New boat for trips on the Tweed

After several years of testing the concept of running trips up the River Tweed, a full-size passenger boat has been bought to do the job.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 7:59 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:11 am
Berwick's new tourist boat at Tweed Dock.

The new vessel, which will be able to take to the water irrespective of the tides, was delivered to Tweedmouth Dock on a 50-foot low-loader at the end of last week.

The boat, named Border Rose, is a specially-designed shallow draft vessel with very little bow wake and therefore ideal for river cruises.

It will seat 56 passengers and is equipped with a toilet and a canopy for poor weather.

This purpose-built vessel has been operating on rivers on the south coast since it was commissioned and built by the previous owners.

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Border Rose has been acquired by the skipper David Thompson, with assistance from Berwick Town Team.

Boat trips will commence at Easter and will run daily through to October with a timetable being issued to the tourist office, hoteliers and B&B owners over the next few weeks,

It is also hoped that excursions, private hires and school trips can be accommodated.

A river trip allows passengers on the boat to enjoy unsurpassed views of the Elizabethan Walls, our formidable fortifications, as seen by raiders and visitors alike over the centuries as they sailed into what was one of the UK’s busiest medieval ports.

Tours will be fully narrated to ensure visitors understand and appreciate the prominence of Berwick in medieval Britain.

The river trips will operate from the pontoon on Berwick harbour beside the Chandlery.

The pontoon is operated by Berwick Town Team, which wants to thank the Harbour Commissioners for their assistance in helping bring such a key activity to Berwick, which it is sure will greatly strengthen the attraction of the town to tourists and bring benefits to many other businesses in the area.

It was the town team which helped bring boat trips back in 2013 when it was managing the ill-fated Portas project.

Hundreds of visitors have enjoyed trips since then, although Mr Thompson’s previous boat, On a Promise, was often hindered by low water which meant longer trips upstream to the likes of Paxton House were infrequent.

Prior to their reintroduction, there had been a 10-year absence of boat trips. The scheme ran for two seasons and demonstrated demand but stopped due to insurance issues.

Any inquiries regarding the river trips should be directed to the skipper David Thompson on 07713 170845.