Osprey & Wildlife Cruises

One of the most exciting ways of seeing Ospreys at Rutland Water is to take a guided trip with members of the project team aboard the Rutland Belle. The idea is simple; we sail to the parts of the reservoir where we stand the best chance of seeing fishing Ospreys and, with a bit of luck, are rewarded with spectacular views. On many occasions we have enjoyed breathtaking views of the birds diving for fish very close to the boat, making it a trip to remember for those lucky enough to be on board.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) - "33"

33(11), photo by John Wright


Even on those rare occasions when Ospreys prove elusive, there is always a good range of the reservoir’s other wildlife on view. Recent highlights have included Arctic Tern, Fulmar, Sanderling and Knot.

Afternoon Cruises

These cruises begin with refreshments (hot drinks and biscuits) and an introductory talk at the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre, Egleton (LE15 8BT). We then ask you to drive to Whitwell (a 2 mile drive), where the Rutland Belle sets sail. The cruises last 1.5 hours and cost £20 per person (£12 for under 16s). In addition to your cruise ticket you will also receive a 20% discount on the permit entry price to the nature reserve. Nature reserve permits cover the Egleton (LE15 8BT) and Lyndon (LE15 8RN) sites of Rutland Water and with nearly 40 hides there is lots to see and do to fill a day. You can use your discount on the day of the cruise, and/or the day after. For more information about the reserves click here. 

All parking costs at Whitwell and the reserves are covered by your cruise ticket.

Dawn Cruises

In addition to the afternoon cruises, we also run exclusive dawn cruises. These cruises depart from Whitwell Harbour at 6am for an hour and a half cruise. We’ll then arrive back at Whitwell and drive around to the Egleton reserve (a 2 mile drive) for a well-earned cooked breakfast at 7:30am. The breakfast consists of a bacon and egg roll, or a vegetarian option of egg and mushrooms or vegetarian sausage. Please state which option you require on booking. Early mornings are a magical time to be out on the reservoir, and if 2015 dawn cruises are anything to go by, we should be in for some spectacular views of fishing Ospreys. Tickets for dawn cruises are priced at £25 for adults and £15 for children (under 16).

All parking costs at Whitwell and the reserves are covered by your cruise ticket.

Birdfair Cruises

As usual we will be running a series of cruises during the Birdfair weekend in August 2016. Dates and tickets will be available at www.birdfair.org.uk.

How To Book

To book your place on an Osprey Cruise you can use the ‘Book your place’ page to check dates. Click an event to check availability and make a booking. You can now pay for your tickets online securely via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account, and all major credit/debit cards are accepted. Alternatively, please phone 01572 737378 (March – September only) with your preferred date to pay over the phone, or email kbrookes@rutlandwater.org.uk (anytime). Places sell out very quickly – so please book early to avoid disappointment! 

Gift Vouchers

We also offer Osprey cruise vouchers – a perfect Christmas or birthday gift!  E-mail kbrookes@rutlandwater.org.uk for more information.
For more information about the Rutland Belle, check out their website.

Please note wellies are not allowed on the Rutland Belle so please wear alternative footwear.

Rutland Belle