The Exe Estuary is a designated Ramsar Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), internationally recognised for its prolific migratory bird life during winter. Thousands of birds migrate to the calm and sheltered waters of the River Exe between November and March from the likes of Greenland, Iceland and Arctic Siberia to have their babies and feed on the rich biodiversity found of the vast mudflats.

Stuart Line Cruises are a family-run passenger boat company based in Exmouth at the mouth of the River Exe, have been running for over 50 years and are delighted to offer award-winning Guided Bird Watching Cruises throughout the winter bird watching season. With large, modern, covered, and heated vessels, these cruises guarantee comfort and warmth, whatever the weather and the very best views of the thousands of birds that you could possibly wish for.

Whether you consider yourself a novice or an expert, leading local ornithologists will guide you with an informative live commentary, detailing species, habitats, and behaviours, whilst friendly Crew serve hot Chunk of Devon pasties and hearty organic soup. Cruises are generally scheduled around low tide, when the sandbanks and mudflats are largely exposed, offering unrivalled views of the birds when they are most active.


Avocets on the River Exe.


These cruises have become very highly regarded across the country and are largely over-subscribed, with people travelling many miles to join them, so advanced booking is highly recommended.

The format of Stuart Line Cruises’ Guided Bird Watching Cruises has been adapted for the 2020/21 season, in order to meet official COVID-19 safety guidelines. Onboard capacity has been reduced to around 1/3 of what it would usually be, and seating positions will be allocated as passengers board, on a first come, first served basis, in order to facilitate appropriate social distancing.

Passengers will also be politely asked to limit their movement around the vessel during the cruise and friendly Crew will provide a waiter/waitress-only service from the onboard fully licensed café/bar. As always, the Crew will be serving a range of delicious snacks and drinks including hot Chunk of Devon pasties (available by pre-order), organic soup, artisan bakes, crisps, hot chocolates, winter warmers and much more.

To find out more about these cruises, please visit , where you can also book online.


Duration: Approx. 3 hours

Price: £12.50*

Departing: Exmouth Marina (EX8 1FE)

*Please note, these cruises are not recommended for young children due to the duration and in-depth nature of the live commentary.