Myself and my family booked a boating holiday through Richardsons this Summer. The office staff were very friendly throughout the year in payments and upon arrival. The changeover despite being busy with eager holiday makers is made very easy and you are provided with a Captains Manual, life jackets (And hairdryer if you ask). Upon board there is a little starter kit of a washing up bottle about 6cm high, couple of cloths, spare bin bag and small box of matches for the gas cooker. You will need to bring your own cafetiere for those who like a filter coffee (Tea Pot was in the cupboard) but the usual can opener, sieve, wine glasses all present. The Broadland Mars was a lovely Cruiser. We was given 20 minute tutorial refresher on the Saturday to go up the river a little but couldn't set off sailing due to the High Winds. So, all Holiday makers had to spend their first night at Richardsons. Once we set off on the Sunday the boat was easy to handle despite it not having a bow thruster like a previous vessel we have hired. Over the week we did need to pump out once but heed my warning....we were heading for Richardson's at Wroxham...just very shy (As its not signposted the Day Hire) and the map of the water ways is a little confusing when cruising into Wroxham for the first time. We actually were heading in the right direction but stopped off just shy of Richardsons at the Sabena Marina as they had a blue large sign saying `Pump Out` who never informed us it was literally at the end of the same inlet of water (Less than a minute away) and whilst pumping out charged us £15 and then informed us it was at the end. We felt a bit cheated as one man insisted that we turned our 38ft boat around infront of their Marina which was a task! It was cheeky as all Richardsons boats have Richardsons on them. Felt like the man took advantage of us being tourists. We wont be making that mistake again. The man wasn't even friendly, polite nor gracious! Literally everyone else in the Norfolk Broads were absolutely charming. Would have been more than happy to pay for a pumpout anywhere but being so close and it was just how unfriendly he was)....Anyway, all in all, moorings were fine to find, we moved on every day. We only paid for one night mooring fee at £10 which we didn't mind as it was an island payable to the Broads Authority but managed to get free moorings the rest of the week. Taking on water at £1 charge was no problem. Plenty of friendly marinas and mooring points have this facility....but wasn't given this opportunity at the Sabena! We filled up after the bridge in Wroxham! at least the ducks smiled at us!...there I go again... We loved our boat but at 6.10`` head draft - it doesn't fit under the Acle Bridge nor will cross to the South Broads due to the Vauxhall Bridge nr Great Yarmouth. I would recommend Richardsons, great cruising base with plenty of walks, wildlife to see!
Review by Ingulise4 months ago
Thankyou again richardsons for another brilliant boating holiday.Our friend had major surgery before the holiday so we had to change our boat to make it more accessible for her as was using a wheelchair.An employee called bob came and spoke to us and couldn't have been more helpful lovely man.It was a lovely week on the bright horizon what a lovely little boat.We have booked for next year on the broards sunrise thankyou again see you next year
Review by ChelseaFan Bgd4 months ago
as a richardson myself its a fantastic experience!
Review by Jingxian5 months ago
We had a fantastic week on the broads, Richardson’s staff was really good, especially Brian the team leader his knowledge and advice was second to none, the boat was very spacious and clean, the fridge, microwave, and cooker was excellent, the only downside is the beds they are very hard, however we had extra duvets and we lay on them which was far better. We would highly recommend this boat, we are in our mid sixties and managed it very well. If you decide to book this boat please look after it.
Review by Jaffry5 months ago
We have used this boat company since 2000, and had no problems until this last holiday.The boat which we hired was San Franciso 1, the boat was grubby, green mold behind the near side rear windows.then there was the sliding canopy, it had at sometime been hit, you needed the strength of popeye to move it, the safety rail on the roof was all bent the inside of the roof had patches on it which had fallen of showing holes,. The rear bathroom was so old that it had cracks inside the bowl and unhygienic. Strips that covered the floor had loose screws and had to be tightened down, the boat was grubby and not up to the standard we are use to expecting from Richardsons,also the staff members who served us when we returned needed to take a happy pills all we got when we went to return the life jackets was throw them over there, and the woman at reception gave the impression she would rather be somewhere else its a shame really after all these years that i have had to write a review like this, very disapointing
Review by Sdawd9 months ago
we have been coming to the broads for many years the past few years we have been coming for 2 weeks at the beginning of the season and 3weeks in October we always use Richardsons and have always found all the staff friendly and helpful this October were on gold gem which we found comfortable but lacking in hooks to hang things from certainly could do with some in the shower and bedrooms , the engine overheated on our 3rd day up river from Acle dyke my husband managed to get the boat moored onto a bank we honed for help and the engineers came within 45mins vey polite and even though another engineer had to be called to help fix another problem that was found we were on our way again in just under 2 hours as usual good service which is what we come to expect see you all again next year !
