Filter questions by:
- Getting there
- Opening Information
- Our boats
- Tour experience
WHAT ARE YOUR COMPANY DETAILS?Legal
Rutherford Punting Cambridge
VAT NUMBER GB 219014536
COMPANY NUMBER 12207225
DO YOU CLOSE FOR ANY OTHER REASONS?Opening Information
As mentioned, we may rearrange tours for extreme inclement weather. This might also include extreme heat.
Occasionally the sluice gates need to be opened to control flooding on the upper river. This can cause a fast flowing river with strong currents. Under these conditions (regardless of the weather conditions) it can be unsafe for our team to work and therefore may close and rearrange the tours affected.
For more information, please view our terms.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT’S RAINING OR COLD?Opening Information
Inclement weather is hard to judge. Light rain won’t stop your tour and giant umbrellas will keep you dry. If the heavens open on the day and it’s a truly torrential downpour all day or incredibly cold, we may rearrange your tour to a sunnier day.
For more information, please view our terms.
HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GO PUNTING?Legal
Good news! There are no age limits – from the youngest to the oldest, punting can be an enjoyable experience for everyone. We ask that those under the age of 16 are accompanied by an adult.
If you're ordering alcohol with your tour, you'll need to be over 18. Please note that we operate on a challenge 25 basis, so you may need to bring ID with you on the day.
CAN I BRING MY BABY OR CHILDRENTour experience
Babies and small children are very welcome on our punts. The still flat waters of the River Cam make for a soothing experience. Please note that on our punting tours they do count towards passenger numbers – even if they’re really tiny! It’s an insurance thing…
Babies and children must travel with a nominated guardian. As a guardian, we ask that you make sure that the baby or child doesn’t put their hands over the edge of the boat to minimise the risks from bumping into other boats.
WHAT PAYMENT OPTIONS DO YOU TAKE?Finance
We accept Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, AliPay as well as all major debit and credit cards through Stripe online and Handepay at our Bookings Desk. For conferences, business partners and tour operators we also offer an invoicing service. If you are booking on the day with our team, you’ll be able to pay by cash.
CAN I BOOK ON THE DAY?Tour experience
You can book shared and private punting experiences on the day, online and in person. For last minute private experiences, please speak to our Guide on the Quayside or call us on 01223 322200 and we’ll try to arrange things for you. Booking ahead saves you money vs on the day prices.
HOW WILL I GET MY TICKETS?Tour experience
After booking on our website, you’ll receive your digital ticket confirmation by email. Please show us this on arrival to check in for your tour (either on your phone or tablet or as a print out). If you’re booking with our team on the day, they’ll issue you a ticket.
CAN WE GO ONE WAY OR STOP IN ANOTHER LOCATION?Tour experience
Your punting tour will start and finish in the same location and is always arranged as a round trip. If you would like to go one way on a tour you’ll need to take a private tour and the finish point will need to be arranged in advance with the relevant University of Cambridge landowners.
HOW LONG IS A CAMBRIDGE PUNTING TOUR?Tour experience
Our tours usually last around 45 minutes, depending on the hustle and bustle of the river and on the strength of the current and river flow.
WHAT WILL I SEE ON THE TOUR?Tour experience
Rutherford’s punting tours glide past seven spectacular university Colleges and under eight world-famous bridges. Your guide will give you an award winning tour as you cruise along. You’ll see amazing buildings and structures, pristine gardens and more, including:
WHERE DOES THE TOUR TAKE YOU?Tour experience
The tour begins at our pontoon near Jesus Green and follows the Cam up river. It takes you along the private College Backs, a 1 mile (1.6km) stretch of one of the most beautiful riversides of river in all of England. The area has been declared a historic park by English Heritage.
You'll pass 7 prestigious riverside Colleges on the private Backs - Magdalene College, St John's College, Trinity College, Clare College, King's College, Trinity Hall College and Queens' College. You'll see famous Cambridge sights such as the Bridge of Sighs, St John's New Court, the Wren Library, King's College Chapel,
At the top end of the College Backs, your tour guide will turn and return to the pontoon. The entire tour takes approximately 45 minutes.
WHERE CAN I REVIEW MY TOUR GUIDE & EXPERIENCEFeedback
We love to hear feedback on how our guides are doing and what you loved as well as ideas for future tours. Email us at [email protected] or alternatively, give us feedback in the following locations:
WHICH BUS SHOULD I CATCH TO GO PUNTING?Getting there
It'll depend where you're catching a bus from but you can catch any bus to the centre of Cambridge and take a short walk to the Quayside on Bridge Street. If you're lucky enough to catch bus number 5 or 6 then you’ll stop right opposite the Quayside at the Bridge Street stop.
