Thank You – Following An Amazing 2021 Season

On Saturday 16th October we had our last scheduled Noss Boat Tour of the 2021 season and what a cracking day we had for it. Beautiful sunshine, calm seas, plenty of wildlife opportunities and 12 delighted passengers enjoying their time on our very comfortable Catamaran Seabird. 

This second photo below was taken at the end of the tour as we berthed at the Small Boat Harbour. Everyone gave fabulous feedback and thumbs up, including the 3 missing but they couldn’t stay for the end of season photograph as they had another appointment that they had to rush off to.

This season has been absolutely incredible, we would like to thank everyone who has joined our Seabirds-and-Seals Noss Boat Tours and to everyone who has supported us in any way at all, very much appreciated by us both.

Thank you to everyone who has left us so many fantastic reviews/recommendations and for all the photographs shared on our social media sites, absolutely amazing. Our customer experience & feedback is most important to us, thank you. Feel free to keep sharing your amazing tour photographs on any of our social media sites, we absolutely love them and so too do our followers – please do keep them coming. Still time to leave us a review if not done already – you can review us here on FB/TripAdvisor & Google – thank you.

Thank you to our relief crew members over the season – you know who you are.

We are making exciting plans for our 2022 season with lots of bookings already – just watch this space for further updates.

We are excited about the future and look forward to welcoming many more passengers onboard Seabird. Shetland is very special in our hearts  and we love showcasing all it has to offer with great passion and enthusiasm.

A lot of people ask us what we do in the Winter months, well we are still involved with Seabird assisting various companies with seabird and seal counts. We are involved with the Lerwick lifeboat who hire us to do practice exercises. We have some exciting private charters ahead. We work on new promotional materials/marketing for the following season. We love the outdoors so make sure to get out for walks, like to take in plenty of exercise to keep us fit. Marie has her relief carework and Brian gets stuck into any project he can, currently doing maintenance on an old ambulance we purchased and been converted into a campervan. We like to try and get a wee break away when the time is right, be great to get away on a road trip with our camper to see family members not seen in a while.

Enjoy the rest of 2021, take care, stay safe and please keep following us on our social media sites. We will keep our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages active from now until start of next season and of course our blog here on our website.

Thanks You once again and from the bottom of our hearts .

Over & Out
Marie & Brian

P.S – photos taken with my new Lumix camera which I am still getting to know, but my good friend Richard Ashbee is going to teach me a thing or two on photography – I wil be a pro before long 


Opera Video Performance – Inside The Orkneyman’s Cave

Following on from previous blog post – here is the beautiful opera singing performance inside the Orkneyman’s Cave – amazing accoustics inside the cave.  Thanks to Novel Adventures group member Cheryl for your outstanding opera performance – wow just beautiful .

Our last opera performer was our good friend from Faroe – he is director of the Faroese Symphony Orchestra. I was so in awe of his singing that day that I forgot to take a video, so I promised myself that the next time we had an opera singer onboard, we would be sure to capture it.

Special thanks to Novel Adventures Owner – Kim, for sending on the video, much clearer volume than the one I took.




Andy the Highlander and Novel Adventures


On our second last scheduled Noss Boat Tour of the season – Tuesday 12th October, we had our group that have been booked for some time on-board Seabird and most members all the way from the States.  The title of the tour was called ‘Outlander’ and will make sense as to why it is called that as you read further.  The tour was very well organized by the lovely Kim who runs her own company called ‘Novel Adventures’ – this will be the second time Kim has been on our tours. Considering they had all been up since 4am to catch a flight, they were full of life/smiles when we met them at 11am for their first time on Victoria Pier. We are sure they would have slept well that night after all the beautiful sea air. One group member though from Sweden and another from Scotland – Spot the True Scotsman! This gentleman is better known as “Andy The Highlander” – he does guided Scottish Tours and has played big roles in the Shetland Crime Drama Series and also The Outlander Series – this brought the tour to being titled ‘Outlander Adventures’. You can check out more about Andy on his Facebook page by following links at foot of this post or just google ‘Andy The Highlander’, his story of how he got to where he is today – absolutely amazing.  


