Welcome Aboard - The Noss Boat

We are Shetland's premier wildlife boat tour experience, the ONLY naturalist led, carbon neutral, multi-award winning NOSS BOAT. "Best Visitor Attraction Experience" WINNER - Highlands & Islands Tourism Thistle Awards '22

The ultimate Shetland wildlife & photography boat tour experience.
Come & join us in comfort & style & experience one of Europe’s finest wildlife spectacles with seasoned professionals. Voted 1 of the TOP 10 UK Boat Tours - The Guardian & winner of Best Wildlife & Photography Tour Company of the Year 2023" Global LTG

Anyone visiting Shetland in spring or summer really should book a boat trip with Shetland Seabird Tours - a knowledgeable & highly respected guide - very highly recommended
- Iolo Williams, Naturalist & TV Presenter

“It is Phil's knowledge as a naturalist, enthusiasm to educate & enthral each & every passenger as well as uncompromising attention to passenger safety & boatmanship that make SST truly extraordinary - if you do only one thing on Shetland, do this!”
- Brydon Thomason/Shetland Nature, Local Guide, Photographer, Naturalist

Best of Shetland Days Out - A fun, engaging, wildlife-packed boat tour with 'live' commentary suitable for all the family!

It's hard to believe but Shetland's dramatic scenery is almost more beautiful seen from a boat, and on this trip, you travel with the bonxies & the gannets as escort. Not to be missed!
- Kate Humble, TV broadcaster & author.

A joy to work with - pioneering & passionate in their wildlife & photography boat tours as well as exceptional advocates for conservation
- Richard Shucksmith, Photographer & Marine Ecologist

Local Knowledge - World Class Encounters

Our famous Noss Boat tours offer you the ultimate Shetland wildlife experience, unrivalled wildlife spectacles, close seabird & seal encounters & incredible photographic opportunities with the awe-inspiring Noss 'seabird city' backdrop. We maximise your time at the wildlife hotspots during a full 2+ hours. Our world class tours take you to the breath-taking Noss cliffs & around Bressay, to enjoy shetland's rich, diverse marine environment. See thousands of breeding seabirds, close seal encounters, beautiful scenic views, iconic landmarks & striking local geology, including the legendary Orkneyman’s Cave & striking natural arch of the Giant’s Leg....

We can take up to 12 passengers per trip & are the No.1 boat of choice for major film crews, groups, photographers, families & all who have made us a top Shetland visitor attraction experience. Run by local couple Phil Harris & Rebecca Nason, passionate nature lovers with a wealth of marine wildlife experience, and sea-faring experience, offering the best in customer service! Our boat tours include fun, engaging, 'live' commentary throughout, suitable for all ages & interests. Whether you are a professional wildlife photographer or on holiday with young children & fancy a fun, memorable boat trip - we are the tour for you! From seabirds, seals, & whales, to beautiful rock formations, lighthouses, sea caves, inlets & natural arches - we offer a varied tour, full of local insights & stories, all around the most breathtaking & inspiring of Shetland's natural coastline & marine environment.

We are the longest operating Noss Boat & Crew having been in constant business with the same owners, crew & boat since 2016. Our tours are used by all the major film crews, including BBC Springwatch, Wild Shetland/Maramedia & Nat Geo TV.

Seabird Spectacular & Diving Gannets

Join us for a real 'gannet's eye view' with the incredible sight of over 25,000 gannets (solan) and other seabirds including guillemots (longwi), razorbills (sea craa), puffins (tammie norie), black guillemots (tystie), kittiwakes (weeg), fulmars (maalie) & great skuas (bonxie), all around the towering 180 metre weathered sandstone noup of Noss NNR. Shetland is home to millions of seabirds through the summer months, in fact 22 species breed here, 18 of which occur in nationally important numbers. The "seabird city" colony at Noss supports one of the largest & most diverse concentrations of seabirds anywhere in Europe, & is a true seabird spectacular to behold.
We offer a unique, spectacular gannet feeding & diving experience, right alongside the boat. We supply the fish - a large bucket of locally caught mackerel - and give you time! We have a wildlife friendly, gentle pace & make sure you have as much time in the hot spots as we can during your tour. Our gannet feeding frenzy, encapsulating what fishing boats entering the busy northern harbour have done for centuries, is our speciality & the highlight for many. We do not rush our visit to Noss cliffs or time with diving gannets to make sure you get the most of this very special wildlife experience. Have your cameras at the ready!

