Let’s Go Punting 2022- Year in Review

What a year it has been for Punting and we haven’t slowed down. It has been a whirlwind twelve months and we’ve loved every moment of it, each month brought a new adventure.

Think of this blog as one of those good ol’ family Christmas recap newsletters, grab a cuppa and a biscuit and let’s take it back to January 2022.


Once the Christmas Holidays end, it tends to get quieter on the river. However, this is no bad thing, it gives us time to work on developing our business. This month we spent creating new and exciting projects including the Easter Punt and Hunt.


Valentines’ Day was extended to a three-day period, with special Valentines’ Day Punting Tours taking place on the 12th, 13th and 14th of February. Due to the rise of the Omicron variant, Valentines’ Day ended up being a more scaled-back affair. This in no way prevented our boats from being filled with Love Birds.

At the end of February, we had a visit from Dudley, no, not the one from Harry Potter, Storm Dudley. The UK was hit by very high winds, meaning on the 18th of February we, unfortunately, had to close.


March saw us welcoming nicer weather, more people out and about and busier boats. behind the scenes, we were busy getting ready for the 2022 season. This included bringing on a new assistant manager and training lots of new punt chauffeurs!


The season started with a busy Easter Holidays on the river, there were lots of families enjoying our Easter Punt & Hunt, enjoying picnics on the river and basking in the sun.


The Tivoli finally re-opened and brought a fab new venue to our doorstep! Complete with Shuffle Boards in the basement, Electric Green for mini gold, amazing cocktails & fantastic food from Steak & Honour and The Levels.


At the start of the month we joined the nation in celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we decorated the punts with Union Jack bunting and recollected all the links the Queen had with Cambridge.

Just before the busyness of the summer season kicked off, we treated our hardworking staff to a garden BBQ and games. This was a perfect time to relax and have some fun.

Despite the name, the Cambridge University May Balls are held in June. Each year to mark the end of the academic year, Cambridge University holds May Balls. This year was the first time back since 2019 due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The reason the punting companies choose Trinity and St Johns instead of the other colleges is due to the rivalry between them both. Because of this, these two balls are extremely extravagant, meaning a night of fantastic fireworks for the town and gown alike to enjoy.


It is fair to state that July 2022 will go down in memory as one of the most intense heat waves. On the 19th of July (the hottest day of the year) we had to shut down for the safety of our staff. Despite the extreme heat it was nice to catch some rays out on the river.

Midway through July we saw the return of Music on the River. Dorothea, a talented Cambridge-based singer enchanted us with her singing. The winners of our first Giveaway of the year won tickets to Dorothea and an All on Boards deli picnic, both of which were enjoyed greatly.

The following week we were serenaded by Liam Martin, and we also had a proposal on board.

We also had the team from House Hunters International join us for a tour. They were shooting an episode in Cambridge and we were very lucky to be able to show off the beautiful River Cam to the world.


The beginning of August saw our final Music on the River performer, Ukulele Simon absolutely smash his set. Everyone onboard thoroughly enjoyed Simons’ talent and charisma. The perfect end to our Music on the River series.

At the end of August, we saw a massive influx of Family Punting Tours. I mean the weather was perfect, after a scorching July, so who is really surprised?! It was really lovely to see people of all ages enjoying all that punting in Cambridge has to offer. Our Punting tours really are for everyone.


September started off with our celebratory end-of-the-summer season staff party at Cafe Foy. We hosted awards (shots of tequila) for categories like ‘Best Hair’ and ‘Most Tours Pushed’.

Speaking of drinking, this month we also got our alcohol license meaning we were finally able to sell alcohol as part of our tours. We were surprised at how many bottles we managed to sell without even advertising it!


We debuted our brand new ‘made over’ Halloween Punt and Hunt. During the October half term, our landing stage and river was filled with spooky witches, ghouls and ghosts.


November was a very exciting month, as this was when we launched our first new fibre glass boat ‘glider’. The boat was the first of a new eight-boat fleet coming in spring 2023. Did you know that some of the current boats have been on the river for years, having been built in India in 2003/2004.  We took the boat for a spin in the morning, it sailed smoothly through the water and caught the attention of many others during the ride. These new boats have built-in seats to make them more accessible for those who have a limited range of movement.


December saw the return of Christmas Carols on the River. On Sunday 4th of December welcomed back the choir of St John the Evangelist for the fourth year in a row. Like in 2021 our tickets sold out in record time; the waiting list for next year is already available, so please do get in contact. In total we raised £830 through ticket sales, this was donated to Cambridge Aid. We also donated £150 to St John’s the Evangelist Choir who gave the money to Winter Comfort.

Our Christmas Punt and Hunt was back for its second year. Lots of excitement was had within families in the build-up to Christmas.

Our final Staff party of the year took place at The Punter.  We had a two-course Christmas meal in their converted barn. Throughout the afternoon we were challenged to complete some Taskmaster-style games. We were put into groups and had to complete various tasks. Including rewriting a Christmas song to do with punting, getting a teabag into a cup from the furthest distance, and building the tallest free-standing structure with only marshmallows and spaghetti.

The year ended with freezing weather. Unfortunately, we were shut from the 14th of December to the 18th of December as the river froze over. We even tried to break the ice with the boats but it was too thick. On Tuesday 13th of December, we were open for part of the day but the -9 weather meant it was wisest we closed.

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