Public Announcement Friday 31st July 2020
Seabirds-and-Seals are delighted to announce that they are now taking bookings for 2021 with immediate effect. We've made some changes to how we operate to ensure the safety of our passengers and crew, which is always our top priority. The procedures we have put in place allows us to operate business as usual and is numbered fully further below.
We want you to have a safe trip with us aboard Seabird so we're working hard to adhere to the latest Government health advice for boat operators and passengers. Although things will be a little different this year, we want to reassure you that the incredible wildlife experience you’ll have on our trip – will be as spectacular as ever.
We follow the Scottish Government Guidance for transport operators which states "this guidance is also applicable to those operators in the tourism sector who provide transport services which are available to the public".
These changes will be updated as and when required to ensure we are following the Scottish Government Guidelines.
Here's how we're operating and what we're asking of you:
1. Bring a mask and ideally visit the toilet before you board, but we do have fully accessible toilet facilities for use on deck level, door which is fully cleaned/sanitised prior to the tour and between scheduled tours.
2. Wrap up for the weather and ideally wear waterproof clothing. We do have an indoor cabin should you need to come in for shelter, well venitlated as the door is kept open at all times - all surfaces/door handles fully cleaned/sanitised prior to the tour and between scheduled tours.
3. Don't attempt to come aboard if you or a member of your household has been displaying any Coronovirus symptoms. Please stay home and follow Scottish Government & Public Health Scotland advice. We will be happy to welcome you back when you are better.
4. Please arrive on slipway/walkway at Victoria Pier – directly across from Tourist Information Centre at the scheduled tour times stated.
5. We will meet you and brief you on safety aboard the boat including our Covid-19-precautions.
6. We reserve the right to deny boarding to anyone we consider to be unwell or who we think will be unable to comply with the Covid-19 rules we're adhering too. A full refund will be provided if you have paid in advance.
7. When you board the vessel, crew will direct you to the hand sanitizer station and then you will be guided to your position on the vessel – group bookings will be positioned together. All seats, handrails, surfaces etc fully cleaned/sanitized prior to the tour and between scheduled tours.
8. We provide lifejackets for all our passengers. During our safety briefing we will inform you where the lifejackets are kept and demonstrate how to put on. The lifejackets are cleaned/santized between scheduled tours.
9. During the voyage you are not confined to your seat and can move around freely - Seabird has a huge viewing platform to allow you to do this. Skipper Brian ensures everyone gets to see the sights equally.
10. Our underwater viewing has been suspended due to the Covid Regulations in place.
11. In our tour information you will note we offer tea/coffee/juice/biscuits which includes gluten-free option. If you are uncomfortable sharing this facility please feel free to take your own snacks. No alcohol on-board.
12. We do have binoculars to borrow - they are fully sanitized between scheduled tours.
13. We have laminated what you can see charts, this will be made available to you at the start of the tour. The charts will be sanitized between scheduled tours.
14. We take payments at the end of the tour and would be grateful if you could please have the correct money prior to boarding Seabird. If any groups have paid in advance, we will ask you to disembark first.
15. We’ll be working to make the boat as clean and safe as possible - fully cleaned/sanitized between tours and at the end of each day.
16. We already have advance booking details, therefore we will retain your details in line with our online booking data protection policy. However this data may be requested for use by Covid 19 'track and trace' staff. For anyone not booked in advance - we have the QR scan code poster which you can use with an App on your phone, but we also have a form if you don't have the App or in the event of it not working.
17. Specifically relating to COVID-19, you acknowledge that you are travelling with us at your own risk and agree that you will not hold our company or staff liable if you contract COVID-19 virus following a voyage aboard ‘Seabird’. If anyone travelling with us does test positive within two weeks of the tour - please inform us.
18. By coming on our tour you are agreeing to follow the procedures we have in line with Government Guidance.
This section has been added to our standard terms and if it conflicts with any other subsequent sections – then this section has precedence.
We look forward to welcoming you onboard Seabird and thank you for your patience as we find out feet with the new ways of working.
Marie & Brian Leask
Seabirds-and-Seals(Original Noss Boat Tours)
Public Statement - Wednesday 25th March 2020
We are very keen to let our many customers & followers know where we stand in a world which is currently experiencing a public health & financial crisis in light of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). The Shetland Islands are unfortunately no exception with cases now being confirmed & many local businesses now on hold.
We are a family run business totally reliant on the tourist sector, taking the ever-evolving UK government & NHS advice regarding Coronavirus very seriously & have halted the start of our boat tour season which was due to start at the beginning of April.
It is with regret that SEABIRDS-AND-SEALS is now CLOSED FOR BUSINESS for APRIL & MAY 2020. We will re-evaluate our situation during May for the rest of the 2020 Shetland tourist season & hope that more positive news & boat trips may resume later in the Summer.
We will over the next few days, be contacting all of our April & May PRE-BOOKED CUSTOMERS to let them know our current situation & offering the two options below:
1. A cancellation & full refund if paid in advance.
2. A chance to postpone your boat tour until later in the year or for a date of your choice in 2021.
The above options are also available to all our PRE-BOOKED CUSTOMERS for the rest of the 2020 seabird tour season, though we will not be officially closing the JUNE-OCTOBER tours or making any decisions on our Noss Boat trips during that period until after out next evaluation in May. Obviously, we understand that many of our customers are having to cancel their 2020 trips to Shetland regardless of our own business situation. If you are able to not cancel but postpone & carry over your booking with us into 2021 we would be extremely grateful, though we know this is not always an option. We understand that this is a very stressful & uncertain time for all & our thoughts go out to those affected directly by the virus or as a result of the financial implications of it. If you have any questions regarding trips with SEABIRDS-AND-SEALS please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling either Marie or Brian on:
07595540224 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie & Brian Leask
SEABIRDS-AND-SEALS - Noss Boat.
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.