Frequently Asked Questions

Traditional Punting Company

Punting FAQs

A punting tour in Cambridge is the perfect way to sightsee the historic city with an expert guide at the helm of a traditional punt. Your local chauffeur will take you to all the famous sights along the River Cam including the Bridge of Sighs, King’s College Chapel, and the Mathematical Bridge. You’ll also receive commentary throughout your journey, delving into the history of Cambridge, its famous University and the architectural beauty that surrounds you. Hundreds of 5-star reviews demonstrate our commitment to fulfilling the needs of our customers. You might however have a few questions before you purchase your tickets online, about the tour itself or the booking process. Below, we have identified the most common frequently asked questions that we receive about our punting Cambridge tours. If you have a different question than what has been highlighted below, you could check out our ultimate guide to punting in Cambridge or contact us directly.

  • Can I get a refund for my punting tour booking?

    We understand that plans can change, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need about our refund and rescheduling policies.

    Refund Policy:

    Bookings that are cancelled more than 48 hours in advance are eligible for a 70% refund. This means that if you find yourself unable to make it to your scheduled punting tour and notify us with at least 48 hours’ notice, you will receive a refund amounting to 70% of the total punting cost.

    Please note that bookings cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice will not be refunded. We recommend that you inform us of any cancellations as soon as possible to avoid any inconvenience.

    Rescheduling Policy:

    If you need to reschedule your booking, we offer flexibility to accommodate your needs. You can reschedule your booking up to 24 hours in advance. This allows you to adjust your plans if something unexpected comes up. However, please keep in mind that rescheduling cannot be done on the day of your originally scheduled punting tour.

    For more comprehensive information regarding our refund and rescheduling policies, please refer to our detailed Terms and Conditions. If you have any further questions or require assistance with your booking, feel free to contact us. We’re here to assist you and ensure you have a memorable punting experience with us.

    Our team at the Traditional Punting Company is committed to providing you with exceptional service, and we appreciate your understanding of our policies.

  • Can you punt in the rain?

    Yes, we strive to offer an enjoyable experience for our customers regardless of the weather. Here’s everything you need to know about punting in the rain:

    Operating in All Weathers: Our punting tours are conducted year-round and operate in all weather conditions. We embrace the unpredictable Great British weather, and as an outdoor activity, we encourage all our valued customers to prepare accordingly.

    Comfort and Preparedness: To ensure your comfort during rainy or cold weather, our punts are equipped with blankets and umbrellas. We understand the importance of staying dry and warm while enjoying the picturesque views along the river. You’re also welcome to bring your own rain gear or any additional items you feel would enhance your experience.

    Expert Punt Chauffeurs: Our punt chauffeurs are highly skilled and experienced professionals. They can effortlessly navigate the river, even in the rain. You can trust that your tour will be both safe and enjoyable under their guidance.

    Safety First: While we’re committed to operating in various weather conditions, your safety is our top priority. If, in the rare event, the weather is deemed unsafe for punting due to extreme conditions, such as heavy storms or strong winds, we will prioritise your safety.

    Rescheduling or Refunds: In cases where the weather makes punting unsafe, we offer flexibility to our customers. We’re more than happy to help you reschedule your booking for a more suitable date and time. Alternatively, if rescheduling isn’t possible, we will issue a full refund for your booking.

    We want your experience to be memorable and comfortable, rain or shine. So, come prepared for the weather, and let us take care of the rest. If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming punting tour, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to make your adventure along the river a truly exceptional one.

  • I can’t complete my booking online, can you help?

    We understand that sometimes, booking online can be a bit challenging. Rest assured, we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Here’s how you can get the help you need:

    1. Phone Booking: If you’re encountering difficulties while trying to purchase a ticket online, our dedicated team is just a phone call away. You can reach us at 01223 782306. Our friendly staff will be delighted to assist you in completing your booking over the phone.

    2. Email Booking: Another convenient option is to email us at Simply send us the details of your booking request, and we’ll promptly get back to you with an invoice as well as the necessary information and confirmation.

