Visitors go wild for boat trips

TWO of Northumberland’s leading wildlife tour operators are joining forces this summer for a groundbreaking offshore experience on the north Northumberland coast.

Northern Experience Wildlife Tours (NEWT) and Billy Shiel’s Farne Island Boat Trips have created a series of wildlife tours using the rigid inflatable boat Ocean Explorer.

The trips will give visitors to Seahouses and the surrounding area the chance to see minke whales, harbour porpoises, white-beaked dolphins and a range of seabirds.

Martin Kitching, NEWT owner, said: “The tourism industry is an incredibly important part of Northumberland’s economy so by working together on this groundbreaking project our trips will make Northumberland an even more attractive place for holidaymakers and bring increased trade to local businesses.

“In uncertain times for tourism, we’re doing all we can to raise the profile of Northumberland as a holiday destination. The winter may be a quiet time, but we’ve spent it developing our new products and bouncing ideas around.”

William Shiel said: “We’ve had Ocean Explorer for a little while now and after working closely with NEWT on their September Whale and Dolphin Cruises, we were keen to explore the wildlife-watching possibilities that a fast boat offers.

“Having Martin onboard as a wildlife guide will really add to the visitor experience. With our skipper’s knowledge of the local area, and Martin’s research for the Northeast Cetacean Project, we can take visitors to the best locations. These evening trips will complement our existing range of boat trips to the Farne Islands, and bring a very different experience.”

The trips will take place on selected weekday evenings from mid-July until late-August. The route will depend on the weather conditions and recent wildlife sightings.

To find out more about this year’s trips, call Martin on 01670 827465 or William on 01665 720308.