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Norfolk Wherry Trust

The wherry Albion, built 1898, is an original black sailed trading barge adapted to carry charter parties on the Broads.


Welcome to the Norfolk Wherry Trust – Home of the Wherry Albion, built in 1898 she is the oldest of only two remaining Norfolk trading wherries.
The trust was formed in 1949 to preserve a working example of a Norfolk Wherry.

Albion is a national treasure – built specifically as a sailing trading barge for the Broads, she is now over 120yrs old and a member of the Historic Fleet under the auspices of National Historic Ships.
She is made from oak, about 60ft long and 15ft wide with a 50ft mast and carried 40 tons of cargo propelled by her vast black sail. Albion has featured in programmes for BBC Countryfile and ITV Countrywise and is appearing in a documentary programme for BBC2 shortly.

Known as a “black sailed trader”, she is one of only two remaining commercial Wherries built specifically for the Broads. At their peak there were over 300 of these craft, but now Albion is the only one available for hire. To learn more about the colourful history of wherries and their crews, and to find out how Albion makes her living now, come along and meet her modern crew.

In the summer months during the Edwardian era, skippers scrubbed out the holds and took holiday makers for trips to make extra money. If you want to follow in Edwardian footsteps and explore the unique Broads wetlands beneath Albion’s vast black sail, then go to our Charter Page to find out all you need to know – otherwise we would love to see you at one of our Free Public Open Days in the future.

BBC Countryfile Magazine named Albion as one of the Top 10 Boat Trips in the UK.

– Booking a Charter

For all enquiries and bookings, contact our Charter Secretary:
Midge Harris email, Tel: 01362 822058 (evenings), Mob: 07586 353904

You can check availability on our Calendar and find our base using our Directions page.

On Board
Down below, in the hold, we carry water in tanks, there is a loo, also a gas cooker, utensils, cutlery and crockery for a party of 12, with a large refectory table and benches. We do not carry glassware. For overnight charter the hold is fitted out with 12 bunks. The crew sleep separately in a cuddy.

All passengers are required to wear modern, comfortable, adjustable and self inflating life jackets, whilst on deck – these are supplied. Passengers are strongly advised to wear ‘non slip’ sole shoes and to bring clothing suitable for being out in the elements all day. We sail in all weathers and on the very rare occasions when the skipper decides that the day is too foul for any fun to be had, we will reschedule your day to mutual satisfaction.

If you’re unable to get enough people together to organise a charter, you might be interested in our Day Cruises. These are scheduled at the start of the season and are open to both members and non-members alike (naturally there is a discount for members). You may book as individuals or a small group to join other folk who are doing likewise


Fees are for the period of hire of the boat with crew, not per person. A deposit of £75 per day is required when booking, with the final amount payable 4 weeks prior to sailing.

Weekday 0900-1700(approx) – £370
Weekend and Bank Holidays 0900-1700(approx) – £420
Discounted rates available for members of the Norfolk Wherry Trust (up to £25 depending on length of membership)
Discounted rates available for recognised Youth Groups or Schools