    3. Visit us in Person: For those who prefer a more personal touch, you’re welcome to visit our physical location at Landing Stage, Thompsons Ln, Cambridge CB5 8AQ . Our on-site staff will be happy to assist you with your punting ticket purchase. Please be aware that while online prices are significantly lower, purchasing tickets at our river location is also an option. However, please note that availability can be limited on the day.

    Online Booking Advantages: We highly recommend booking online whenever possible. Not only does it offer convenience, but it also ensures you enjoy substantial cost savings compared to purchasing tickets in person. Online booking also secures your spot, so you won’t have to worry about availability issues on the day of your visit.

    We are committed to making your punting experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. If you have any questions or require assistance with your booking, please don’t hesitate to contact us through any of the methods mentioned above. We look forward to welcoming you aboard our punts for a memorable experience along the river.

  • Do you accept credit cards?

    Yes, we offer convenient payment options to enhance your booking experience. Here’s all you need to know about using credit cards for your Cambridge Punting tour:

    1. Online Booking: When making an booking online for a Cambridge Punting tour, you have the flexibility to use various credit cards to complete your transaction. We accept the following credit cards:

    Visa Debit, MasterCard, American Express (Amex), Paypal and Apple Pay

    Feel free to choose the payment method that suits you best when booking through our website.

    2. On-Site Payment: At our check-in desk located at our Landing Stage, we are equipped to accept a wide range of credit and debit cards, including Visa and MasterCard. This means you can easily settle your payment in person when you arrive for your punting experience.

    3. Phone Booking or Invoice: If you prefer booking over the phone or require an invoice, rest assured that we also accept credit and debit cards in these cases. Our dedicated team will assist you in completing your booking while accommodating your preferred payment method.

    Advantages of Card Payments: Paying with a credit or debit card offers you a secure and convenient way to book your punting tour. It provides peace of mind and ensures a smooth transaction process, whether online, on-site, over the phone, or via invoice.

    We aim to make your punting experience as hassle-free as possible, and that includes providing flexible payment options. If you have any questions about payment methods or need assistance with your booking, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you create lasting memories along the river in Cambridge.

  • Do you offer self-hire punting?

    While we do not provide a self-hire punting service, we offer exciting alternatives to make your punting experience truly memorable. Here’s what you need to know:

    Exploring Our Tour Packages: If you’re looking to embark on a punting adventure, we invite you to visit our website or give us a call. Our dedicated and friendly team is eager to assist you in exploring our array of captivating tour packages. These thoughtfully curated tours are designed to immerse you in the beauty and history of Cambridge. Find out more about our punting tours here.

    Private Punting Tours: For those seeking a more personalised experience, we offer private punting tours. During these private tours, you are more than welcome to try your hand at punting under the guidance of our expert chauffeurs. They will teach you the art of punting, ensuring you feel comfortable and confident. You’ll have the opportunity to take the helm during the second half of the tour, on the return journey to our punting landing stage.

    While we don’t offer self-hire punting, we are dedicated to providing you with an unforgettable and enriching experience on the tranquil waters of Cambridge. Our team is here to make your journey along the river an extraordinary one.

    If you have any questions about our tour packages or wish to book a punting tour, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to introducing you to the captivating world of punting in Cambridge.

  • Can you just turn up to go punting in Cambridge?

    Absolutely, you can! We welcome walk-in customers to enjoy punting in Cambridge with us. Here’s what you need to know:

    1. Extensive Fleet and Frequent Departures: Our large fleet of punts allows us to offer multiple trips that depart throughout the day. This means our punting tours depart throughout the day, every 30 minutes from morning till dusk. Whether you’re planning a spontaneous visit or have a set time in mind, we’re here to accommodate your punting experience – please note reduced pricing and time selection can only be accomplished when booking online.

    2. Peak Time Consideration: During peak periods, such as weekends and holidays, our availability can become limited due to high demand. To ensure you secure your spot and avoid disappointment on the day, we recommend booking online in advance. This not only guarantees your place but also offers cost savings of up to 50% compared to buying a ticket on the day at the river.

    3. Year-Round Operation: We operate punting tours all year round, except on Christmas Day. This means you can plan a visit to enjoy a serene trip up the river and soak in the beauty of Cambridge’s historic scenery almost any day of the year.

