Boat trip on the Thames Estuary.

Welcome to Whitstable Boat Tours. We take pride in offering thrilling that can comfortably accommodate groups of up to twelve people. Our excursions take you to the magnificent Maunsell Sea Forts on the Red Sands just off Whitstable Harbour. These awe-inspiring structures are a must-see due to their historical importance and unique appeal. Join us for an unforgettable journey with Whitstable Boat Tours, departing from Whitstable Harbour. It’s a scenic fifteen-minute boat trip to the forts. Once you arrive, you’ll receive an informative presentation about the forts’ history and strategic significance. The Maunsell forts were crucial in Britain’s coastal defences during WW II, designed to thwart any potential German invasion. Whitstable harbour played a vital role in the nation’s defence efforts, making these sea fortifications a significant part of Britain’s rich wartime history. Come aboard and delve into this fascinating history with us.

Sea Defenses

During World War II, the Maunsell forts in Whitstable were built as part of a network of army forts and coastal defences to protect the country. These forts comprised seven towers, including the Shivering Sands Forts and the Nore forts, connected by steel platforms and stilts. They were primarily used to defend shipping lanes in the North Sea with anti-aircraft guns. The Whitstable Maunsell forts remain a significant reminder of Britain’s wartime ingenuity and the bravery of those who supported the country during that time.

The structures resemble the walking machines in the famous War of the World book. They are called the Guy Maunsell red sand sea forts and are located seven miles away from both the Kent and Essex coasts. We will of course discuss the history of these forts and of course take some fantastic photos. Interestingly, they were once used as pirate radio stations.

Come on a seal-spotting trip.

Whitstable boat tours Seal safari

Seal trip from Whitstable Harbour

Slip on your sunglasses and experience the thrill of encountering nature up close with Whitstable Boat Tours. The adventure of Whitstable boat tours begins at the picturesque Whitstable Harbour, where you’ll board Whitstable boat tours on our comfortable and safe boat, Amma Siiga (Icelandic) .

Our expert skippers, with their many seals and extensive knowledge of local tides, weather and waves, will safely navigate you to Horse Sands, just off Faversham Creek. Here, you’ll have the unique opportunity to visit the seals, a thriving common seal colony in their natural habitat. These delightful creatures have made Horse Sands their home, and it’s truly a sight to behold.

Each journey to the seal colony is approximately 15 minutes, with the boat trips meticulously timed around low water to ensure passengers get the best views of the bay, exposed sand bar and its resident seals. Once there, guests are given ample time—15 minutes specifically—to admire these charming marine animals. It’s a fantastic opportunity for passengers to capture stunning photos of the seals, bay, and surrounding scenic coastline.

The trips are priced at £35 per adult and £25 per child under 16, with private bookings available for groups of up to 12 people. For a more exclusive experience, the trips, whole boat charters and boat tours are offered for both types of trips.

So, join us at Whitstable Boat Tours for a fun-filled adventure trip that combines history, nature, and breathtaking coastal and bay views. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a memorable day out, visiting Whitstable boat and the Common Seal Colony is an unforgettable experience.

Whitstable Boat Tours Seal Safari

Kentish flats wing farm
Whitstable boat tours visit Wind Farm Whitstable

Whitstable boat tours visit the Kentish Flats as part of the Maunsell Forts Trip.

The Guy Maunsell sea forts is a fantastic boat tour, and then it is a short trip from the wind farm just off Herne Bay. These spectacular turbines, (the Kentish flats) and the wind farm farms are only ten minutes away from the Maunsell Sea forts, and looking at the wind farm farms back at the Maunsell Sea defences is like looking through time. The boat cruises the cutting edge of technology on the boat trip. Looking back at the pinnacle of innovation 75 years ago, you will see the Maunsell Sea forts. We quietly cruise around these 75m giants at this wind farm. You will be blown away by these fantastic machines that generate power from a free power source. The Kentish Flats wind farms are part of the Maunsell Forts boat trip in the Thames Estuary.

phography with Whitstable boat trips

Photography at the Maunsell Sea Forts.

