General Conditions of Hire
1) All Cruises – Public and Private Charter
a) Any damage caused by wilful conduct or negligence by passengers to the vessel or her equipment is to be paid for by the passenger(s) responsible prior to leaving the vessel. The Skipper may, at his discretion, arrange for Police attendance.
b) If any of the vessel’s safety or operating equipment is deliberately misused, the vessel will immediately return to Ipswich Docks or the nearest landing facility and the Skipper may, at his discretion, arrange for Police attendance.
c) Alcoholic drinks will not be served to passengers under the age of 18 years or who, in the opinion of the staff, appear to be under-age. ID may be required.
d) The bar will be closed immediately in the event of trouble, the Police contacted, and the vessel will proceed to meet the Police at the nearest landing facility.
e) Passengers may not bring their own food or drink on board. A bar serving hot and cold drinks and snacks is situated on the vessel. Approved caterers and musicians may only operate on board for private charter cruises.
f) No dogs are allowed on board apart from Certified Guide Dogs for the Blind.
g) Passengers are requested to listen to safety announcements. They are for the benefit of passengers. At all times whilst on board, passengers will obey the instructions/orders of the Skipper and crew.
h) Passengers must not distract the skipper or enter the wheelhouse. Crew members will answer any queries.
i) Due to the design and construction of “Orwell Lady” it is not possible to accept passengers that are totally confined to their wheelchairs, as occupied wheelchairs would be unable to negotiate the gangway, main deck, saloon steps or the toilets.
We are, however, very happy to welcome on board those wheelchair users who have limited mobility and are able to access the gangway, with assistance from our crew where necessary, and whose wheelchairs can be collapsed and brought on board by the crew. The wheelchair can then be set up in the saloon as required. There are a number of steps to be negotiated from the top deck to the afterdeck and also down into the saloon, both with grab-rails. Our crew will also give assistance to negotiate these steps when requested. Any passenger with limited mobility wishing to view the vessel with a view to taking a cruise can do so by appointment.
j) For Catered Public Cruises (food other than bar confectionery). If you have a food allergy or special dietary requirements then please ensure that you inform Orwell River Cruises (online booking) or the Tourist Information Centre (if you have booked with them) at the time of booking. If you are chartering Orwell Lady please inform your chosen caterer direct.
k) In the event of extenuating circumstances arising and a change of cruise date being requested, we or our agents may agree, at our sole discretion, to change a date (once only), subject to availability, and provided that the change is requested more than 48 hours before the booked sailing. Changes to sailing date requested within 48 hours of the booked sailing will be classed as a cancellation. In the event of cancellation or a passenger missing the sailing, for any reason, no refunds are available. Any request for a change must be made to the source of the original booking.
l) In the unlikely event of Orwell River Cruises Ltd being forced to cancel any cruise due to adverse weather conditions, machinery breakdown, insufficient numbers booked, private charter requirements, or any other reason, booked passengers can elect to re-schedule their cruise or payment will be refunded in full. Regrettably, should passengers fail to arrive on time for their scheduled cruise for whatever reason, no refunds or compensation will be payable.
2) Private Charter Cruises only
Clauses 1) a) to kl) above apply, and in addition: –
a) The most popular charter cruises are of 1, 2.5 or 3.5 hours duration, but charters can be tailored to individual required times, provided that the vessel always returns to Orwell Quay by 11pm. Caterers or musicians may board early, by prior arrangement.
b) Although Orwell Lady has a seating capacity of 118, it is recommended for daytime private charters, and mandatory for evening charters, that the numbers of passengers are limited to around 65 so that, in the event of inclement weather, the hirer and guests can be accommodated under cover in the main saloon, and to allow greater freedom and ease to move between decks..
c) A deposit of 50% is required to confirm bookings. Bookings are not definite until a deposit has been received and will be held for a period of seven days only.
d) Payment can be made by the hirer by cheque made out to Orwell River Cruises Ltd, receipted cash, or by bank transfer – details on request.
e) Full payment must be received fourteen working days prior to the date of the trip. Orwell Lady will not be made available unless the amount has been paid in full by then, and will be deemed available for re-hire.
f) Any damage caused by passengers to vessels or equipment is to be paid for by the hirer.
g) In the unlikely event of Orwell River Cruises Ltd being forced to cancel the trip due to adverse weather conditions, the hirer can elect to re-schedule the trip or payment will be refunded in full. Regretfully, hire payments cannot be refunded when a trip is cancelled by the hirer, for whatever reason, unless Orwell Lady is re-booked.