Review by Adriany9 months ago
Hired Soprano 5-8 October 18. It sleeps 4-7 so with 4 we had plenty of space. Collection went smoothly; we turned up early and boat was ready. First timers on the Broads so took advantage of short tuition session and off we went. Ran out of potable water by tea time. Rang Richardson's from Ludham Bridge and after we went through potential faults over the phone a couple of chaps came out and checked system and filled us up again. Very polite and refrained from suggesting we had left a tap on! Boat is quite old but comfortable and in good working order. Bit tricky steering from cabin as visibility is poor, especially when raining. Easy to steer from flying bridge. Handback went smoothly also. Recommend Richardson's and Soprano (but not for more than 4).
Review by Cortrell Cantoral11 months ago
From basic to luxury richardsons have never let us down love our holidays aboard their cruisers and will continue to book wirh them . we live in norfolk and as beautiful as the scenery is you cant beat seeing the views whilst boating regards maggie
Review by Kamaile11 months ago
Just come back from a week on the Sunlit Horizon II . This was our first boating experience but it won't be our last as we have booked again on Moonraker as we have enjoyed it so much. The Sunlit Horizon is an older boat but had all amenities only downside was it's quite draughty as windows do not close properly in main area. Richardsons are very helpful and friendly and the check in check out process is well organised and efficient. We visited most of the northern broads with the exception of potter heigham and beyond as the boat would not fit under the bridge on the day we arrived there but hopefully the next one will.
Review by Jduraz1 year ago
We took our 2 grandchildren on the classic gem in october half term.I can honestly say it was a fantastic boat especially for a family of four.Bedrooms were spacious with chest of draws in both bedrooms and wardrobes.The only down fall was the manual window wiper we did find amusing.We had lovely weather too and have booked for 2019 thankyou richardsons for giving us the best holidays .
Review by Monanga1 year ago
This is difficult, very difficult, I would have liked to review Monaco 2 and direct it straight to richardsons directly but they have no email address for contact.
I spent a week aboard Monaco 2 from 7/7/18, I should like to begin by stating it’s a beautiful boat-lots of comments and boat envy from other holiday makers but you never really know something until you’ve lived with it-I have observations that are niggles really but they mount up and detract from the whole experience-ok, so to operate the electric roof you need the ignition turned on and that creates the most atrocious noise, a buzzer to let me know that I had turned the key perhaps, maybe but god it’s loud and annoying, also if you elect to create a little shade and only partially open the roof you create a hazard that almost knocked us all out during the week-we range from 5’2” to 6’1” -why not soften the blow with the same grey trim that conceal the curtain tracks? The helm is fixed-no adjustment and this so irritated that 2 members tried but wanted nothing more to do with steering the boat after their first attempt, then there is nowhere for the helmsman to put a cup of tea or other beverage without reaching behind and using the exit steps- the screen is better down as it is restrictive but it’s awkward and involves going outside constantly to put it up or down-the wiper sweeps up instead of down so any water immediately runs back down after the wiper (useless) the pumps under the floor for the water or toilet are very loud surely they could be insulated-the toilet tank was used by 3 out of four one using shore facilities yet we needed to pump out after 4 days! Come on that’s not good enough on a boat this size (45ft long) with 2 bathrooms, the bow thrusters are poor too-bow and stern, should be able to go sideways down river but in reality they are as effective as an asthmatic cat! I saw boats from other yards that looked and performed like they had fire hoses below the waterline, finally (hurrah) the reverse camera sounds great but with any natural light on the screen, such as with the roof open, it is unable to be seen-it needs a cover or binnacle, these are only niggles but as I said they mount up and leave me wondering why I paid over two thousand pounds for a week aboard a “platinum fleet” boat that had so many little issues-I can say I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday but will not book that boat again, the yard staff are very friendly and the boat very well prepared as is usual with richardsons, as I said this was very difficult to write.
Review by Tawatchai1 year ago
Just returned from a great week on Crystal Horizon 1. Boat well presented and everything thought of. This is one of Richardson's platinum boats and includes made up beds and towels.
Had a lovely week peaceful and relaxing.
Unfortunately our last few days were a little spoiled by the inconsiderate speed of another boat hired from Richardsons. Who felt that any speed limit did not apply to them. The speed on the Ant was such to make a Huge wake and rocking of our boat, even spilling the tea. We did report this to the company, but they didn't seem particularly interested. But this behaviour gives all us hiring a boat a bad reputation. Just hope this party are not on the broads at the same time as us next time.
