Potter Heigham boating firm revives iconic brand

08:00 12 May 2014

Herbert Woods partners Michael Whitaker and Amanda Walker on the restored Connoisseur boat

Herbert Woods partners Michael Whitaker and Amanda Walker on the restored Connoisseur boat


One of the most iconic names associated with boating holidays on the Norfolk Broads is making a comeback this summer.

In a £1m deal with the international group Crown Travel, Potter Heigham-based Herbert Woods last autumn acquired 30 cruisers built by Wroxham firm Porter and Haylett.

Branded as Connoisseur Cruisers the fleet had become a favourite on the Broads in the 1990s but the craft were rebranded as LeBoat in a later takeover by Crown Travel.

Now, following a winter refurbishment programme costing nearly £100,000, Herbert Woods has relaunched the ‘Admiral’ and ‘Emperor’ cruisers under the original name of Connoisseur.

Designed specifically for the Broads, the cruisers, which can sleep up to eight, have cabins with ensuite bathrooms and spacious saloons featuring sliding canopies so people can enjoy the fine weather.

Herbert Woods marketing director Amanda Walker said: “Generations of holidaymakers on the Broads will be familiar with the Connoisseur name and I am sure it will bring back many happy memories for lots of people.

“The boats will complement our existing fleet and we are proud to be able to restore another part of the Broads’ boating heritage.”

She said the refurbishment had included new flooring, new upholstery and little touches such as towel rails and new mirrors.

Ms Walker said: “The Connoisseur boats are letting really well and the booking figures for our fleet overall show we are 27pc up on the same period last year.”

A recent episode of ITV’s Weekend Escapes featuring actor Warwick Davis on one of their elite cruisers, Olympic Light, had led to their website crashing through over-demand and bookings since had been “amazing”.

They had given out more than 100 brochures at last weekend’s Horning Boat Show and already taken one holiday booking directly from it.

There will be an opportunity for people to see the new Connoisseur cruisers, and others in the Herbert Woods’ fleet, at an open weekend from May 23 to 26 at its Potter Heigham marina as part of the British Marine Federation National Water Sports Month.

1 comment

  • Good to see the return of the iconic Connoisseur brand. These are premium quality boats and LeBoat branding was too bland and never did them justice.

    Report this comment

    Grey Fox

    Monday, May 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


Show Job Lists


Employers in East Anglia are paying staff more and looking at benefits packages in a bid to attract and retain staff.
Photo credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

If you excel at your job then now might be the time to speak to your boss about a pay rise or equally look for an upgrade in your benefits package.

                                 Managing Director of Bakers and Larners of Holt, Michael Baker, pictured at the Holt department store.


Family businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, but can often be weighed down by tradition. Now a report seeks to champion the region’s oldest family firms. Business writer SABAH MEDDINGS reports.

Green 100


Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition


Mustard TV

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor


Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor


Shaun Lowthorpe

Business Publishing Editor


Sabah Meddings

Business Writer


Kate Royall

Business Writer


Duncan Abel

Business Development Manager

Business Most Read


Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented

Newsletter Sign Up