Althought getting late into the season, we were still treated to loads of wildlife and opera singing inside the stunning Orkneyman’s Cave – just beautiful . The opera performance can be viewed by clicking on the link below – enjoy!  Once on our Seabirds-and-Seals Facebook page – feel free to give our page a ‘Like’ and have a browse through our many posts.

If you are unable to open the above link – check out our seperate blog titled ‘Opera Video Performance Inside The Orkneyman’s Cave’.

In the Giant’s Leg photo – I had them all shouting gannets, speaking of which – we had a few follow us from the leg over to Noss, simply stunning!

Delightful group to have onboard Seabird and a fantastic time had by all – got thumbs up at the end of the tour . Since the tour over a week ago now – group leader Kim has messaged me to say “Superfantastic first day in Shetland”. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to get their Shetland vacation off to a fabulous start.

Following this tour – we had our very last tour of the 2021 season on Saturday 16th October, which was also a great success. 


Scottish Enterprise Awards Winner 2021


Great write up in our local paper last week – Shetland Times 15.10.2021.

We are truly humbled to win yet another award to add to the trophy  cabinet.

Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this award possible.


Noss & Bressay Tour History – 50’s and 60’s

As you will have read from the description on our tours, we like to share a good bit of history along the way as well as sharing our great knowledge on all the beautiful wildlife/nature we spot along the way, all our previous passengers love this good mix and is one of the factors that makes our popular 4-Star tours so unique.  We have many many stories to share about the history of Noss when moored up at our regular refreshments stop, which also has loads of wildlife spotting opportunities. I am sharing information from a friend Linda Sutherland who grew up in Bressay, which has given us even more information to share. Her story tells us all about the history of the boats that were used to transport between Noss & Bressay in the 50’s & 60’s, very interesting.

Linda’s Grandfather got tenancy of Noss in 1939, after he died his sons carried on farming, based on a croft in Gunnista plus Noss and one or two other small bits of land. The youngest son was Linda’s father. Linda and her Sister spent every summer in Noss until 1969, when the brothers gave up the tenancy. She has many fond memories of using the boats, fishing for pilticks on summer evenings, swimming kye and pony into and out of the isle, rescuing sheep stranded on a skerry at da Heidless Banks. I could write more but that’s all for now folks!


The three boats were included in the Boat Week display in 2017 at Bressay Heritage centre. These boats were our transport between Noss and Bressay in the 50s and 60s.

The black one is the Bressay Lass, originally built for a Hardie man as replacement for one lost in Bressay Sound in 1910. We used it for flitting lambs out of Noss.

The blue one was our Noss workhorse boat, ferrying us and visitors over Noss Sound. Like the Bressay Lass, it was bought second-hand. Dad told me it had been built by Walter Duncan for a Captain Williamson of Owsensetter, to the spec that it should be light enough for one man to launch and draw ashore. It certainly was light, and easy to handle (even for a ten-year-old me. :-))

The green punt was built for my uncle by George Smith of Gunnista, Bressay. I don’t remember it being used very often – probably the main reason for having it in Noss was as emergency backup, in case the Walter Duncan one was unusable for some reason.


Award-Winning & Longest Established Noss Boat Tour Busines


A snippet from a magazine featuring Seabirds and Seals

“In a year of staycations and holidays at home, many people across Shetland and the wider UK have come to appreciate, more than ever, what we have on our doorsteps. One business which has been doing the isles proud and doing a wonderful job of showcasing them for almost thirty years is Seabirds and Seals”.

Marie & Brian – Noss Boat Tours Team are delighted to be featured in the latest edition of ii magazine! They would like to thank all their customers and business associates for making them well and truly THE Number One boat tour to Noss – as voted by TripAdvisor members and reviewers.

Seabirds-and-Seals is a well-established award-winning business, founded in 1992 by naturalist Dr Jonathan Wills, making it the longest established Noss Boat Tour Business.  Brian has been intimately involved with award-winning tour company Seabirds-and-Seals since it started up in 1992 by naturalist Dr Jonathan Wills. In 2017 Marie & Brian Leask bought the business and continued the good work that Jonathan had been doing for years. 

