Welcome

experience Spectacular Wildlife On Our 4-Star Supreme Noss Boat Tours
Around Bressay & Noss National Nature Reserve

Join Marie & Brian, highly experienced & knowledgeable crew aboard The Noss Boat ‘Seabird’ – a twin engine catamaran, for the highlight of your holiday in Shetland. Our award-winning tours are 4-Star graded by the Scottish Tourist Board and we are consistently ranked as The NO.1 Noss Boat on TripAdvisor.

Live commentary provided throughout the tour with our PA system, this can be heard out on deck and inside the cabin. On this amazing wildlife spectacular you get to enjoy close up views of Shetland’s abundant wildlife.  On the 3-hour tour only – we have our underwater viewing where 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 & sea life below.

Our Tours

  • 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.
  • Get up close & personal to the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of this extraordinary seabird metropolis, which is home to 25,000 Northern gannets and thousands of other seabirds towering the sandstone cliffs of Noss National Nature Reserve.  Superb opportunities to see and photograph Shetland’s wildlife against the stunning backdrop of the 181-metre-high Noss cliffs. We bring along fresh fish to give you a guaranteed opportunity to see gannets encircling and diving right alongside our boat.
  • We will regale you with local history, folk tales and geology, share our great knowledge of Lerwick’s beautiful harbour, Bressay Lighthouse, the Orkneyman’s Cave, the Giant’s Leg rock arch and much more.  When sea conditions allow our tours takes you right inside the Orkneyman’s Cave and we sail through the magnificent Giant’s Leg.  We anchor in a tranquil little bay which offers plenty of wildlife & photography opportunities, to enjoy some hot drinks, juice and a selection of biscuits (including gluten-free).  This stop is always a great highlight and an opportunity for all aboard to have a chat whilst enjoying a refreshment  and soaking up the beautiful surroundings.  If your phone battery runs low after all the photo taking, we can assist as we have USB charging points throughout the cabin.
  • Not guaranteed but if we’re really lucky…we may even see porpoises or the occasional whale, otter or dolphin.  With the sharp eyes of two dedicated crew on every tour, we are always on the lookout to share as much as we can and we do this with great devotion/enthusiasm as reflected in our TripAdvisor reviews.  Whilst out on the water – all eyes peeled and fingers crossed, there is always something different to see, that’s what makes our tours so unique.  If we are lucky enough to spot them, you could be on no better boat than Seabird – due to her huge viewing platform to enable you to walk about freely and capture the best shots.  As a business with 30 years of experience, we continue to lead the way for responsible boat-based ecotourism.  At all times we follow the Nature Scot Scottish Marine Wildlife watching code and we are also WiSe accredited operators, proudly adhering to strict protocols to minimise disturbance to marine wildlife.
  • Binoculars provided for all passengers and we also provide seabird/cetacean identification charts for all.  We have on-board activities for our younger sailors and tasks set out by the skipper.  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.
  • From April through to October we operate two trips daily, seven days a week – departing from Victoria Pier Lerwick, ZE1 0EL.  Our 09:30am tour is 2 hour minimum and our 12:30pm tour is 3 hour minimum – TAKE YOUR PICK.  Both tours cover the same route, with refreshments included at our regular stop, which is always a great highlight, but the 3-hour tour spends more time at some locations and includes underwater viewing.  Our tours are extremely popular with both locals and visitors, so we do advise booking in advance and not leaving it until the last day of your Shetland trip, as we do sometimes have to cancel due to weather.
  • We can also have an additional late afternoon 2 hour tour, mostly on cruise ship days – boarding 4pm and departs promptly at 4:15pm (but times may need to be altered to suit certain situations).  This allows both our independent holiday passengers and cruise ship passengers a further opportunity to experience our very popular 4-Star excursion.  Please check our online calendar for availability.
  • All this with Seabirds-and-Seals, a long-established award-winning business.  Thirty (30) years on, Seabirds-and-Seals remains the original and longest-established Noss Boat Tour Business after Naturalist and former Skipper Dr Jonathan Wills – founded the award-winning enterprise in 1992.  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 were extremely positive and show how popular our tours are.  After just one full season, we were awarded the Scottish Tourist Board’s 4-Star distinction and TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.  Our tours consistently generate great reviews, leading to TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award in 2020, 2021 and again in 2022.  In November 2021, we were awarded Winners of ‘Scotland’s Best Wildlife Boat Tour Company’ at the Scottish Enterprise Awards. In August 2022 we were awarded ‘Boat Tour Operator Of The Year – Scotland’ at the Scottish Enterprise Awards.  We are both proud to be keeping up the many awards Seabirds-and-Seals has historically received.  
  • Come join us to find out for yourselves, what makes the difference on our 4-Star tours and why we are Ranked as The NO.1 Noss Boat on TripAdvisor.  Every trip is unique, and you will hopefully leave with many happy memories of Shetland. 

The Noss Boat

Margaret Clarke - Seabird in Cave
S-A-S Viewing Platform - Malcolm Younger
  • Seabird is a 13.5m catamaran with twin 370hp engines – a very stable craft because it has twin hulls.  There is an extremely 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.  We are licensed to take 12 passengers with lifejackets made available upon embarkation for all ages. There’s ample room on deck for all 12 passengers to sit, stand or move around freely, without being restricted or confined to your seats or one space – you are free as a bird.  If you prefer you can shelter inside our heated cabin, which has seating for all, you’ll still have a great view. You can enjoy a chat around the table and browse our small but fascinating on-board library.  Various USB charging points should you need to charge your phone.  
  • Seabird is wheelchair accessible onto the boat and an ideal boat for anyone with mobility issues, please check out our published accessibility guide for further information.  If wheelchair users wish to access the toilet or cabin, must be able to transfer as the doors are not wide enough.  If you require access to a wheelchair or any other mobility aids whilst in Shetland or wish to arrange before you get here, please do get in touch as we work in collaboration with a local organisation, that can assist and happy to communicate with them on your behalf to arrange collection/return or we can put you in direct contact with them.
  • There is a top cover at the back of the wheelhouse, above the seating area which leaves the rest of our huge viewing platform clear for viewing & photography or then you can shelter inside the cabin if the weather is not behaving. 
  • Toilet on deck level and equipped with hand sanitizer, hygiene bags etc.  Always reassuring to know there is easy access to a toilet on-board and especially after those welcoming refreshments.
  • Seabirds offers an ideal solution whether you are heading out on a tour as an independent traveller, with family/friends, or looking to organize a bespoke experience for a tour group or a professional film crew.  If you are looking to book a bespoke tour, just let us know your requirements and we will happily accommodate.  Seabird is the ideal boat for anyone wishing to experience great comfort, whilst we showcase our beautiful Shetland Islands.
  • Come aboard and let us showcase all our ‘Supreme Noss Wildlife Boat Tours’ has to offer.

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. 

We have both received accreditation to The WiSe Scheme – the UK’s national training scheme for minimizing disturbance to marine wildlife. As well as Brian having all the necessary qualifications/licenses, we both have certified training on ‘Sea Survial 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 also has certified training for ‘Disability Inclusion in Hopspitality, Travel & Tourism’ – respect inclusion for everyone. 

Our continuing success, is reflected in our 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. 

We are very excited about the future, this year along with Jonathan who founded the business in 1992, we celebrate a big ’30th Birthday’ as Seabirds-and-Seals has had 30 years of continuous trading.  

You can find out more about us and our relief crew members by clicking on the link directly below.

 

 

  • 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