FAQs - Cambridge River Tours



You’ll find the answers to all of our FAQs below. If your question doesn’t appear, or you need more information about coming punting in Cambridge, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What’s the difference between a shared tour and a private tour?2018-07-03T14:38:18+00:00

All of our punts (known as ‘ferries’) take up to 12 passengers. When you book a shared tour you’ll be sharing the punt with other people who turn up at the same time as you.

Private tours are just for you. You’ll have the whole punt to yourself and your friends / loved one(s) / colleagues.

To go on a shared tour, just purchase an eticket, and come down to Quayside during our normal opening hours. At peak times you might wait a little while – if you’re not a natural queuer we recommend coming down early, or sticking to weekdays. Weekends and after lunch will be busy, especially during the summer.

For a private tour, use the booking page to select your preferred date and time. Please note that we are currently fully booked for Saturday afternoons for the foreseeable future.

Can I bring a pet?2017-10-20T08:53:14+00:00

The short answer is yes. Unlike Trinity college, in Byron’s days, you are more than welcome to bring your dog as long as it won’t harm the other passengers, or is so large that it won’t fit on a punt. Bears on the other hand, are out of the question.

Other types of pet are really at your discretion, e.g. goldfish could be tempted to make a break for freedom, cats don’t generally like water and parrots are only permitted if you dress like a pirate.

Please no, horses, ponies, donkeys or anything likely to try to eat the other passengers (see bears above but also, lions, tigers, etc).

We reserve the right to refuse entry to any animal on health and safety grounds.

Where can we stay in Cambridge?2018-03-24T09:23:27+00:00

Although we don’t recommend anywhere in particular, you can now find options for places to stay in Cambridge right here on our website. These range from local hotels and B&B’s to B&B style accommodation in some of the Cambridge University colleges themselves (outside of term time, obviously).

Where is the punt station?2018-03-24T09:26:27+00:00

Our tours leave from the punt station adjacent to the ‘La Mimosa’ restaurant on the edge of Jesus Green. The simplest way to get there is to travel to Magdalene Bridge at Quayside and follow the riverside walkway. During the peak season there is a sales kiosk for the punt station on Quayside.

Unless you have specifically arranged in advance to be met at the punt station, we ask that you make your way to the sales kiosk first, to get booked onto your tour.

The closest car park is a few minutes walk away at Park Street. There are regular buses from the railway station and the nearest bus stop is Bridge Street.

To find out about taking your Cambridge tour, click here for more info.

We’ve got a big party – is it possible to book more than 2 punts?2018-03-24T09:27:59+00:00

Absolutely, except for during the busiest periods. However, we limit group bookings to 2 punts on the website as for larger parties we prefer to speak to you in advance to determine your needs. Please drop us an email here, or call us on 01223 927331

Do you do self hire punting?2018-03-24T09:29:15+00:00

No. No. And thrice no. We do not do self hire. The clue’s in the name – Cambridge River Tours. Also, self hire is dangerous. People have died (although probably not from actually doing self hire punting).

And another thing, if you’re coming to Cambridge for a first date and think to yourself “I know, I’ll impress her/him with my mad punting skills”. Don’t. They’ll wish they had left swiped… (or whatever it is you kids are doing these days) Trust us on this…

I’ve got something special in mind, can you provide any bespoke services?2016-06-10T10:58:49+00:00

In addition to the classic college backs tour we can provide bespoke trips for special occasions:

Are you planning on proposing? Pop the question on a Cambridge punt and have champagne on ice ready to pop when they say yes (fingers crossed about the yes!).

Are you a photographer / film-maker looking for a steady hand to guide you along the river while you do your thing?

We have the flexibility to accommodate just about any reasonable request. Get in touch and we can discuss your requirements.

When can I use my eticket?2018-03-24T10:08:43+00:00

Regular eTickets are valid for 6 months from the date of purchase. After 6 months they expire and may no longer be used. We are unable to extend or refund expired eTickets.

You may use your regular eTicket at any time and on any date within normal opening hours. Please note: There are times when the punt station may be closed due to adverse weather conditions or other factors out of our control.

