Supporting Our Local Heroes…Who Help Save Lives At Sea – 14.04.2024

Throughout the years we have been invited by RNLI Lerwick Lifeboat to assist with their training exercises, they rely entirely on donations and fundraising so that they can train their crews to keep saving lives at sea.  

Our boat acts as a casualty vessel under tow, allowing their crew to practice important skills such as safely attaching tow lines, taking a boat under tow and manoeuvring a boat without power alongside a safe berth in the harbour. This is extremely valuable experience for their crew.

The Lerwick branch of the RNLI has provided four lifeboats over the last 90 years.  The first one arrived in July 1930 and was called the Lady Jane and Martha Ryland, now we have the beautiful Michael and Jane Vernon 17-10.  The current lifeboat is a severn-class all-weather vessel (56 feet) and the most powerful in the RNLI’s fleet, with two ‘MTU’ engines that produce up to 1600 horsepower, a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles. 

The costs for all 4 lifeboats have been entirely met by donations.  The team are grateful to all those in Shetland & beyond who have helped with funding. 

Their service has been recognised with 62 RNLI Gallantry Awards, including the most recent RNLI gold medal awarded to Coxswain Mechanic Hewitt Clark for the rescue of five crew of the Green Lily off Bressay in November 1997.

We are proud to support our local community and as Shetland’s first tour operator to announce publicly in 2022 that we were awaiting Green Tourism grading, we continue to set good examples in all that we do.

We will continue to support our local heroes in any way we can. We host an RNLI donation box inside our cabin, whilst on our tours, if you have any loose change please feel free to donate. Every donation goes towards helping lives at sea.

We also support them by providing gift vouchers as raffles for local fundraising events organised by the committee, keep up the good work folks…you are amazing.

Photo Credits: Bob Kerr


The Noss Boat ‘Seabird’ – Welcomes Simon King Onboard – 22.06.2022

Seabirds-and-Seals is an award-winning business and goes from strength to strength, leading the way as a top Wildlife Boat Tour Attraction.  We are delighted to be working in collaboration with local businesses as well as some fabulous names in the photography/film sector from all over the globe.  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 – always a crew member available on deck delivering a professional service and answering any questions.  What better boat to showcase this all on than ‘The Noss Boat – Seabird’, which hosts a huge viewing platform all on one level – allowing everyone to enjoy fabulous 360° panoramic viewing.  This is an ideal boat for everyone to move around comfortably to get the best action shots – free as a bird.  Plus the comfort of the inside heated cabin, should anyone need to shelter from the elements.

Simon King is a world renowned Naturalist and wildlife film maker – we loved watching his ‘Shetland Diaries’ series and other productions.  He has worked on countless productions as presenter, producer, director and cameraman.  Productions include Big Cat Diary, Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, Countryfile, Blue Planet, Planet Earth and much more.  

Simon has been coming to Shetland for years now and his films have put Shetland on the bucket lists of ecotourists all over the world – it is so great to have him back on the Island and working in collaboration with Seabirds-and-Seals for the 2022 season to offer bespoke tours to his many fabulous guests.  We look forward to working with him for many years to come.  

Quoted by Simon King following a bespoke tour with partner Kim and guests on Monday 20th June:
Thank you so much for two super runs to Noss over the past couple of weeks. All guests were thrilled by the trips and very impressed by you and Brian’s geniality, knowledge and humour”. 

To learn more about Simon’s early life, his many awards and much visit:










30th Anniversary Passengers – 07.05.2022

Our 30th Anniversary passengers agreed to have a photo at the end of our morning tour on Saturday 7th May. All had a great time and delighted to each receive a £30 gift voucher to use on a future tour. We also had two couples on honeymoon, so each were presented with a bottle of bubbly to celebrate.
We then went on to have an evening of celebrations with crew over the years, family and friends at the Shetland Hotel – a fabulous day celebrating 30 Years Of Seabirds-and-Seals ‘The Noss Boat’.  
Dr Jonathan Wills who founded the business, is standing 2nd in from the left.

