Monday, October 10, 2016

This year changes Fordwich River Tours + Southern Queen.

Fordwich close to Canterbury and the top of the navigation from the sea.
Ethelbert a small passenger boat to be opporating from Fordwich Quay all being well from the end of April. For the moment please email sandriverbus@gmail.com for information and updates.

Sandwich, The Southern Queen is now in full swing on the tide with trips to the Seals. Capacity 70 persons but for comfort reasons will be restricted to about 50 unless mostly children. School parties welcome.
Heron capacity 12 for up river will return for May with a newly refurbished engine.

We can now take card payments on the Sandwich boats.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This site has been reviewed and updated on the 2nd May 2017.

On the 7th January 2017 we counted 145+ Common Seal on the bank and at least 10 in the water including one Gray. So a new record of 155+ in the river at this time.
 New email address is sandriverbus@gmail.com. Please note that emails are not regularly checked so it is best to text or call 07958376183.
 Lots more info about the port of Sandwich and the navigation go to sandwichphc.uk.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sailing schedule Including Seal spotting trips.

Trips run weekends and school holidays all year. Also Thursday and Friday from Easter until mid September unless the weather is bad.
Normal open times are 11am to 5pm (dusk in winter) but Seal trips will run before and after due to tides.
Six or more as a group can book the boat on any day of the year.
You can only book by phone or texting on  07958376183.
Unfortunately no up river trips untill the end of April.
Wildlife and Seal Spotting trip departure times;  2017.
Please note book in advance to avoid disappointment.
 We have now increased capacity due to demand.
Also our new record number of Seals see on a trip on 7th January  2017 of 155+ including one Gray all the rest the less common Common Seal.

Unfortunately no up river trips untill the end of May with a few exceptional trips in the Southern Queen or the Tug.
The Heron is having a replacement engine.
 Southern Queen now has licences for up to 70 people and we have installed a last resort toilet.
May
Wed 24th one hour trip to the Roman fort @ 12.30pm.
Thur 25th @ 10.30am.
Fri  26th @ 11.30am.
The Sandwich Tug will be running one hour trips over the Bank holiday weekend.
Southern Queen for Seal trips.
Sat 27th @ 11am and 2pm.
Sun 28th @ 11.30am and 2.30pm.
Mon 29th @ 12.30pm and 3.30pm.
Tue 30th @ 2pm.
Wed 31st @ 3pm.
June 
Thur 1st @ 4pm.
Fri 2nd @ 5pm.
Sat 3rd @ 5.3pm.
Sun 4th @ 9.30 am.
Thur 8th @ 10am.
Fri 9th @ 10.30 am.
Sat 10th @ 11.30 am
Sun 11th @ 12noon.
Thur 15th @ 2.30pm.
Fri 16th @ 3pm.
Sat 17th @ 4pm.
Sun 18th @ 5pm.
Thur 22nd @ 9am and 12noon.
Fri 23rd @ 11am.
Sat 24th @ 11am.
Sun 25th @ 12noon.
Thur 29th @ 3pm.
Fri 30th Seal trip fully booked.
July
Sat 1st pub lunch trip to the Dog and Duck @ 11am then back to the Seals.
Sat 1st @ 4.30pm.
Sun 2nd @ 5.30pm.
Thur 6th @ 9.30 am.
Fri 7th @ 10am.
Sat 8th @ 10.30 am.
Sun 9th @ 11.30 am.
Thur 13th @ 1.3pm.
Fri 14th @ 2pm.
Sat 15th @ 3pm.
Sun 16th @ 3.3pm.
Thur 20th @ 10am.
Fri 21st @ 10am.
Sat 22nd @ 10am.
Sun 23rd @ 10.30 am.
School holidays now and trips every day into September.
Mon 24th @ 11.30 am.
Tue 25th @ 12noon.
Wed 26th @ 12.3pm.
Thur 27th @ 1.3pm.
Fri 28th @ 2pm.
Sat 29th @ 3pm.
Sun 30th @ 4pm.
Mon 31st @ 5pm.
August 
Tue 1st @ 8am.