Review by Tajinder1 year ago
We had booked bright horizon for a week 22nd - 28th Sept, ending up returning boat on Morning 24th which happened to be our wedding anniversary, as the boat was really uncomfortable, would never fit 4 people in, there was a terrible draft and no curtains on the front windows which made us feel exposed to everyone evening times, no microwave and oven looked ancient . Staff member was rude, said well you won't get a refund, and if you had rung us we could of sorted curtains,... Surely curtain issue should of been sorted before they let us have the boat??? Will not be returning unfortunately
Review by Lammy1 year ago
First time on the boards and we loved it so relaxing and all staff very helpful and friendly loved it so much going next year for 10 days
Review by Efisio1 year ago
This was our first trip on the Broads and what a fantastic morning we all had. The team at Richardsons were friendly and welcomed us aboard to give us full instruction before they let us set sail with our life jackets on. It was a beautiful scenic route and just so relaxing, all the family took a turn sailing the 8+3 launch and we can thoroughly recommend it! We were able to bring our pet dog along too for £3...great value and a great time had by all. Must apologise to Paul again for getting back 15 mins late, we hadn't planned a "comfort break" and after several cups of tea struggled to find somewhere to stop that wasnt private....we shall know next time, can't wait to come back!!
Review by Sallyann1 year ago
Always a warm welcome from the all the staff been going through Richardsons since 1992 never had any problems, lovely boats always well presented. Staff always happy to help.
Review by Sattawat Liland1 year ago
This was our 4th trip on the Broads and the 4 time with Richardsons, all of them have been excellent. This year we took our daughter and her boyfriend and we hired Carousel. What a lovely boat, plenty of room for us all and very comfy. The boat is very easy to handle and moor even with being 45ft long thanks to the bow and stern thrusters. We did have to call the engineers out, once to fix the broken grill on the cooker, the engineer arrived within 40 mins and fixed the cooker within 20 mins. The next day we had to call the boatyard as the overheating alarm on the engine sounded when we were just upriver from Acle, we moored on the side of the river and waited for the engineers who arrived and fixed the water pump. This did not detract from our holiday in the slightest. When we took the boat back even though we spent a good deal of time running against the tide I was surprised to get over £60.00 back from our fuel deposit. Now that I have retired we are returning next year out of season on a smaller boat. Symphony, which we had on our first trip. Thank you Richardsons for a really great holiday
Review by Ynes1 year ago
Myself, husband and two of my kids decided to try boating for the first time, I chose Richardson's based on the look of the boats and at the time of choosing my boat there were only 2 reviews I could go on. We went on the 30th June 2018 for 1 week, the man who did our handover on the classic Gem 1 was lovely, he was friendly to all in my party including the dog, he fitted my furbaby with a life jacket too, which I advise for anyone who has a pet and taking them, to have a life jacket for them too, the tidal water currents can get strong. The handover guy gave a good talk on how to handle and use our boat, he took us on a trial run and shows us how to drive it, then my husband had a go, it was that easy to handle once we had a little practice that even I did a lot of the driving :). The only down side to this holiday is the moorings, you have to get there quick if you want the free mooring but some places are a little cheeky for the amount they charge. Saying that, we do intend on using this oatyard again, the people who dealt with me, from reception, to handling, to getting our buoyancy aids were all so friendly.
Review by Loos Derrow1 year ago
Ok so we are on sapphire 2 atm the boat is ok however a bit small, I really don’t think it’s suitable for 4 adults as stated. We did try to upgrade on Friday when we arrived but the lady on reception said nothing was available she was a little rude Tbf , so we had no choice. The bedrooms are very cramped, when you are claustrophobic it’s difficult, We would book Richardson again but defo not this boat. The broads are beautiful and weather is stunning Paula barnes Northamptonshire
Review by Zarda Kemerley1 year ago
Well another enjoyable holiday with Richardsons,we decided to go for a Platinum cruiser this time ,and was not disapointed very comfortable boat and very quite,and the bow thruster made it so much easier to moor and turn in tight areas.
The boat was clean and the bed was all made for us which was comfortable,we had a small unforseen issue with the shower pump the engineer came straight out (which we did not have to wait long and was not inconvenieced) and renewed it which took about 5 mins .
All in all we found the staff approachable and very friendly and on our return payed some of our next cruiser,and we are now on count down until our next holiday.
Thank you Richardsons for a great week and see you next year regards Albert.
