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Island Hopping Adventures

InterIsland Boating

Exploring By Sea:

To appreciate everything that Scilly has to offer, you must take to the water and experience the wonders of island-hopping! Scilly is one of the largest island archipelagos in the world and we have all the boats and experienced boatmen to help you go wherever you like!

Drop in to the Visitor Information Point anytime from 9.00am for advice on routes and times that best suit you. 

Our boatmen take great pride in their knowledge and experience, and may well put in an appearance at your hotel or guesthouse in the morning to let you know when and where they are going that day.

Radio Scilly also provides boating updates in the morning. Local tip: the term 'off-islands' is used to cover St. Agnes, Bryher, Tresco, St. Martin's and the uninhabited islands.

Off-Island Excursions from St Mary's:

Frequent inter-island boat services operate between all the inhabited islands, throughout the day. St. Mary's Boatman's Association offer a scheduled service for visitors based on St. Mary's. Don't forget to check:

  • The boat return times
  • The name of the quay (some islands have more than one quay, used at different times depending on the tides)
  • Do I return on the same boat? 

On St. Mary's, all the boat times are advertised at the Isles of Scilly Visitor Information Point as well as on the blackboards on Hugh Street, the slipway near the Atlantic Hotel and on the quay.

Uninhabited islands:

The uninhabited islands, with their raw, rugged edges and unique flora and fauna, are best experienced in one of two ways: via a guided tour or a scenic boat trip. Look out for trips to...

  • the Eastern Isles (great for seal spotting) 
  • the Norrard Rocks
  • Annet (look out for the colony of puffins)
  • Samson (be Robinson Crusoe for the day - wade ashore your own island)

Evening Trips:

As the sun dips jump aboard a boat trip and cheer on your favourite gig crew. Boats follow the races on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Alternatively wrap up warm and take to the seas on one of the many 'supper boats' which will take you to an off-island to enjoy a delicious meal at a restaurant of your choice. There's nothing more beautiful than heading back home as the sun sets on the horizon!

Wildlife and Marine Excursions:

There are many ways to enjoy the marine environment from the water. Here are our favourites...

  • Snorkel with seals - enjoy these beautiful animals in their own playground. Advance booking essential.
  • Take a private charter with the 12-seater Crusader,, for a scenic wildlife cruise.
  • Taste 3 islands in a day aboard one of our small independent boats.
  • Visit the last frontier - the king of trips - a cruise to iconic Bishop Rock Lighthouse.
  • Take a circular Eastern Isles cruise at low tide to see seals basking on the rocks, then explore St. Martin's, all in a day. See for further details.
  • A 'cruise in the past' boat tour gives an interesting perspective on the vast number of archaeological sites from the sea.

Staying on an Off-Island?:

All the off-islands - Bryher, St Agnes, St Martin's or Tresco - operate their boat services offering scenic trips and excursions including wildlife safaris as well as regular water taxi services from their bases to St Mary's and all the other islands.

Find Out More

  • Order or download your copy of the Isles of Scilly Brochure