Next Saturday, 16 July, sees the start of the RSPB's Glorious Gannets Cruises: a unique opportunity for visitors to the East Yorkshire coast to get a front row seat in a spectacular seabird arena, underneath the 400-feet high chalk cliffs of Bempton and Flamborough Head.
The cruises, which sail from Bridlington Harbour aboard the MV Yorkshire Belle, will take place on 16 and 23 July and 13 August, and are suitable for the whole family. These cruises give passengers the chance to get a close up view of Bempton's colony of gannets - one of the most graceful seabirds to inhabit our shores.
Jo Symon, a volunteer at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, said: "Gannets are the most glorious of all of the seabirds that come here. They are sleek and graceful with their two metre average wingspan, and to see a gannet dive gracefully and effortlessly into the sea at up to 60 miles per hour never ceases to take my breath away.
"Gannets are also the most romantic of birds - they pair for life and have the most touching courtship rituals including intertwining their necks and preening themselves when they meet again after having been separated over the winter months."
Passengers will be immersed in the wonders of nature with awe inspiring views of the rugged Yorkshire coastline, and may also have encounters with a range of fish and marine mammals such as seals and porpoises. As well as gannets, the cliffs will still be home to other seabirds such as kittiwakes, fulmars, herring gulls and shags.
Kim Smales, RSPB Cruise Co-ordinator, said: "In addition to seeing the thousands of gannets which are still nesting on Bempton cliffs, we very much hope (although of course we cannot guarantee) the special 'chum' - a rotting fish food delicacy for gannets - will persuade them to start diving for food around the boat.
"We may even be lucky enough to see some puffins bobbing beside the boat on the July cruises. This really is an experience not to be missed."
RSPB seabird experts from the East Yorkshire local group will be on board to answer any questions, plus a full range of refreshments and amenities is available on the Yorkshire Belle.
To book or for more information, call the RSPB Seabird Cruise Line on 01262 422211. Adult tickets £22.00, children (16 and under) £11.00. Each cruise lasts for approximately three hours.