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Boats on the River Waveney

River cruises to take this summer in Suffolk

Inspiration to writers, poets and artists over the centuries, the rivers in Suffolk meander gently through serene and ever-changing landscapes. Some of these waterways are suitable for wild swimming; some for paddling a canoe and others are perfect for cruising along in a historic sailing barge or river boat.

Many operators offer themed cruises which might include dinner, a cream tea or music on board and we have picked out a handful for you to enjoy this summer...

Orwell Lady River Cruises

Orwell Lady River Cruises

With the option of an open sun deck, or a covered saloon, cruises on the Orwell Lady are suitable for sunny as well as the less sunny days!

Enjoy afternoon tea, Sunday lunch, wine tasting or a disco night as you sail along the River Orwell. The Orwell Lady departs from Ipswich and cruises are available between Easter and October.

Waveney River Tours

Explore the Suffolk Broads and rivers aboard the Waveney Princess and enjoy some of Suffolk's most beautiful waterways.There's the River Waveney Marshlands Cruise along the Norfolk/Suffolk border; the Oulton Broad sightseeing cruise; or the Victorian Heritage Cruise through the Waveney Valley.

Or you may prefer to navigate the river yourself by hiring an eight seater boat to explore the river in style.

Topsail Charters

All aboard the historic sailing barges Hydrogen and Thistle for a cruise in a beautiful old sailing vessel with bags of character. Only a handful of these traditional sailing barges are still in operation and these two sail from Maldon, Harwich and Brightlingsea in Essex, as well as Ipswich in Suffolk.

Choose between a lunch and afternoon tea cruises, a sunset cruise or you could even make a weekend of it and go for a fully catered weekend 'Sail-Escape-Explore' cruise.

River Cruises in Suffolk with Top Sail Charters
River Cruises in Suffolk with Top Sail Charters

Deben Cruises

Take a leisurely two-hour cruise the River Deben within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Jahan is an all-weather boat which departs from Waldringfield near Ipswich twice a day during the season until mid October. She also has wheelchair access for up to two wheelchairs.

Woodbridge in Suffolk
The River Deben at Woodbridge

River Stour Boat Trips

Sail peacefully along the River Stour from Sudbury to Great Henny for lunch or afternoon tea the riverside pub, The Henny Swan.Alternatively, take a trip from Flatford along the river to Dedham, Stratford St Mary and Brantham in the heart of Constable Country.

The Stour Trusty II is an electric boat which seats up to eight people. There is also a water bus service from Flatford to Dedham on Saturdays.

Waveney Stardust

Two purpose-built broads motor cruisers are available for morning, afternoon or evening cruises along the River Waveney. They have been designed specifically with disabled or elderly visitors in mind and can carry up to 12 passengers (which may include up to six wheelchairs).

Bring your own picnic to eat on board or stop for a meal ashore. The cruisers depart from Beccles in the Waveney Valley.

River Cruises in Suffolk with Waveney Stardust
 River Cruises in Suffolk with Waveney Stardust

Harwich River Cruises

Cruise along the River Orwell at sunset and marvel at some of the largest container ships in the world.

Departing from Ha'penny Pier in Harwich each Friday and Saturday from June to September, the harbour ferry continues along the river, past the pretty Shotley Peninsula, before returning to Harwich. Pick ups are also at Felixstowe and Shotley.

Coastal Voyager

For something a bit different, you might like to try an adrenaline-fuelled, half hour sea-blast just off the coast of the seaside town of Southwold in a 400hp speed boat.

Or if you prefer, you could go on a rather more tranquil cruise along the River Blythe to look for marsh harriers, heron and osprey, stopping off for lunch at a riverside pub. There are other cruises available, including one which includes a bit of seal-watching and you can even have a 'half & half' trip: thirty minutes of peaceful cruising, followed by a thirty minute speed blast.

Have you been on a Suffolk river cruise lately?

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