5 boat cruises you can take in Suffolk

A view of the deck of the Sailing Barge Victor

A view of the deck of the Sailing Barge Victor - Credit: Sailing Barge Victor

Suffolk is a coastal county, but most of us do not really get the opportunity to enjoy its estuaries and waterways as we could.

Thankfully, a number of companies are taking people out on boat trips and showing them another angle on our beautiful country. 

Here are five boats you can take a cruise on in Suffolk: 

1. Coastal Voyager

The coastal voyager offers passengers excitement and adrenaline in the waves off Southwold

The coastal voyager offers passengers excitement and adrenaline in the waves off Southwold - Credit: Marcus Gladwell

Where: 3 Southwold Harbour, Southwold

When: All year round

The coastal voyager in Southwold is a cruise boat with two faces: the gentle river cruising vessel that journeys up the elegant Blyth Estuary and the lightning-fast, rough as anything boat that offers half-hour sea blasts. 

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Other trips available include journeying out to see the wind turbines at Scroby Sands, and taking a coastal cruise to Lowestoft.

The open vessel is very exposed to the elements, but for that reason offers amazing views of the coast around Southwold.

Book a trip on 07887 525082

2. The Harbourmaster at Felixstowe Ferry 

PHOTO ESSAY - Sarah Lucy Brown takes a stroll around Felixstowe Ferry.Harbour Master John White.

Harbourmaster John White - Credit: Archant

Where: Felixstowe Ferry/Bawdsey Quay. 

When: All year round, weather permitting

John White has decades of experience of the River Deben, having been the harbourmaster of Felixstowe Ferry for more than 20 years. 

Offering peaceful trips up the river and around the moorings, Mr White's open boat offers a new way for nature lovers to see the fantastic habitat that is the River Deben and her banks. 

Seeing herons and wading birds is nearly a certainty, while spotting seals are a real possibility. 

Contact Mr White on 07803 476 621, or 01394 270106.

3. Orwell Lady

The Orwell Lady in Ipswich Marina

The Orwell Lady in Ipswich Marina - Credit: ©WHAT Associates

Where: Orwell Quay, Ipswich Waterfront

When: March - October, with more availability in summer

Based on the busy River Orwell, the large decked vessel that is the Orwell Lady offers three trips of different lengths.

The one-hour trip will take you down to the Orwell Bridge, where it is possible to see peregrine falcons, then on to Freston Folly, before returning. This is ideal for families with small children.

Second, the two-and-a-half-hour trip, which will take you from Ipswich passed the Cat House to beautiful Pin Mill, home of Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome, and the excellent Butt and Oyster pub.  

Finally, the three-and-a-half-hour trip will take you to the end of the Orwell, at historic Harwich Harbour where you can see the former royal naval training establishment at HMS Ganges, and the enormous scale of Felixstowe Docks. 

Book tickets online at www.orwelllady.co.uk/buy-tickets

4. Deben Cruises

The Jahan, sailing past Rocks Reach on the Deben

The Jahan, sailing past Rocks Reach on the Deben - Credit: Waldringfield Boatyard

Where: The Quay, Waldringfield IP12 4QZ

When: May- October

Climb aboard the Jahan for a two-hour journey on the Deben, and see the picturesque sites within the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

With wildlife including wading birds and marine mammals, as well as views onto the bucolic farmland surrounding the river valley, the Deben is one of the most relaxing places in the county. 

The Jahan is an all-weather boat, with a solid roof and wide windows keeping rain and spray away from the passengers. 

Book on 01473 736 260

5. The Sailing Barge Victor

The Victor, with all her sails up on the river orwell near ipswich

The Victor, with all her sails up - Credit: Sailing Barge VIctor

Where: Common Quay, Ipswich IP4 1BY, Uk

When: May - September

A majestic, traditionally rigged 19th-century sailing barge, taking a trip on the Victor is a very different experience, where you will hear the creaking of wood and rope rather than the metal on metal pounding of an engine.

With a licensed bar and space for up to 40 passengers, the Victor offers visitors the chance to take a dinnertime cruise down the Orwell, where you will be served a delicious hot supper, or alternatively, journey down the river at teatime, and enjoy scones with jam and clotted cream. 

Book online at www.sbvictor.co.uk