Welcome to June’s edition of Stuart Line Cruise’s Newsletter!

It’s all about the summer and the sunsets!

  • Countess Wear Evening Cruise
  • Meet our New Ales!
  • Fish and Fizz Night

Sailing the Navigable Length of the River Exe…

We had such a spectacular time on our first Countess Wear Cruise of the season, the Exe was in all her glory and the sunset was breathtaking!
We set off sailing close to Cockwood Harbour and past the two sunken shipwrecks near to Powderham.  We then went out beyond Topsham, underneath the main motorway bridge to Retreat House and the boatyard…
There are only a few times a year that the tides are so high we can sail the full navigable length of the River Exe in this way and both our passengers and crew enjoyed it! It really was one of the best ways to relax and unwind at the end of a summers day…
We have two more trips left this year on Friday 13 July and Sunday 12 August both setting sail at 7pm and returning you back to Exmouth Marina at 9.30pm.  Tickets cost just £10 for adults and £8 for children

Click here to book your place or why not give us a call on 01395 222144 where we will be happy to help!

Three Cheers to our New Local Beers!

We are very excited to have introduced a new selection of Real Ales aboard our vessels this month, all thanks to the guys at Exeter Brewery!
AvocetFraid Not and Ferrymen have replaced our previous bottled real ales and as well as tasting great, they have a very apt nautical theme – particularly the Avocet which could be best enjoyed whilst watching the Avocet’s aboard our Winter Bird Watching Cruises!
Brewed and bottled in Exeter this is a genuine local beer that is also affordable at just £3.50 a bottle.  It’s great we’ve been able to find this range and support a fellow local business here in the ever-thriving South West!
As you know we like to research our products thoroughly, so we really enjoyed a fun evening out with all of the staff for a tour of Exeter Brewery!  Not only did we get to sample the beer but we also learned about the brewing process and how to best describe the ales to our passengers.  We were also treated to a sample of the delicious locally produced Tom’s Pies – yummy!
The evening was a great success and we hope that you will love the beer as much as we do!

Fish and Fizz Evening Cruise

New for this Summer!

Many of you told us that you would like to join us on a range of special trips, in addition to those that we regularly run.  So this year we have added a number of special events to our timetable and our Fish and Fizz Cruise is one we are particularly looking forward to!

Joining forces with the award winning Exmouth based Krispies, this sunset cruise has everything you need to relax on a Friday night.  Setting sail from Exmouth at 7pm you will be welcomed aboard with a glass of fizz and after winding along the Devon Coastline you will be treated to some delicious fish and chips!

What a lovely way to spend your Friday evening!

If you would like to join us on this wonderful trip just click here to make your booking!

A Match Made in Devon

‘I love him and he loves me….. we’ll get married by the sea!’

If you are planing a wedding for 2016, 2017 or beyond (any one planning on a Christmas proposal take note!) then you may like to consider a seaside wedding on the Devon Heritage Coast.

We have teamed up with Martin John Nicholls of Life Times, an independent Celebrant, and Suzie of Suzie Sue’s Cream Teas to offer a unique and ‘wow’ factor wedding package.

The package includes;

Personalised wedding ceremony on Exmouth beach, romantic coastal or river cruise with sumptuous vintage style Devon cream tea, entertainment by a classical string quartet or jazz band, services of a professional Master of Ceremonies.

Prices start from just £1950 depending on your guests numbers – for more details call us on 01395 222144

Some elfish behaviour!

There is only 20 days to go until the first of our Sail With Santa Cruises leaves the docks.  With this in mind we’ve been sent a couple of Santa’s Elves to ensure we have the age and gender of all the boys and girls coming to see us and start wrapping the 1500 presents we will need – that’s a lot of paper and sellotape!

Keeping gifts in mind don’t forget you can purchase a gift voucher for any of our cruises to give someone a unique surprise this festive season.  Available on our website vouchers page or by calling 01395 279693 you can even add in an extra treat of a Devon Cream Tea with Prosecco.

Finally our Festive timetable is available for booking now.  We have trips throughout Christmas and New Year, including to see the Christmas Day Swim, take a look at our timetable for tickets.


Bird Watching with Dave Smallshire, Saturday 7th March

We had a lovely afternoon for the last birdwatching cruise of the season, with the early spring sunshine showing up the colours of many birds to good effect. The inevitable human activity off Exmouth meant rather few birds there, although a couple of Turnstones were sat on rocks near the marina. We couldn’t find the Sandwich Tern seen in the morning: apparently it was sitting on a groyne at Dawlish Warren!

Sanderlings were feeding on the edges of several sandbanks, probably 15-20 in total, and two female Goldeneye were in the channel off Starcross. After seeing one then another two Great Crested Grebes and good numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers, we crossed over to Powderham, where the ‘usual’ Spotted Redshank was with Greenshanks.

