About us


We thought we, Dominic & Geoffrey, would take the opportunity to properly introduce ourselves, and tell you a bit about our backgrounds, and how we came to own the Magna Carta and to cruise the river Thames.


Dominic’s story

Hi, I’m Captain Dominic Read of the Magna Carta. I have been around boats and rivers for a long time, here’s how it began….

When I was just 11 years old I met Nicholas, a New Yorker who taught me how to sail. Nicholas spent many years in England as a friend of my family and had himself spent his childhood sailing in America.

Knowing me from a young age he made several predictions which have all come true. He always thought that boats and people would be a major part of my life.

Another prediction which was not to be believed at the time, was that a great interest in history would develop over the years, this too has come true.

Nicholas also took me to London for the first time and showed me the sights and sounds, including as fate would have it St Katharine’s dock in London and many of the spectacular areas of countryside as the Royal river Thames winds her way past some of the most famous sights in England.

I first worked on the river Thames as captain of another hotel barge. The experience was to change my life.

For the first time I was able to combine my love of boats and people, to share my fascination with history and my surroundings and to learn about the international travel market in general.

Understanding the level of comfort available on the most up-to-date barges in Europe and yet believing that the river Thames, from the famous sights of London to the tranquil beauty beyond, had more to offer than the other waterways, I was determined to build a ship that would make up for the shortcomings of all the competition in Britain.

For several years I ran a private tour guiding business, taking small groups in a luxury vehicle around Britain but still having the option to involve a river cruise as part of the package.

After meeting my hotelier business partner, Geoffrey Temple, the plan to build Magna Carta was born and now, finally this most worthy of rivers has a vessel to do her justice.


Geoffrey’s story

Hello, I’m Geoffrey Temple, partner/owner of the Magna Carta, here’s my story…

After successfully completing a Hotel Management course at Oxford Polytechnic, I have enjoyed more than thirty-five years as an International Hotelier.

I have been involved with luxury hotels in Switzerland, Seychelles, West End of London, Palm Beach Florida. Washington DC, Key Biscayne Florida and St Thomas US Virgin Islands.

During my twelve years in the United States I was Director of Operations of The Embassy Row in Washington DC and Marriott Frenchman’s Reef in St Thomas.

I was also General Manager of The Brazilian Court Palm Beach and The Key Biscayne Hotel and Villas.

Upon returning to England in 1994, I purchased a hotel in Cumbria near the Lake District and sold the hotel in May 2000 in order to transform and develop Magna Carta into a luxury hotel barge for eight passengers to cruise on the River Thames.

The running of my small hotel has given me much insight into developing this luxury barge for a discerning clientele.

This latter venture has been a dream for more than 15 years and I have used my extensive hotel experience together with my business partner Dominic Read who has also used his many years of barging and knowledge of boat building to create one of Europe’s most exciting and luxurious river barges.

As she cruises from the Thames Barrier to Henley she passes through some of the most interesting and varied stretches of river in the world, giving the advantage of two distinct holidays in one, being the London stretch and that of the upper non-tidal Thames.

So, we think you will see that we are both committed to offering the best possible experience and luxury river cruise aboard our marvellous barge, the Magna Carta. We are justifiably proud of her…..

Why not contact us today to find out more about our river cruise vacations
aboard Magna Carta?!