Royal guards in tall black furry hats, black pants & red coats approach Windsor Castle during the Classic England River Thames Cruise.
Highclere Castle with 3 stories, flags flying, green grass surrounding & blue sky, seen during a barge cruise in England.
A stone bench & walkway surrounded by green ferns in a secret garden at Highclere Castle, seen during the Classic England Including Downton Abbey Cruise.
A white-&-brown Tudor Mansion with terracotta roof tiles, seen on a sunny day during a London river cruise.
Immaculate gardens leading up to tall Windsor Castle, seen on a sunny day during the Classic England River Thames Cruise.
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Europe Northern Europe Cruise

Classic England River Thames Cruise

England’s River Thames offers quaint, scenic countryside and rustic beauty. On this 7-day barge cruise in England, meander past royal palaces, riverside towns and villages aboard the 8-guest Magna Carta canal boat. Experience a real mixture of olde worlde England and the natural beauty of Surrey, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. From Henry VIII’s Hampton Court, cruise past Windsor Castle to Henley, with frequent stops allowing plenty of time to wander and explore while following an old Viking trading route deep into the rural countryside, along the River Thames.

Gentle exploration is the highlight of this London river cruise, with exceptional cycling and walking opportunities along the Royal River Thames. Visit traditional boat builders and art galleries. Enjoy afternoon tea, tour Henry VIII’s apartments and the Royal Chapel, Windsor Castle and its magnificent gardens, England’s oldest inn and Oxford. Enjoy a less crowded European river cruise with charming scenery on this River Thames cruise.

Each departure operates round-trip from London, either cruising west to Henley-on-Thames, with an overland transfer east back to London, or starting with an overland transfer west to Henley-on-Thames and cruising east back to London. Each departure’s direction is typically confirmed 6-8 weeks in advance.

The elegant and spacious, air-conditioned, 8-passenger Magna Carta is the perfect hotel barge for this royal river cruise. Her small guest count, doting crew and gastronomic pleasures are sure to delight. And her stylish interiors and sun decks provide an unrivaled view during this England barge cruise.

Consider securing Magna Carta for private charter cruises in England, with theme options such as golf, theater, tennis and family cruises, or customize your own itinerary.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Northern Europe cruises and Northern Europe trips.



Itinerary

Classic Cruise—England Itinerary

The Classic England River Thames Cruise operates round-trip from London. Embark in London and cruise west to Henley-on-Thames, with an overland transfer east back to London. Along the way, explore castles, gardens, churches, royal properties, rural villages and the charming English countryside.

Route map of Classic England River Thames Cruise, operating between London & Henley-on-Thames, with overland transit to end in London, and visits to Hampton Court Palace, Runnymede, Windsor, Cliveden & Hurley.
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Day 1
SUN - Embark London, England to Hampton Court Palace

Be met at the Stafford Hotel in central London for afternoon English Cream Tea, before being transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the ship. Champagne reception and welcome by the captain and crew. Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
MON - Hampton Court Palace to Shepperton

This morning explore the magnificent Hampton Court Palace. Tour Henry VIII’s apartments and the Royal Chapel, feel the chill in the haunted gallery and wonder at the Tudor kitchens. Outside, the gardens are breathtaking with The Great Vine, the oldest in the country still producing grapes and the famous maze. After lunch aboard, cruise through Sunbury, Molesey and Shepperton Locks to a private mooring. Optional pub visit before dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
TUE - Shepperton to Windsor

After breakfast, cruise through Runnymede to Windsor, past the Magna Carta Memorial and Magna Carta Island where in 1215, King John was forced to meet the powerful barons and seal the historic document. The afternoon excursion is to Windsor Castle. Built by William the Conqueror in 1066 and a royal home for over 900 years by the Royal Family, this is the largest inhabited castle in the world. Explore the State Apartments, see Queen Mary’s Dolls House and St George’s Chapel, and enjoy the far-reaching views. Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
WED - Windsor to Cliveden

This morning, take a short drive to the Tudor manor house of Dorney Court, a very special home that has been owned by the Palmer family for more than 450 years and used regularly as a film location. Later, cruise upstream past the fabulous waterside houses of Bray and through the spectacular Cliveden Reach to an exclusive mooring on the Cliveden estate. Once home to the Astor family, it has amazing gardens and was, of course, the scene of much political scandal and intrigue. Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
THU - Cliveden to Hurley

