The Original & NO.1

noss boat tours Est. 1992

Welcome Aboard

Experience Spectacular Wildlife On Our 5-Star Award Winning NOSS BOAT TOURS
Around Bressay & Noss National Nature Reserve



Join Marie, Brian or Marvyn onboard The NO.1 Noss Boat ‘Seabird’ for a top quality Shetland experience.  We are all highly experienced and knowledgeable about the local area, with a lifetime experience of boats, the sea, nature and our local heritage around us – we are all Shetland born and bred.  Travel in great comfort and style for the highlight of your holiday on our spacious twin engine catamaran, a very stable boat because it has twin hulls.  On this amazing wildlife spectacular you get to enjoy Shetland’s abundant wildlife, guaranteeing close up views of Noss National Nature Reserve, one of Britain’s most sensational reserves.  

We are consistently ranked The NO.1 Noss Boat/Wildlife Tour on TripAdvisor and awarded Visit Scotland’s Prestigious 5-Star Accolade.  We have recently been awarded ‘Wildlife Tour Operator Of The Year – 2023-24’ at the Scotland Prestige Awards, as well as ‘Best Wildlife & Photography Boat Tour Company – Scotland’ at the 2023 UK Enterprise Awards. 

We have also been selected as Finalists under two categories at this years ‘The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards’.  The two fabulous categories are – ‘Commitment to the Community’ and ‘Scottish Family Business Of The Year (Micro)’.  

With every trip being unique and special, come find out why we are The NO.1 Noss Boat as well as ‘Best Visitor Attraction 2023’ and ‘Inclusive for all’ – come join us and make memories that will last forever.   



Our Tours

  • From April through to October: On our ‘Book Now” page (link top right)  you will find our online booking calendar which displays our daily tour start times, weather permitting we operate seven days a week.  All our 5-Star tours are TWO HOURS PLUS with refreshments provided in a tranquil little bay at Noss.  Twice weekly on selected days, we provide an early morning photography tour to capture the sunrise morning light.  Our tours at £60 for adults & £30 for under 16’s are priced to be as low and inclusive as possible, we believe this offers incredible value for money.  All tours depart from Victoria Pier Lerwick, ZE1 0EL.  You can find out more about our 5-Star tours by clicking on ‘Our Tours’ link further below.  You can book/pay online using our easy-to-use online booking system or contact us directly and we will get you booked on.  
  • 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, our dedicated guides ensure you are having a great time all of the time.  We can take up to 12 passengers on each tour.
  • 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.  We spend quality time at the Cliffs which has fantastic photography opportunities. 
  • 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: Your dedicated guides provide fun and engaging live commentary to suit all interests/ages and welcome any questions you may have.  Individual headsets are provided for each passenger so you can hear your guide(s) fully throughout the tour.  We share our great knowledge on the wildlife, local history, geology and folklore that surrounds Lerwick’s harbour.  We explore the South Coastline of Bressay where we share our knowledge on Bressay Lighthouse, the Orkneyman’s Cave, the Giant’s Leg Rock arch 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 or cold drinks and a selection of biscuits…always a great highlight.  We provide binoculars, identification charts (braille format also) and charging ports throughout the cabin.  Our tours are very family friendly with onboard activities to keep young sailors entertained. 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.   
  • NO.1 Choice: Our tours offer by far the best value, boat, crew and experience due to all our onboard facilities/services.  We have many excellent TripAdvisor ratings and come highly recommended.
  • Will We See Cetaceans? 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 31 years of experience, we continue to 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.   
  • Underwater Viewing Spectacle: If sea conditions prevent us getting you out to Noss during your time in Shetland, we are sometimes available for wildlife-filled inshore trips to look at the urban wildlife so prevalent in Lerwick Harbour, like a bespoke tour just to watch seals.  If sea conditions allows on the day, we can showcase what the South coastline of Bressay has to offer.  After viewing all that’s above, we can launch our ROV mini submarine and show you a variety of sealife below whilst enjoying a refreshment.  
  • Well-Established & Longest Running: Thirty one (31) 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.  All these years later, we’re still sailing under Jonathan’s originally created brand ‘The Noss Boat’.  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 Tour Operator: Our Noss boat tours has received Visit Scotland’s Prestigious 5-Star award, which is the highest award you can achieve.  In November 2023 we WON not one but two awards in the Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards under two amazing categories.  We won ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ and ‘Inclusive Tourism’.  It is an honour to be recognised by these prestigious awards, known as ‘Scotland’s tourism industry’s Oscars’.  We have won major recognition at the Scottish Enterprise and UK Enterprise Awards. Earlier in 2023 we were awarded ‘Wildlife Tour Operator of the Year ’ 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.  Also in 2023 we were delighted to be achieve a ‘Green Tourism Silver Award’.  Being Green Tourism Accredited shows that we are eco-friendly and committed to working responsibly, ethically and sustainably.  
  • Holiday Highlight: A trip aboard The Noss Boat ‘Seabird’ is a highlight for many as shown in our many fantastic reviews and from the number of awards won.  We provide a high standard of customer care and welcome any questions you may have.  

