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Cambridge in the Snow

This week has seen Cambridge transformed from an already beautiful city into a Narnia-esque winter wonderland, in quite unseasonable fashion (the 1st of March is meant to be the start of spring!). The so-called 'Beast from the East' weather front arrived with a vengeance, bringing with it icy winds, sub-zero temperatures and, for many parts of the UK, quite a lot of snow. Monday morning (Feb 26th), Cambridge was looking like this, cold but beautiful and sunny, and apart from the temperature it definitely felt like spring was just around the corner: St John's Street before winter came back with a vengeance We managed to film this footage later the same day, of when the snow first arrived in Cambridge. The three clips were shot within the space of perhaps half an hour, showing how quickly it went from a few flakes, to some light flurries, to what felt like an absolute blizzard! Our European cousins, and those across the pond in Canada and the USA, who regularly experience and cope with far worse conditions during their winters, were undoubtedly looking on with bemusement. The UK was plunged into a frenzy of rolling news coverage about the snow, panic-buying in supermarkets, road closures, school closures, cancellation of sporting events and flights, and so on. Of course, it didn't stop the intrepid and hardy from going punting: Is it the novelty of snow that makes us both so fascinated by it and simultaneously unable to cope with it? The fact that it happens so infrequently does mean that we don't really have the infrastructure to deal with it. Most of us don't have the clothes or the driving skills to make the [...]

Cambridge in the Snow2018-03-03T15:20:54+00:00

E-luminate 2018

Yes, it's back. Cambridge's E-luminate Love Light festival returns to light up the city for its 6th year. We went along to check out the installations on the opening evening - Friday night. The festival runs until Weds 14th Feb, which handily coincides with half term if you've got kids (and even if you don't) and ends on Valentines day, so might make for a nice romantic wander either before or after you go for dinner. The Guildhall lit up shortly after the official switch on of the lights on Friday The opening ceremony was held at the Cambridge Guildhall, which is also one of the displays again this year. The mayor of Cambridge was there to officially give his blessing to the festival, before pressing the big red button (not sure if there actually was a button?). There was a modest crowd gathered to see the opening ceremony (to be fair, it was really cold on Friday and if memory serves last year was very cold too) and a cheer went up when the lights were switched on, cycling through each of the seven colours in turn until eventually showing each at once. The Guildhall and market square The theme this year is the rainbow flag, as the festival also coincides with LGBTQ History month. There was a parade of lit up bicycles who did a few laps around the market square before heading off into town. I'm not sure if they were heading off around the streets to try to drum up more interest, or just heading home at that point. There are seven installations this year, dotted around the city centre. Easily the biggest and most eye catching [...]

E-luminate 20182018-02-11T10:58:19+00:00

Our 2017 in review

First of all, we absolutely promise that this isn't a copy paste of last year's review, with a few things changed. We definitely wouldn't do that to you. Secondly, we know that the year hasn't actually finished yet, but, seriously, not much happens at this time of year, does it? Ok, let's get on with it... Wow, what a year 2016 2017 was. In years to come, with the benefit of hindsight and water under the bridge (no pun intended), I'm sure that we'll all look back on 2017 and cry. Or laugh. Or maybe cry with laughter... But for now, let's take a look back on this year's highs and lows. Not necessarily in reverse chronological order (or in any kind of order really), not necessarily all to do with punting, and not all of them necessarily directly related to us. Some of it maybe a little bit political. All of them definitely necessary. Maybe. Think of this as a shorter, almost as funny, more Cambridgey version of Charlie Brooker's annual review... (yes, we are available for TV work). We were awarded another Trip Advisor certificate of excellence (hurrah, two years in a row!). On that note, if you have been punting with us and haven't left us a review, we would very much appreciate it if you could. We have lots of customers every year but not many of you leave us reviews and our competitors are overtaking us in the listings. That makes us sad. Check it out and click the logo to be taken to our listing: We wrote our 19 reasons to visit Cambridge in 2017; a blog post that literally went viral (not sure about the use of literally [...]

Our 2017 in review2018-03-24T10:45:52+00:00

Taking a punt on the future

**The article below was published on 1st April 2017 as an April fools. Entirely coincidentally, Gonville and Caius college, of Cambridge, also had a very similar idea for their joke on that day, although we can't say whether they got their inspiration from us, we definitely didn't get ours from them. However, we did subsequently discover that Oxford University had beaten us to it by two years!** In a bold move, precipitated by growing concerns voiced by a number of the Cambridge University colleges about the noise pollution caused by punt poles grating along the cement bed of the river Cam, punting stalwart Cambridge River Tours has announced the introduction of the self-driving punt (not to be confused with self-hire punts). Top Secret! The announcement is the culmination of a top secret, two-year R&D project, part-funded by the Cam Conservators. Working in collaboration with Google to make use of their self-driving car technology, CRT will soon launch the first wave of noiseless, self propelled punts from their Jesus Green punt station. Proprietor Tim Campbell explains: "This technology heralds a new dawn of silent punting; our chauffeurs will be transitioning to new roles as Actualisation of Customer Experience (ACE) reps. This mean that tour groups will still benefit from the vast knowledge our chauffeurs have built up over the years; but instead of being precariously perched on the punt deck, dodging the champagne corks (and advances) of raucous hens and the like, they'll be live-streaming their patter whilst nursing an expertly made flat white. "Collisions will also be a thing of the past, as the technology will allow the punts to choose the safest and most efficient path along the river, paving the way for an immediate [...]

Taking a punt on the future2017-04-02T10:16:09+00:00

Our 2016 review

Wow, what a year 2016 was. In years to come, with the benefit of hindsight and water under the bridge (pun absolutely intended), I'm sure that we'll all look back on 2016 and laugh. Or cry. Or both... But for the time being, let's just look back on the year's highs and lows. Not necessarily in chronological order, not necessarily all to do with punting, and not all of them necessarily directly related to us. Think of this as a shorter, less funny, more Cambridgey version of Charlie Brooker's annual review... We were awarded a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence. Check it out: Some engineering students made a pedal powered punt We wrote our infamous What's in a name? blog post that quite a few people read and one person even commented on! William Shatner partook in a spot of punting - (not on one of our punts) We made a couple of videos that some people watched (not all of them related to us). There was a punting bake off - - thanks to the creativity of a former Cambridge student We hit (over) 600 followers on both Facebook and Instagram and (nearly) 800 on Twitter More celebrity punting - We launched a page where you can find accommodation if you're planning a stay in or around Cambridge We sponsored a local football team We took loads of beautiful photos of Cambridge Cambridge City Council introduced a PSPO banning touting away from recognised punt stations in Cambridge. As we speak, unauthorised punting is still taking place  - who'd have guessed it? Brexit happened Donald Trump happened As for what 2017 has in store, your guess is possibly as good [...]

Our 2016 review2018-03-24T10:53:28+00:00

Welcome to our new website!

Hello there! Welcome to Cambridge River Tours. Thanks for joining us. We’re really proud to launch our new, mobile responsive website. It’s been a busy year so far which has meant we’ve had to delay today’s launch, and there’s still lots of new content to be created. But, in the meantime, you should now find it much easier to book to go punting with us, either on a private punt tour or with one of our eTickets, especially if you’re using a mobile device. […]

Welcome to our new website!2018-03-24T11:07:39+00:00