After breakfast, tour the grounds of Cliveden and learn about the history of the house and stories of intrigue and scandal! Then take a short drive to Cookham to visit the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham and take a walk around the village he once described as “Heaven on Earth,” before cruising through Marlow to Hurley. Tour Peter Freebody’s boatyard nearby and watch in wonder as the traditional craftsmen build and restore classic wooden craft. Take time to explore the ancient village, including Ye Olde Bell, reputed to be the oldest inn in the country, before returning to the hotel barge. Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
FRI - Hurley to Henley-on-Thames & Oxford

Enjoy a morning cruise to Henley-on-Thames through fabulous countryside, ending at the final mooring along the famous Henley Regatta Rowing Course. Take an earlier lunch and then drive to Oxford for a fascinating tour of Christ Church, Oxford’s grandest college, founded by Cardinal Wolsey and then again by King Henry VIII. The magnificent surroundings were also where Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland. Captain’s farewell dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
SAT - Disembark Henley-on-Thames to London & Depart

After breakfast, disembark and be transferred by private chauffeured minibus to central London or the airport.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers between central London and the hotel barge (the approximate transfer duration is 1 hour or 1.5 hours depending on the cruise direction), a luxury 6-night cruise, all meals on board catered for by the onboard Master Chef, an open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, the services of crew members and use of barge facilities including DVD players in each cabin, bicycles and a spa pool.

Exclusions

Air transportation; insurance of any kind; gratuities.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 or more days – 100% of deposit
90-0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The main Classic England River Thames Cruise operates round-trip from London, England (LHR), cruising to Henley-on-Thames and ending with an overland transfer back to London. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to London in time for 3:00pm afternoon tea with your captain at The Stafford Hotel, London, followed by a transfer to the ship, on Day 1 of the itinerary. Disembarkation follows breakfast on the final day. Plan flights to depart London no earlier than 2:00pm on the final day, or opt to be transferred back to the Stafford Hotel by 11:00am. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

European barge cruises operate at a relaxed pace, with options for walking and biking along the way.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a $1,800 (value departures 2024) or $2,100 (regular departures 2024) in addition to the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability.

Families & Children

Children 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; children 11 years and under are allowed on special Family Departures or any charter. Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $300 off the double occupancy rate.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Reverse Classic Cruise—England Itinerary

The reverse Classic England River Thames Cruise operates round-trip from London. Begin with an overland transfer west to Henley-on-Thames, then cruise east back to London. Along the way, explore castles, gardens, churches, royal properties, rural villages and the charming English countryside.

Route map of Classic England River Thames Cruise, operating between London & Henley-on-Thames, with overland transit to end in London, and visits to Hampton Court Palace, Runnymede, Windsor, Cliveden & Hurley.
Read More
Day 1
SUN - Depart London to Henley-on-Thames & Embark

Be met at the Stafford Hotel in central London for afternoon English Cream Tea, before being transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the ship. Enjoy a champagne welcome and an introduction to the crew, and perhaps an evening stroll along the towpath. Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
MON - Henley-on-Thames & Oxford to Hurley

After breakfast, drive to Oxford for a fascinating tour of Christ Church, Oxford’s grandest college, founded by Cardinal Wolsey and then again by King Henry VIII. The magnificent surroundings were also where Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland. After lunch, cruise the famous Regatta Mile, where every July, rowing teams from around the world compete in front of champagne and Pimms-fuelled crowds, then continue through fabulous countryside to Hurley. Here, tour Peter Freebody’s boatyard nearby and watch in wonder as the traditional craftsmen build and restore classic wooden craft. Take time to explore the ancient village, including Ye Olde Belle, reputed to be the oldest inn in the country, before returning to the hotel barge. Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
TUE - Hurley to Cliveden

After breakfast, cruise through Marlow to Cookham for a visit to the Stanley Spencer Gallery, which celebrates the paintings of one of England’s greatest and most eccentric artists. Take a walk around this picturesque village he once described as “Heaven on Earth” and where he painted much of his work, then continue the cruise into the spectacular Cliveden Reach to an exclusive mooring on the Cliveden estate. Tour the grounds of Cliveden and learn about the history of the house and stories of intrigue and scandal! Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
WED - Cliveden to Windsor

This morning, take a tour of the Cliveden estate. Once home to the Astor family, it has amazing gardens and was, of course, the scene of much political scandal and intrigue. After lunch, cruise past the fabulous waterside houses of Bray to the ship’s mooring right in the heart of Royal Windsor. Enjoy a late afternoon tour of the Tudor manor house, Dorney Court, a very special home that has been owned by the Palmer family for more than 450 years and used regularly as a film location. Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
THU - Windsor to Shepperton

