Accessible & Inclusive Tourism

Accessible & Inclusive Visitor Attraction

Parking Nearby Our Destination Point

There is parking on Victoria Pier, it is a pay-and-display car park generally open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, outwith those hours parking is FREE and also FREE parking on Sunday’s.  If you are a ‘Blue Badge’ holder then you can park anywhere at all on Victoria Pier as long as you display your badge. However, the Car Park can be closed on Some of the cruiseship days but you will find an alternative parking area at the Hillhead area of Lerwick – postcode ZE1 0HB  This offers FREE parking and does involve using steps to walk down any of the small lanes to reach us.  There is other parking areas nearby Victoria Pier also, but they can be limited at times, so always plan ahead of your booked tour with us for parking your vehicle.  If you have any parking concerns, please contact us prior to booking or tour date and we will happily assist you. 


The team at Seabirds-and-Seals Noss Boat Tours 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.  We have detailed on this page what you can expect and hopefully our accessible & inclusive approach meets your needs, we also welcome any new suggestions.  Please feel free to contact us prior to booking your tour with us to discuss any assistance you may need or to discuss any requirements at all, and we will happily answer any questions you may have.   

Marie has worked previously as a Learning Support Worker and Social Care Worker, many times at a Senior level.  She has worked in various settings for a diverse range of clients, which she continues to do in the Winter months when not operating tours.  She has various care related qualifications and also has certified training for ‘disability inclusion’ in Hospitality, Travel & Tourism.  Marie has made adaptions within the business by providing facilities onboard which are autism & dementia friendly, as she has a good understanding on both due to all her care working experiences.

Wheelchair Accessibility

We have adapted our catamaran ‘Seabird’ to make it wheelchair accessible onto the boat.  We have a steel platform at the stern of the boat and if the boat is at even level to the pontoon – wheelchairs can transfer very easily and our dedicated crew are available to assist.  We also have a steel ramp at the back platform that we can lower onto the pier – this system is great if there’s a slight slope at our pick up point.  Unfortunately our on-board toilet and heated cabin are only accessible to ambulatory wheelchair users. The doors to both areas are not wide enough to accommodate someone in a wheelchair all of the time.  Please check out our published accessibility guide for further information – if you require a printed copy please just let us know and we can arrange to send this to you.

If you are a wheelchair user planning to book, we ask please that you contact us prior to booking as we are limited to the number of wheelchairs we can have onboard at the one time.   

If you are planning to bring a mobility scooter, we do need you to contact us prior to booking as we need to know the weight of the scooter. 

As of 2024, we are now listed on Euan’s Guide, which is an award-winning disabled access charity.  They are best known for, the disabled access review website.  Having our business listed as a visitor attraction on this website, gives awareness that we are an accessible boat tour attraction in the Shetland Islands and explains fully what clients can expect when onboard.  

We have written a blog about Euan’s Guide here, this gives further details about the charity and we also explain how you can leave a review on their website.  

Access To Mobility Aids

We are great believers in supporting other local businesses, organisations and events.  We are delighted year after year to work in partnership with ‘Ability Shetland’, let us tell you more about them. 

Ability Shetland have been active in the Shetland voluntary sector community for nearly 30 years and can trace its roots back to the Shetland Council for Disability which existed in the 1980s.  The new organisation was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 12th October 2000 and is a Scottish registered charity.  The organisation which is based in Lerwick’s Market House, is controlled by its own board of trustees and its office is currently staffed by a Team Leader who manages and supports the work of their club leaders, support workers and over 60 volunteers.  They are supported financially  by a range of service level agreements, external grants, their own fund-raising events and most importantly, by the generosity of the Shetland public.

If you require access to a wheelchair or any other mobility aid to allow you to come and enjoy join our tour comfortably, please just let us know prior to booking.  The organisation can also hire out ‘terrain wheelchairs’ to enable you to explore Shetland’s ‘off the beaten track’. Once we have discussed your requirements, we will then approach Ability Shetland to source and deliver any equipment to your accommodation prior to your tour commencing.  We can also request for longer use during your stay in Shetland, as long as equipment available at the time of making our enquiries.  In return we as a business make a donation to ‘Ability Shetland’ for each time we make use of their fantastic services.  They provide such a wonderful service and we are proud to support them.      

Hearing Enhancements

We have a PA system which allows you to hear everything being said wherever you are located on the boat.  We hand out our individual headsets during our safety briefing, which means you never miss a thing being said by our dedicated guide Marie.  We have received very good feedback about the headsets and particularly useful when the boat is moving fast and on occasions the wind howling.

Visually Impaired

Onboard we have our customized seabird identification charts along with other species you might expect to see during the months of April through to October, which is copyright of Seabirds-and-Seals Noss Boat Tours.  We also have cetacean identification charts provided by The Seawatch Foundation who we work in partnership with.  Both identification charts are available in Braille format.