30 Years Of Seabirds-and-Seals EST 1992 – 7th May 2022

Saturday 7th May 2022 – what a very special day it was as we marked 30 Years Of Seabirds-and-Seals. We would like to thank all customers over the years and to everyone who has joined our tours so far this season and to everyone who has supported the business in any way at all. We look forward to welcoming many more passengers.
We had a full 3-hour morning tour on the day of our Anniversary and a great time had by all.  We left the afternoon as an open boat and had many many visitors hop aboard to join in on the celebrations.  We then met with crew over the years, family and friends at the Shetland Hotel in the evening for further celebrations.  It was a magical day and an event that couldn’t pass without celebrations. 
If anyone has photos or stories from a Seabirds-and-Seals Noss Boat Tour – feel free to share on our Facebook page or email to:
Here’s a selection of photos from over the years – enjoy!

Fabulous Gannet Action During Our Daily Wildlife Noss Boat Tours – Published 02.05.2022



Sharing some photos taken by Bob Kerr who assists Lerwick Lifeboat Station with their social media listings and news.  We were invited to assist Lerwick Lifeboat with a towing exercise on the evening of Thursday 14th April and it was our pleasure as always.  This training exercise provided valuable experience for all crew, allowing them to practice important skills such as safely attaching tow lines, taking a boat under tow and manoeuvring a boat without power alongside a safe berth in the harbour . 

Come July it will be two years since Lerwick lifeboat crew members celebrated the 90th anniversary of the station’s first lifeboat ‘The Lady Jane & Martha Ryland’.  The 51ft ‘Barnett-class’ lifeboat was named by the Duchess of Montrose in June 1932 as a crowd of over 2,000 people looked on.  With two 60-horsepower petrol engines, and a top-speed of just under nine knots, the Barnett-class was the most powerful RNLI lifeboat in production at the time.

The above named lifeboat was then replaced with another Barnett-class lifeboat (Mk II) – ‘The Claude Cecil Staniforth’, which arrived in Lerwick in 1958 and remained in service for 20 years until 1978.  This was then replaced with Arun-class lifeboat ‘Soldian’ which serviced from 1978 until 1997, when the current Severn-class ‘Michael and Jane Vernon’ took up service.

The current 17-metre (56 feet) all-weather lifeboat is the largest and most powerful in the RNLI’s fleet, with two “MTU” engines that produce up to 1600 horsepower, a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles.

Over the years, the many coxwain’s and volunteer crews of Lerwick Lifeboat have been decorated for several extraordinary rescue operations, they have won many awards for their outstanding bravery, saving over 800 lives.  Their service has been recognised with 62 RNLI Gallantry Awards.    

The RNLI is a charitable organisation and with water all around our islands, they need all the support they can get.  The Lerwick Lifeboat Station has a shop which can be accessed via Commercial Street.  You can pick up the perfect gift or souvenir, they have homewares, clothing, tasty treats, toys, greeting cards and much much more.  The shop is run by volunteers, and all profits help save lives at sea.

#RNLI #savinglivesatsea #respectthewater #lerwicklifeboat



Today we were delighted to welcome our first passengers for our #30yearsatnoss 2022 boat tour season and what a fabulous start with happy passengers who never stopped clicking away at their cameras, fantastic feedback received by all before stepping ashore.
We saw many seabirds and seals, beautiful blue-eyed gannets diving and encircling around out Noss Boat ‘Seabird’.
On our afternoon 3-hour tour, we launched our ROV mini submarine to explore around a shipwreck – beautiful sunstar, sea urchins, sea anemones, Shetland’s kelp forest and information shared by Brian about the shipwreck itself.
We are excited to be back on the water showcasing all Lerwick harbour, Bressay & Noss has to offer, sharing our knowledge, passion and looking after our customers which is our top priority to ensure all interest/ages catered for. We look forward to getting you up close and personal to the awe-inspiring sights/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. We also delight in sharing our knowledge on the history, geology, folklore and much more as we cover our cruising route.
It was chilly out there today, so the indoor heated cabin and warm drinks were most welcoming, whilst still being able to experience further wildlife and photography opportunities.
We will sleep like a log tonight after all that sea air, but tomorrow’s another day with two trips. Our morning tour is fully booked but still some spaces remaining on our 12:30pm 3-hour minimum tour.
Join us on our daily Noss Boat Tours, described by many in our NO.1 TripAdvisor and Google reviews as ‘A Real holiday Highlight’.
We are also wheelchair accessible, to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience nature.

