Every year the Ipswich Maritime Trust charters barge trips down the River Orwell on the Sailing Barge Victor.

The Trust has set out some COVID secure guidelines to allow their chartered barge trips to continue, following discussions with the Ipswich Society, the caterer they use and Sailing Barge Victor.  As such we are pleased to announce their first sailing onboard Victor will take place on the 9th July 2020.

Sailing Barge Victor moored on the Common Quay in Ipswich

In order to follow social distancing guidelines, they have restricted the number of guests allowed on board. As such these trips only have 12 tickets available for each barge trip.

If you are interested in coming on the first sailings of the Victor this summer, please head to their events page. Alternatively please contact Event Organisers Bob and John on 01473 252893 or via bookings@ipswichmaritimetrust.org.uk

Please find their COVID secure and social distancing guidelines below. 

IMT 2020 Barge Trips – COVID Secure GuidelinesDownload

Victor was built in Ipswich 125 years ago and had a big summer of sailings planned to celebrate this important birthday. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case due to the pandemic.  But they are trying to do their best to support Victor and their river cruising community in any way they can during these tough times.and they encourage you to get involed and support the Victor too.

Victor was the last of the sailing barges to be decommissioned in 1947.  Today, Victor is well maintained with the original sailing rig, which was so well thought out that the barge could be sailed by one man and a boy.  In their heyday 2,000 Thames Sailing barges sailed East Coast rivers.  Their trade included taking hay, straw, and grain to London and returning with horse manure.  A shallow draught allowed access to the farms of the Suffolk and Essex coast that border rivers and creeks.

In 2019 they ran a successful trip to Harwich with the Ipswich Society and these trips feature again this year.  Many Ipswich Maritime Trust members will likely know the River Orwell well.  Though many in Ipswich and the surrounding area have not yet taken or had the opportunity to see how the town relates to its ancient route to the sea.

The best way to see this ancient route is on-board a sailing vessel and they will do their best to continue to support the Victor and other cruising vessels on the River Orwell.  Especially as they deal with the effects of the pandemic.  If you would like to support them in helping these vessels, they always welcome new members and volunteers.

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