We carry a maximum of 12 passengers per trip and all can be seated. A massive bonus on our tours is that there are 12 fully upholstered seats with backrests & front pockets (not unlike on an aircraft!) available for all passengers which quite a luxurious, comfortable and most importantly safe way to experience a Noss Boat Trip, as well as plenty of standing space 360º viewing! We also have partial canopy cover which gives passengers protection in rainy/windy weather whilst still retaining excellent viewing. The canopy is removed totally in good weather. If the weather is very calm, the skipper will allow passengers to stand up on deck whilst we travel to & from Noss & around Bressay. Safety is our priority at all times & seating & standing decisions remain firmly with the skipper at all times.
To avoid disappointment we do recommend advance booking, our trips are very popular & many are filled weeks, even months in advance. Please do book via our easy online booking system here on this website, or call skipper Phil on 07767872260. You can also book directly through the Lerwick Tourist Information Centre, either in person or by calling them on 01595 693434. If you are in Lerwick & decide that you fancy a trip to Noss with us that same day, please call into the Tourist Office or call Phil to see if there are spaces, if there are, you can always jump aboard (not literally!) last minute & join us!
No, sorry, we do not allow smoking on board our vessel under any circumstances both for fire safety regulations & for the comfort & health of other fellow passengers.
We do not offer food & drink as standard during our tour, but do deliver food to the ever hungry Noss gannets! Our trips are a comfortable 2-2.5 hours & to be honest, you will probably not be thinking about eating & drinking with the magnificent views and wildlife spectacles in front of you – your hands will probably be glued to your binoculars & cameras! We want to maximise your wildlife boat experience & sightings. You are welcome to bring your own food & drinks on board & there are excellent town cafes & restaurants we can recommend to you for after your boat trip. We offer Tuesday to Saturday tour passengers a special discount card for post-tour hot drinks & soups in collaboration with The Peerie Shop Cafe, Lerwick. We enjoy collaborating with other local businesses in this way, and a stones-throw from our slipway the cafe couldn’t be in a better place to offer refreshments.
Our Noss Boat trips feature fun, informative, current & original commentary from skipper Phil Harris, a life long passionate birder & naturalist. We really know what we are looking at, you could no be with better wildlife guides on Shetland. We also supply bird & cetaceans identification charts in the pockets in front of every seat so you can see what you might expect or hope to see during your tour. We recommend ‘Discover Shetland’s Birds’ SST co-owner & guide Rebecca Nason & Paul Harvey. A signed softback book is £20 & available to purchase on our boat or in our online shop. Paul Harvey offers very informative facts & information second to none on all of Shetland’s breeding, wintering & migrant birds whilst Rebecca delivers the high quality photographic content. A must have book for anyone interested in Shetland’s bird life.
We highly recommend binoculars & cameras if you have them. The views of close seabirds & seals as well as islands & seascapes are spectacular, binoculars can be a welcome addition, cameras a perfect way to capture your wonderful wildlife experience with us. Shetland Seabird Tours carries high quality, waterproof Opticron binoculars which are perfect for seabird & marine mammal watching & you are welcome to borrow these throughout the trip. Photographic opportunities can be incredible, so if you like taking photographs, this is really a trip for you – don’t come without a camera, be it a professional SLR & telephoto lens or a smaller iPhone, or GoPro. You won’t be disappointed. Please be aware that you carry all your own equipment at your own risk, we cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to your equipment whilst on one of our tours.
YES, we do have a toilet on board below deck. But please ensure that you use the excellent public toilet facilities opposite the Victoria Pier slipway prior to departure. Our trips are 2-2.5 hours so it is best to make sure you go before departure! The toilets are less than a minutes walk from the pier. Having a basic, private toilet facility on board should give all our passengers peace of mind when cruising with us – if you need to go, you need to go!
