Private Hire Charters

We can offer the following river trips for private charter, in addition to an hourly rate so that you can find the perfect cruise for your event!

3.5Mayflower, Ganges & Marine Giants

From Ipswich all the way to Historic Harwich Harbour, the Pilgrim Fathers departure point on the Mayflower and Samuel Pepys’ parliamentary seat. See HMS Ganges at Shotley and the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe, before returning to Orwell Quay.

2.5The Cathouse, Admiral Grog & Pin Mill

Travelling downriver, view The Cathouse, vital to past smugglers, learn the true origins of ‘Naval Grog’, and reach Pin Mill, home to Arthur Ransome and local sailing barges before returning to Orwell Quay.

1Bridge, Falcons & Freston Folly

Under the iconic Orwell Bridge, home to the Peregrine Falcons, then downriver to view Freston Folly before returning to Orwell Quay.

1000 by 1000 onboard Orwell lady

Day Rate

From 6pm

Harwich Harbour (3.5 hours)
Pin Mill (2.5 hours)
Orwell Bridge (1 hour)

Hourly Charter Rate

Day Rate

From 6pm

Up to 1 hour
Up to 2 hours
All hours thereafter
£320 per hour
£370 per hour

All hourly rates charged per hour only and not pro-rata. ie 1 hour 30 minutes = 2 hours charter.


For private functions, food is supplied by one of our approved vessel caterers. Sample menus from caterers are available in our Charter Pack (available upon request). We regret passengers are not permitted to bring their own food or use the bar facilities for serving their own drinks, however, we are happy to serve prosecco or champagne on arrival and offer a corkage rate if passengers wish to supply their own.

Please note If you have a food allergy or special dietary requirements then please ensure that you inform your chosen caterer direct.


There is the option of having music aboard, whether a disco, or a small band. We can assist in this regard with providers that have worked with us for many years and if you wish to arrange your own music, this must be approved by us.
Both caterers and music suppliers are permitted to board early to set up.

How to book

Advanced booking is essential, so please contact us to ascertain availability. Once availability is confirmed, booking forms need to be completed and returned to us together with a deposit of 50% to secure the booking. The balance must be paid at least fourteen working days prior to the date of the trip. We regret that boat trips will not commence unless full payment has been received within this period.

For more information please call Liz 07734875887 or contact us.

School Charter

Orwell Lady hosts an increasing number of school trips every year for most ages, as well as other educational establishments. The trips provide the opportunity to support the delivery of the National Curriculum particularly in the areas of river formation, geography, wildlife, history, and commerce/shipping. Teachers can decide what topics they want the children to cover, and, wherever possible our Skippers, will utilise the vessels’ manoeuvrability to accommodate the closest possible viewing of particular curriculum topics, such as mudflats, wildlife and other vessels. Our Skippers will always supply as much information as they can on any 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 bird life, maybe even a seal!

Orwell Lady has almost all-round visibility from the main saloon. All decks are railed, and the main saloon is completely enclosed. 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.

Schools have to provide the appropriate number of adults to properly supervise the children on a boat trip as we only supply the designated crew on board. If the charter covers a mealtime then packed lunches can be eaten on board by prior arrangement.

We offer a special discounted charter rate for schools. Prices depend upon the length of the river trip 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. However, depending upon the individual requirements of each school, different durations of trip can be chosen, and prices vary accordingly.