Review by Eshuo1 year ago
Having had 3 holidays aboard carousel when we returned last year we were shown round Monaco 2 and were very impressed with the improvements made such as electric mud weight and tv in the rear cabin so this year decided to give it a try, once again the friendly and efficient service provided by richardsons was fantastic with no delay getting signed off and away, we really enjoyed our holiday on monaco which is a fantastic boat, and in our opinion superior to the carousel except for two minor gripes, the first is the heating in the main cabin which took about 3 hours to raise the temperature from 11 to 18 degrees where as on the carousel this used to take about 20 minutes with similar outside air temperatures not sure if this was a fault with the heating or a design issue as the two sleeping areas could be made fantastically warm, the second minor issue is the fact that for some reason with so much stern on mooring around the broads richardsons have not put any rear fenders on this boat (a fact i mentioned 12 months ago when we first looked round it) and having spent a night with the boat hitting the banking the addition of two fenders would make stern on mooring so much smoother
Having said that neither of those issues put us off and we have already booked monaco for 2 weeks next march
Review by Gringa1 year ago
another great but cold week on the broads,had bright horizon 3 this time .picked the boat up monday and was on the water by 13.10 excellent service again from all involved.woke tuesday morning in wroxham did the engine checks only to find no oil showing on dip stick so took a walk over to richardsons day boats and the kind gentleman there phoned and arranged for engineer to come out .after 40 mins engineer arrived ,Tim aka ( badger) he had a look and found the leak replaced the gasket and filled it with oil .was hoping he would say cant fix it and we will have to upgrade you to a broadsman lol .A small problem with the tv on thurdsay so we called back in the yard at stalham as we run out of beer anyway and needed to stock up at tesco, Tim was there again to sort the problem and replaced the tv with a new one (not the 55inch samsung i was hoping for but it was new) Overall a great boat and fantastic service from all the staff once again ,on our return on the last day we got off the boat and straight in to the booking office to book a fortnight in september on silver gem can not wait to see you all again then.
Review by KaidoR McAnaney1 year ago
Our holiday was fantastic - our boat was brilliant. Please don't ever upgrade her and put her in a higher price bracket - Contessa is perfect!
I was hugely impressed with handover. With nearly 300 boats (80ish going out the same day as us), this cannot be a simple task but your team made it all seem easy. We had a great briefing and were away very promptly.
Contessa was well equipped and very clean. A few low dragging fenders but I sorted them out. I was particularly pleased to see fenders on the stern as I had read this was an issue for some when stern mooring. The new engine is a delight and the heating was great.
The onboard WiFi was very useful. A few dead spots for signal (Loddon and Neatishead) but there's nothing you can do about that. It was so good that we were able to watch Casualty on Saturday night through the iPad.
A few niggles. We pumped out at Herbert Woods as they were listed in the handbook as a boatyard that would offer us a preferential rate (as part of the Broads Hire Boat Federation). However, it was almost twice the price if the pump out at Norwich Yacht station. A disappointment when holidaying on a budget. I don't know if the handbook is misleading or if Herbert Woods just don't keep up their part of the deal. Either way, when I mentioned it to Herbert Woods, they said they'd never heard of the federation.
Despite her beautiful engine, there is an annoying squeal at 4-5mph (especially annoying as that is the speed on most of the Broads). I informed the engineer when we handed (reluctantly) back over so hopefully you'll be able to fix it - I didn't want to disrupt our holiday and it was only a minor nuisance with an otherwise fantastic boat.
Our last issue, which you have no control over, was mooring at Barnes Brinkcraft (as suggested in the handbook). We were nearly issued a 'parking ticket' as the Broads Authority are currently in dispute with Barnes regarding their new stern mooring. You may not have been aware of this issue but a quick note on check in or a Post-It in the handbook would have helped us avoid this 'brush with law' (and the considerable inconvenience - thankfully we had crew with the boat).
Overall, I cannot thank you enough for a fantastic holiday. It was great to rediscover the Broads aboard an absolutely fantastic boat. I hope to hire Contessa again in the future.
Review by Narome1 year ago
We were due to board sapphire in March.I received a phone call from Chris at Richardson's to tell us that we couldn't have sapphire due to problems and they upgrade us from sapphire to broads sunray 2 at no extra charge and even Chris put a bottle of wine on board.The boat we had upgrade to was second to none well comfortable cruiser throughout with bow thruster and radiator heating. We are now looking forward to September on Broadway for 2 weeks. I wouldn't go with any other boatyard part from Richardson's.
Review by Yife1 year ago
The only criticism I have was the waiting for someone to show us the controls and Check we had everything.
There was a few people that checked in after us got seen to before us, the boat was clean and tidy, bedding fresh and clean, one of the showers was broken but it didn’t bother us as we had another shower., had a great holiday, in fact we have already booked for next year,