    4. Weather Consideration: Please note that while we strive to operate consistently, the safety of our customers and staff is our top priority. During extreme weather conditions that may pose safety risks, we might suspend operations temporarily. However, on nearly any other day, you can look forward to a delightful punting experience.

    Booking Online Advantages: Booking online not only guarantees your spot but also ensures you enjoy the convenience of a chauffeured punt tour. Plus, the significant cost savings make it a compelling choice. We encourage all visitors to take advantage of our online booking option for a seamless experience.

    We’re excited to welcome you to Cambridge for an unforgettable punting adventure. Whether you choose to walk in or book online, we’re here to make your journey along the river a memorable one. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to reach out to us.

  • Can I bring my own refreshments or food on board?

    Yes you can. We aim to make your punting experience enjoyable and flexible. Here’s everything you need to know about bringing your own refreshments or food on board:

    1. Personal Refreshments Welcome: Unlike some other punting companies in Cambridge, we warmly welcome you to bring your own food and drinks onboard our punts. Feel free to pack your favourite snacks, beverages, or a picnic to savour while cruising along the tranquil river Cam.

    2. Picnic Punting Options: If you’d like us to take care of your refreshments and provide a delightful picnic experience for your group, you can explore our dedicated Picnic Punting Page on our website. There, you’ll find more information about our picnic packages and how to enhance your punting adventure with our catering options.

    3. Beverage Selection: While you’re gliding through the world-famous English Heritage historic park, we offer the convenience of both soft drinks and alcoholic beverages for you to enjoy. You can sip on your preferred refreshments and unwind as you take in the scenic beauty of Cambridge. For more details on our beverage offerings, please visit our Champagne Punting Page on our website.

    Enhance Your Punting Experience: Whether you choose to bring your own refreshments, opt for our picnic packages, or indulge in our beverage options, we’re here to cater to your preferences. Our goal is to ensure that your punting journey is not only scenic but also satisfying in every way.

  • Can you go punting in Cambridge all year round?

    We are open all-year-round except Christmas day.

  • Can you take children punting?

    Punting is a delightful activity suitable for all ages, and yes, we warmly welcome children on our punting tours. Here’s what you need to know about punting with children:

    1. Safety First: Punting is absolutely safe for children, and there is no minimum age requirement to join our punting tours. We prioritise the safety and comfort of all our passengers, including our young ones.

    2. Adult Accompaniment: While there is no specific age limit for children, we do advise that children under the age of 16 be accompanied by an adult during the punting experience. This ensures a secure and enjoyable outing for everyone.

    3. Infants Under One Year: For parents with infants under the age of one, we offer a special consideration. You will not need to purchase a ticket for your infant, making it convenient for you to enjoy a punting tour as a family.

    4. Ticket Requirements for Children Over One Year: Children aged one year and older will need to be included in group numbers to come on board one of our chauffeured punt tours. Please ensure that your ticket includes everyone in your family, to avoid disappointment on the day and to facilitate a smooth check-in process.

    Discounted Family Ticket: To make punting even more accessible for families, we offer a discounted family ticket option. This is an excellent choice for smaller groups and families looking for the best rates.

    Plan Your Punting Adventure: We look forward to hosting you and your children for an unforgettable punting adventure in Cambridge.

  • Can we leave a bag, stroller, or pram somewhere before we depart on our punting tour?

    These can be left for safekeeping with us at the check-in desk or loaded onto the punt if there is enough space.

  • How fit do I need to be to go on a punting tour?

    Punting is an accessible and enjoyable activity suitable for individuals of varying fitness levels. Here’s what you need to know about the physical requirements for a punting tour:

    1. Seating and Mobility: To participate in a punting tour, you simply need to be able to sit down and stand back up, similar to sitting in a chair. The seating on our punts is comfortable and designed to accommodate passengers with ease, with raised seating and extra supportive cushions.

    2. Assistance Available: Our punt chauffeurs are able-bodied and well-trained to ensure your safety and comfort. They are more than capable of assisting you with boarding and disembarking from the punt. If you anticipate needing extra assistance due to mobility concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak with a member of our team upon arrival. We are dedicated to ensuring that every passenger can enjoy our punting tours safely.

