Enjoy the classic English sights of Royal Berkshire, historic Buckinghamshire and beautiful Oxfordshire from the luxury of the Magna Carta barge hotel. Magna Carta is one of the most luxurious vessels cruising the British Isles today, with an ambience created by combining a traditional 1936-built barge with fine mahogany, teak and oak woods. Modern amenities include under-floor heating, spa pool and contemporary en-suite facilities for the four spacious 200sq ft suites. The upper deck saloon and dining area feature picture windows and stylish furnishings. Your Master Chef produces a range of mouth-watering dishes and the experienced Captain will pilot the barge and be your tour guide.
Cruise highlights include: • Explore Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace • Moor beneath and visit Windsor Castle • Visit the Tudor manor house of Dorney Court • Tour the Stanley Spencer Gallery at Cookham • English cream tea at the Stafford Hotel • Visit Henley-on-Thames, the Royal Regatta town • Tour of Christ Church College, Oxford • Great walking and bicycling opportunities along the Thames Footpath
Typical cuisine: Regional Specialties - Roasted Guinea Fowl with Wild Mushrooms; Rack of Lamb with a Herb Crust, Sweet Potatoes and Spinach; Breast of Duck with Port Sauce and Cherries From the Wine Cellar - Les Damnee des Prieur, Sancerre; Domaine de la Croix Jacquelet, Faiveley Montagny; Les Pontilles, Sauvignon Blanc; Don Cayetano Merlot Baroncini Rosso di Montalcino Cheese Board - Cropwell Bishop Organic Stilton, Dunsyre Blue Bath Soft Cheese; Applewood Smoked Cheddar; Oxford Isis; Sage Derby
Day 1: Hampton Court Palace Guests are met at the Stafford Hotel in Central London 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.
Day 2: Hampton Court Palace > 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 Molesey Lock and moor at Runnymede. Dinner on board.
Day 3: Runnymede > 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 put 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.
Day 4: Windsor > Cookham 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 moor en route at Cliveden House itself. Once home to the Astor family, it has amazing gardens and was, of course, the scene of much political scandal and intrigue. Late afternoon cruise to Cookham. Dinner on board.
Day 5: Cookham > Hurley After breakfast, we 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.
Day 6: Hurley > Henley-on-Thames 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.
Day 7: Henley-on-Thames After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Central London.
• Transfers between Central London and the hotel barge (approximate transfer duration 1 hour / 1 hour 30 minutes depending on the cruise direction) • A luxury 6 night cruise • All meals on board catered for by the on board 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 4 crew and use of barge facilities, which include DVD players in each cabin, bicycles and a spa pool
Pricing (per person) $NZD
April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
May 7, 14, 21, 28
June 4, 11, 18, 25
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
August 6, 13, 20, 27
September 3, 10, 17, 24
October 1, 8, 15, 22
Booking conditions This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.