring along fresh fish to give you the opportunity to see gannets encircling & diving right alongside the boat, always a great highlight.
  • Local Knowledge by expert local guides: Live commentary throughout all tours with an insight into our wildlife, the local history, geology and folklore that surrounds Lerwick’s harbour, Bressay Lighthouse, the Orkneyman’s Cave, the Giant’s Leg Rock and so much more.   
  • Refreshments, equipment & something for all the family: We anchor in a tranquil little bay which offers plenty of wildlife & photography opportunities, to enjoy hot drinks and a selection of biscuits…always a great highlight.  We provide binoculars, identification charts (braille format also), charging ports throughout the cabin, onboard activities and tasks for our younger sailors as set out by our Skipper Brian. Each get a FREE Eco-Friendly sealife activity pack.  Adults receive 20% discount voucher to use at a choice of two local business establishments.  We have our Seabirds-and-Seals merchandise available for sale onboard and also on our online shop.   
  • Will We See Ceteceans: Not guaranteed on our tours but if really lucky…we may see porpoises, the occasional whale or dolphin. With  sharp eyes of two dedicated crew on every tour, we are always on lookout and you could be on no better boat.  As a business with 30 years of experience, we continue to the lead the way for responsible boat-based ecotourism.  At all times we follow the Nature Scot Marine Wildlife watching code and we are also WiSe accredited operators, proudly adhering to strict protocols to minimize disturbance to marine wildlife.
  • From April through to October seven days a week: We provide our 2-hour tours daily and our 3-hour tour on selected days, departing from Victoria Pier Lerwick, ZE1 0EL. Please check our online calendar for tour times, availability and you can book online.  Do book early to avoid disappointment as our tours are extremely popular.
  • Underwater Viewing Spectacle: On our 3-hour tour ONLY, you can experience a variety of sealife below the surface, using our remotely controlled submarine video camera, giving you the opportunity to view our wildlife above and sea life below.
  • Well-Established & Longest Running: Thirty (30) years on, Seabirds-and-Seals remains the original and longest established Noss Boat Tour Business, entertaining visitors and locals alike. This award-winning enterprise was founded in 1992 by Naturalist Dr Jonathan Wills.  Skipper Brian has been actively involved with the business ever since it began and in 2017, along with his wife Marie, they bought the business from Jonathan, maintaining the business ethos and reputation as The Original – and Number One Noss Boat Tour Business.  As with any business takeover – a new series of TripAdvisor and Google reviews started in our first season (2018), all continue to be extremely positive and show how popular our tours are. 
  • Award-Winning Tours & Shetland’s NO.1 As Ranked On TripAdvisor: Our Noss boat tours have been awarded 4-Star distinction from the Scottish Tourist Board and won major recognition at the Scottish Enterprise and UK Enterprise Awards. In 2021 we were awarded ‘Scotland’s Best Wildlife Boat Tour Company’.  In 2022 we were awarded ‘Boat Tour Operator of the Year – Scotland’ and ‘Best Wildlife & Photography Boat Tour – Scotland’.  Every year since taking over the business, we have won TripAdvisor’s Excellence and Travellers’ Choice Awards due to our consistent excellent reviews.  Currently completing assessment through ‘Green Tourism, will update website when graded.  A trip aboard The Noss Boat ‘Seabird’ is the highlight for many as shown by the number of awards won.  
  • Memories that last forever: With every trip being unique and special, come find out why we are the NO.1 Noss Boat and make memories that will last forever.

The Noss Boat

Margaret Clarke - Seabird in Cave
S-A-S Viewing Platform - Malcolm Younger

Winners Of
‘Best Wildlife & Photography Boat Tour Company – Scotland’
at the Uk Enterprise Awards 2022