    3. Open Communication: Your comfort and peace of mind are important to us. If you have any specific concerns or questions about your fitness level and its compatibility with punting, we encourage you to reach out to us. We are more than happy to discuss your individual needs and provide reassurance before you book a tour.

    Contact Us for Further Assistance: We understand that everyone’s needs are unique, and we are here to accommodate them. If you would like to discuss your fitness level or have any inquiries regarding accessibility, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our friendly team is readily available to address your concerns and ensure that your punting experience is enjoyable and stress-free.

  • Is there disabled access to come punting?

    Although we do not have wheelchair access directly onto a punt, our team can assist in the boarding of passengers who need help. Please make our team aware when booking that assistance maybe required.

  • Is the punting tour a return journey, or can I just go one way?

    Our chauffeured punt tours typically operate as return journeys, offering a comprehensive and enriching experience along the river. Here’s what you need to know:

    1. Return Journey Details: Our standard punting tours are designed as return journeys, taking you on a captivating round trip along the serene waterways of Cambridge. This allows ample time for sightseeing and provides you with the opportunity to learn about the historic Colleges and picturesque bridges that grace the route.

    2. One-Way Tours on Request: While our tours are primarily round trips, we understand that you may have specific requirements for a one-way tour. If you wish to arrange a one-way tour, it is possible to do so. However, we kindly request that you make this arrangement prior to boarding the punt and the price would be the same regardless if you went for a one-way or a return trip.

    3. Drop-Off Point for One-Way Tours: For one-way tours, the drop-off point is typically at Silver Street Bridge, which serves as the turning point of our standard tour route. This ensures that you have a convenient and designated disembarkation point for your one-way journey.

    4. Special Arrangements: To arrange a one-way tour or discuss any specific requirements you may have, please contact us in advance. Our team is dedicated to accommodating your preferences and ensuring that your punting experience aligns with your expectations.

    Enhance Your Cambridge Experience: Whether you choose a return journey or a one-way tour, punting in Cambridge is the best way to explore the city’s rich history and stunning scenery. We are here to make your punting adventure as enjoyable and tailored to your needs as possible.

  • Can I bring my dog punting?

    Absolutely, we’re delighted to welcome your furry companions on our punting tours! Here’s everything you need to know about bringing your dog along:

    1. Dog-Friendly Tours: Our punting tours are dog-friendly, and we extend a warm welcome to your four-legged friends. We understand that dogs are an important part of your family, and we want to ensure that everyone can enjoy the punting experience together.

    2. Size Considerations: Small to medium-sized dogs are allowed on both our shared and private punting tours without any prior arrangements. However, if you have a medium to large-sized dog, we kindly request that you contact us before your booking date. This helps us ensure that there is sufficient space on board to comfortably accommodate all members of your party, including your canine companion.

    3. Complimentary Admission for Dogs: We’re happy to inform you that dogs come on board our punting tours for free. We want to make it convenient and enjoyable for you to explore the beautiful waterways of Cambridge with your loyal companion.

    Enjoy the Scenic Journey Together: Punting with your dog is a fantastic way to bond and create lasting memories as you glide along the picturesque river. The tranquil atmosphere and scenic views are sure to be appreciated by both you and your canine friend.

    Contact Us for Prearrangements: To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone, please don’t hesitate to contact us in advance if you plan to bring a medium to large-sized dog on board. We’ll work with you to make the necessary prearrangements.

    We look forward to hosting you and your furry companion on one of our punting tours. If you have any questions or need further assistance with your booking, please reach out to us. We’re here to ensure that your punting adventure is memorable for both you and your beloved dog.

  • Do I need to wear a lifejacket?

    Your safety and comfort are our top priorities, and we want you to have peace of mind during your punting experience. Here’s everything you need to know about wearing a lifejacket:

    1. No Mandatory Requirement: Punting, by its nature, is a low-risk activity. The design of our punts, with their flat bottoms, provides stability and safety on the tranquil waters of Cambridge. As such, there is no mandatory requirement for passengers to wear life jackets during our punting tours.