From time to time we may offer special deals on etickets. The validity and expiry of these tickets will be different to regular etickets. For example, they may only be valid on weekdays, they may only be valid for a certain special offer period. The terms and conditions of these tickets will clearly be stated on your voucher when you receive it and before purchase on the website. Please read them carefully

IMPORTANT NOTE: eTickets do not guarantee spaces on any particular tour. Upon arrival at the booking kiosk you will be booked on to the next available tour.

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Can we bring our own food and drinks on board?2018-03-24T10:09:30+00:00

Yes, you are more than welcome to bring your own refreshments.

Alternatively we can organise food and drink for you from one of the many excellent local Cambridge eateries (this would obviously involve an extra cost).

How often do the punt tours depart?2018-03-24T10:10:36+00:00

Due to the seasonal nature of our business, tours do not leave at set times. In the low season they may leave half hourly or even hourly while in the high season there will often be punts departing every 10-15 minutes.

How much does it cost to punt with Cambridge River Tours?2018-06-07T06:51:32+00:00

You can either book an entire punt (or punts) for a private tour, or buy an eticket and share your tour with others on the punt. By booking in advance you get a significant discount compared to the on the day prices.

Shared Punt Tours (eTickets):

Adults: £17 Online Exclusive / (£20 On the day)

Concessions (Students / Seniors): £15 Online Exclusive / (£16 On the day)

Children: £10 / (£10 On the day)

Private Punt Tours:

12 Seater Punt: £100 week day Online Exclusive / £150 weekend Online Exclusive / (£180 when purchased at the punt station)*

*Click here for our FAQs which include info regarding peak times.

What happens if it rains?2018-03-24T10:14:31+00:00

We’re well aware of the vagaries of British weather, and we would always advise you check the weather forecast prior to setting out on your journey to Cambridge, especially if you are travelling a long way.

Keep an eye on our Twitter account for the day’s local weather too. If the conditions are really bad we won’t be running tours – we don’t feel it’s fair to our staff to keep them standing around for long periods in bad weather conditions in the hope that things will improve.

Sometimes we may have to close because it’s too dangerous to punt, but this only happens in rare circumstances.

If you wish to cancel a booking we require a minimum of 48 hours notice for a refund. The 48 hours notice period takes into account poor weather conditions, at least as much as it is possible to do so. If on the day you are due to go it is raining we may offer to delay your departure (should this be possible) until the weather improves. We can provide umbrellas.

Please Note: Any bookings cancelled within 48 hours of the departure time will forfeit their deposit, or if full payment has been made in advance, 25% of the booking fee. We reserve the right to cancel bookings if the need arises. We will always provide as much notice as possible.

When is the best time to go punting?2018-03-24T10:16:19+00:00

When the sun is shining!

We feel that the best times to go are when the river is quiet; first thing in the morning, or in the late afternoon/evening when you can have a much more relaxing, enjoyable time.

The spring and autumn months are generally quieter on the river and, if you are into photography, offer some of the best light and scenery.

There are certain times of day when everyone wants to go punting in Cambridge, the most popular are Saturday afternoons.

In our opinion, Saturday afternoons are amongst the least enjoyable times to go punting on the Cam as the river can get very busy and crowded and this detracts from the whole experience.


When is peak time?2018-03-24T10:17:47+00:00

Unlike the trains and the roads, peak hours on the river Cam are considered to be on Saturday & Sunday between May and September, especially during the afternoons.

Punt tours during this period are generally more expensive and can be harder to come by because of the high demand. This is also when the river is busiest and we recommend trying to avoid these times for the most enjoyable experience.

Where does the punt tour go?2018-03-24T10:19:47+00:00

Cambridge River Tours start and finish at our punt station adjacent to the La Mimosa restaurant.

We can, by prior arrangement do one way trips from La Mimosa to Silver Street (The Mill Pond) but we are not able to start our tours from any other starting point.

The trip travels along the Cambridge Backs, taking in some of the most famous Cambridge colleges along the way. You’ll see Kings, Trinity, St. John’s & Queens colleges (amongst others).

How long does a punt tour last?2018-03-24T10:21:07+00:00

Our Cambridge Punt Tours usually last around 45 minutes, depending on traffic (the Cam can get very busy in high season) and how fast the river is flowing.

We suggest that you allow at least an hour to allow for boarding and disembarkation of the punt at the end of your tour and, please make sure you arrive 10 – 15 minutes before your allotted tour time to avoid any delays.