Traditional Punting Company: Looking back at 2023

Lets raise a glass to 2023

As the festive tunes transition from Mariah Carey’s iconic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” to the timeless strains of “Auld Lang Syne,” it’s time to toast to the memories of 2023 and embrace the possibilities of 2024. The Traditional Punting Company is excited to share our journey through the past year—a year marked by remarkable achievements, exciting collaborations, and memorable experiences on the serene waters of the River Cam.

Winter Wonders: Romance and cold bliss

A Valentine’s Day to Remember

The year began with the launch of our enchanting Valentines Day Package. This romantic escapade offered couples a magical 50-minute private punting tour, complemented by the luxury of champagne and the classic beauty of 12 red roses. Amidst the serene backdrop of Cambridge’s college backs, this experience was a testament to love and elegance, setting a high standard for our seasonal offerings.

Collaborative Ventures

In February, we celebrated love in collaboration with House of Luchini. This partnership combined a luxurious stay in one of their exquisite properties with our bespoke private punting experience, offering an unparalleled romantic retreat for Valentine’s Day.

Spring Splendor: Celebrating Mothers and Community Spirit

Mother’s Day and Beyond

March welcomed our Mother’s Day special, a heartfelt package that included a bouquet of spring flowers and a selection of delightful treats from Harriets Tearooms. This serene river journey was our way of saying thank you to the nurturing figures in our lives, offering families a tranquil escape amidst the blossoming beauty of Cambridge.

Engagement and Charity

For Red Nose Day, we transformed social media engagement into philanthropic action, turning likes into a £200 donation for Comic Relief. This initiative highlights our commitment to community involvement and social responsibility, showcasing an innovative way to use digital interactions for a charitable cause.

Innovation and Collaboration

April marked a significant milestone with the introduction of our state-of-the-art fleet of fiberglass punts, meticulously handcrafted over a span of two years. These boats are a testament to our commitment to enhancing the punting experience, featuring an ergonomic design that prioritises passenger comfort and well-being. The innovative raised seating ensures an unobstructed view of Cambridge’s scenic beauty, while the plush cushions provide unparalleled comfort during the journey. Additionally, the inclusion of tables caters to a leisurely experience, allowing customers to enjoy their drinks and picnics in a serene setting. This fleet sets a new benchmark in punting luxury, combining aesthetic appeal with functional excellence to offer an unrivaled experience on the River Cam.

We also hosted an Industry Week, fostering connections and partnerships with local businesses, an initiative that not only showcased the joy of punting but also strengthened community ties. We are glad for the amazing partnerships that have been formed and the new packages we can offer our customers.

Easter Family Fun

To round off the early part of Spring, we held our annual Easter Punt and Hunt, this really set the mood for the warmer months to come.

Summer Sensations: Cultural Celebrations and Corporate Connections

Preparing for the Peak Season

May was a hive of activity, with our team capturing the beauty of our new fleet in preparation for the summer season. The addition of a new assistant manager and a host of skilled chauffeurs and cashiers set the stage for a successful summer. We also kicked off the start of the summer season with our annual staff BBQ. This was a time for everyone to relax together before the start of the most hectic (but rewarding) few months of the year.

The Highlight of Cambridge: May Balls in June

A pinnacle event for both the punting community and the University of Cambridge is the celebrated May Balls, intriguingly taking place in June. Spanning two enchanting evenings, punting boats gather along the River Cam adjacent to the iconic Trinity College and St Johns College, offering a front-row seat to the spectacular fireworks display that illuminates the night sky. This grand celebration is a must-see for anyone visiting or residing in Cambridge during June, showcasing a blend of tradition, beauty, and communal joy that defines the unique charm of the city. Again, like in 2022, we were sold out months in advance for these incredible events, so if you are thinking of getting tickets for 2024, get them early here: May Ball Fireworks.

Diversity and Inclusion

Another June’s highlight was our participation in Cambridge Pride . Our chauffeurs donned pride-colored accessories, and the Pride flag adorned our departure desk, showcasing our support for diversity and inclusiveness.

Collaborations and Giveaways

A collaboration with Gonville Hotel, led to an exclusive giveaway, combining a luxury champagne tour with a spa experience and dining, emphasising our commitment to offering unique and high-quality experiences.

