A new sea adventure that promises to give people a new perspective on north-east wildlife and landmarks is to launch next month.
The Stonehaven Sea Safari will whisk nature lovers up and down the coastline in a custom-built 12-person speedboat.
Seabirds, seals and dolphins are just some of the creatures passengers will be able to witness up close and personal.
The venture is the brainchild of Andrew and Rachael Buchanan and it has already attracted interest from cruise ships looking to dock in Aberdeen. Their bespoke boat and docking system will let people board at Stonehaven’s harbour for a variety of trips.
Around £130,000 has been invested into their company, including more than £50,000 from the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (Nesflag).
Andrew, who is a fifth generation fisherman, said a number of seasonal jobs will be created between April and October.
Andrew said: “I’m from a fishing family. I moved to Stonehaven around 20 years ago and for the last 15 years I’ve had a boat which I’ve used to go up and down the coastline.
“I’ve seen plenty of different animals – birds, dolphins and seals – and I’ve taken friends and family out to see them too.
“They have always said it was a wonderful experience and that we should do more trips, so we looked into it with more detail.
“We thought it was a great idea and managed to get some funding from Nesflag.
“We’ve got a more modern twist. Our boat is faster but at the same time is very quiet due to its large engine.
“With the cruise ships coming into Aberdeen we have already had interest expressed from them to run some trips.”
Andrew said 12 people would be able to go on each trip at a time but charters would also be offered.
One trip, set to last 45 minutes, will tour the cliffs at the iconic Dunnottar Castle.
Andrew said: “Our castle trip will let people see some wildlife but it is totally different viewing it from the sea.
“People will be able to see why it was never conquered when it was under siege due to the cliffs beside it.”
The sea safari will also head south to the RSPB reserve at Fowsheugh and Catterline, giving people the chance to see a number of different birds including puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills.
Andrew added: “Our staff have been on a number of courses to see how we can approach dolphins and seals while on the boat.
“We are trying to get as many people as we can up and down the coastline.
“Part of this is if they can see the wildlife and understand what they go through, they might think more environmentally about what they are doing.
“We are visitors to the wildlife, it isn’t our coastline, it is theirs.”
Trips can be booked in advance via the Stonehaven Sea Safari webpage.