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The Original Wildlife Boat Trip around Bressay & Noss, Shetland Islands
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Noss & Bressay Boat History - During 50's & 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.


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!!

Diane W

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!

Nick M

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.

Hanson & Louise

Enjoy the best things to do in Lerwick with a plan including Seabirds-and-Seals