The Noss Boat

Margaret Clarke - Seabird in Cave
S-A-S Viewing Platform - Malcolm Younger
  • 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 without a doubt the photographer’s choice due to the extremely spacious viewing platform which is 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 seat or the one space…free as a bird. We also have seating for all inside our heated cabin.  
  • Toilet on deck level: All our 5-Star tours are two hours plus, so you can be rest assured that we do have a toilet onboard which comes well equipped with hand sanitizer and hygiene bags, etc.  
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Seabird is wheelchair accessible onto the boat and ideal boat for anyone with mobility impairment. We partner with local organisation Ability Shetland, and can organize on your behalf for a wheelchair or any other support aid to make your trip with us aboard as comfortable as possible. You can read our full accessibility guide here
  • Accessible & Inclusive: We strongly believe that having improved accessibility appeals to a wide range of visitors and we want to make your tour a holiday highlight by making it accessible and enjoyable throughout.  By listening to our customers and having more awareness about the inclusive tourism market, we have worked hard and implemented changes to make our tours open and enjoyable for all. You can find out more by reading our accessibility & inclusive tourism section here
  • Protected from the elements: A top cover exists at back of the wheelhouse, above seating area, which leaves rest of the huge platform clear for viewing and photography. If the weather is misbehaving, you have the added bonus to step inside our heated cabin, where you can enjoy unrestricted views from inside. Enjoy a chat around the table and browse our small but fascinating on-board library. USB charging points are available should you wish to recharge your phone or batteries.
  • NO.1 Boat Of Choice For Your Shetland Highlight: Whether you are visiting with friends or family, a solo traveler, 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.  With Seabird’s  huge viewing platform, and ability to move around freely, we are the NO.1 choice and have been used by many film crews, including ‘Simon King Wildlife’.

Meet The Noss Boat Crew - Local Family Run Business

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 being a qualified Marine Engineer, 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 skipper 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 fabulous 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 31 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 three new additions, our newest being Marvyn Johnson our highly experience relief skipper.  You can find out more about ‘The Noss Boat’ team by clicking on ‘View All Crew’ link below.   

As well as our independent travellers to Shetland, we work in collaboration with many businesses & partners, providing our services to a vast majority of wildlife tour companies from all over the globe. This ranges from Naturetrek Wildlife Holidays, Simon King Wildlife, Guide Trek Alps and many others.  We have also been delighted to have the presence of Nigel Marven onboard, he is a British wildlife TV presenter, naturalist, conservationist author and television producer.  We also work in collaboration with local wildlife groups and many other tour groups that visit Shetland from around the world.  Our thousands of independent travellers and collaborating businesses/ partners have helped shape us to be Shetland’s NO.1 boat attraction.  

Our customer feedback and experience is most important to us – we would appreciate if you could please leave us a review following your tour with us – Thank You.





  • 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