Serenading Summer Evenings: Music on the River

August heralded the return of the beloved Music on the River series to Cambridge, enriching the city’s cultural tapestry. This year, we were thrilled to introduce two talented new artists, Georgia and Imlac, to our lineup, alongside the much-anticipated return of Ukulele Simon, a crowd favorite. Across three enchanting Friday evenings, these musicians serenaded us with a 90-minute repertoire of covers, including classics like ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’, ‘Satisfaction’, and ‘As I Was’. As the sun dipped below the horizon, their melodies intertwined with the gentle lapping of the River Cam, creating unforgettable moments of musical bliss.

When one door closes, another one opens. The end of summer marked the start of a new partnership, with the Scottish craft brewery, Brewdog. We are so excited for the start of this partnership as we have lots of events planned. Definitely watch this space!

A couple enjoys a celebratory moment during a chauffeured punting tour in Cambridge. The woman pours champagne into a glass held by the man, both smiling broadly. The scene is set against the backdrop of Trinity College Bridge. In the foreground, the champagne and glass are sharply focused, while other punting tours in the distance are artistically blurred

Autumn Ambiance: Building Business Relationships and Community Engagement

We started off the autumn with our end of season staff party. This was held at Cafe Foy with pizzas supplied by Three Joes on Bridge Street. It was a wonderful celebration of the busy summer period, with staff awards being the highlight of the night.

Enhancing Experiences Through Partnerships

Collaboration with City Pub Company – Our new partnership with the City Pub Company offers punting customers discounts at The Waterman; Old Ticket Office and Cambridge Brew House, enriching our guests’ Cambridge journey. This initiative enhances the value we provide to our customers, allowing them to enjoy premium local venues. Every customer who book with the Traditional Punting Company has access to this free Cambridge City Guide.

Teaming Up with Postcards By Hannah – We partnered with Postcards By Hannah, showcasing the beauty of punting in Cambridge through a captivating visual reel, adding depth to our promotional content.

3rd collaboration with the Gonville Hotel – this time it was in conjunction with their onsite spa, Gresham House Wellness. One lucky winner received a Private Tour for 2 and a Vitamin C facial from the relaxing sanctuary.

Halloween Festivities

October saw the return of our Halloween Scavanger Hunts, every year during half term our punts host dozens of children dressed up in a variety of costumes. Our punt and hunt activity books serve as the perfect piece of entertainment for your little ones during our 50 minute tours. The first half of the book has activities that can be done during the tour on the river, with the second half of the book being a scavenger hunt around the city of Cambridge itself.

Cultural Engagement: Cambridge Film Festival

At the end of October we were lucky enough to be invited to the prestigious Cambridge Film Festival. Since becoming friends of the festival in 2022 we have been honoured to watch films from some of the freshest upcoming talent. It is truly a privilege to have such a distinguished festival on our doorstep. A bona fide must for anyone in the Cambridgeshire vicinity during late October.

Autumn scene along the River Cam in Cambridge, featuring the picturesque college backs. The tranquil river hosts a single chauffeured punt tour in the distance. Clare Bridge spans the water, and a large tree with overhanging branches adorned with orange and brown leaves graces the right side of the frame, reflecting the season's colours

Punting in December

December eloquently oscillates between being a fairly quiet month with the tourist season slowing down, to being a month filled with Christmas and New Year celebrations that extends their festive hand towards the river.

We held our annual Christmas Carols on the River for Toms Trust. This year we managed to raise a whopping £1200 for Toms Trust, a charity offering psychological support to families whose child is suffering from a Brain Tumour. In addition to this, we donated an extra £300 to St Johns the Evangelist Choir who provided the serene vocals to our carols on the river.

Shortly after our Halloween Punt and Hunt, we welcome in our third an final activity book of the year, Christmas. It is always so wonderful to see families embrace the beautiful christmas spirit that Cambridge in winter brings.

December was also the time for our final staff party of the year. A smaller affair then the summer ones, we visited The Tivoli for a (not so traditional, but no less delicious) christmas meal, a competitive game of shuffleboard and a spot of golf. Fun was had all round!

We hope you have had a fantastic christmas and a very prosperous new year.

Posted on January 16th, 2024, by the Traditional Punting Company Editor