stuart line festive cruise

Stuart Line Cruise have started their festive trips to get you in the Christmas spirit and we were lucky enough to be invited on one of their cruises a couple of weeks ago. So much of Devon is seen from our many roads, footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways, but less of us have had the opportunity to view it from the water and it’s safe to say that seeing the region this way is utterly breath-taking. 

When we arrived in Exmouth the weather was a bit grey, but we were excited nonetheless to set sail along the River Exe. Upon boarding the boat, adorned in plenty of festive decorations, we were greeted by their friendly staff who welcomed us with a smile. The top, outside deck was lined with colourful lights alongside blankets and a heater to make sure we all stayed warm whilst embracing the fresh air, and below deck, the inside was dotted with festive baubles and garlands.  

Before setting sail on the River Exe, the sea around Exmouth was fairly choppy and the boat was bobbing up and down a bit, but once we reached the estuary, the water was incredibly calm and relaxing. As Dawlish Warren is so close to Exmouth Marina, we were able to get a good view of the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve with a number of beautiful cormorants, shags, oystercatchers and many other wild seabirds; a trip along the River Exe is truly a bird-watcher’s paradise. Interestingly, the River Exe and Dawlish Warren is rich in wildlife, home to 620 plant species, over 2000 species of invertebrates, 30 species of migrating birds, and let’s not forget the much-loved grey seal. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any seals this time, but on a previous trip we did so you might be able to spot one too! 

Whilst you’re sailing around the beautiful River Exe there is live, informative and entertaining commentary to ensure that you see everything that the river has to offer, even if you’re below deck, they have large panoramic windows so you can enjoy the view whatever the weather. The staff here are incredibly knowledgeable about the area and wildlife, so you’ll certainly learn a thing or two. Some top sights for us would have to be the huge stretch of Haldon Forest which is visible from the River Exe behind the fishing village of Starcross and across to Exeter; as well as seeing the beautiful Lympstone Manor Estate and Vineyard on the opposite side of the estuary.  

When taking part of this cruise you’re welcome to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie – yum! If mulled wine isn’t your thing, Stuart Line Cruise boast a full licenced bar serving a range of soft, hot and alcoholic drinks and snacks from local food and drink producers such as Exmouth’s own Copperfrog Gin and ales from Exeter Brewery.  

Stuart Line’s Festive Cruise sets sail throughout December and January, all the way through the Christmas and New Year period. They’re the perfect reason to get everyone out and about during the festive season. It’s certainly one great way to get everyone feeling festive and Christmassy! They’re a dog-friendly attraction so even your four-legged friends are welcome on board.  If you’re looking for any other Christmas events in South Devon, click here to read our blog post detailing all the festivities occurring throughout the region in the run up to Christmas. Stay up to date with the latest Visit South Devon blog posts, events and competitions by signing up to our e-newsletter here.  




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