We also provide magnifying glasses for anyone who can’t read smaller print.  

Dementia/Autism Friendly

With Marie’s expertise in working in the care sector for a wide range of different needs for both adults & children, she has a great insight to what adaptions were needed onboard to make our tours ‘Dementia/Autism Friendly.  We have ensured that our signage is clear and this year (2024) all crew have their dementia friendly name badges.  We also have new this year (2024) an ocean sensory box to keep ‘autistic’ passengers calm should they find any given situation too overwhelming.  

Facilities For Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome on all our tours – just add this to the ‘Notes (Special Requirements)’ section if booking online or contact us directly.   

Dietary Requirements

We provide refreshments on all our tours and can cater for dietary requirements – we have this noted within ‘our tours’ section of the website and printed materials.  Please do let us know when booking if you have any dietary requirements.  If booking online there is a section that says ‘Notes (Special Requirements)’ – just pop your requirements in there.  If you do not wish to book online, just contact us directly and let us know of any dietary or special requirements.   

Family Friendly Activities

Our tours are very family friendly with onboard activities to keep our younger sailors onboard and plenty of room on our spacious viewing platform if you wish to bring a pushchair. 

Storage Facilities

We have a secure storage area inside the cabin to allow you to store your belongings and for families bringing a pushchair, we have room to store this.  If you are arriving by bicycle, there is spaces on the pontoon where we depart from for you to leave your bicycle behind as long as you use a bicycle lock.  Depending on the size of bike we may be able to store it onboard in a side locker, but only up to 2 bikes at a time.  Please contact us prior to booking to discuss as we may have reached the maximum number with other bookings for your chosen date and time.  

Foreign Languages

We have our Original double-sided laminated cards with our different Seabirds that we can expect to see, as well as seals, otters and ceteceans, which are available in 13 different languages.  For the A4 customized cards that we hand out at the start of each tour, we could only list 4 Nationalities due to space, therefore we went for the 4 most popular that we see joining our tours.  

If the language you speak is not on the A4 sheets that we hand out, please check with crew and we will see if your spoken ‘language’ is available.   We created these customized guides in 2019, but due to seeing an increase in the numbers of visitors from other Nationalities, we have further enhanced this aspect of our tour over the past year.  We always check with passengers at the start of the tour, where they come from to ensure they are socially included.    We have also added the Shetland dialect meaning to give you a taste of the local tongue.   

If our relief Skipper Marvyn is at the helm, he can speak ‘Spanish’ fluently and happy to communicate to share his great knowledge in this language.  

Customer Care

Marie who joins every tour as our dedicated guide, is always on hand  to ensure you have a good time all of the time and there to answer any questions you may have or offer assistance.  The business provides a very high standard of customer care which has been reflected by many accolades and the most recent in 2024 being ‘Service Excellence’ in Scotland by the FSB – Federation of Small Business – celebrating small businesses.  

We have our published Accessibility Guide Tool created via Visit Scotland – you can view this by clicking here.

To end…we have a dedicated website page which gives details of partnerships and sponsorship programmes we are involed with, the page can be found here. Within that page you will find reference to Shetland Carers Respitality Scheme.  This is only available to our local unpaid carers and a scheme we are proud to be part of.  We thought we would mention it here as relevant to this page should any local unpaid carers wish to access the scheme. 

As mentioned, we are listed on Euan’s Guide – The disabled access review site, please feel free to leave a review following your tour with us.

Digital Accessibility Statement

We are committed to making the information and resources on our website accessible to all visitors. 

When you visit the website, we have used our dark blue on a white background. 

You can zoom in on your browser and the website, its images and its words will remain in place without spilling with the visitor needing to scroll side to side. 

The website also features a translating tool that can be found in the bottom right to help translate the pages into another language.

Headings are clear for easy navigation with internal pages laid out in an easy to read, and an easy to understand manner. 

Browser plugins or extensions will allow for the content on our page to be read, with alt titles in place of our images. 

The website is coded and developed to the highest of standards, fully compliant with HTML5, CSS and Java.

Website Privacy Policy

we use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to our site and what areas they are most interested in. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, or allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. You can find more information on how cookies are used on this website in the Cookies Policy below.

In the unlikely event we do want to start collecting personally identifiable information through our website, we will ensure you know we are doing it and what we intend to do with it.

Links to Other Web Sites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites, and if you have questions about how a site uses your information, you’ll need to check that site’s privacy statement.

Access to Your Personal Information

You are entitled to access the personal information that we hold. Email us for any queries.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We regularly review our privacy notice to ensure it is accurate. This privacy notice was last updated on 18th January 2022.

What is a cookie?         

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