The Ipswich waterfront is rich in history, with buildings dating back to the Victorian era. In recent years, this historical town has undergone a renaissance, in particular along its waterfront area. Immerse yourself in history by taking a trip along some of Britain's most important rivers and tributaries.
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Orwell River Cruises
Originally used on Thames River cruises in London, the Orwell Lady has been transporting passengers up and down the waterways of Ipswich since 2001. Licensed to carry 118 passengers, the Orwell Lady departs from Ipswich's historic harbour on selected dates from April to the end of September. There are a number of cruises available that take in some of the most scenic parts of the Ipswich waterways. The first is the Pin Mill Cruise, around 2 1/2 hours long, which encompasses the beauty of the Suffolk countryside. The Harwich Harbour Cruise is more than three hours, passing through Felixstowe, Harwich and back to Ipswich. Various theme night cruises are available, which include food and drink with each ticket price. Prices as of 2010 range from £10 to around £13 per adult, with child tickets ranging from £6 to around £7.
Orwell River Cruises Limited Waratah House, Addison Way Great Blakenham, Ipswich, IP6 0RL, England +44 (0) 1473 836680 orwellrivercruises.co.uk
Topsail Charters offers day and evening trips on the six barges in their fleet. Originally cargo barges used for transporting goods up and down the UK's network of rivers and canals, these ships have been modified to ensure that passengers have a comfortable and memorable trip. Among the available cruises, some incorporate birdwatching walking tours. You can also choose from a selection of two-hour and all-day cruises along the River Orwell or the River Maldon and tidal trips all the way to Stour. As of 2010, prices range from £27 to £60. All cruises include food and are available on selected dates from March until early November.
Topsail Charters Ltd. Cooks Yard, The Hythe, Maldon CM9 5HN, England +44 (0) 1621 857 567 top-sail.co.uk
Sailing Barge Victor
More than 100 years old, the Victor is a 40-passenger sailing barge that originated as a working barge in London in the 1800s. The barge is available for cruises along the Stour Estuary and can be hired for special events such as birthdays, weddings, corporate hospitality and team-building exercises. Although the barge has a full crew, guests can become involved in manning the sails on specific cruises. On board the barge is a fully licensed bar and a full catering service should it be required. As well as day hire, the Victor can be rented for long weekends year round. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds hosts several public cruises throughout the year. From June to September, the Victor holds supper cruises that depart from Ipswich Dock and last approximately 3 1/2 hours. Prices for all private hire are available on enquiry. Summer supper cruises are priced at approximately 30 GBP per person, 2010 prices.
Classic Yacht Charter Ltd. 7 Heathside Road, Norwich, NR1 1TH, England +44 (0) 1603 760161 sbvictor.co.uk
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