Open boats weekend at Ipswich Waterfront, April 7 and 8

Owners and crew of Orwell Lady, Sailing Barge Victor and the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant

Owners and crew of Orwell Lady, Sailing Barge Victor and the Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant after a successful Open Boat Weekend. - Credit: Archant

Chance to get on board the Orwell Lady, Barge Victor and the Allen Gardiner and meet the crews.

People waiting to board the Sailing Barge Victor

People waiting to board the Sailing Barge Victor - Credit: Archant

It is open boat weekend at Ipswich Waterfront.

The three cruise boats which are based in the former Wet Dock, the Orwell Lady, Allen Gardiner and sailing barge Victor are hosting the event.

It is the second year the three independent businesses have combined to launch their tourist season.

Historic sailing barge Victor, 100 years-old, is a permanent resident of the Waterfront with a programme of cruises, public and private charters, from May onwards.

Restauant boat Allen Gardiner at Ipswich Waterfront

Restauant boat Allen Gardiner at Ipswich Waterfront - Credit: Archant


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Barge Victor skipper David `Wes’ Westwood said: “We are really looking forward to the open boat weekend again.

“The weather is looking better, if it stays at it is today it should go well.

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“Hopefully this weekend really is the start of Spring.”

The barge starts public cruising on the River Orwell next month, on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday each week, with private charters and bookings on other days.

“We are already taking bookings,” Wes added, “Our first cream tea cruise has already sold out.

“This weekend is a chance for the public to meet us, and have a look over the boats.”

The three Ipswich based cruise businesses work in co-operation with each other, and a very different business.

The Allen Gardiner is a dining cruise boat, for small parties.

While the Orwell Lady is a purpose-built cruise ship, offering various trips down river, either for sightseeing, or themed, offering entertainment or music.

All three are part of the tourist attractions of the Ipswich Waterfront.

Open boat weekend is at the quayside, close to the Old Custom House, from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Visitors can meet the crews and find out about the variety of trips on offer.

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