Ipswich: River boat back in the water for new season

Pupils from Sidegate School, Ipswich get a ride on The Orwell Lady

Pupils from Sidegate School, Ipswich get a ride on The Orwell Lady - Credit: Archant

Orwell Lady is back after her winter makeover

The Orwell Lady river cruise boat has been out of the water for its winter re-fit at Haven Marina,

The Ipswich Waterfront-based boat will be back in action over Easter, when there will be the first public cruise.

Orwell Lady’s season kicks off on Easter Saturday with a trip to Orwell Bridge and back, the children’s favourite, and a Pin Mill Cruise on Easter Monday.

The family-run business is now in its 14th year operating from Orwell Quay at the Waterfront.

The Lady has become an integral part of the local tourist scene, offering visitors the chance to explore see historic river from the water.

She can carry more than 100 passengers each cruise.

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Spokesman Emma Lightfoot said: “She is all spic and span and ready to go. She looks lovely.”

There has already been a lot of interest ahead of the new season, at the Tourist Informatiotion Centre and in charter bookings.

“We already have had a lot of charter bookings, which is already up on last year.”

Departures take place from Orwell Quay during the season.

The normal schedule of public cruises to Orwell Bridge, Pin Mill and Harwich Harbour continues from Easter onwards through to Sunday October 5.

The first of the 12 Theme Night Cruises takes place on May 31 (Abba & the ‘70s), followed by a mix of various musical cruises with both discos and live bands, ranging through Trad Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Motown, Soul, Funk & Disco etc, music for most tastes, she added.

The popuar English Afternoon Tea Cruises start on June 3, with 18 cruises alternating between Harwich Harbour and Pin Mill Cruises, the last one being on 30th September.

There will be other special theme events, including Sunday buffet cruises and wine tasting events.

“This year, another “New for 2014” is our Halloween offering. We are doing a special Halloween Night Party Cruise on Friday 31st October with disco and buffet.

“The following day, Saturday November 1, a special two and a half hour “Ghosts on the River” cruise will depart at 2.30 pm. Ghost expert Ed Nicholls will be providing the commentary, and tales of the many ghosts and spooky incidents associated with the River Orwell. Sandwiches, Sausage Rolls and Halloween cakes are supplied on this cruise within the ticket cost.

Each year an increasing number of companies, clubs, tour operators, individuals and organisations charter Orwell Lady for their private functions, she added.

www.orwellrivercruises.co.uk