Travellers planning a ferry trip to Scotland this year can see what the national tourism agency describes as a "wild winter wonder".
Grey seals, which are found throughout Scotland and are particularly numerous around the Orkney Islands, migrate to shore every winter to deliver their pups, which are born with a silky white coat.
While visitors are urged to keep their distance from the natural spectacle, there are locations where members of the public can see the seals via live video streams, such as the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust's Loch Fleet Wildlife Reserve near Golspie in the Highlands also provides a good chance of seeing seals basking on the sandbars.
There are more than 120 reserves across Scotland, which provide safe habitats for the animals to breed and feed.
People travelling from Northern Ireland can begin their trip by taking ferries from Belfast to Stranraer
with Stena Line
, while P&O Ferries
provides ferries from Larne to Cairnryan
Those interested in visiting Orkney can take ferries from Gills Bay to St Margarets Hope
with Pentland Ferries
Posted by Andrew Smith