• TTDA - Excelsior - Boat

East Anglia’s most historic ship takes to the sea again

Excelsior, the 99 year old traditional gaff rigged fishing ketch known as a ‘smack’ is allowed to leave harbour thanks to the lifting of Covid19 restrictions. 

Adapting to Covid19 means Excelsior, the iconic Lowestoft-built sailing smack at long last is able to take passengers out for daysails. 

Along with other sailing charitable trusts around the UK, Excelsior Trust has not been able to carry passengers aboard its 99-year old historic ship until restrictions were eased.  Now the boat’s sailing season is able to adapt to the current situation which means that for the time being it will be offering daysail trips.

“We will be offering trips to one ‘bubble’ which means that a family group can have the entire boat to themselves for the day” said Excelsior’s Chairman Jamie Campbell.  “This keeps both our guests and our crew safe.  We are keen to get to sea again and are delighted that once more this much loved and familiar sight will be seen off the shores of East Anglia.”

TTDA - Excelsior - Men on boat

Excelsior is maintained to her original features and guests can experience what life was like aboard this important part of maritime history nearly one hundred years ago.

Nick Dwyer, Excelsior’s skipper: “A daysail experience on Excelsior will encompass a fisherman's breakfast (bacon butty and a cuppa) and safety brief before leaving Harwich or Ipswich dock. Guests will be encouraged to take a hand hoisting the sails, steer the boat or sit back and watch how a professional crew does it all. We will either head out to sea amongst the waves and spray or stay on inland waterways and enjoy the serenity and wildlife.

For lunch we will provide succulent Lowestoft smoked seafood or vegan alternative served by the crew. Soft drinks will be supplied or guests can bring their favourite tipple (no corkage). 

This is private charter East Anglia style and all proceeds support the work that we do with groups of disadvantaged young people.  Those amongst this group have often reported what a life-changing experience time on board Excelsior has given them and we are keen to continue this work.” 

The daysails will be out of Harwich and Ipswich, both easily reached by road and rail. 

To find out more call 0845 308 2323 or email: sailing@excelsiortrust.co.uk

Things to see and do

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant 

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant

Lady Florence River Cruise Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering breakfast and a la carte lunch, supper and dinner cruises from Orford Quay, Orford, Suffolk.

Read more >
Dog friendly

National Trust Dunwich Heath

National Trust Dunwich Heath

Dunwich Heath and Beach is a precious landscape on the Suffolk coast where you can experience a true sense of being at one with nature. 

Read more >

Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museums

Ipswich Museums incorporates three historical venues in Ipswich; Ipswich Museum - a fascinating Victorian museum; Christchurch Mansion - a magnificent Tudor building; and Ipswich Art Gallery - a unique contemporary gallery.

Read more >
Wheelchair Accessible

Angels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)

Angels & Pinnacles (Suffolk churches)

Angels and Pinnacles helps you discover Suffolk’s magnificent medieval churches, among the finest in Europe.

Read more >

David Silver Honda Collection 

David Silver Honda Collection

A collection of 200 Honda Motorcycles, artefacts, books and magazines charting the history of Honda from 1946-1992.

Read more >
Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) 

International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC)

IBTC in Lowestoft offers a variety of boatbuilding/maintenance and woodworking courses suitable for those looking for a career in the maritime industry as well as individuals wanting to develop existing or new interests and skills.


Read more >
Free wifi Dog friendly

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant 

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant

Ipswich

Allen Gardiner River Cruise Restaurant provides a unique and exciting dining experience offering breakfast and a la carte lunch, sunset supper or candlelit Dinner cruises. 

Read more >

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge

Check the website for times of Milling Demonstrations and Wheel-Turnings. The Tide Mill has stood on the banks of the River Deben for over 800 years.

Read more >

Airborne Kitesurf - SUP - Kayak

Airborne Kitesurf - SUP - Kayak

Professional and friendly kitesurf instructor, also offering SUP lessons along with SUP and Kayak hire. Group trips and accompanied guided trips available as an extra option. Can arrange delivery and collection of equipment.  Customised trips available, just ask!

Read more >

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Fancy doing something a little bit different? Situated in the heart of Southwold is the Adnams Sole Bay Brewery and Copper House Distillery, where Adnams have been brewing since 1872.

Read more >
Wheelchair Accessible

Felixstowe Museum

Felixstowe Museum

Explore the fascinating artefacts and collections of Felixstowe Museum, which brings alive the military and social history of this seaside town.

Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Excelsior

Excelsior

Excelsior is an iconic part of Suffolk's maritime heritage. She is one of the few remaining Lowestoft sailing trawlers, built in 1921 and is maintained to her original features. National Historic Ships list the vessel as one of the nation's most important historic ships.

Read more >

Iken Canoe 

Iken Canoe

Iken Canoe hires out Canadian canoes, sit-on-top kayaks and stand up paddleboards (SUPs) on the stunning upper reaches of the River Alde between Snape and Aldeburgh, close to the Suffolk coast. 

Read more >
Dog friendly

National Trust Sutton Hoo

National Trust Sutton Hoo

Woodbridge

This hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate, with far-reaching views over the River Deben is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.


Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Aldeburgh Museum

Aldeburgh Museum

Aldeburgh Museum is housed in the iconic Moot Hall, a superb 16th Century, Grade 1 listed timber-framed building that is also home to the Town Council.

Read more >

National Trust Orford Ness

National Trust Orford Ness

Wild, remote and exposed, Orford Ness contains the ruined remnants of a disturbing past. Ranked among the most important shingle features in the world, rare and fragile wildlife thrives where weapons, including atomic bombs, were once tested and perfected.

Read more >

East Anglia Transport Museum

East Anglia Transport Museum

Lowestoft

The only museum in East Anglia where you can ride on working trams, trolley buses and narrow gauge railway!

Read more >
Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Deben Cruises

Deben Cruises

Enjoy a two-hour river cruise along the River Deben.

Read more >