Osprey Cruises 2017

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.

IMG_4900---5R-with-fish

Osprey with fish, 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. Past highlights have included buzzard, red kite, marsh harrier, great-crested grebe, oystercatcher, little egret, great white egret, common tern, arctic tern, a plethora of wildfowl and much more!  

 

Afternoon Cruises

These cruises begin at Whitwell Harbour, where the Rutland Belle sets sail for an hour and a half cruise on Rutland Water. We stand a very good chance of seeing ospreys flying by and fishing, and lots of other gems that Rutland Water has to offer. There will be a live commentary pointing out things of interest, and providing information about the osprey project and the reservoir. Members of the osprey team will be on board to help you get the best out of your trip. 

On the day of the cruise, the osprey team will be delivering a talk on the Osprey Project at the Lyndon Visitor Centre, for cruise guests to attend. The talk is optional, but provides a useful overview of the project and information on spotting ospreys from the boat, how they fly and hunt etc. There will be two opportunities to attend the talk, at 10am and 2pm. There will be free tea and coffee provided.

Afternoon cruises cost £22 for adults and £13 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. 

The start times differ for individual cruises. They will either begin at 5:15pm or 5:45pm. Please check the information for your chosen cruise date, see our website or email kbrookes@rutlandwater.org.uk to confirm timings.

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

The Rutland Belle

The Rutland Belle

 

Dawn Cruises

We also run several 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 two mile drive) for a well-earned cooked breakfast at 7:30am. The breakfast consists of a bacon and egg roll (vegetarian alternative of egg and mushrooms), plus sauces, orange juice, tea and coffee. Please state which breakfast option you require on booking, and also any other dietary requirements you may have e.g. gluten free. 

Early mornings are a magical time to be out on the reservoir, and in the past we have been treated to some spectacular views of ospreys. Tickets for dawn cruises are priced at £25 for adults and £15 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.

Matt's sunrise 18th July

Sunrise over the Rutland Belle, photo by Matt Broadhead

 

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. Payment must be taken on 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.

You can also book and pay over the phone by calling 01572 737378 any day between 9am and 5pm.

For any information please email Kayleigh at kbrookes@rutlandwater.org.uk.

Places sell out very quickly – so please book early to avoid disappointment! 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Cruise tickets are non-refundable.

However, provided we have no less than two weeks’ notice, we can move your booking to a different date should you be unable to attend the one booked. We cannot reschedule cruise dates for those who fail to turn up on the day or arrive late.

 

The Rutland Belle

The Rutland Belle has both a covered lower deck and an open upper deck, both are just as good in terms of the view. It is wheelchair and pushchair friendly (bottom deck only). There is a toilet on board, and a bar on the lower saloon providing a selection of drinks and snacks.

Please note wellies are not permitted on the upper deck of the Rutland Belle, so please wear alternative footwear if you intend to sit upstairs. Dogs and bicycles are not permitted on board the boat.

The boat leaves promptly at the specified time, and cannot wait.

For more information about the Rutland Belle, check out their website.

Rutland Belle

The Rutland Belle