Standard Classic Cruise Itinerary
Enjoy a unique barge cruise aboard Magna Carta on the Middle Thames past Royal Palaces, quaint riverside towns. and small local villages. This is a cruise of great contrasts that takes guests away from beautiful bustling cultural London into the pastoral English countryside of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, including excursions to many places of cultural interest, such as the University town of Oxford.
Sunday, Day 1 - Hampton Court Palace
Guests are met at the Stafford Hotel in central London (other locations available for private charter bookings) for afternoon English Cream Tea, before being transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Magna Carta. Champagne reception and welcome by the Captain and crew. Dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 - Hampton Court Palace to Runnymede
This morning we explore the magnificent Hampton Court Palace. We 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, we cruise through a number of locks including Sunbury and Molesey to moor at Runnymede. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 - Runnymede to Windsor
After breakfast, we have the option to use the spa facilities of the newly refurbished Runnymede-on-Thames Hotel. Then we cruise 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. Our 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. We explore the State Apartments, see Queen Mary’s Dolls House, St George’s Chapel and enjoy the far-reaching views. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 - Windsor to Cliveden
This morning we 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, we cruise upstream past the fabulous waterside houses of Bray and through the spectacular Cliveden Reach to our 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.
Thursday, Day 5 - Cliveden to Hurley
After breakfast, we cruise further upstream 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. We tour Peter Freebody's boatyard nearby and watch in wonder as the traditional craftsmen build and restore classic wooden craft. We have 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.
Friday, Day 6 - Hurley to Henley-on-Thames and Oxford
A morning cruise to Henley-on-Thames through fabulous countryside to our final mooring along the famous Henley Regatta Rowing Course. Then, an earlier lunch, followed by a 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.
Saturday, Day 7 - Henley-on-Thames
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to central London (other locations available for private charter bookings).
NOTE: On alternate weeks, cruise will be in reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. Designated meeting and drop off point is The Stafford Hotel in central London. Other options are available for charter groups.