  • Panoramic Viewing & great comfort: Our 13.5m catamaran sports twin 370hp engines – a very stable craft because it has twin hulls. This allows for a very comfortable journey whether you want to move around on deck or prefer the shelter of our cabin – it’s up to you! We are the photographer’s choice due to our large, spacious viewing platform all on one level as shown on our homepage video and photos.  This allows you to enjoy fabulous 360° panoramic viewing without having to watch where you step and ideal for the best photographic opportunities. 
  • Seating provided for all Outside & Inside: We are licensed to take 12 passengers with lifejackets made available upon embarkation for all ages. There’s ample room on deck for all to sit, stand or move around freely, without being restricted or confined to your seats or one space…free as a bird. We also have seating for all inside our heated cabin.  
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Seabird is wheelchair accessible onto the boat and the ideal boat for anyone with mobility issues. We partner with local organisation Ability Shetland, and we can organise a wheelchair or other support with them to make your trip with us aboard as comfortable as possible. Read our full accessibility guide here.
  • Protected from the elements: Seabird has a top cover at back of the wheelhouse, above the seating area which leaves the rest of the huge platform clear for viewing and photography. If the weather is not behaving, then you can enjoy unrestricted views from inside the cabin too. Enjoy a chat around the table and browse our small but fascinating on-board library. Also various USB charging points should you need to recharge phones/batteries. 
  • Toilet on deck level: Reassuring whilst out at sea and comes well equipped with hand sanitizer and hygiene bags, etc.
  • NO.1 Boat Of Choice For Your Shetland Highlight: Whether you are visiting with friends or family, a solo traveller, looking to organize a bespoke experience for a tour group or professional film crew, Seabird is the ideal boat for anyone wishing to experience great comfort for the highlight of your Shetland trip.  Due to our huge viewing platform and the ability to move around freely, we are the NO.1 boat of choice and have been used by many film crews, including ‘Simon King Wildlife’.

Meet the Crew

Brian & Marie Leask

We are a ‘Natural’ born and bred Shetland couple…

Our experience and knowledge of boats, the sea, nature, and local heritage around us is extensive.  Our passengers tell us that our fun, personal and engaging style appeals to all ages and varying interests. We make a fabulous team and both very passionate about all aspects of our business.

We both have extensive seafaring experience – in 2005 we sailed our own yacht from Shetland to Mediterranean and back again.  Brian has spent his life around boats, he has a wealth of knowledge about our local waters, which can only be gained through a lifetime’s experience and makes him a very safe and most dependable tour skipper.  With his qualifications, experience and masterful boatmanship, Brian is in perfect place at the helm. 

As well as Brian having all the necessary qualifications/licenses, we both have certified training on ‘Sea Survival Skills’ as well as Elementary First Aid At Sea.  Marie has disability awareness training through her various care working roles outwith our busy season, but she has also certified training for ‘Disability inclusion in Hospitality, Travel & Tourism’ – respect inclusion for everyone.  Marie has also completed Climate Emergency Training For Tourism as well as completing destination development and leadership programme through Edinburgh Napier University.  

Our continuing success, is reflected in our many fantastic TripAdvisor & Google Reviews, complementing each other’s experience, skills and talents.  We provide a highly informative, fun and fascinating tour, from start to finish showing you the best of Lerwick Harbour, Bressay & Noss. 

Ever since the business started 30 years ago, it has built up a very good reputation as a top wildlife tour with many very knowledgeable crew.  We are delighted to keep on many of the same relief crew that Jonathan had, with two new additions. 

  • View All Crew
  • Reviews

    A belated review from a visit to Shetland in May this year - we had an amazing trip with Brian and Marie round the cliffs of Noss and Bressay. They were both extremely knowledgeable and friendly, seemed to know everything about the wildlife we encountered on the tour, plenty of new things to discover even for someone who grew up in Shetland. we saw grey seals, gannets, great skuas and shags, we couldn't believe how many birds were nesting around the cliffs! The weather was nice enough for Brian to bring the boat right into the Orkneyman's Cave, as well as sending down the ROV to a small wreck at the North mooth of the harbour. would definitely consider taking the trip again, and recommend to both visitors and islanders alike

    Hanson & Louise

    A belated review from a visit to Shetland in May this year - we had an amazing trip with Brian and Marie round the cliffs of Noss and Bressay. They were both extremely knowledgeable and friendly, seemed to know everything about the wildlife we encountered on the tour, plenty of new things to discover even for someone who grew up in Shetland. we saw grey seals, gannets, great skuas and shags, we couldn't believe how many birds were nesting around the cliffs! The weather was nice enough for Brian to bring the boat right into the Orkneyman's Cave, as well as sending down the ROV to a small wreck at the North mooth of the harbour. would definitely consider taking the trip again, and recommend to both visitors and islanders alike

    Hanson & Louise