(picture © Archant)

Orwell Lady hosts an increasing number of school trips every year of most ages. The trips provide the opportunity to support the delivery of the National Curriculum particularly in the areas of history, science, geography etc.

Orwell Lady was built as a Thames Passenger vessel, and has virtually all round visibility from the main saloon, as well as of course on the top deck. Being shallow drafted she can go close to the river’s edge for better visibility of wildlife, mudflats, and historic locations. She can accommodate up to 60 under cover in the main saloon, and up to 100 in total, utilizing the top deck as well. All decks are railed, and the main saloon is completely enclosed.

Typical school trip topics on Orwell Lady include river formation, geography, wildlife, history, and commerce/shipping. Teachers decide what topics they want the children to be learning, and wherever possible our Skippers will utilize the vessels’ maneuverability to accommodate closest possible viewing of particular curriculum topics, such as mad flats, wildlife etc. Our Skippers will always supply as much information as they can on any particular chosen subject. In addition to the educational aspect children can observe a working lock and gain the opportunity to see the peregrine falcons under the Orwell Bridge, abundant birdlife, seals and even recently a porpise.


(Seal in Wet Dock by Orwell Lady’s berth)

Orwell Lady is fully accredited with the required Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) Licenses to trade carrying passengers, complying with all safety regulations, and is rigorously inspected annually by the Harwich MCA Inspectors. We supply on request our Risk Assessments that are reviewed annually by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency as part of Orwell Lady’s annual re-certification. Orwell Lady is equipped with the full MCA recommended First Aid Kit, and all our Skippers are St John’s Ambulance Certificated First Aiders.

Orwell Lady is suitable for passengers with limited mobility eg able to use the gangway and steps with our crew assistance, and our crew will take wheelchairs on board which can be used in the saloon or on deck, but she is not fitted with wheelchair ramps.

Orwell Lady has a bar on board which sells snack food (crisps, biscuits, confectionery etc) and also a limited stock of souvenirs – postcards and fridge magnets, both carrying a picture of Orwell Lady. Packed lunches can be eaten on board, if the charter covers a mealtime, by prior arrangement, but we require the teachers/children to clear their own rubbish up into bins which we have on board.

It goes without saying that schools have the onus to provide the appropriate number of adults to properly supervise the children on a boat trip.

We offer a special discounted charter rate for schools. Prices depend upon the length of cruise chosen. Schools typically charter for as little as an hour (to the Orwell Bridge and return), 2.5 hours (most of the way down the river to Pin Mill) or a full 3.5 hour trip down to Harwich Harbour/Port of Felixstowe, in each case returning to Ipswich Wet Dock. However, depending upon the individual requirements of each school, different durations of cruise can be chosen, and prices vary accordingly. The charter price pays for the vessel, crew, fuel, insurance etc, in fact everything except bar/snack sales, so is simply divided by the total number of passengers to arrive at a cost per head. Contact us for school charter rate details.

Call us on  07734 875887