By Boat

Island hop your way around Scilly

One of the most enjoyable things to do on the Isles of Scilly is to hop onto a "tripper' boat and go explore. It's the best way to get a real flavour of island life. 

All the islands are really close together - just a 20 minute or so boat ride - so it's perfectly feasible to stay on one island for your entire holiday and visit all the others whilst you are here. You can do an island a day, and either go it alone or book a guide to take with you. 

Once landed on an off-island, it's generally a case of walking your way around the stunning coastlines, stopping by galleries and honestly stalls, but essentially marvelling at the incredible views and natural beauty of it all. And then, of course, stop for a bite to eat either at the island's pub or at one of the cafe's or bakeries. Once you've visited them all, you'll soon discover that each island has its own character and everyone has a favourite. The uninhabited islands don't have facilities or places to eat, but they do have a truly magical aura about them, wonderful wildlife and an incredible sense of history.

On Scilly, island hopping is what you do and our boatmen take great pride in helping you make the most of your experience. Their knowledge and experience of the waters are second to none and they'll often point out wildlife and seabirds as you hop between them all.

If you're staying on St. Mary's, boatmen will usually put in an appearance at your hotel in the morning to let you know when and where they are going that day. There are blackboards around town and on the quay with the daily St. Mary's Boatmen Association's trips chalked up (the most prominent being on Hugh Street outside Steamship House). Private trips and tours are also advertised.

If you’re staying on Tresco, St. Martin’s, St. Agnes or Bryher, you’ll find notice boards across all these islands too.

Additionally, all boat operators now have websites, facebook pages and twitter feeds - @scillyboatmen @stagnesboating and @trescoboats - which publicise boat trips the evening before. Radio Scilly provides boating updates in the morning.

If you buy your boat tickets in a book of 10 - from the St Mary's Boatmen's kiosk on the Quay or from the Tourist Information Centre - you can save 15% on ticket prices. The TIC will also be happy to offer advice on routes and times.

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Picture of rib Firebrand IV

Island Sea Safaris

St. Mary's Apr-Oct

Island Sea Safaris operate marine wildlife safaris in their 8m RIB FIREBRAND IV around and amongst the islands and rocks of Scilly to see Grey Atlantic seals, seabirds including Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots,Shearwaters,Fulmars,Cormorants,Shags and Various Gulls from April to mid July. and visit  some of the Islands shipwreck sites. We also visit many places of historical interest on our tours.  The 8 meter rib seats 10 passengers.Read more »

Endeavour 1

Endeavour Rib Service

St. Mary's Apr-Oct

“Endeavour” is the fastest passenger boat in Scilly. We offer a bespoke water taxi service offering a fast and thrilling transfer between the islands at your request.

Rib Blasts to enjoy the thrill & excitement of travelling at speed afloat.

Marine life trips to look for Dolphins and Seals.Read more »

Take a cruise around the islands on the Calypso II

Calypso Boat Company

St. Mary's Apr-Oct

Boat trips from St Mary's with skipper Tim - visit 3 islands in one day, take a day trip to an off island or an unihabited island, or a trip to see seals and birds.Read more »

Enjoy a trip on the Falcon

Falcon Boating

St. Mary's All year

Enjoy a special charter trip on the 'Falcon', an 11 metre Red Bay rib with twin engines and fully enclosed cabin to seat 12 passengers.Read more »

Spirit of St Agnes

St Agnes Boating

St. Agnes All year

St Agnes Boating is a small family owned business that has over twenty years experience boating within the islands using Scilly's only purpose built catamaran the Spirit of St Agnes. For a more intimate bespoke service the Enterprise is available for special hire, fishing and sightseeing trips. Call us or go online to discuss your requirements.Read more »

Firethorn, Tresco Boat Services

Tresco Boat Services

Tresco All year

Tresco Boat Services, serving Tresco, Bryher and St Martin's, offer all the waterborne services you need to get the most from your visit to the Isles of Scilly.Read more »

St Mary's Boatmen's Association at the quay on St Mary's

St Mary's Boatmen's Association

Trip advisor logo
St. Mary's Mar-Oct

There are daily trips to the islands and out to see the wildlife and lighthouses.  Boats leave from 10:15am and return until 4:45pm.  The service is seven days a week from just before Easter or the beginning of April until the end of October.  There are evening trips available through the main part of the season.

There is an attractive special offer on purchases of ten or more tickets.  We can cater for special groups and parties.  Made up of the ten largest boats operating from St Mary's, we are the prime mover of visitor traffic.Read more »