Seals seen on all trips now for over 17 years. About 3000+ trips.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Our boats.

The boat in use most is Heron [1965 lifeboat 8.6mts long] but if booking you can state you would like the Heron, Southern Queen or the Sandwich Tug. [Dolphin the 1903 Dutch sailing barge 12mts long has become my home]. Dolphin not in service at present.
 In use with us now from December 2016 the Southern Queen that has worked in Dover for the last two decades for White Cliffs Tours.
For the flood defence work three years ago we have the Sandwich Tug put together by us to help finish the job [9.6mts long ex steel fishing boat fitted with 6ltr Ford diesel]. She has a passenger licence for
work duties but will probably not be in regular passenger use although has proved popular on cold and very wet days in winter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sailing barge Dolphin for the time being not in service.

The Dolphin is soon to be having the final stage of her restoration. That is to compleat the sailing rig etc. She will not be in regular service in the future as she is now also my cruising home.
Dolphin is now looking good.
She is back in the water after 4 years out. Launched at Ramsgate on the 24th November 2010 at 08.47hrs, her unladen weight is now only 17tons. (she has lost 3tons in refit) Built in Holland 1903. Hull L 40ft 6ins, B 11ft, D 3ft 6ins, Reg wt 36tons. Air D is only 7ft with mast down and 6ft with 4.5tons in the front as ballast, so it is possible to take her to Fordwich going under Grove Ferry bridge.[ Delivery of Caen stone was made on April 2nd 2011, believed first barge to arrive in Fordwich since 1870.] Her restoration has taken about 4 years, the top and deck have been replaced, so in profile from the side she looks clog shaped. The journey back to Sandwich was trouble free. After running the engine (120hp Ford 6cyl) for two hours waiting for the tide and checking all is well, the passage took about 90mins. At one time the Sat nav showed 9knts but that was with the tide. Tiller steering (Rib tickler) works well and is quite comfortable, with no obvious propeller osolation. The wheel steering is not yet compleat. She will also happily steer going astern with caution. I admit I still need to learn some of her ways.
During the summer of 2011 the Dolphin has had to be the most used boat as the Heron had an engine problem. She did very well with no probs. (The Heron now has a new 1.8 bmc fitted.)
2013/14 during the winter the Dolphin has been helping remove some obstructions to the flood defence works and so requires some cleaning up prior to the summer for passengers. This winter also the foam heat insulation has been sprayed on in the cabin and is now ready for the Pine lining to be fitted.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why rush around, sit back and relax.

We use older type boats which are very stable and sedate. They travel through the water rather than skimming over it, so causing little disturbance to wildlife and other people.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Contact & bookings

I have no computer on the boat and I may only get to see emails monthly, it is always best to text to
07958376183 any day, we are not supposed to talk on the phone while driving the boat and the voice mail is limited but try a call early morning or after 7 in the evening.
It is now possible to book two boats with 12 persons on each, so a total of 24 persons at the same time.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Take a trip today.

Try a call, we may be available now!
Booking is usualy required for Pub meal trips and Seal and Wildlife trips.
Short trips (1/2 hr or 1hr) will run on Saturdays and Sundays before or after Seal spotting depending on the time of the tide, But wee may have now a second boat covering to fill gaps in time, please phone to check if not shore. A board on the pontoon will tell you the time of the expected next trip. We are limited to a max. of 12 persons per boat.


See winter pub lunch trip schedule under special excursions.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tour Info and prices

All standard trips include a commentary. You may bring dogs on a lead. Push chairs can be taken on board but would have to be carried up and down steps, also over the side of the boat. There is no age limit but young children must have an adult with them. We do not allow smoking as from the start of 2007. You are most welcome to bring your own food and drink anytime.

