Gannets Occupying Sandstone Ledges

© Ian Brown

Noss National Nature Resere


Early morning photography tour around Noss National Nature Reserve & Bressay aboard our spacious Catamaran Seabird, departing from Victoria Pier Lerwick. Only available on Tuesday's and Friday's but may be subject to change depending on weather.


Shetland's only boat tour operator to be awarded Visit Scotland's Prestigious 5-Star Gold distinction.

Awarded Finalists in the 2023 Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards under two categories – ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ and ‘Inclusive Tourism’.

UK Enterprise Awards Winners 2022 - Overall Winners for Scotland as showing clearly on our winning logo - awarded 'Best Wildlife & Photography Boat Tour Company 2022: Scotland'.

Scotland Prestige Award Winners 2022 - Awarded 'Boat Tour Operator Of The Year Scotland'.

  • Ranked On TripAdvisor as 'THE NO.1 NOSS BOAT'

Rise early for a short-sharp photo opportunity just as gannets waken and catch the sunrise morning light. We provide hot drinks and biscuits into the tour, caffeine always a welcome treat early morning. After all that sea air you will return to land with a healthy appetite and happy memories to speak about over breakfast.  

We operate our early morning photography tour on Tuesday's and Saturday's. Boarding time is 6am with departure at 6:15am, departing from Victoria Pier in Lerwick. We require a minimum number of 8 for this tour to go ahead.

Timings can be subject to change, please check our online booking calendar here for up-to-date boarding times and availability. We ask you to arrive at the advertised boarding times to allow us to do our warm welcome & safety briefing.   

• Join Marie & Brian your highly experienced crew on our Superb 5-Star Noss Boat Tour experience. We are a 'Natural' born and bred Shetland couple, our experience/knowledge of boats,the sea, nature & the local heritage around us is extensive. Passengers tell us our fun, personal and engaging style appeals to all ages and varying interests. We guarantee you many happy memories of your time with us.

• We always have TWO CREW in the interest of safety, passenger comfort and welfare, as well as to provide you with a richer experience and to make sure you have an unforgettable tour with Seabirds-and-Seals. Fun and engaging Live commentary to suit all interests/ages and each passenger receives their own handset/earphones to give that personal touch, the sets are sanitized between tours. You're in very safe hands with highly experienced skipper Brian, who has spent his life around boats and has a wealth of knowledge about our local waters, which can only be gained through a lifetime’s experience and makes him a very safe and most dependable tour skipper. With his qualifications, experience and masterful boatmanship, Brian is in perfect place at the helm. 

• Our tours are very family friendly and tailored to suit all interests/ages. We have on-board activities to keep our younger sailors entertained and each receive a Free Eco-Friendly sealife activity pack. 

• After our first extremely busy season in 2018, we were graded as a 4-Star Tour by the Scottish Tourist Board. Since then we have had another unannounced visit and delighted to announce that we have now been graded as a 5-Star Tour. Every year since taking over the business, we have won TripAdvisor's Certificate Of Excellence and Travellers' Choice awards. Join us and find out for yourselves why we are the boat of choice for all major film crews, tour groups, photographers, families & why we are Ranked as THE NO.1 Noss Boat on TripAdvisor.

• Thirty one (31) years on, Seabirds-and-Seals remains the original and longest-established Noss Boat Tour Business after Naturalist and former Skipper Dr Jonathan Wills – founded the award-winning enterprise in 1992. Skipper Brian has been actively involved with the business ever since it began and in 2017, along with his wife Marie, they bought the business from Jonathan, maintaining the business ethos and reputation as the Original – and Number One – Noss Boat tour business.

• As with any business takeover – a new series of TripAdvisor and Google Reviews started in our first season (2018) – all were extremely positive and show how popular our tours are. After just one full season, we were awarded the Scottish Tourist Board’s 4-Star distinction and TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. We have since then received another unannounced Quality Assurance visit from Visit Scotland and delighted to now have 5-Star distinction. Our tours consistently generate great reviews, leading to TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award in 2020, 2021 and again in 2022. In November 2021, we were awarded Winners of ‘Scotland’s Best Wildlife Boat Tour Company’ at the Scottish Enterprise Awards. In 2022 we were awarded 'Boat Tour Operator Of The Year' by Scotland Prestige Awards, as well as 'Best Wildlife & Photography Boat Tour Company - Scotland' at the UK Enterprise Awards. Now into 2023 we are delighted to be awarded with a Green Tourism Silver Award. Being Green Tourism Accredited shows that we are eco-friendly and committed to working responsibly, ethically and sustainably. We are proud to be keeping up the many awards Seabirds-and-Seals Noss Boat Tours has historically received. 

• We give you a full tour around Bressay & Noss. The views along the way are awe-inspiring. You will marvel at the stupendous cliffs, coves & caves. This amazing experience allows you to enjoy Shetland's plethora of seabirds and seals. This really is one of Britain's very finest wildlife spectacles! You will get unbelievably close to the breath-taking sights and sounds of this extraordinary seabird metropolis - home to 25,000 Northern gannets, as well as thousands of other seabirds lining the towering (180m high) sandstone cliffs of Noss National Nature Reserve. Along the way, we will regale you with local history & folk tales and share our in-depth knowledge of Lerwick's beautiful harbour, the Bressay Lighthouse, the Orkneyman's Cave, the magnificent Giant’s Leg archway and the striking geology of Bressay & Noss. This tour provides you with spectacular views and gives you fantastic opportunities to see and photograph a variety of wildlife and stunning scenery.

