Welcome aboard

Magna Carta

luxury hotel barge



Explore England’s Royal River

Magna Carta is the finest most luxurious vessel cruising the British Isles. In 1936 built as a working barge in Belgium and working as such until 1999 in Holland, she was converted into a beautiful floating hotel by us (Dominic Read and Geoffrey Temple) in 2001. Ever since she has created amazing memories and incredible holidays for hundreds of guests on our 6-night cruises along the Upper Thames. Arriving and unpacking once and still staying somewhere else each night is exactly what happens on Magna Carta. A guided sightseeing tour and a few hours of cruising every day combined with very personal and attentive service and fantastic food from your very own chef, Magna Carta is a home away from home!

In October 2020 we were delighted to host the incredibly talented singer, entertainer and cruising guru Jane McDonald. For Jane McDonald’s Thames cruise we pretty much followed our Classic England Itinerary with a few changes. We are always able to make bespoke itineraries for charter groups as we did for Jane and her friends, please contact us for charter ideas and of course we can recreate Jane’s cruise for any charter group that requests it.

The TV programme “Cruising With Jane McDonald” featuring Magna Carta was shown on Sunday 23rd May 2021 on Channel 5 and the second episode was shown on Sunday 30th May 2021.

Jane, thank you for choosing us.

cruising along the narrow Cookham lock cut

Magna Carta


What our guests


- Dave -

To the captain and crew of the Magna Carta. Thank you for an unforgettable cruise. And also thank you to my new friends. Unbelievable food.


- Nancy & Thomas -

What can I say… This was the BEST! The crew, the boat, the food, the new friends – you can’t beat a week on the Magna Carta! Thank you,

*Nancy & “Sir” Thomas*

- Mary Ann & Angelo -

Dear Magna Carta – Thank you for a fabulous week. The stops were wonderful but the crew was even better – the best! We will always remember you + the trip. God speed

*Mary Ann & Angelo*

- Karen & Ken -

To our Magna Carta Friends. Words cannot describe what a fantastic time we had. Everything I had hoped and much more! Wishing you all the very best. Thank you for everything, so very sad to leave. (Katie, I will send you my resumé)! Fondly,

*Karen & Ken*

- Bronwyn & Neil -

Dear “Team Maggie”… Max, Laura, Katie, Dominic, Carl & Sarah-Jane. Thank you for a most glorious 6 nights cruising with you on the River Thames. We leave this floating palace with wonderful memories of superb & delicious food, sensational wines, excellent service, comfortable (very!) accommodation and new friendships. We are sad to leave our relaxed and indulged life style on board and hopefully will return again. Thank you – our days with you all exceeded our expectations and have been very happy. Warmest regards,

*Bronwyn & Neil*

- Rachel & Vern -

And so it comes to an end… but our memories will last a life time! This has been such a fabulous holiday, thanks to you all, Dom, Katie, Carl, Max, Laura & Marcy, you have made our Honeymoon + official Wedding Day the best it could possibly have ever been. We love you all so much, thank you! Another thank you must go to our fellow guests, we loved every minute spent with them! Much more love,

*Rach + Vern* ooxxoo (The Bride & Groom!)

- Peter & Sydney, Ashley & Scott, Heather & Jim -

Magnificent Magna Carta! Thank you so much for taking such wonderful care of us this past week! Dom, Katie, Laura, Max, Carl, Oliver & Sarah-Jane you all are topnotch. Fabulous food, conversation, history, cruising and touring and making parasols and football magically appear! 🙂 We return home with very fond memories of you all + the beautiful Magna Carta. Fondly,

*Peter, Sydney, Ashley, Scott, Heather & Jim*