    2. Extra Security Upon Request: While life jackets are not compulsory, we understand that some customers may prefer an additional layer of security, especially if they have concerns about water safety. For this reason, we are more than happy to provide life jackets upon request.

    3. Ensuring Your Comfort: Our goal is to ensure your comfort and peace of mind throughout your punting journey. If you or any member of your group would like to wear a life jacket for added reassurance, please feel free to let us know before boarding the punt.

    4. Enjoy a Relaxing Experience: We want you to fully enjoy the serene beauty of the river and the historic surroundings without any unnecessary worries. Whether you choose to wear a life jacket or not, punting with us is designed to be a safe and leisurely experience.

  • Can I do the punting myself?

    Punting is a tricky skill that all of our chauffeurs are trained to do. We would always advise for customers to opt for a chauffeured punt tour over a self-hire to fully experience the delights of the College Backs here in Cambridge. However, if you book a private punting tour with us, you and your group have the unique opportunity to take the helm and try punting for yourselves. Here’s how it works:

    1. Private Punting Tours: Booking a private punting tour with us grants you exclusive access to the punt for the duration of your tour. This means you have the freedom to use the punt as you like during your journey along the picturesque river.

    2. Guidance from Our Chauffeurs: Our experienced and trained chauffeurs are here to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable punting experience. Simply ask your chauffeur, and they will gladly provide you with the punt pole and offer valuable tips on punting techniques.

    3. Ideal Timing for Punting Yourself: For the best experience, we recommend trying your hand at punting on the second half of your tour. This way, you can fully savor the scenic beauty of the College Backs during the first part of your journey, guided by our expert chauffeurs. Then, you can spend time punting yourself, adding a unique and memorable dimension to your tour.

    4. Expert Guidance for Your Group: Our trained chauffeurs are skilled at providing guidance tailored to your group’s needs. Whether you’re new to punting or looking to refine your skills, they will ensure you have a fantastic time on the water.

    Create Lasting Memories: Punting yourself offers a fun and interactive element to your private tour, allowing you to create lasting memories with your group as you navigate the tranquil river. It’s a delightful way to immerse yourself in the charm of Cambridge’s historic waterways.

    Book Your Private Punting Adventure: If you’re eager to combine sightseeing with hands-on punting, we encourage you to book a private punting tour with us. It’s an opportunity to explore Cambridge from a unique perspective and make the most of your time on the river.

  • How much is a punt ride in Cambridge?

    The cost of a punt ride in Cambridge can vary depending on several factors, including the day and time of your punting excursion. Here’s a breakdown of our pricing structure to help you plan your punt ride:

    1. Online Booking for Best Rates: To ensure you get the best possible price for your chauffeured punt tour, we recommend booking online in advance. This allows you to secure your punting experience at the most competitive rate available for your chosen date and time.

    2. Private Chauffeured Punt Tours: Our private chauffeured punt tours start from £79. These private tours offer an exclusive and personalised experience for you and your group, allowing you to explore Cambridge’s historic waterways at your own pace.

    3. Shared Chauffeured Punt Tours: For those looking to share the experience with others, our shared chauffeured punt tours start from as little as £20 for two people when booking online. These tours provide an opportunity to enjoy punting while meeting fellow travellers and sharing the cost. Please note for our shared tours, you and your group will have your own private row or section of the punt, so you’ll receive the delights of exclusivity on a budget.

    4. Seasonal and Time-Based Variations: Please note that we offer a dynamic pricing structure, in which prices can vary throughout the year and time of day. By booking online, you can easily check the current rates for your preferred date and time.

    5. Explore Our Punting Price List: For a detailed overview of our pricing options, including rates for different group sizes and times, we invite you to visit our dedicated punting price list page on our website. This page provides comprehensive information to help you plan your punting adventure while staying within your budget.

    Plan Your Punting Experience: Whether you opt for a private or shared punt tour, punting in Cambridge is a memorable way to discover the city’s charm and history. We look forward to hosting you for an unforgettable journey in Cambridge.

  • How many people fit in a punt?

    1. Maximum Capacity: The maximum number of people that can legally and comfortably fit on a single punt is 12. Our punts are spacious and designed to provide a relaxed and enjoyable experience for all passengers.