We would suggest, in any month on Shetland, that you wear layers as the weather & temperature can change dramatically over short periods of time. Please bring warm clothes & at least a wind proof outer layer. We would recommend a waterproof jacket as small showers are common & if we are out at the back of Noss, you still want to see & enjoy the views & seabirds on deck! We recommend stout outdoor footwear for this type of outdoor trip. Don’t forget a hat! You can take clothes off but if you don’t have them with you – you can’t put em on!
Shetland Seabird Tours does have its own brand of attractive merchandise for sale, including a small range of Hoodies, T-Shirts, Caps & Beanies. Please see our “Seabird Shop” brochure your seat pocket for details.
Our blue & white, streamlined Noss Wildlife Boat has “Noss Boat’ on each side of the bow & Shetland Seabird Tours written on the sides. From April to October is moored up in Victoria Pier, either left or right along the sides of Victoria Pier car park. The Victoria Pier Carpark is opposite the Tourist Information Centre &public toilets just below Commerical Street. Unless is particularly busy times, we aim to position the boat at the Victoria Pier slipway, to the right of the carpark next to the Taxi’s & Noss Boat signs ready for embarkation 15 minutes before boarding. Please aim to be at the Victoria Pier slipway 15 minutes before your actual departure time. You will see our large Shetland Seabird Tours sign, which is our meeting point, at the top of the slipway surrounded by some other boat trip advertising. We won’t sail without you if you have a confirmed booking & are going to be a little late, please call Phil on (0) 7767872260 & we will wait for you. We will need to leave 15 minutes after boarding commences to fit in the full boat trip experience.
As long as you have provided us with a contact phone number &/or email as requested on booking, we will contact you if the weather is looking adverse & may affect your trip departure. We will endeavour to provide you with an alternative date & time if the weather is too bad to sail & warn you of any possible cancellation. If you are not able to make another time when the weather is better, we will of course offer you a full refund. Our priority is your safety which we take very seriously & we want you to have the best possible experience with us. Please be advised that it is your responsibility to provide us with & check your current email & contact number texts/voicemail during your Shetland holiday so that we can contact you if trip changes have to be made.
There is always something to see here on Shetland throughout the year, but the majority of seabirds are summer visitors & cetaceans increases dramatically from mid-April to the end of August. We operate our scheduled Noss Boat wildlife trips from the beginning of April through into October, weather permitting. Prime months to see the main seabirds (Atlantic Puffin, Common Guillemot, Razorbill) are May-end August. Gannet diving feeding frenzies are a daily feature of our trips around Noss & Bressay well into October as gannets do not clear out one summer is over, unlike the auks! Please check out our species list here on our website to give you an idea or species & times of the year when they are most likely to be seen or the book ‘Discover Shetland’s Birds’ by Paul Harvey & Rebecca Nason.
Apart from our scheduled trips to Noss, we also offer bespoke photography/film trips in collaboration with top photographer Richard Shucksmith. These are exciting private excursions with both Richard & Phil where you can orientate a boat trip specifically to your needs & wishes. These trips are booked privately via email/phone. We normally dedicate a morning or afternoon, specifically to achieve your wishes & goals, having experts at hand to put you in the right place at the right time, with the right gear. Please call Phil of Shetland Seabird Tours +44 (0)7767872260 or Richard of Shetland Photo Tours +44 (0)7870691033 to discuss your requirements. These trips have proved very popular & successful over the past few years, with multiple award winning images taken under Richard’s guidance, on our boat, hitting top spots in competitions around the world.
To avoid disappointment it is best to plan & book our Noss Boat tour well in advance of your planned visit. We have an online, easy to use booking system here on this website where you can check availability, decide on the date you wish to join us on a Noss Wildlife Boat tour & pay using credit cards or PayPal. You will receive an email confirmation of your booking. If you’d prefer not to book online, you can call us & we can book you in over the phone, Phil: +44 (0)7767872260. Alternatively please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org & we can liaise via email & book you in or call into or phone the Lerwick Tourist Office (Visit Scotland icentre) which has access to our system & can book you in: +44 (0)1595 693434.