• When sea conditions allow, we sail you through the magnificent Giant's Leg archway. This is always a WOW! with our guests. We also take you into the beautiful Orkneyman's cave with great acoustics. 

• We take fish on our tours to allow you to get spectacular shots of the incredible gannets encircling and diving, right alongside our boat, one of many highlights on our tour.

• After your trip around the cliffs of Noss, we anchor in a tranquil little bay, which offers plenty of wildlife & photography opportunities. We provide fresh filter coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice and a selection of biscuits (including gluten-free). If you or anyone else in your party has any other dietary requirements, just let us know when making your booking with us. Please do tell us if you or anyone in your party is celebrating a special occasion – we will push the boat out for you (pardon the pun). This stop is always a great highlight and an opportunity for all aboard to have a chat whilst enjoying a refreshment and soaking up the beautiful surroundings. If your phone battery runs low after all the photo taking, we can assist as we have USB charging points throughout the cabin.

• Not guaranteed but if we’re really lucky… we may even see porpoises or the occasional whale, otter or dolphin. With the sharp eyes of two dedicated crew on every tour, we are always on the lookout to share as much as we can and we do this with great devotion/enthusiasm as reflected in our TripAdvisor reviews. Whilst out on the water – all eyes peeled and fingers crossed. If we are lucky enough to spot them, you could be on no better boat than Seabird – due to her huge viewing platform to enable you to walk about freely and capture the best shots. As a business with 30 years of experience, we continue to lead the way for responsible boat-based ecotourism. At all times we follow the Nature Scot Scottish Marine Wildlife watching code and we are also WiSe accredited operators, proudly adhering to strict protocols to minimise disturbance to marine wildlife. 

• Seabird is a 13.5m catamaran with twin 370hp engines – a very stable craft because it has twin hulls. There is an extremely spacious viewing platform all on one level as shown on our homepage video and photos. This allows you to enjoy fabulous 360° panoramic viewing without having to watch where you step and ideal for the best photographic opportunities. Partial canopy covering above outside seating area, leaving rest of our spacious platform free for viewing. We are licensed to take 12 passengers with lifejackets made available upon embarkation for all ages. There’s ample room on deck for all 12 passengers to sit, stand or move around freely, without being restricted or confined to your seats or one space – you are free as a bird. If you prefer you can shelter inside our heated cabin, which has seating for all, you’ll still have a great view. You can enjoy a chat around the table and browse our small but fascinating on-board library. Various USB charging points should you need to recharge your battery.

• Seabird is wheelchair accessible onto the boat and an ideal boat for anyone with mobility issues, please check out our published accessibility guide for further information. If wheelchair users wish to access the toilet or cabin, must be able to transfer as the doors are not wide enough.  If you require access to a wheelchair or any other mobility aids whilst in Shetland or wish to arrange before you get here, please do get in touch as we work in collaboration with a local organisation, that can assist and happy to communicate with them on your behalf to arrange collection/return or we can put you in direct contact with them.

 • We have a toilet ON DECK LEVEL fully equipped with hand-sanitizer etc. Always reassuring to know there is a toilet whilst out at sea and especially after those welcoming refreshments.

• We provide binoculars & seabird/cetacean identification charts for everyone during the tour. On-board we have eco-friendly merchandise clothing for sale and also available on our online shop. 

• We look forward to welcoming you aboard 'Seabird'. Come & see why we offer the best boat, the best views, the best wildlife experience, the best guides & of course, the very best value for money - as we OFFER SO MUCH on our tours. This is what makes the difference on our daily Seabirds-and-Seals Noss Boat Tours and praised my many as 'A Real Holiday Highlight'.

Our tours are extremely popular by both locals and visitors, seats are filling fast for 2023 - booking in advance is highly recommended. We always advise not leave booking spaces until your last day in Shetland, as we do sometimes have to cancel due to the weather and we don’t want you missing out on our 4-star excursion. 

You can book online via our website using our online booking system: OR email: OR phone (+44)7595540224 or through the Lerwick Tourist Office(+44)1595 693434.

You will find parking available at Victoria Pier Car Park right next to the slipway. We depart from just opposite the Lerwick Tourist Office.

Any questions, please just call Marie or Brian on the number above or drop us a line.

From £50 per adult

Departure days

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

April — October

Contact details


Marie & Brian Leask
Victoria Pier

Key facilities

  • Level Access
  • Pets Welcome
  • Disabled Parking

Tour information


  • Lerwick
  • Mainland, Shetland
  • Shetland


½ Day


  • Boat


  • Bespoke
  • Private
  • Small Group (1-16)


  • English


  • Family
  • Photography
  • Wildlife

Tour prices

From £50 Per Adult £30 Per Child

Book now

Prices are subject to change depending on season

Tour Stops


Tour company information


Supreme wildlife boat experience with the original & longest established Noss Boat Tour business. Awarded Scotland’s Best Wildlife Boat Tour Company at the Scottish Enterprise Awards. Join us to enjoy Shetland’s abundant Seabirds & Seals. You will get real close to the 25,000 gannets, thousands of guillemots, hundreds of puffins, razorbills, black guillemots, gulls, shags and skuas. Fantastic photography opportunities as we take you around Bressay & Noss. Not guaranteed, but we sometimes see porpoises, occasionally whales, otters and dolphins. Under water viewing (3-hour tour only).

Opening times

0pen from 5am - 10pm 7 days a week from April - October

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