We also make specialist boat tours. For example, trips to World War Two Maunsell forts (pirate radio stations) are very popular with photographers. England is often grey and rainy, equating to some great photos. In summary, taking a boat out in more overcast and moody weather, the better those photos look. So you are lucky we live in the United Kingdom as it weather is often moody and atmospheric. Scott Amling from the USA and Philip Berner from Australia recently visited us. Both photographers said the forts were awesome. You can read about Scott’s trip in his blog.

Scattering ashes with Whitstable boat tours
A scattering of ashes on the sea

Laying your loved one’s ashes in the sea is a special time, so we will do our best to make this memorable. We can slip our mooring and take up to twelve people sailing out off the coast of Whitstable for you to scatter the ashes of your loved ones. Upon return, we can give you the exact coordinates where your beloved had their final resting place so you can return and visit that place again in years to come. Please get in touch, and we can talk it all through. The cost to hire us for an hour is £400, and we can take up to 12 people.

whitstable boat pontoon
Boarding the boat is safe as we are close to a floating pontoon
Boarding the boat on a Specialist Boat Rides

We want you to be safe at all times when on the boat but equally when boarding. Before you walk to the boat, you will don a life jacket and maybe a waterproof poncho if needed. The pontoon is wide, and the boat rides stable, so you will always feel safe getting on and off the boat. After a short safety briefing by the skipper on the boat rides the pontoon, Whitstable boat trips will be ready to depart. We will have the skipper and crew on hand to help you if you feel unsteady.

Please email us if you have a question or check out the FAQ. The boat can bounce about due to the sea conditions, and we do not advise you if you suffer from a bad back or are pregnant. If you choose to, this is at your own risk. Safety is very important to us, and if the skipper believes the conditions will affect your safety, we will forced to turn back, and the trip will be cancelled

boat trip tours 12 seat boat
Customize your Specialist Boat TOUR.

We are pretty flexible (tide and waves and weather permitting) and can do most things, so why not email us to discuss bookings? Maybe it is a special birthday or anniversary, or you want a special day with friends on an exceptional vessel. Maybe rent the rib for a photography cruise for a special person. You can hire our RIB for £400 and two hours is £650 where we can see the Maunsell (Whitstable) forts. These towers sit on the red sands at the cutting edge technology from 1942 to the modern wind farms and turbine field and the Herne Bay pier. We will stop and chat about the history of the Herne Bay Pier and the Maunsell Defences ( old pirate radio stations)

Book an exciting weekend’s trip

Why not place a booking, where a seat is priced from £35 for a child on a boat trip board our new rib or email me and book the whole craft for an hour to a trip for two? Where you might have an alternative sailing date, Of course, we will make it an extraordinary tour with our fantastic team

More dates and boat trips are added all the time. Occasionally, trips are cancelled, so it is possible to join on the day, drop in and see us at the hut when boat trips are running.

Other things to do whilst Visiting Whitstable

If you plan to travel to Kent, UK, include Whitstable on your itinerary. This town has a lot to enjoy, including historic Whitstable Castle. You can dive into the area’s past and learn something new. Don’t forget to sample the delicious Whitstable oysters, which have been gathered from the town’s oyster beds for many years. Explore the many independent shops, galleries, and cafés on Harbour Street. Finally, take some time to marvel at the charming and colourfully-painted beach huts that line the coast. There is something in Whitstable to interest everyone.

Explore the seaside delights of Whitstable with your bucket and spade! Various accommodation options are available, such as cosy B&B, boutique hotels, and traditional pubs with rooms. Whitstable has great transport links, so it’s a perfect day trip or staycation destination, just a short train ride away from London. Experience all Whitstable has to offer, and you won’t regret it!

Remember to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views of Whitstable’s harbour and coastline. Admire the charming beach huts and stunning seafront walks. Whitstable Harbour has earned the title ‘jewel on the Kent coast’ due to these attributes. Start planning your trip to Whitstable Harbour now!

If you have questions about this boat trip, please see our frequently asked questions

Can you visit Red Sands Fort?

Yes, with Whitstable boat tours, you can not get up inside them.

What are the structures in the sea off Whitstable?

They are called the Maunsell forts and were sea defences in WW2 designed to defend London, if you want to visit them you can get on a fast boat from Whitstable and visit them.