The Harbour Seal was hauled out on a sandbank towards Turf and then someone spotted the Snow Bunting that’s been on the sea wall for the last couple of months. (We had even better views of it on the return.) A large flock of Brent Geese flew over into the fields and there were big concentrations of Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin on the mudflats. Smaller numbers of Grey Plover, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit and Shelduck were also present and the Avocet flock was down further to only about 30 birds.

Lots of Teal were dabbling in the mud at Topsham, where we picked up a pair of Goldeneye on the way back and then the (resident) Slavonian Grebe near the Harbour Seal (it’s obviously had wanderlust recently, being absent from the Cockwood area).

So, it’s the end of another great season of birdwatching cruises and birds are already starting to move off towards their northern breeding grounds as the first summer migrants arrive from the south. But it won’t seem too long before the winter migrants return and the cruises begin again in November ….

Best wishes


(image is of a Snow Bunting taken by Dave)

Bird Watching with Ian Waite, 5th March 2015
My last trip of the winter featured a couple of smaller birds.
At Topsham a Kingfisher posed for photographs, and at Powderham on our return sitting on a wall was the Snow Bunting.
A very confiding bird which fortunately for us chose the closest location possible to the boat, which Jake had stopped for us..
Most on board saw the bird, a very white looking male, and photos taken were viewed by many as we left the bird still sitting on the wall.
Of course the waders were as usual impressive.
The Spotted Redshank was clearly seen with Greenshank and Topsham had a good mix of waders although only a handful of Avocets today.
With the recent fine weather most have now probably left for their nesting sites in the Netherlands, Northern England and other places.
Herons were on their nests in the Heronry and most Great Crested Grebes were in breeding plumage although the two Slavonian Grebes
were still very much black and white.
The two Goldeneye were still at Topsham and near Turf a very unconcerned Common Seal was sleeping on its back as we passed.
As we returned to the Harbour, Turnstone, Sanderling and a Greenshank provided the finale to another excellent trip.
Already looking forward to next winter’s!
Ian Waite
Guided Bird Watching with Dave Smallshire, 4th March 2015

Another lovely sunny morning with fabulous light showing up the glossy green of the Shags and drake Red-breasted Mergansers to best effect. Rather few of the former are in the estuary now, most of them being back on their breeding cliffs, but there are still lots of Mergansers.

Groups of five then six Great Crested Grebes were all in breeding plumage, but the resident Slavonian Grebe – today seen well off Powderham – still looks very black and white. The Spotted Redshanks was again with Greenshanks and Redshanks at Powderham.

Most of the waders were at the top of the estuary: crowds of Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit with smaller numbers of Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Grey Plover and Sanderling. Dozens of Shelduck and Teal dabbled in the mud at Topsham, where a pair of Goldeneye gave a great fly-past. And of course the Avocet flock, now down to 70, still managed to thrill us as they swirled around in the sun.

Best wishes


Guided Bird Watching with Dave Smallshire on Sunday 1st March

Another lovely sunny morning for the cruise, with a fresh westerly wind. Shag numbers have declined as the breeding season approaches, but there were still some nice adults sporting crests in the outer part of the estuary.

The Spotted Redshank was with half a dozen Greenshanks off Powderham and several groups of Sanderlings fed along the sandbank edges in mid-estuary. Ten or more Great Crested Grebes were still around. Most of the area’s Brent Geese were on the mud and river near Turf Lock, taking flight in spectacular fashion as we approached; there must have been a thousand or more. Someone spotted the Snow Bunting on the sea wall near the new bridge over the railway (this confiding bird has been there for almost two months).

The mudbanks held large numbers of Dunlin and smaller numbers of Grey Plover, Knot and Shelducks. At Topsham, a pair of Goldeneye and stunning Red-breasted Mergansers swam close to the boat, while hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits, 100 Bar-tails and over 200 Avocets milled around us: a fantastic sight. There were a few dozen Teal feeding as well, while an immature gull with Black-headeds had the demeanor of a Caspian Gull.

As we returned to Exmouth, the resident Harbour Seal was in her favourite position, hauled out on Bull Hill sandbank.

Best wishes


Wednesday 4th February Bird Watching Cruise with Ian Waite
Before we left our mooring a Kingfisher flew past into the Marina reflecting the sunshine that
stayed with us throughout.
The Avocets were again impressive but more spread out.  There were hundreds on the mudflats
interspersed with many Shelduck, Dunlin, Curlew and Grey Plovers, a good demonstration of the
large number of birds we have on the Exe and the size of their ‘larder’.
Despite the very low water Ian managed to get us close enough to the mud at Powderham to
distinguish the Spotted Redshank from the Greenshank.
As we returned a Slavonian Grebe drifted past the boat at Turf whilst a small flock of Golden Plovers flew overhead.
Certainly more Sanderling today.  One flock of twenty plus other smaller groups.
Several Turnstones were on the mussel boats and amongst the Great Crested Grebes were two showing signs of spring plumage.