Daily Noss Boat Tours & Prices

Our famous Noss Boat trips run from April - October every day (weather depending) from Victoria Pier Slipway, Lerwick Harbour, just opposite the Tourist Office. We run scheduled daily boat trips at 09.45am, 12.45pm & 3.45pm (No 3.45pm tour Mon or Sat). Departures are approx 15 mins later. All our tours last for 2-2.5 hrs.
Our scheduled tour prices are kept as low as possible to be as inclusive as possible, we feel the price is incredible value for money at £60 for adults & £25 for under 16’s. Our price for under 16's hasn't changed since we started our business in 2016! We are the only tour that maximises your time with the marine wildlife around Noss & Bressay waters. We are without doubt the best boat, offer the best wildlife experience & the best value for money. Come & join Shetland's premier boat tour company & experience what is often hailed THE holiday highlight!
Being the photographers boat of choice, we also run our original scheduled 'Early Bird' sunrise tours for the best of Shetland's early morning light at the cliffs of Noss. These tours depart on Mon & Sat at 05.45am. with prior booking only (minimum 4 persons).

The Noss Boat - The Ultimate Comfort at Sea

We have a very comfortable, streamlined, stable wildlife boat with a partial on/off canopy if needed, 360º panoramic viewing, ample room to sit, stand, photograph & enjoy. Our boats low position in the water is perfect for viewing & photographing wildlife & the perfect boat for navigating Shetland waters. We move around the marine rich Shetland waters with a sensitive approach to the local area & it's abundant wildlife. We can also move at a good speed between the main sites to maximise your time at the hot spots!

Unique benefit of 12 fully upholstered, brand new, forward facing seats with backrests for the ultimate comfort at sea. It’s a great feature on our tours to have the ability to both sit down in comfort & safety whilst on the water & to be able to move around comfortably on deck. We also have a canvas roof canopy we can take on & off depending on weather. If the weather is mixed, we can keep you warm and dry out of the elements (still keeping the fully exposed large decking area free for photo shoots & panoramic viewing). Every passenger wears lightweight, slim style lifejackets during our tours, with Phil's strong firefighting past, we are very safety conscious! Safety always comes first!

Toilets Onboard - Top Cafe Discount Cards for All

We have a TOILET on board for piece of mind whilst out on the water. We have a small private room below deck at the front of the boat for passengers to use our toilet. Our tours focus on wildlife sightings to maximise your time & value for money. We think there are fabulous cafes in Lerwick to enjoy your refreshments post tour, though you are welcome to bring your own onboard! We have collaborated with The 'Peerie Shop Cafe' since the 2022 season, offering every passenger a discount card for post trip refreshments! We are pleased to support other local businesses & collaborate in this original way. Do try their freshly brewed coffee & daily fresh local soups!

Whales & Dolphins

Did somebody shout WHALES? Sightings of various whales & dolphins, including ORCA, are increasing in Shetland waters, they are not guaranteed, but what a bonus when they appear! With an eagle-eyed expert crew with a passion for cetaceans at hand, you couldn't be on a better boat if whales or dolphins are in the area. As seasoned professionals, we fully adhere to the strict guidelines for watching marine mammals as set out by SNH/Nature Scotland and WiSe for which we are an accredited company.

FREE seabird eco-gift bags for kids - Online & Onboard ORIGINAL NOSS BOAT shop

We offer an extra treat for young children with our original FREE seabird eco-gift bags (worth over £6 each) given at the end of your Noss Boat tour. We also have the original NOSS BOAT online & onboard shop with a growing, eco-friendly, high quality selection of merchandise for sale.

We have yet again been sponsored by OPTICRON, & have 12 brand new binoculars at hand for all passengers to use in every seat pocket onboard, - a wonderful asset for the 2024 season. We also supply (bespoke!) seabird & cetacean identification charts behind every seat & information on other environmental-based charities & organisations.

