The Vintage Ferry Service starts at Tuckton Tea Gardens and runs down to Mudeford Sandbank, stopping at Wick Ferry and Christchurch Quay.
The service begins its season at Easter and runs every day (weather permitting) until the end of October. The timetable will vary daily according to both the weather and the time of year, the minimum service being a boat every hour and a half, the maximum being every half hour. We have special rates for Party and School bookings. We have carried Wedding parties, anniversaries, Champayne parties and the scattering of ashes. For more detailed information please call us on 01202 429119.
It takes approximately 40 minutes to cruise down the river to the beach, passing through the unparalleled beauty of this little known harbour. The views of Christchurch Priory, Place mill, Hengistbury Head and the harbour are spectacular, with a wealth of wildlife to see on the way.
|The ferry fares (for the season)||Adult return||Adult single|
|Tuckton to Mudeford Sandbank||£8.50||£5.00|
|Christchurch Quay to Mudeford Sandbank||£8||£4.50|
|Tuckton to Christchurch Quay||£3||£2.50|
Children under 12 yrs are half the adult price. Children under 3 yrs and dogs are free.
Parties are catered for by prior arrangement.
The BBQ River Cruise is £20.00 for adults and £13 for children under 12.
History– We have 4 Headland boats, the Headland Belle, the Headland Queen, and the Headland Pal were all built in1934 with the Headland Maid following in 1935. Built in Elkins Boat yard, which still exists in Christchurch, they were designed specifically for Christchurch Harbour conditions.
The water in the harbour can be very shallow at low tide therefore a very shallow draft was necessary. These boats only draw 18 inches fully laden. In order to avoid a propeller protruding beneath the boat, a tunnel system was devised whereby the propeller is located within the tunnel, drawing the water up, through the tunnel inside the boat and pushing it out at the stern.
These ferries have maintained this service across Christchurch Harbour every year since their construction, except during the war, when they were commandeered by the Navy. There are many stories about their exploits. After the war they were returned to service in Christchurch, although only one retained the original varnished hull.
These boats have been carefully maintained in as original condition as possible given the need to conform to regulations covering passenger vessels. We also have a 1922 Gentlemans Launch, The Merry Widow. We are still researching the history of this vessel which we believe was constructed for use in the Lake District, maybe in Bossoms Boat yard. We believe that she may originally have been a Steam launch as the engine bearers could handle a very heavy load.