Exploring the river from Ipswich Waterfront

Orwell Lady, ready for the new season, at Ipswich Waterfront

Orwell Lady, ready for the new season, at Ipswich Waterfront - Credit: Archant

Ahoy there! Shiver me timbers and splice the mainbrace - and other nautical phrases.

The new season on the water is launched this Easter weekend on the Orwell Lady river cruiser.

This is the 14th season for the Orwell Lady, based at Ipswich Waterfront, and she has become a fixture of the tourism trade and is also used for educational parties, birdwatching trips and private bookings.

She has been out of the water for her annual maintenance and spruce-up and is now spick-and-span for the new season.

The Orwell Lady continues a great tradition of river cruises from Ipswich on the river Orwell.

These days she is operated by a family-run business, Orwell River Cruises and there is a regular programme of public cruises.

The season begins with an Orwell Bridge cruise on Easter Saturday at 11.30am, from Orwell Quay.

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Emma Lightfoot, who helps run the family business, said: “We are starting with an Orwell Bridge cruise on Saturday. it is approximately an hour which makes it ideal for families with children.

“With Easter being earlier we are starting in a low-key way with just a few public cruises, before really getting the season underway and building up in May.

“We are really excited about the new season, our 14th. We already have quite a lot of advance tickets sold. It is a great way to see the river and a nice thing for local people to do when they have people visiting them.”

Tickets are sold in advance from Ipswich Tourist Information Centre and at the Coffeelink cafe at the Waterfront, not far from where the boat departs.

“We have a packed year ahead,” she added.

“We have Pin Mill and Harwich Harbour cruises and a busy programme of Orwell Lady Music nights, discos, tribute nights and featuring local live bands.

“There are also afternoon tea and buffet lunch cruises.”

For this year too the company is planning to introduce an on-line booking system. Visit www.orwellrivercruises.com