Tourism Awards & Accolades

We are Shetland's No.1 Choice. As Best of the Best, our consistently excellent reviews on TripAdvisor have provided us with annual Excellence & Traveller's Choice Awards since we started out business in 2016. In November 2022 we won what is regarded as an Oscar in the Tourism Industry, the coveted Highlands and Islands award for " Best Visitor Attraction Experience". This award was the 1st ever given to a boat tour company on the Isles! Other awards include winning "Best Wildlife & Photography Tour Company 2023" Winner -Global LTG "Boat Tour Company of the Year" 2022 in the Innovation & Excellence Awards & "The Best Wildlife & Photography Boat Tour Company" title, by the Scottish Enterprise Awards in 2021. Come & join us and see why!

FILM - SUPER GANNETS

Filmed with us from The Noss Boat in collaboration with Maramedia, working with Richard Shucksmith. Narrated by Ewan McGregor.

The Noss Boat

AYDA RUBY II
AYDA RUBY II

The Noss Boat - Local Partnerships

Best of the Best

Our sponsors, collaborating businesses & partners are very important to us & have helped make us THE top Shetland boat attraction we are today. We work with the vast majority of wildlife tour companies that visit the Isles, from the UK & further afield, giving independent travel companies from around the world the very best of wildlife boat experiences with like-minded naturalists onboard. We work closely throughout every season with our good friend, highly acclaimed Shetland born & bred naturalist & professional photographer Brydon Thomason of wildlife tour company Shetland Nature, who uses us for all his holiday & bespoke photography itineraries, some co-led by TV presenters & naturalists Kate Humble & Iolo Williams, others by top naturalist & author Jon Dunn. We also regularly partner with professional underwater photographer & marine ecologist Richard Shucksmith for our popular above & underwater bespoke photo experiences. Check out our blog for a host of big names in the global wildlife photography scene who have come to Shetland to join our boat tours & see some of their incredible results! We are delighted to be sponsored for the 2024 season by both Opticron and top Swedish outdoor clothing company Didriksons.

          

Sponsors & partners of The Noss Boat 2023/4

The Noss Boat Crew

Local Family Business

Owned & run by local couple Phil Harris & Rebecca Nason, passionate nature lovers with a wealth of marine wildlife experience, sea-faring experience & who offer the very best in customer service! Phil Harris is your highly experienced  professional skipper, birder, naturalist & wildlife guide on all tours. Rebecca is a professional wildlife photographer, global wildlife photo judge, natural history author & wildlife guide, who joins some of our more bespoke photo tours. They also have a young daughter, Ayda, so have first hand experience in engaging & inspiring the younger passengers & families aboard the Noss Boat.

They have worked "out in the field" for many years, honing their field skills, ready to deliver fun, personal, informative & interesting tours to suit all interests & ages. SST has a responsible, sensitive approach to Shetland's rich marine natural environment & tourism.

Phil was formally a fire fighter (18 years!) & worked on rescue boats at sea, so safety out on the water is paramount to all our tours. All our passengers wear our slimline lifejackets upon embarkation as a standard health & safety procedure, for the duration of all our tours. Phil is the longest serving skipper around the waters of Noss & Bressay - you could be in no better hands. Phil is vice chairman of the Shetland Bird Club, on the Shetland Bird Rarities Committee & active BTO Bird Ringer.

Both conservation & environmental education are fundamental to SST companies ethos. We literally live for birds & wildlife & have been on Shetland ‘living the dream’ for nearly 20 years! We have had Carbon Neutral status every year since 2020 & were the first Shetland-based boat tour company to receive both a Silver Green Tourism award & the HITA Best Visitor Attraction Experience award. We are leading the way with our local business model & content, paving the way for others to follow, & have watched a positive rise in greener awareness & attraction experience quality within our catchment area over the past few years - all a step in the right direction!

Book Online Now

Booking your tour with The Noss Boat is easy using our Checkfront online booking system where you can smoothly pay using credit card or PayPal & will receive an invoice receipt along with terms & conditions. Or please contact us directly.

You can also book through the Lerwick Tourist Office.

We are very busy, so please do book well ahead to avoid disappointment.

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