We operate this tour twice daily seven days a week from April to October. Both our 10am & 2pm tours are 3-hours minimum which gives you loads of opportunities for wildlife watching and plenty of time to take in the stunning scenery.
On our tours you are in very good hands as there are always two experienced crew members. You will be welcomed aboard the Seabird by the skipper, Brian, and guide, Marie, who provides live commentary throughout the tour using their high-quality PA system and gives you full attention throughout the tour. Your dedicated guide, Marie, is really knowledgeable on all aspects of the tour, from the wildlife and geology to local and natural history, landmarks and so on.
The vessel is licensed to take 12 passengers with outdoor seating and plenty of room to move around freely. There is also a heated, indoor saloon with more seating as well as a table where you can chat or access the vessel’s small but expertly curated library. There is a fully accessible toilet on deck level to ensure your complete comfort throughout the tour and most reassuring after the welcoming refreshments. There is also dry storage space inside the cabin where you can securely stow any baggage and belongings.
The tour includes the famous Noss National Nature Reserve and takes you right around Bressay. On this amazing wildlife experience you will get to enjoy Shetland's plethora of seabirds and seals, as well as spectacular views, giving you fantastic opportunities to see and photograph Shetland's wildlife against the stunning backdrop of the Noss cliffs. You will get unbelievably close to the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of this extraordinary seabird metropolis, which is home to 25,000 Northern gannets, as well as thousands of guillemots, puffins, razorbills, black guillemots, gulls, shags and skuas. You will come eye-to-eye with beautiful blue-eyed gannets and immerse yourself in the unforgettable clamour of a thousands-strong 'choir' or different bird calls - a sound you'll never forget. The team bring along fresh fish to give you a guaranteed opportunity to see gannets diving. If you're lucky, you might even see porpoises, or the occassional whale, otter or dolphins - keep your fingers crossed and your eyes open. Every trip is unique.
Along the way, Brian and Marie will regale you with history and folk tales, and share their great knowledge of Lerwick's beautiful harbour, the Bressay Lighthouse, the Orkneyman's Cave, the magnificent giant's leg, the geology of Bressay, local history and much more. When sea conditions allows the tour takes you right into the beautiful Orkneyman's cave and if that happens to be our underwater camera dive site for that day we sometimes see plankton, starfish, crabs, sea urchins, sea anemones, soft corals, jellyfish and Shetland's kelp forest. If we use our other dive site you will get to see the wreck of a barge called the Girdleness which sank during WW II. Today the wreck is teeming with crabs, starfish, brittle stars, very colourful sun stars, sea anemones, light bulbs and the occassional curious seal that has been known to try and steal our ROV camera. If sea conditions allows we will sail you through the magnificent Giant's Leg Archway - which is always a WOW with our guests. Click on our photo gallery to view many more fabulous pictures from our tours - each gives full details of the different wildlife, underwater adventures and places we take you on our tour.
There are on-board activities to keep younger sailors entertained and when they go back ashore every child will take home a sea-life activity pack. After your trip around the cliffs of Noss, there is a stop for refreshments in a sheltered bay – fresh filter coffee, tea, juice, and biscuits - please do tell us if you are celebrating a special occassion - we will push the boat out for you(pardon the punch).
The map below shows the route we take, but the tour can change from day-to-day depending on the wind speed and direction - we always steer our course for the most sheltered water. Our tours are very much weather dependent, that's why when booking we advise not leaving it until your last days in Shetland and we also ask for you to provide a contact number so that if we do need to cancel, then we can get you booked onto another tour.
With our experienced Captain, Brian, and knowledgeable naturalist Marie, enjoyed breathtaking views of the Noss cliffs, seabird colonies, the coastline, and seals with the bonus of learning some local history and snagging some very special underwater views. On a cool and windy day on the water, the coffee/tea and biscuits served were a nice touch as well. Can't imagine a better way to see the area and wildlife - or better folks to guide us. The boat was comfortable and provided some protection from the elements as well!!
So I was visiting my friends in Lerwick and I had a few hours to spend so inspotted the seabird and seals boat, I approached Brian (owner) and asked if there was room for 1 more and there was. I was told to be at the pier for 2pm, I was and we set sail around 2.15pm, we had a safety brief from Marie and it was very clear but also relaxed. First stop was out to a shipwreck where they anchored and put down an underwater camera so we could see the sea life and the wreck, it was really amazing and you could all see clearly on the two television screens. We then proceeded to see the seals then out towards Noss, I don't want to spoil the trip for anyone but it was fantastic and the best £45 I have spent in a while, included were tea & biscuits as well, we were away from 3 and half hours, great company, great boat and overall fantastic experience, well done to you both.
We were so, so lucky...We started slowly with a fascinating camera exploring the sea life around an old wreck. Then we got serious, out into open water and the spectacularly rugged coasts of the islands of Bressay and Noss...The cliffs of Noss were one of the greatest natural sights I've ever experienced. With the sea hammering us and the captain keeping us steady maybe four feet from the rocks, we were at the base of 592-feet-high cliffs, with 25,000 birds above us, sitting/nesting on every speck of ledge, many diving beak-first at high speed to spear fish, the noise of the birds overwhelming. At one point I wondered what would happen if one bird noticed us and mused, "Fancy a change from fish today?" We were probably there half an hour, and it's a half hour that will live in our memories a long time. Lots still to see after that, including backing up into a cavern in a cliff, and anchoring in a cove for tea, coffee, and biscuits. What an incredible tour!
This tour was arranged by our cruise ship and it's a must do for anyone visiting Lerwick in Shetland Islands. We saw such beautiful birds and the two owners were so knowledgeable and friendly. Also rock formations and caves were beautiful. Loved the gingerbread cookies and coffee. Also the views from underwater camera were great!
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.