Hotel Barge MAGNA CARTA - Barging in England Britain -

Cruising the Royal River Thames, England
Between Hampton Court & Henley-on-Thames

ABOUT THE BOAT : Specifications, Fact Sheet

The Magna Carta has two decks: the lower deck boasting four full-width luxurious staterooms each averaging 200 square feet; while the upper deck comprises the main salon and dining areas with large picture windows and stylish furnishings. Outside you have the sundeck with comfortable seating and a spa pool/hot tub.

Hotel Barge MAGNA CARTA layout diagram Barging in England

117ft long x 16.5ft wide
8 Passengers
5 Crew: Captain, Tour Guide, Chef, x 2 Host/Hostesses. All staff speak English.
4 Guest cabins with flat-screen TV
Individually controlled air conditioning / Under floor central heating
Spa Pool / Hot tub
Sundeck, 2 levels
WiFi Internet
4 Mountain bikes (additional available on request)
Air conditioned minibus


Magna Carta accommodates up to 8 guests in 4 cabins. Three cabins can be configured with a double bed or twins. The Christopher Wren cabin has a double bed available.

All guest cabins have en-suite shower room with shower, sink, and WC. Each cabin also has wardrobes, writing desk and chair, bedside tables with reading lights, and flat-screen TV with built-in DVD and CD player. There are 4 opening windows in each cabin and hardwood veneer panelling on the walls up to the picture rail with a light décor above. Solid hardwood doors and skirtings, and wooden flooring.

The Henry VIII and Christopher Wren cabins are at the stern end of the barge and are accessed by a staircase from the salon. The William Shakespeare and the Winston Churchill cabins are at the bow end of the barge and accessed from a separate set of stairs leading down from the saloon.

Size of the cabins

All shower rooms measure 36 sq.ft (3.2m2). These measurements are included cabin sizes detailed above. All sizes are approximate.

Size of the beds


Each cabin has an ensuite bathroom equipped with shower, hand basin, and WC. The rooms are fully tiled and have under floor heating and a heated towel rail. There is a window in each bathroom and along with 110V razor outlet and an extractor fan. Towels, toiletries, hair dryer and bathrobes are provided.

Ceiling heights

The height of the Winston Churchill cabin is 7ft 4" (2.25m). We recommend this cabin for tall passengers. The other 3 guests cabins are 6ft 4" (1.93m)


The area of this room is 31ft x 12ft 6" (9.4m x 3.8m). Height from floor to ceiling of the salon is 6ft 6" (2m). There are 10 windows each approximately 3 sq.ft (1m2).

For relaxing there are four sofas with coffee tables and a fully-stocked bar with bar stools in the salon. The dining table seats all guests at a single sitting.

Wooden flooring and oak ceilings run throughout the area, with two staircases of 10 steps each leading off the salon to the guest cabins on the lower deck.


The sundeck is split on two levels made of wooden decking with a table, 8 chairs, and 2 recliners. There is a spa pool (hot tub) on the higher front sundeck and a canopy cover on the lower level sundeck which has doors leading into the salon.



Magna Carta is wired for 220 volts with each bathroom having a 110-volt socket for shaving. In the guest cabins, double sockets are located by the beds. We suggest you bring adapters for your particular devices, which should correspond to the standard UK 3-prong plug.

If you wish to use your electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive to ensure that it is suitable to the barge's electrical system.

We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.


Each cabin has individually controlled air conditioning. There is also underfloor central heating.


WiFi internet is available on board for e-mail use only and for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.

There are no passenger telephones on board Magna Carta.


Please let Paradise Connections know in advance of booking your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance. If a wheelchair is required, one can be hired. Payment should be made directly to the Captain once on board. Inquire for details.

Depending on the mooring, Magna Carta's gangplank often has 1 or 2 steps to climb from the river bank.


All meals aboard are prepared fresh by your chef and most meals are a set menu (there is no choice available). International and modern British cuisine is served.

We are able to arrange special meals, such as vegetarian / no fish / vegan, etc; and we are able to able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is important that we are notified at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify us in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.

There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining table accommodates all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Full English breakfast or Continental-style buffet breakfast with fresh bread, fruit, cereals, fruit juices, tea and coffee.

Lunch: Usually buffet style of colorful salads, pasta dishes, and cold meats that may be accompanied by hot soup or entrée followed by dessert.

Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure created by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee, and liqueurs.

Captain's Farewell Dinner: Captain's dinner on the last night of the cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.

Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24-hours per day which include wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are served with meals and there is a Champagne Welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Champagne (with exception of the reception) and special vintage wines, however these can be purchased in advance of your cruise at cost price if you let us know in advance how many of each you require. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Water: Tap water in England and aboard Magna Carta is potable. Bottled water is provided in each guest cabin.


Magna Carta's air conditioned minibus is used for transfers and for several excursions during the cruise. Some excursions are within walking distance from the boat mooring.

For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group's particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge, we will do everthing we can to arrange it. Please speak with us in advance of your cruise so we can pre-arrange with the Captain.

Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.


Passengers are welcome to walk or cycle using the bicycles as often as they like. Most guests choose to not miss any cruising and tend to cycle or walk when the barge is stationary, however it is often possible to cycle or walk while the barge is moving.

There are 4 mountain bikes board. Additional bikes are available on request as are smaller bikes for children at a hire charge of approximately £50 per bike per week. Please discuss with Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks in advance of your cruise.


The region Magna Carta cruises is not suitable for hot air ballooning.


Golf, Theatre, Tennis, and Family cruise itineraries are available for charter groups, please inquire with Paradise Connections for more details. Special interest cruises often have a supplement. Please see our ITINERARY page for various theme cruises, and the RATES page for possible additional supplements for Themed Cruises.


Our barges have a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of fellow passengers. If you would like to smoke we request that you smoke outside on deck away from fellow passengers.


Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you require frequent or ongoing medical attention. The crew are unable to administer medicines but can accompany you to a chemist/pharmacy for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medications with you. Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.


We recommend that you bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise as there are no laundry facilities on board. However, the crew may be able to assist in an emergency on a request basis.


Space is limited on board and on the transfer vehicle. Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably-sized suitcase per person. Soft-sided luggage will be easier to store once you have unpacked.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Magna Carta and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain's Farewell Dinner on the final evening, guests often dress up, which is optional.

The weather in Ireland can be changeable and we recommend that you prepare for varied weather conditions particularly in early April and October.

Suggested things to pack:


The local currency in the UK is GBP pounds sterling. The barge is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.


Gratuities are not included in the cruise fare. Tipping is entirely discretionary but is greatly appreciated by the crew if you are fully satisfied with the level of service on board. As a guidance, our passengers on average tip approximately 5-7% of the cruise fare. All tips should be given to the Captain and are shared between the whole crew on board.

Please note that gratuities can only be made on board by cash payment.


If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.


Once you are on board your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures.

Please note that we cannot be responsible for any valuables that you bring on board. We strongly recommend that you do not bring valuables with you unless required and that you ensure that any valuables are covered by your travel insurance.

Safes are provided in each cabin. For safety reasons, cabin doors are usually unlocked.

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