Enjoy a morning tour of Windsor Castle, a short walk from the ship’s mooring. Built by William the Conqueror in 1066 and a royal home for over 900 years, this is the largest inhabited castle in the world. Explore the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel, see Queen Mary’s Dolls House and enjoy the far-reaching views. During lunch, cruise and enjoy breathtaking views of the castle and past the meadows of Runnymede and Magna Carta Island, where in 1215 King John was forced to meet the powerful barons and seal the historic document. Consider using the spa facilities of the Runnymede-on-Thames Hotel, then continue cruising to a secluded overnight mooring near Shepperton lock. Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
FRI - Shepperton to Hampton Court Palace

After breakfast, spend the morning cruising through countryside and the delightful riverside towns and locks of Sunbury and Molesey to a special final mooring right by Hampton Court Palace. After lunch, explore the magnificent Palace, touring Henry VIII’s apartments and the Royal Chapel. Feel the chill in the haunted gallery and wonder at the Tudor kitchens. Outside, the gardens are stunning, with The Great Vine, the oldest in the country still producing grapes and the famous maze. Captain’s farewell dinner on board.

Accommodations

Magna Carta

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
SAT - Disembark Hampton Court Palace, London

After breakfast, be transferred by private chauffeured minibus to central London or the airport.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers between central London and the hotel barge (the approximate transfer duration is 1 hour or 1.5 hours depending on the cruise direction), a luxury 6-night cruise, all meals on board catered for by the onboard Master Chef, an open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, the services of crew members and use of barge facilities including DVD players in each cabin, bicycles and a spa pool.

Exclusions

Air transportation; insurance of any kind; gratuities.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 or more days – 100% of deposit
90-0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The reverse Classic England River Thames Cruise operates round-trip from London, England (LHR), beginning with an overland transfer to Henley-on-Thames and cruising back to London. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to London in time for 3:00pm afternoon tea with your captain at The Stafford Hotel, London, followed by a transfer to the ship, on Day 1 of the itinerary. Disembarkation follows breakfast on the final day. Plan flights to depart London no earlier than 2:00pm on the final day, or opt to be transferred back to the Stafford Hotel by 11:00am. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

European barge cruises operate at a relaxed pace, with options for walking and biking along the way.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a $1,800 (value departures 2024) or $2,100 (regular departures 2024) in addition to the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability.

Families & Children

Children 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; children 11 years and under are allowed on special Family Departures or any charter. Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $300 off the double occupancy rate.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Note: Each departure’s direction is typically confirmed 6-8 weeks in advance, with every departure operating round-trip from London.

This ship is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

Apr 07 - Apr 13, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $6090USD
Per Person
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Apr 14 - Apr 20, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $6090USD
Per Person
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Apr 21 - Apr 27, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $6090USD
Per Person
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Apr 28 - May 04, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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May 05 - May 11, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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May 12 - May 18, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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May 19 - May 25, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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May 26 - Jun 01, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
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From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jun 02 - Jun 08, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jun 09 - Jun 15, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jun 16 - Jun 22, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jun 23 - Jun 29, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jun 30 - Jul 06, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jul 07 - Jul 13, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jul 14 - Jul 20, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jul 21 - Jul 27, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Jul 28 - Aug 03, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Aug 04 - Aug 10, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
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From $7050USD
Per Person
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Aug 11 - Aug 17, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
small ship alternate itinerary icon with a grey background
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Aug 18 - Aug 24, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Aug 25 - Aug 31, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Sep 01 - Sep 07, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Sep 08 - Sep 14, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Sep 15 - Sep 21, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Sep 22 - Sep 28, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $7050USD
Per Person
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Sep 29 - Oct 05, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $6090USD
Per Person
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Oct 06 - Oct 12, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $6090USD
Per Person
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Oct 13 - Oct 19, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $6090USD
Per Person
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Oct 20 - Oct 26, 2024
Magna Carta • 7 days
From $6090USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Riverboat
Magna Carta

The 8-guest Magna Carta barge is a quaint floating hotel that cruises the Royal River Thames. Cruise in style aboard this classy hotel barge stocked with fine wine, gourmet meals and bikes. Custom charter themes include golf, theater, tennis and family cruises.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Lisa Exley-Smith • September 1st, 2022
Expert Review: What It's Like on a European Barge Cruise

Bagpipes, whiskey, falcons, towpaths and lochs greeted AdventureSmith’s Lisa as she explored Scotland via a 12-guest barge. Learn all about the European barge cruise experience in this detailed review.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Classic England River Thames Cruise