Windermere Lake Cruises is preparing to reintroduce several of its popular cruise routes linking Lakeside, Bowness and Ambleside, having only been operating ‘circular’ cruises since resuming cruises on July 4. Meanwhile, Stagecoach says it will be re-starting its usual summer timetable at the same time, so boat passengers now have a wider range of sustainable transport options in the central Lake District.
Up until now, Windermere Lake Cruises passengers were only able to enjoy cruises which returned people to their original point of departure, with no stopping at other piers.
However, further normality is set to return, with pier to pier services making a welcome return from Monday 3 August – enabling passengers to experience more of the lake’s surrounding towns, villages and attractions in the way they were able to before the Covid-19 pandemic.
As with the current circular routes, boat passengers will still need to pre-book each leg of their journey in advance, using the web based on-line bookings system, to ensure allocated seats and social distancing measures can continue to be adhered to safely on board.
Sales and Marketing Director Jennifer Cormack, says, “Windermere Lake Cruises has adopted a carefully thought-out, phased re-opening strategy over the last few weeks, beginning with the availability of our small self-drive motorboats; then the private hire of our traditional wooden launches for groups of up to 25 people in social bubbles and support networks; followed by the return of our larger vessels on strictly circular routes.
“Several award-winning family attractions are dotted around England’s biggest lake, many more of which are now accessible by boat thanks to our latest stage of phased re-opening, meaning passengers can disembark at different piers to those where they got onboard.
“We said earlier this month that we’d be looking for more normality to resume when the time was right, which we believe is now. We hope this will go some way towards both helping other local businesses, while making a day out with Windermere Lake Cruises even more enjoyable.”
Rob Jones, Managing Director for Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire added: “It’s fantastic to see visitors safely returning to the area as we embrace the new normal and reopen for business. We will be operating our full summer timetable from Monday 3rd August, offering more frequent services and greater capacity for those exploring the Lakes. We are proud to work alongside local accommodation providers and major attractions, including Windermere Lake Cruises, as we continue to play a crucial role in the county’s recovery.”
Extensive measures are in place to provide clean and safe bus services for Stagecoach passengers, with lower capacity on individual buses to maintain social distancing. Face coverings are also required on board buses and passenger boats.
Windermere Lake Cruises is asking all passengers to plan ahead and pre-book all tickets online. With reduced capacity, pre-booking well in advance is highly recommended.