New Yarmouth and Gorleston pleasureboat to offer thrilling sea rides

A NEW pleasureboat is set to really make waves when it arrives in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston next week.

Forget the sedate trips offered by the Southern Belle which stopped operating last summer – the North Sea Xplorer will be offering an exhilarating blast of up to 50mph.

Marcus Bishop, 40, of Squires Walk, Lowestoft, has invested nearly �100,000 in the new luxury rigid inflatable craft, a powerful 250bhp engine and a hi-tech floating dock which will enable passengers to climb aboard from the beach.

The new venture, running trips from Gorleston beach in front of JJ’s cafe, Yarmouth central beach between the piers and longer cruises up river from the old ferry steps on the Yarmouth side, will create up to six jobs.

The father of two, who also runs a schools’ ski trip company, said: “I have made a large investment but I am confident there is a market for this and I am planning to expand the business next year. I have received a lot of support from Stephen Ames, the leader of the council.”

“This is the 21st century and we want something a little more exciting; I am hoping that in the current economic climate more people will be spending time on beaches at home rather than going abroad.”

The boat, which has luxury padded seats, has the capacity for 11 passengers.

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Short 10-minute “blasts” will cost �10 while longer trips will cost up to �20.

Mr Bishop will be operating a flexible timetable according to weather conditions, but the longer river cruises taking in Breydon Water will mainly be in the early morning and evening; during the day he will be running trips from the beaches.

The official launch of the service will be on Friday, but Mr Bishop is expecting to begin promotional trips before then.

He said: “A lot of people like family portraits and we will be offering that service with a professional photographer.”

The boat will also be available to hire for private trips for a cost of as much as �2,000 for an all-day cruise to watch the Lowestoft airshow.

To book a trip, people are invited to ring 0788 1421287.