Family days out near me: Scottish Seabird Centre boat trips, North Berwick - Waterproofs highly recommended for safari like no other
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Name: Scottish Seabird Centre wildlife boat trips
Description: A range of exciting and educational boat trips around the islands in the Firth of Forth, operated by the seabird centre from April to early October. Look out for different seabirds and marine wildlife throughout the seasons, including gannets, nesting puffins, seals and dolphins.
Suitable for: The Seabird Cruise catamaran is a stable passenger vessel, custom built to provide a family-friendly experience, suitable for all ages and well-behaved dogs.A 7-plus age limit applies to trips on the high-speed RIBs (rigid inflatable boats), which are unsuitable for anyone with back or neck problems and pregnant women. RIB passengers are asked to take their own waterproofs.
Entry costs: Seabird catamaran cruise – adults £26, children (6 to 16) £10, five and under free. Duration, one hour.Isle of May RIB trip – adults £50, children (7 to 16) £42. Duration, 2 hours 30 minutes.Three Island RIB Seabird Safari – adults £32, children (7 to 16) £22.Duration, one hour and 15 minutes.
Opening hours: Boat trips go out daily during the summer, throughout the morning and afternoon. Places can fill up quickly, so advance booking is definitely recommended.
What they say: “Three Island Seabird Safaris are exhilarating wildlife boat trips which leave the harbour and head out around the islands of the Lamb, Craigleith and the famous Bass Rock, the world's largest colony of Northern gannets. Enjoy seeing amazing wildlife in its natural habitat. Seasonal highlights include puffins, guillemots and if you’re really lucky you might even spot dolphins.”
What visitors say: “We did the Three Islands tour and it is by far the best Scottish excursion any of us have ever been on.”"We were lucky enough to spot some bottle nose dolphins. Breathtaking views and learned so much.”"It’s like being immersed in a wildlife documentary. This is a quality tourism experience.”
Look out for: Avian flu has been confirmed in gannets from the Bass Rock colony. Although the risk to humans is very low, visitors are advised not touch any sick or dead seabirds found along the coastline.
Parking: The seabird centre's own pay-and-display car park fills up quickly in the summer. The website has a link to other parking locations.
Facilities: Once back on dry land, boat trippers are welcome to use the centre’s cafe, toilets and gift shop.