Project Description

Antiques Cruise on the Thames

Antiques Cruise – England | European Waterways

If you are a lover of  antiques , then this antiques cruise aboard the hotel barge Magna Carta, on the River Thames, has an itinerary based around the exploration of antiques, which can be booked at no additional cost. On the Magna Carta cruise, there is a real variety of excursions for the antiques-hunter, from tours of well-known antiques centres near London, to visits to smaller, specialist outlets in Windsor, Eton and other delightful villages further upstream.

By the way, don’t let the term “barge” put you off – this is luxury experience with minimal guests which lends itself to a house-party atmosphere with the best in personal service. Gourmet meals are cooked and served on board with fine wines and open bar. Suites are comfortable and air-conditioned. Some barges sport a rooftop spa-pool!


Magna Carta is a deluxe, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the charming upper stretches of the Royal River Thames in England

8 Passengers | 4 Crew

Meet the Captain or a crew-member at the designated meeting point for afternoon English Cream Tea, before being transferred to the Magna Carta. En-route, stop in Twickenham at the Phelps Antique Centre. Phelps’ 20 vast showrooms of well over 12000 square feet contain one of the largest and finest collections of antiques for sale in the south of England. On arrival enjoy a ‘Champagne Welcome’ by the Captain and an early evening cruise to Hampton Court Palace, former Tudor Palace of Henry VIII, where we moor for the night. Dinner aboard.

Hampton Court Palace

Morning excursion to Antiquarius, another superb center in fashionable Kings Rd Chelsea. Here are a collection of dealers offering silver, jewelry, period costumes, art, glass, sporting memorabilia and much more. Back at Hampton Court Palace, you have time to visit the state apartments of Henry VIII, whose 5th wife Catherine Howard is said to haunt the Great Hall of this, the finest Tudor Palace in existence. Wander through the beautiful Royal gardens and maze. In the afternoon enjoy a meandering cruise upstream following the course of the Thames to Shepperton. This evening there will be a Guest Speaker from a London centre to entertain and stay for dinner aboard.

Morning cruise after breakfast to Runnymede. The Magna Carta moors at Bell Weir Lock adjacent to a luxury spa hotel, The Runnymede, where you will have the opportunity to visit the spa and use the pool and elaborate leisure facilities. Then it is a cruise past Runnymede, where King John faced the powerful barons and signed the ‘Magna Carta” in 1215. You will also view the J F Kennedy Memorial. There is an optional visit into nearby Wraysbury where you can visit Clive Rodgers, a premier dealer of antique oriental rugs. Dinner aboard.

This morning you will cruise to Windsor before enjoying lunch on board. After lunch there is an afternoon excursion to Windsor Castle, built by William the Conqueror in 1066 and inhabited for over 900 years by the Royal Family. Your mooring will be on a private island with a unique view of the Castle. Explore the numerous antique furniture and art dealers in Elton Street. You may also view Eton College, England’s most famous school. Dinner aboard. 

Windsor Castle

Leaving Royal Windsor behind,  you will cruise past fabulous waterside homes through the spectacular Clivedon reach and the open English countryside. Moor in Cookham, once described as ‘Heaven on Earth’ by artist Stanley Spencer, one of England’s greatest and most eccentric painters, whose gallery we visit. Tonight, Willie and Sally Clegg from ‘The Country Seat’ will give an entertaining presentation of antique police truncheons before joining guests for dinner aboard. 

A morning cruise to the village of Hurley where you have time to wander Peter Freebody’s boatyard where you can watch in wonder at the traditional craftsman at work. Return to the barge for lunch before cruising to Henley on Thames, along the famous Henley Regatta Course. This afternoon, visit the Nettlebed antique merchants and ‘The Country Seat’, a tithe barn full of the most interesting collection of fine antiques. Architect designed furniture from 19th and 20th centuries and related art, pottery, metalwork and glass. Captains Farewell Dinner aboard. 

Following breakfast, disembark the barge for your transfer to the designated drop off point.

Regular Cruise Highlights or  Antiques Cruise Highlights

  • Explore Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. Stop in Twickenham at the Phelps Antique Centre.

  • Tour of Clivedon and its gardens. Morning excursion to Antiquarius, another superb center in fashionable Kings Rd Chelsea.

  • Tour of the Stanley Spencer Gallery at Cookham. Visit Clive Rodgers, a premier dealer of antique oriental rugs.

  • Walk or bike along the Thames footpaths. Magna Carta Antique furniture cruise.

  • Tour of “Downton Abbey” on select departures. Visit the Nettlebed antique merchants and ‘The Country Seat’, a tithe barn full of the most interesting collection of fine antiques.

  • English Cream Tea at the Stafford Hotel in London.

England- Magna Carta

Note: the antiques cruises can be booked by anyone chartering the whole vessel. However, there are also set cruises for cabin booking where you may book to join other like minded people. Please inquire about dates for the latter if not going in a group (charter).

Single Supplement$1,550$1,800
Charter (Whole Barge)
Charter 6 passengers$33,200$39,300
Charter 7 passengers$34,600$40,900
Charter 8 passengers$36,000$42,500

2021 Regular (High Season) Departures: Apr 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30; Jun 6, 13, 20, & 27; Jul 4, 11, 18, & 25; Aug 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29; Sep 5, 12, 19, & 26.

2021 Value (Off Season) Departures: Apr 4, 11 & 18; Oct 3, 10, 17 & 24.

2021 “Downton Abbey” Departures: Apr 11; May 2; July 11 & 25; Aug 1 & 29.

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Terms & Conditions: The fares shown in US Dollars, are per passenger for a six night double occupancy cabin cruise and are subject to change without notice. Meeting points, hotels and time of pick-up may be changed without notice. Cruise includes: Accommodation with private shower, all meals, selected regional wines and alcoholic beverages consumed aboard, all sightseeing tours and admittance fees as stipulated, use of the Vessels’ bicycles and other facilities, and round-trip transfers from the specified meeting point. Cruise does not include: Air transportation, airport taxes, visas, health or accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, superior Châteaux vintage wines, crew gratuities, optional activities such as hot air balloon flights or items of a personal nature.   Restrictions apply. For full details on this or any other European Waterways cruise, please contact your travel professional at this agency.
This agency reserves the right to correct any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in this publication at any time without notice.