Sail with us again on the Victor

With lockdown restrictions in England slowly being lifted, we can celebrate by being afloat again. Every year the Ipswich Maritime Trust charters barge trips down the River Orwell on the Sailing Barge Victor.

We have set out some COVID secure guidelines to allow our chartered barge trips to continue, following discussions with the Ipswich Society, the caterer we use and Sailing Barge Victor. As such we are pleased to announce our first sailing onboard Victor will take place on the 9th July.

Sailing Barge Victor moored on the Common Quay in Ipswich

In order to follow social distancing guidelines, we have restricted the number of guests allowed on board. As such these trips only have 12 tickets available for each barge trip.

If you are interested in coming on the first sailings of the Victor this summer, please head to our events page. Alternatively please contact our Event Organisers John and Bob on 07789825680 or via bookings@ipswichmaritimetrust.org.uk

Please find our COVID secure and social distancing guidelines below. We hope that you are interested in getting back on the water. As well as helping keep the Sailing Barge Victor afloat in these difficult times.


Victor which was built in Ipswich 125 years ago and had a big summer of sailings planned to celebrate this important birthday. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case due to the pandemic. But we are trying to do our best to support Victor and our river cruising community in any way we can during these tough times.and we encourage you to get involved and support the Victor too.

For those that don’t know Victor was the last of the sailing barges to be decommissioned in 1947. Today Victor is well maintained with the original sailing rig. Which was so well thought out that the barge could be sailed by one man and a boy. In their heyday 2,000 Thames Sailing barges sailed East Coast rivers. Their trade included taking cargo such hay, straw, and grain to London and returning with horse manure and many other cargoes. A shallow draught allowed access to the farms of the Suffolk and Essex coast that border rivers and creeks.

In 2019 we ran two successful trips to Harwich with the Ipswich Society and these trips feature again this year. Many Ipswich Maritime Trust members will likely know the River Orwell well. Though many in Ipswich and the surrounding area have not yet taken or had the opportunity to see how the town relates to its ancient route to the sea.

The best way to see this ancient route is on-board a sailing vessel and we will do our best to continue to support the Victor and other cruising vessels on the River Orwell. Especially as they deal with the effects of the pandemic. If you would like to support us in helping these vessels, then we always welcome new members and volunteers.

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