WHEN CAN I GO PUNTING IN CAMBRIDGE?Opening Information
You can go punting in Cambridge with Rutherford’s all year around – from 1st January till the 31st December. Please note that Rutherford’s are only officially closed on Christmas Day. We're open from 9.00am till dusk, which means we close early in winter and are open much longer in summer.
Rarely, extreme weather or river conditions make it unsafe for our guides to push tours and we therefore close at short notice. We will contact you should this affect your booking.
HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOUR PUNTS SEAT?Our boats
Our upgraded traditional punts comfortably seat 12 people on raised seats with unique tables. Groups of more than 12 people will need to book multiple boats.
WHAT IS THE LATEST TIME I CAN BOOK A TOUR?Opening Information
Our opening hours reflect the seasonal amount of daylight in Cambridge. This means that in summertime you can book a punt experience well into the night at 8 or 9pm. In the depths of winter our last boat leaves around 3:15pm.
WHAT TIMES CAN I GO PUNTING?Opening Information
Rutherford’s are open from 9:00am till dusk every day. Excitingly, this means that you can stay on the river much later in the balmy summer evenings.
WHAT ARE YOUR ADDRESSES?Location
Rutherford’s Bookings Desk & Pontoon Quayside Boardwalk, Cambridge CB5 8AQ
Rutherford’s Moorings Jesus Green, Cambridge CB5 8AQ
Rutherford’s Head Office The Studio, 90 Searle Street, Cambridge CB4 3DD
WHAT IS INCLUDED ON THE PUNT?Our boats
Your guide will ensure that you board the punt safely from our moorings. On board you’ll find our punts are dressed with plush cushions and blankets for your comfort. There are unique tables for drinks and nibbles and on hand we have umbrellas should there be unexpected inclement weather.
WHERE IS THE CLOSEST TAXI DROP OFF POINT?Getting there
You can get a taxi straight to Bridge Street, right beside the Quayside in Cambridge. If you follow the boardwalk from the Quay area you’ll find the Rutherford’s Bookings Desk next to the moorings. An alternative is to catch a taxi to La Mimosa. If you walk onto Jesus Green then around the restaurant, you'll join the boardwalk from the other side - all in all both routes involve about 2 minutes walking.
HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOUR PUNTS SEAT?Our boats
Our traditional punts comfortably seat 12 people. Groups of more than 12 people will need to book multiple boats.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PUNT AND A GONDOLAOur boats
Punts and gondolas are very different in both build and usage!
Punts are an ancient style of boat, wide flat-bottomed boats with straight ends. Punters propel and steer using a long pole (quant) by pushing against the bottom of a placid lake, fenland or low current river like the Cam. Punts were initially designed as work boats for a variety of trades such as fishing, catching wild fowl and reed-cutting in the fens and their use has expanded from there. Punts are still used as both work boats around the world whilst being pleasure boats since Edwardian times within the UK.
In contrast, gondolas have been around since the 1400s and are built with a modified V bow (only part flat bottom). . They are rowed with an oar by Gondoliers through Venice’s canal networks since the 15th and 16th Centuries. They are more similar to a large narrow canoe in design. These Italian boats are exquisite and they are expensive to build. Gondolas are also now found in Australia as pleasure craft.
Another important difference is that gondolas use a small electric motor, each boat is set at the same speed and the gondoliers use the motors in the same places on the tours to ensure that the flow of traffic is more manageable. This limits the strain on the gondoliers body and also minimises incidents of tendonitis - something that is a shared risk with punting. When boarding your gondola, you’ll spot the charge port on the side of the step and the buttons on the deck, which are stepped on to operate the motor (one forward and one backward).
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO GO PUNTING?Tour experience
There are beautiful reasons to punt at any time of day and the answer depends on what you mean by best. If you're looking for a quieter punting experience, the morning is best! Another favourite is the late afternoon in the summer, there's the most beautiful warm light on the east banks of the Cam. The Wren Library and King’s College Chapel look magical. Perhaps try it a few times and let us know what you think!
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO ARRIVE BY CAR?Getting there
Drive to one of the five Park and Ride sites on the edge of Cambridge to avoid the expensive parking charges. All the Park and Ride sites go into the Drummer Street area, around a 10-15 minute walk from Rutherford’s. If you're keen to know all the options please check out our Parking in Cambridge information.
WHERE CAN I GO PUNTING?Location
Cambridge is the home of pleasure punting. The best place to go punting is from our pontoon on the Quayside Boardwalk, up from our Jesus Green Moorings. Here you'll be able to board our Visit England Rose Marque punting tour. Walking down the boardwalk from the Quayside, you'll be at our pontoon in 2 minutes!