 Prices reduced continuing into 2017 from April 2011.
 Half hour trip is up and down past the town, this is for young or old who are not too certain about boats. Approx distance of trip 2.5 miles. £7 Adults-£5 Child or Family ticket (2 Adults plus 2 Children) £20.
One hour trip is up to the Roman Fort at Richborough. There is the option, at small extra cost, to stop and return on a later trip. If a trip is booked to depart or return at high spring tide we will have the road traffic stopped and the Old Toll Bridge swung open to allow us passage. Aprox distance of trip 5 miles. £10 Adults-£7 Child or Family ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children) £30.
 Wildlife trips down river take two hours. Please have warm, waterproof clothing. These trips can only depart when tide is on the rise or soon after. Approx distance of trip 12 miles. £20 Adults-£14 Children or Family ticket (2 Adults plus 2 Children) £60.
If now booking a group of 20 or more the price is £16 each with a maximum number in one boat 70 but with two boats together 82 at the same time.
 Pub lunch or Isle of Thanet boundary trips to Plucks Gutter take 1hr 30mins in each direction from Sandwich. We carry a menu from the Dog and Duck and order food by phone on our way to save time . This is usually a one hour stop. £30 per person. This does not include the cost of a meal. (See schedule under special excursions) A longer trip to Grove Ferry takes 2 hours each way @ £35 per person. This also does not include the cost of a meal or possible night stop at Grove ferry. Whole boat charters can be arranged with the normal charter price for the Heron or The Sandwich Tug at just £100 per hour, with a maximum of 12 persons per boat.
Increased capacity from 2017.
Coach parties welcome.  Southern Queen £500 per hour but Schools, Club, elderly etc during the week but not school holidays £350 with a maximum of 70 persons but 40 or 50 more comfortable.
 Other enquiries please telephone 07958 376 183.

Not included in the discount is the commercial rate.
commercial use of the Tug or the passenger boats is £600 per day each with a qualified boat master plus the cost of  fuel. Each extra member of crew is £150 per day all supplied with personal protective equipment.
 We have our own  5kva generator, welding and cutting equipment with qualified personnel to opporate them. The cost of use on request.

Friday, December 01, 2006

How to Book

Bookings can only be made by phoning or text on

07958 376183

If you make a booking and you think the weather will be to wet etc, phone us and we will arrange another day or cancil altogether.

You pay on the day so you loose not a thing.

sandriverbus@gmail.com is the email address now for documents etc but I seldom look at it more than monthly so best to text or phone.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Photo album.

To see photos of wildlife taken from the boat, of the Lady Jane, kids party fun and other views etc. Please go to www.pbase.com/cwright/river_bus

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Special Excursions and Trips

Special Excursions - Anniversaries, Birthdays, Retirement, and Office Lunch parties. Other ideas are, Down~river trips to the Estuary for Bird Watching and Seal spotting, or up~river as far as Fordwich or lunch stopovers at Plucks Gutter, Grove Ferry or Fordwich. Over-night stops are possible at Grove Ferry.
Special Trips - For schools and young peoples walking organizations etc., are popular with a commentary tailored as required e.g. Roman History, Wildlife, Rivers or just for fun!
We often let people have a go at steering the boat with the Tiller or helm.
Boats can booked any day of the year.

Pub lunch trip schedule to the
Dog and Duck at Plucks Gutter.
See prices for more detales.
You must phone to book on these trips.

Increase in capacity.
From 2017 our capacity is increasing to 70 but 40 to 50 will be more comfortable.
The user limit for this boat is Grove Ferry.

October, November,
December, Jan, Feb and March
Trips to the Dog and Duck for lunch leave at 11am on Saturdays if people have booked.
A special trip to Fordwich taking all day return or
Fordwich one way trips. 4 hours plus depending on nomber of stops on the way. £30 per person /( min no 4 ) Taxi one way £20 baced on 4 in car.