    2. Private Tours for Different Group Sizes: We offer private punt tours tailored to the size of your group. You can choose from the following options:

    Private tours for up to 2 people.

    Private tours for up to 6 people.

    Private tours for up to 12 people.

    3. Group Sizes Beyond 12: For groups larger than 12, we can still accommodate you by booking multiple punts. This ensures that everyone in your party can enjoy the punting experience together. Your boats will depart and travel along the river Cam side by side, witnessing the college backs delights as one.

    4. Booking Online for Groups up to 24: You can conveniently book online for group sizes of up to 24 people. Our online booking system is designed to make the reservation process seamless and efficient for larger groups.

    5. Contact Our Sales Office for Larger Groups: If your group size exceeds 24, we recommend contacting our sales office directly at 01223 782306. Our dedicated team is available between 9am and 5pm daily to assist you with availability and pricing for larger groups.

    Plan Your Punting Adventure: Whether you’re planning an intimate outing for two or a group gathering of 25 or more, we’re here to ensure that your punting adventure in Cambridge is a memorable one. Our range of  booking options allows you to tailor the experience to your specific needs.

  • Do you tip punters?

    There is no obligation to tip, however, if you’re happy with your tour and have had a good time, it is common for customers to tip. You can also show gratitude by leaving a positive review.

  • What are the risks of punting?

    Punting is generally a safe and enjoyable activity, especially when guided by an expert chauffeur. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks, particularly if you’re considering punting on your own. Here’s what you should know:

    1. Expert-Guided Punting: When you choose one of our expert-guided punting tours, the activity is inherently low-risk. Our skilled chauffeurs are experienced in navigating the serene waters of Cambridge and will prioritise your safety throughout the journey.

    2. Risks with Self-Punting: If you’re considering punting by yourself, it’s essential to acknowledge that the risks are a lot higher, especially if you haven’t received proper training. Punting requires a degree of skill and familiarity with handling the punt pole and controlling the vessel – which is why we as a company only offer chauffeured punting tours here in Cambridge.

    3. Safety Is Our Priority: With the Traditional Punting Company, you can rest assured that safety is our top priority. Our experienced chauffeurs are not only knowledgeable about punting but also well-trained to handle various situations. They will ensure that your punting experience is both enjoyable and secure.

    4. A Chance of Getting Wet: While punting itself is safe, there is always the possibility of getting wet. We recommend dressing appropriately for the Great British weather, which includes being prepared for the potential of getting wet.

    By choosing an expert-guided tour with us, you can focus on enjoying the beauty of the river while leaving the navigation and safety in our capable hands.


  • What’s the difference between Oxford and Cambridge punting?

    Punting is a quintessential English pastime enjoyed in both Cambridge and Oxford. However, there are distinct differences that make each experience unique. Here’s a closer look at what sets Cambridge punting apart:

    1. Punting Style:

    Cambridge Punting: In Cambridge, the traditional punting style involves standing on the flat end of the punt, known as the “till,” while punting with the open end facing forward. This technique allows punters to gracefully glide along the water while enjoying unobstructed views of the surrounding beauty.

    Oxford Punting: In Oxford, the punting style differs as punters stand inside the boat and punt with the till facing forward. This style offers a different perspective and feel compared to Cambridge punting.

    2. Historic Sights: One of the standout features of Cambridge punting is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and stunning architecture. Cambridge is renowned for its historic colleges, picturesque bridges, and charming landscapes. Punting in Cambridge allows you to get up close and personal with these iconic sights, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a quintessential Cambridge experience.

    3. Scenic Beauty: Cambridge’s unique punting style not only enhances the viewing experience but also allows you to cover more ground and see a greater number of historic landmarks. The tranquil waters of the River Cam offer a serene backdrop for your journey, creating an ambiance that is truly captivating.

    Choose Cambridge Punting for a Memorable Experience: While both Oxford and Cambridge offer punting experiences, Cambridge punting stands out for its distinctive style, access to historic sights, and scenic beauty. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, Cambridge punting offers a delightful way to explore the city’s heritage and natural charm.

    Book Your Punting Tour: We invite you to book a punting tour with us and discover the enchanting world of Cambridge punting.