Lady Florence River Cruise and Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering brunch and a la carte lunch or dinner cruises from Orford Quay, Orford, Suffolk.
Lady Florence is an ex-Admiralty motor fishing vessel (MFV), one of over 1000 built during World War II as supply boats. She is 50 ft long, 16ft 6' in beam, draws 6ft of water and weighs 35 tons net, 54 gross. She is a registered British Ship, Official Number 361575 and has an Ensign Permit to wear the red ensign of Her Majesty as defaced with the badge of the National Historic ships.
The Lady Florence cruises an area rich in both wildlife and history. Starting from Orford Quay, with fine views of the 12th Century Norman Castle and 14th Century Church, the Lady Florence passes several historical landmarks and well-known wildlife spots.
The lunch and dinner cruises head up river to within sight of Aldeburgh, Iken and Snape, and then turn where there are large country houses with lawns sloping down towards the waters’ edge. The cruises also takes in the entire 10 mile length of the National Trust’s Orford Ness conservation area. Previously a key military experimental site – with its eerie pagoda-style buildings – your host for the cruise will tell you stories of Orford Ness’ past and how nature is adapting to the constantly changing environment. Your cruise journey will then turn at Shingle Street where the river enters the North Sea amidst the rolling surf, racing tides and barren shingle banks – an area of wilderness and desolation.
Every cruise includes a circumnavigation of the RSPB’s Havergate Island bird sanctuary, famous for its Avocet – the graceful wader adopted as the RSPB’s emblem. The Lady Florence often offers unparalleled views into the flooded interior of Havergate and can get to within metres of unusual seabirds, wildfowl and waders.
From the quiet serenity of winter to the bustling activity of summer, the rivers Alde and Ore offer outstanding scenery to accompany your meal. Every cruise includes a detailed commentary on both the intriguing history that made this area, and the wildlife which now inhabits it.
Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant