New Boat Trip Sets Sail for Summer Staycations

White River Charters is the latest tourism experience for Causeway Coast and Glens

A new boat trip has officially set sail on the Lower Bann river in Coleraine, appealing to locals and visitors alike who are in search of a scenic outdoor experience this summer.

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Ian McKnight and Fiona Bryant, owners of White River Charters, the latest tourism experience for Causeway Coast and Glens.

White River Charters offers passengers a two-hour boat journey on M.V. Kingfisher, a unique 75-year old motor vessel, originally built by world famous Harland and Wolff shipbuilders in the historic Belfast Shipyard in 1947. 

The scheduled boat trip leaves twice from The Cutts (known locally as Salmon Leap) at 10am and 2pm and provides the perfect setting for guests to sit back and unwind from the busy demands of day-to-day life, while reconnecting with friends and soaking up the picturesque surroundings of the Causeway Coast and Glens.

In addition to the scheduled trips, M.V. Kingfisher is also available for private charter events, perfect for celebrating special occasions. A selection of locally sourced and bespoke catering options are available for each private charter.

Causeway coast locals, Fiona Bryant and Ian McKnight are behind the latest tourism venture. The pair, who are self-confessed outdoor enthusiasts, identified a business opportunity when the vessel went on sale. During the winter months, endless hours were spent restoring the boat to its former glory, from stripping away years of paint to reveal original teak and oak timbers, and solid mahogany benches that complement its traditional design.

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White River Charters is the latest tourism experience for Causeway Coast and Glens, appealing to locals and visitors alike who are in search of a scenic outdoor experience this summer.

Commenting on the vessel, co-founder, Ian McKnight, said:

“M.V. Kingfisher has been a total passion project for Fiona and I since we purchased it last year. The boat itself is rich in history and has served many functions – from carrying out general tasks within the Belfast dockyards, to hosting numerous fishing expeditions at Portrush Harbour.

“By launching White River Charters, it is our aim to preserve a little bit of Northern Ireland’s maritime heritage. The fact it’s in such great condition and still suitable for use today is testament to the superiority of Belfast shipbuilding.”

Speaking of the growing demand for slow adventure and outdoor experiences, a trend that’s been accelerated since the Covid-19 pandemic, co-founder, Fiona Bryant, added:

“The pandemic forced all of us to re-evaluate the importance and human need for social company and getting outdoors. Many of us found a sense of calm in what’s been a challenging 18 months by taking up new outdoor pursuits, and it’s evident the positive impact of getting out into the fresh air and reconnecting with nature can have on mental health.

“As staycation breaks remain a top holiday trend for another year, we’re really excited to launch this venture and provide visitors with a new way to take in the majestic surroundings of the Causeway Coast and Glens.”

Daily scheduled cruises are priced from £45 per person. For more information or to book a trip, please visit: www.whiterivercharters.com