Various types of boat trip are on offer on the rivers of East Suffolk, from sedate restaurant cruises to fast RIB excursions; and ranging in length from a few hours to a few minutes, if all you’re looking for is a ferry crossing of one of the rivers during a walk or bike ride.
The Orwell Lady is a purpose-built river cruising vessel which operates a regular scheduled service of trips on the River Orwell, starting and ending at Ipswich Port Wet Dock, and taking in the historic port of Harwich as well as the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe.
The MV Jahan is an all-weather boat which operates cruises of about two hours in length along the picturesque River Deben from Wadringfield to Felixstowe ferry and return, or up to Woodbridge near the Sutton Hoo burial site. May-September, bookings by appointment only. Group size starts from 30 people and a commentary is given. Capacity for up to 54 people, lunch and afternoon tea available.
The Quay, Waldringfield, Near Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4QZ
Phone: 01473 736260
Deben River crossing between Felixstowe Ferry and Bawdsey
Deben ferries cross the river from Felixstowe Ferry to Bawdsey Quay. The ferry runs seasonally, carrying foot passengers and cycles from Easter to April at weekends only, 10 am to 5 pm, and daily from May to October, 10 am to 6 pm. Wave the bat at the end of the jetty to call the ferryman. The ferry also operates a river taxi service. For more information call 01394 282 173.
As well as providing information about safe passage in and out of the River Deben, Felixstowe Ferry Harbour Master John White runs regular one-hour river trips to Ramsholt throughout the summer for up to 12 passengers at a time. Longer trips can also be arranged. Contact John on 07803 476 621, 01394 270 106, or Channel 08.
The Butley Ferry is a short dinghy crossing of Butley Creek for walkers and cyclists, connecting the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path on the west bank with a scenic route to Orford. The ferry service dates back to the 16th century, and today this wonderful Suffolk institution is maintained by volunteers in the summer months at weekends and bank holidays. Here May de la Rue arrives just in time for her first crossing, during her charity walk along the full length of the Suffolk Coast in 2009. For pictures of her walk and other details see www.fiftymileswithmydad.com.
Rose and Dad being rowed across with their bikes during their charity ride Fifty More Miles with my Dad in 2010. The oarsman is wearing a hat of the kind worn by the ferryman in the 16th century.
Details of the ferry service as published in 2009.
THE ALDE AND ORE
The Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant offers brunch, lunch, dinner and sunset cocktail cruises for a maximum of 12 passengers on the river from Orford regardless of weather and tides.
Peter, skipper of the fishing vessel Regardless, offers river trips from Orford to collect catch from his lobster pots, along with a commentary of the sights to be seen including the military relics on Orford Ness.
River trips on the River Alde, as well as a ferry service between Aldeburgh and Orford, are provided by a 12-seater open boat The Sandpiper and her skipper John Pask.
The Coastal Voyager is a 9 metre Rigid Inflatable Boat equipped with wrap-around seats, seat belts, and lifejackets for 12 people. Operating from the River Blyth (Southwold side, also accessible from the Walberswick side on foot), it offers short, high speed, fun trips around Sole Bay (when the powerful engines can give an exhilerating ride to remember), as well as longer full day trips for groups, or seal watching trips to Scroby Sands.
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