Like so many native Shetlanders, Brian & Marie instinctively grew up to be dedicated bird watchers and naturalists.  Their experience and knowledge of the sea, nature and the local heritage around them is extensive and – to their passengers’ delight – highly entertaining.  Their fun, personal and engaging style appeals to all ages and varying interest.  Always two crew in the interest of safety, passenger comfort and welfare, they look after your every need to ensure you are having a fabulous experience.   A new series of TripAdvisor and Google reviews, started after their busy first season in 2018, those were extremely positive and show how popular this fascinating nature tour still is, after all these years! After just one full season they were awarded the Scottish Tourist Board’s 4-Star distinction and TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Their tours consistently generate great reviews, leading to TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice award in 2020 and again in 2021.


Seabirds-and-Seals Wins TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice 2021


Seabirds-and-Seals are delighted to share their fantastic notification received this morning, what wonderful news to waken up to on a Saturday morning, both chuffed to bits.

Seabirds-and-Seals Wins 2021 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award and now Ranked No.1 On TripAdvisor. We would like to thank all our amazing passengers for making this fantastic award possible.

This achievement celebrates businesses that consistently deliver fantastic experiences to travellers around the globe, having earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year was, Seabirds-and-Seals stood out by continuously providing a fantastic experience for all passengers on-board their Noss Boat ‘Seabird’.

Statement from Kanika Soni (TripAdvisor Chief Commercial Officer) – “Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 Travelers’ Choice Awards. I know the past year has been extremely challenging for tourism businesses. What has impressed me is how businesses adapted to these challenges, implementing new cleanliness measures, adding social distancing guidelines, and utilizing technology to prioritize guest safety. The Travelers’ Choice Awards highlight the places that are consistently excellent – delivering quality experiences time and time again even while navigating changing customer expectations and new ways of working. Based on a full year of reviews from customers, this award speaks to the great service and experience you provided guests in the midst of a pandemic.”

Seabirds-and-Seals was established way back in 1992, making it the longest operating Noss Boat Tour. Brian(Tour Guide & Skipper) has been part of the business since it started, acting as marine engineer and on occasions as crew. Next year we have a big Birthday to celebrate – 30 years of Seabirds-and-Seals.

All the reviews you read on TripAdvisor are since we took over the business from previous owner ‘Dr Jonathan Wills’ in 2018. We are absolutely chuffed to bits with all our successes and we have consistently won TripAdvisor awards each year since we took over the business. After only 1 season of trading – we were awarded 4-Stars from the Scottish Tourist Board.

“We are delighted to be recognized again for this award and showing as No.1 on TripAdvisor.  Glad to see that our hard work, passion and dedication has delivered as we certainly aim to provide our passengers with a most amazing wildlife/boat tour experience on-board ‘Seabird’. Thanks again to all our amazing passengers for making this award possible.  Our aim is to continue providing you with the best boat, best wildlife/boat tour experience, best guides and the best value for money, for many more years to come.”

Thank You
Marie & Brian – Seabirds-and-Seals Noss Boat Tours


Great Skua Keeping Up With Seabird

Known Locally As ‘Da Bonxie’

We have been playing around with some new video software, took me a few hours to figure out how to remove background music to allow me to add sound tracks, was frustrating at times but I was not going to give up and success, so we thought we would share one of our fun clips from a couple who provides a fun tour suited for all ages.  

This video footage was shared with us from one of our guests back in 2019, we or should I say Brian made it a bit more fun with his choice of music.  This footage shows a Great Skua also known as Bonxie here in Shetland, trying its very best to keep up with Seabird going back into Lerwick Harbour after a stop off at the Bressay Lighthouse – one of many stops where we have so much history to share and always makes a nice photo opportunity with the heart shaped archway.


Trip to Noss – Admire Beautiful Blue-Eye Gannets

Blue Eyed Gannets At Noss
A small group within a colony of over 20,000 northern gannets that line the cliffs of Noss each summer. We absolutely adore our season and showing all our passengers these beautiful blue-eyed seabirds at really close range on our 4-Star Seabirds-and-Seals tours.
We are making preparations for our 2021 season and now taking online bookings! We look forward to welcoming you on-board ‘Seabird’.  
Watch this space for many more blogs as the seasons progresses.  
@promoteshetland @nossboat @shetlandwildlife