The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our top priority, so we have carefully considered how we can open well and have all the necessary rigorous cleaning procedures in place. As well as our usual safety procedures, there are a few things all visitors need to be aware of and to adhere to in order for us to be able to open safely. Full details can be found here: https://matthew.co.uk/covid-19
Don't worry! We do not operate paper tickets on The Matthew - instead, we will generate a passenger list for each trip. You just need to let us know your name on arrival. You should, however, receive an email with your booking confirmation. If this doesn't arrive in your inbox within a few hours of booking, check your spam folder. If it isn't there, please get in touch by email or telephone and we will be able to confirm your booking and that you are on the passenger list. We will also re-send your confirmation email.
If you cannot make it to a trip you have booked, please let us know as soon as possible. If you get in touch 4 weeks or more in advance to cancel your ticket, we will be happy to move your booking to another date or to refund your tickets. If it's less than 4 weeks we will endeavour to re-sell your tickets on your behalf, in which case we'd be able to give you a refund. We don't cover the office during weekends, so if you need to get in touch with us on a weekend about your trip, please get in touch with us via a Facebook message. We can't guarantee we will be able to re-sell your ticket for a refund, but it will at least allow us the chance to give your spot to someone else. Please view the full cancellation policy here: https://matthew.co.uk/booking-terms-and-conditions
Online booking is closed a couple of days before a trip. If there are tickets remaining for a trip, you can purchase them on board (cash only) before the start of the trip – contact the office to find out if there are tickets left. Please bear in mind that any remaining tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis and that we cannot take card payments on board the ship.
All of our currently confirmed trips are listed on our Book Tickets page, which is updated as and when new trip dates are confirmed. We generally add trips in batches of up to a couple of months in advance, so if your required date isn't listed please do keep checking back. You may also like to sign up for our email newsletter to find out when we add more trips to the website – head to our Contact page to subscribe!
Head on over to our gift voucher page: https://matthew.co.uk/gift-vouchers to buy your voucher. You can choose to order either a digital voucher (which can be emailed immediately or scheduled for a specific date), or a posted voucher. Both options allow you to send it directly to the recipient if you would like, or just to you. Postage costs £2 for UK delivery or £3 for international delivery. If you choose the digital option, the voucher code will be emailed to you. On posted vouchers, you will find a hand-written number to the right-hand side of your voucher – this is your voucher code.
Book your tickets online as you normally would, then enter your voucher code when prompted during the booking process, after you have entered the names of the passengers. Click the 'use voucher' button – the value of your voucher will be deducted from the value of the tickets you are purchasing. Please note that we cannot give a cash refund or credit note if the value of your voucher exceeds the value of the tickets purchased. You do not need to bring your voucher with you on your trip.
Your baby would qualify as a 'babe-in-arms' if you can carry them (i.e. a very young child or a baby who is not yet able to walk or crawl, and so must be carried in someone’s arms). If this is the case, you won't need to buy a ticket for them. However, we will still need their name for our passenger list.
The Matthew is wheelchair-accessible. You can board at the main entrance via a wheelchair-accessible ramp and a 710 mm wide gate in the bulwark (the side of the ship). The crew will be on hand to help you if needed. View more detailed information at AccessAble: https://www.accessable.co.uk/venues/matthew-of-bristol Please note that the toilets on board are below deck down some very steep steps. Visitors may consider using the toilets at M Shed before boarding the ship.
We have a fully licensed CASH-ONLY bar on board. As we are a licensed venue, we cannot allow alcoholic drinks on board that have not been purchased from our bar, nor do we offer corkage options. Alcoholic drinks cannot be taken off the ship and all drinks purchased from the bar must be consumed on board. Please get in touch to discuss drinks options.
The only reason we would not go ahead with a trip is in the event of extreme weather or strong winds. We recommend that you dress weather-appropriately, as The Matthew is an outdoor venue with no heating or cover from the elements. If your trip is cancelled because of bad weather we will endeavour to let you know as far in advance as possible, but it may be the case that the decision is made immediately before the trip because of safety concerns. In the event of a trip being cancelled, you will be offered the opportunity to re-book your trip at a later date, a voucher equivalent to the value of tickets purchased, or a refund. Cash refunds cannot be given for trips purchased using gift vouchers.
The Matthew is an open, uncovered boat so please dress according to the weather. If you are joining us for a trip or a private hire event then please note you will be more exposed to the weather when out on the water – it can feel slightly colder than it does on the quayside especially if windy, and more exposed to the sun if fine. We recommend you consider bringing an extra layer, waterproofs, or sun protection. In the event of rain, we have large umbrellas that you can use. Please wear comfortable, preferably flat, footwear. We strongly discourage stiletto heels as these can be dangerous in the event of an emergency and will damage the wooden deck.
During the summer, we typically start evening trips at 6pm, and finish no later than 8pm. During the spring and autumn, sunrise and sunset times limit us, as there is no artificial lighting on deck. The Matthew is crewed almost exclusively by volunteers and their comfort and safety is very important to us.
As the ship is almost entirely constructed of wood, we cannot allow smoking on board The Matthew. Vapes and e-cigarettes are also not allowed.
If your trip includes food, then generally we would not allow passengers to bring their own food (e.g. our Fish & Chips trips and Cream Tea trips). Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements when booking your ticket. The Avon Gorge Trip doesn't include food, so you are welcome to bring a picnic/snacks.
Our capacity for sailing trips is 40 people and for static is 50 people. We accept groups of up to 15 on public trips. To get the full capacity for exclusive hire, look at our private hire options. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, up until 21 June 2021, group bookings are restricted to 6 people and private hire bookings are restricted to 30 people.
We have a mix of plastic chairs and areas around the ship to sit.
We do have toilets on board. They are situated below deck and accessed via a steep step ladder. Visitors may want to consider using the toilets at M Shed before boarding the ship.
Passengers may only disembark at our mooring outside the M Shed. Unfortunately, you will be unable to disembark the ship at any other point.
We don't offer commentary on any of our trips. However, one of our volunteers will give a short introduction to The Matthew during our Fish and Chips trip and on the Avon Gorge cruise. You are invited to ask our knowledgeable volunteer crew questions on all of our trips, and they'll be very happy to answer as best they can.
Well-behaved dogs are welcome on trips where no food is served and must be kept on a lead at all times. Service animals are always welcome.
The ship is closed on Mondays and during our maintenance period between December and March. Please check the Plan Your Visit page for our opening times: https://matthew.co.uk/plan-your-visit