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Frequently Asked Questions

WHERE DO WE MEET?

Orwell Lady trips depart from Orwell Quay on the waterfront, IP3 0FS. There is a large blue Orwell River Cruises sign on the quay between CoffeeLink and Cult Café. Please wait by the gangway until the crew inform passengers to commence boarding.

WHERE DO WE PARK?

There is a Pay and Display car park in Duke Street, IP3 0FS which is a 1 minute walk from Orwell Quay where Orwell Lady departs. Further details including google map can be found here.  On occasion, the trip may finish slightly later than the time advertised due to factors beyond our control. Therefore we recommend you do not make plans for immediately after your trip and please allow enough time on your parking ticket.

Blue badge parking is available on University Avenue, just by the car park in Duke Street.

Coaches only are permitted to park on Orwell Quay (accessed by Coprolite Street, off Duke Street IP3 0FS). Please call Carl on the day on 07773369970 and he will drop the bollards and issue a permit.

WHAT ABOUT WHEELCHAIR ACCESS AND LIMITED MOBILITY EMBARKING?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to accept passengers that are totally confined to their wheelchairs, due to the design of the gangway, main deck, saloon steps or toilets.  However, it is suitable for wheelchair users who have limited mobility and can access the gangway, (with assistance from our crew if needed) and whose wheelchairs are collapsible. The wheelchair can be set up in the saloon as required.  Please note there are several steps (with grab rails) from the top deck to the afterdeck to access the toilets and further steps with grab rails down into the saloon. Our crew will be able to assist if needed.

WHAT IF I LOSE MY TICKET?

If you don’t have access to a printer or forget your ticket, you can show the crew your confirmation email on your phone.

DO I NEED ANY SPECIAL CLOTHING?

Orwell Lady has two decks, the top viewing deck is open and the saloon is undercover. Please wear clothing suitable to the day and time of year and flat shoes.  We have some blankets on board, as well as cushions for extra comfort and warmth but we would recommend you bring and wear whatever you need to enjoy the trip.

WHO CLASSIFIES AS A CONCESSION? 

Those who are 65+, full-time students, people with disabilities and registered carers.

WHO CLASSIFIES AS A CHILD? WHAT CLASSIFIES AS A FAMILY TICKET?

A child is classified as 16 and under, children aged 3 and under travel free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. A family ticket can be two adults and two children, or one adult and three children.

CAN I BRING MY OWN FOOD AND DRINK ON BOARD?

Our licensed bar sells a range of wines, local beers, juices, hot drinks, as well as bar snacks. No food or drink may be taken on board our catered trips, but snacks can be brought on board our sightseeing trips – please be mindful of your litter and use our bins so nothing blows into the river. We have small bottles of Prosecco on board, but large bottles can be pre-ordered at the time of booking or by emailing Emma at bookings@orwelllady.co.uk. If you would like to have a meal before or after your trip there are lots of outlets on the waterfront, please visit www.allaboutipswich.com.

I HAVE BOOKED ON A CATERED TRIP AND HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY?

Please inform us of any food allergies or special dietary requirements at least 48 hours before departure. If you are chartering Orwell Lady, please inform your chosen caterer direct.

ARE THERE TOILETS ON BOARD? 

Yes, separate male and female.

CAN I TAKE MY DOG?

We welcome well-behaved dogs on our sightseeing trips at the discretion of the crew because of space. You must take full responsibility and ensure your dog does not impact the enjoyment of other passengers.  An assistance dog can travel on all trips.

WHAT IF THE WEATHER IS TOO ROUGH TO TRAVEL?

Orwell Lady is extremely safe but if conditions in Harwich Harbour are unpleasant the Skipper will not enter the harbour but remain in the river. In the case of adverse weather conditions outside of our control which may compromise the safety of crew and passengers, the Skipper may decide to cancel. In such circumstances, we will make every attempt to contact you and transfer your booking to another date or offer a full refund.

WHAT ABOUT SAFETY ON BOARD?

Orwell Lady is regularly inspected and licensed annually by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (our regulatory body), and is maintained to a very high standard. A safety announcement is played before departure and our crew who are fully trained will assist if you have any questions or concerns.  Every trip has a qualified first-aider on board. We also carry lifejackets, life rings, and life rafts.

WHAT IF I WANT TO CANCEL MY BOOKING OR CHANGE TO ANOTHER DATE?

Regrettably, we are unable to refund cancellations, but tickets can be transferred to a friend or relative. If you wish to change to another date and notify us more than 24 hours before departure, we may agree in the event of extenuating circumstances.  Unfortunately, a change of date within 24 hours is classed as a cancellation.

WHAT IF I MISS THE BOAT?

Regrettably, we are not able to refund passengers who do not arrive in time to board. If you are delayed due to parking or traffic, then call 07773 369970 and we will try our best to help.

WHAT IF ORWELL LADY CANCELS A TRIP?

Orwell Lady reserves the right to cancel a trip due to adverse weather conditions and if minimum bookings have not been reached to make a trip viable. In these circumstances, a full refund or transfer to an alternative booking will be offered.

CAN I HIRE ORWELL LADY FOR PRIVATE FUNCTIONS?

Yes, Orwell Lady can be chartered privately, whether you are looking for a venue for a birthday or anniversary party, wedding reception, or somewhere to entertain clients or staff. Further information can be found here. For availability or any questions please call Liz on 07734 875887 or email charters@orwelllady.co.uk

WHAT ABOUT COVID?

Please don’t travel with us if you or anyone in your home has symptoms of any contagious disease. If you are feeling unwell and give us enough notice, we may be able to transfer your tickets. Orwell Lady is a very well-ventilated boat and we will maintain all our cleaning procedures and have hand sanitiser available but feel free to wear a mask when you travel with us if that would make you feel more comfortable.

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH MY DATA?

Orwell River Cruises Ltd is committed to safeguarding your privacy.  We use the information we collect about you to send your cruise tickets and to help us understand more about how our site is used. We do not sell, rent or share data with third party companies. We will only use your contact details if there is a problem with a trip you are booked onto and will send you communications about Orwell Lady and its trips electronically if you have opted in to hear from us via our website. We take all reasonable steps to ensure any personal information we hold about you is secure. We restrict access to personal information to our employees who require that information to operate our business.

You can request access to the personal information we hold about you. You may also request that we update any personal information we hold about you that may be inaccurate or out-of-date. If you request that we delete your personal details, we will take all reasonable steps to do so unless we need to keep it for legal, auditing or internal business purposes.