Our Story

Our boat was originally a Thames River cruiser, purpose-built in 1979 and operating from Westminster Pier for almost a decade. After another ten years taking passengers around Brownsea Island near Poole, Purbeck Lady – as she was called – was purchased by Paul Magnus and motored round to Ipswich in 2001.

The River Orwell is one of the most scenic and historic rivers in the country but had not had a large passenger boat operating on its waters for several decades. Paul, who had always had a love of being on the water, and had lived in Suffolk for many years, named her Orwell Lady and gave the people of Ipswich and visitors to Suffolk the opportunity to view the river, estuaries, and Port of Felixstowe – the rest is history!

Paul passed away in 2018, so Orwell Lady is now run by his wife, daughter and daughter-in-law, alongside Carl Webb, who had previously worked with Paul on tug operations and is now an honorary member of the family!

We care deeply for Orwell Lady and continue Paul’s desire to share his love of the river with as many people as possible. We bring our backgrounds in marketing, event organising, travel, sales, boat operations and wellbeing to our river trips – to not only boost the local economy and enhance people’s experiences of our county town but to help people celebrate, explore and engage with the river.

We hope you will join us on the river!

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