Equal Access To Nature

Seabirds and Seals believe that EVERYONE should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife in their daily lives – but we know that not everyone has equal access to nature. For that reason, we have made travel on our boat ‘Seabird’ as accessible and inclusive as we possibly can – from design stage to the moment you come aboard. ‘Seabird’ is the only Noss tour boat that is wheelchair-accessible and to ensure opportunities remain as equal for visitors as they do for locals, we have teamed up with the amazing local charity Ability Shetland who said:

“Ability Shetland are delighted to be working together with Seabirds and Seals to ensure less able people have access to their award-winning boat trips around Bressay and Noss.

We are supporting the company by providing wheelchairs to ensure passengers that require them, can get aboard safely and be comfortable during their trip.

We are so pleased that Seabirds and Seals approached us to see where we could help to ensure that less able people are included in all activities, including those available to visitors to our islands – and also people within our own community too”.

Our guests are the most important aspect of our business and we want to ensure differences are valued and that everyone can be themselves and flourish. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions you might have.


Assisting Lerwick Lifeboat With Exercise Training


Tuesday night with a difference a couple of weeks ago, but one we were proud to be part of. We were approached early October by Lerwick Lifeboat’s Coxwain to see if we would be willing to assist them with a night-time exercise and of course we were happy to assist. The exercise involved us going out the North exit of the harbour, then East to the Gunnista Holm to allow the Lifeboat to attach a tow line and take us safely back in alongside Mair’s Pier in Lerwick harbour. The lifeboat certainly does an outstanding service for everybody and good to see them out training. It’s exercises like this that helps to develop the crews skills and only too happy to assist with any required exercises with such fine friendly crew.  They all do us very proud with their outstanding bravery .

The Lerwick branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has provided four lifeboats over the last 90 years. The first one arrived in July 1930 and was called the Lady Jane and Martha Ryland and now we have the beautiful Michael and Jane Vernon 17-10. The current lifeboat is a 1997 severn-class-all-weather vessel (56 feet) and the most powerful in the RNLI’s fleet, with two “MTU’ engines that produce up to 1600 horsepower, a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles.

The costs for all 4 lifeboats have been entirely met by donations. The team are grateful to all those in Shetland & elsewhere who have helped funding.

The work the RNLI does is incredible and over the years the coxswain and crew have been decorated for several extraordinary rescue operations, they certainly do us very proud and over the years they have received many well deserved awards for their outstanding bravery. Their service has been recognized with 62 RNLI Gallantry Awards. The most recent being the RNLI gold medal award to Coxswain/Mechanic Hewitt Clark, for the incredible rescue operation that took place off Bressay in November 1997. That day they had to battle through storm force winds and enormous waves to save lives from a ship called the Green Lily – date never to be forgotten here in Shetland.

Last photo taken by Dennis Coutts – a well-known local photographer, which shows you Lerwick’s first lifeboat mentioned in our story above and I am sure you will all agree that our crew members definitely deserve a big shout of many many thanks for all the amazing work they do.

If you’re visiting Shetland, be sure to give @rnlilerwick1710 a donation when passing their HQ in the waterfront’s Tollbooth building, which also has a lovely gift shop. You will also find charity boxes in local shops and we have one onboard Seabird. If you can’t wait, you can donate online via – thank you!


Seabirds-and-Seals Participates in Taste of Shetland Festival

We were delighted to be part of the recent Taste of Shetland Festival 2021 festival. We were approached by Shetland Tourism Association asking if we would be willing to appear in their short video which was showcased on a big screen for all festival attendees and for those at home to watch. We of course happily accepted and loved attending in person on the day.

It was a great festival celebrating Shetland food & drink, but also everything else amazing that Shetland has to offer.

There is just so much to see and do in Shetland, this lovely short video gives you some very fine suggestions, including our Seabirds-and-Seals Noss Boat Tours.

Enjoy this short video which is copyright of ‘Shetland Tourism Assoicaiton’ – with permission to share further afield.