Hotel Barge MAGNA CARTA - Barging in England Britain -

Cruising the Royal River Thames, England
Between Hampton Court & Henley-on-Thames

Facts About The Barge Magna Carta

The English Hotel Barge Magna Carta was built in 1936 as a working barge in Belgium and continued until 1999 in Holland. She was converted into a beautiful, 8-passenger hotel barge in 2001 and cruises along the Royal River Thames in England.

Hotel Barge MAGNA CARTA layout diagram Barging in England

117ft long x 16.5ft wide
8 Passengers
5 Crew
4 Guest cabins
Individually controlled air conditioning
Under-floor central heating
Spa Pool / Hot tub
Sundeck, 2 levels
WiFi Internet
4 Mountain bikes (additional available on request)
Air conditioned minibus

Barge Specifics

Your Crew On Board

Accommodation On Board

Maximum 8 passengers / 4 suites

Three suites can be configured with twin or double beds. The Christopher Wren Suite offers a double bed only.

All cabins have en-suite shower room with shower and WC, wardrobes, writing desk & chair, and bedside tables with reading lights.

There are 4 opening windows in each suite and hardwood veneer panelling on the walls up to the picture rail with a light décor above. Solid hardwood doors & skirting and wooden flooring.

The Henry VIII and Christopher Wren suites are at the stern end of the barge and are accessed from a staircase from the saloon.

The William Shakespeare and the Winston Churchill cabins are at the bow end of the barge and accessed from a separate staircase from the saloon.

Cabin Sizes

All shower rooms measure 36ft² (3.2m²). These measurements are included in the suite sizes detailed above.

All sizes are approximate.

Ceiling heights: The height of the Winston Churchill Suite is 7ft 4” (2.25m). We recommend this suite for tall passengers. The other 3 suites are 6ft 4” (1.93m).

Size of the beds:

The 3 suites with the twin / double option: As double beds 6ft wide x 6ft 6” length (1.8m x 2m). As twin beds, each bed is 3ft x 6ft 6” (0.9m x 2m).

Christopher Wren suite offers a double / queen bed only measuring 5ft 6” wide x 6ft 6” length (1.68m x 2m)


There are 4 portholes in each cabin that can open. Only to be open when barge is moored.

Shower Rooms:

Each Suite has an en-suite, equipped with shower, wash-basin and WC. The rooms are fully tiled with under floor heating, and a heated towel rail.

There is a window in each bathroom along with 110v razor socket and air extractor.

Towels, toiletries, hair dryer, and bathrobes are provided.

Climate Control

Each suite has individually controlled air conditioning. There is also under-floor central heating.

Computer and Telephone

Wi-Fi internet is available on board for e-mail use only and for guests bringing their own appliances. This facility is subject to availability in some remote locations.

There is no passenger telephone on board Magna Carta.


The local currency in the UK is GBP Pound Sterling. Magna Carta is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.

Cycling & Walking

You are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as you wish. Most guests choose not to miss any cruising and tend to cycle or walk when the barge is stationary, however it is often possible to cycle or walk while the barge is moving.

There are 4 mountain bikes on board. Additional bikes are available on request as are smaller bikes for children at a hire charge of approximately £50 per bike per week. Please discuss Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks in advance of your cruise

Dining Room & Saloon

31ft x 12ft 6” (9.4m x 3.8m). Height from floor to ceiling of the saloon is 6ft 6” (2.0m). There are 10 windows, each approximately 3ft² (1m²).

For relaxing, there are 4 sofas with coffee tables, and a fully stocked bar with bar stools in the saloon. The dining table seats all guests at a single sitting.

Wooden flooring and oak ceiling run throughout the area, with the 2 staircases of 10 steps each leading off the saloon to the cabins on the lower deck.


The barge is wired for 240 volts with 110 volt sockets in the bathrooms for shaving. In the suites, double sockets are located in the wall by the beds. We suggest you bring an adapter for your particular appliances, which should correspond to the standard UK 3-pin plug. There are also 2 USB ports in each suite for charging phones, iPads, laptops, etc.

If you wish to use your electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive on board to ensure that it is suitable to the barge’s electrical system.

We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.


The air-conditioned Magna Carta barge minibus is used for transfers and for several excursions during the cruise. Some excursions are within walking distance from the mooring.

For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group’s particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge, we will do everything we can to arrange it. Please speak with Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise and we can pre-arrange with the Captain.

Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge

Facilities On Board

Food & Drink

All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef and most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available). International and modern British cuisine is served.

We are able to arrange special meals, e.g. vegetarian / no fish / vegan etc; and we are able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is most important that we are notified of any specific requirements at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify Paradise Connection in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.

There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining room on board Magna Carta accommodates all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Full English cooked breakfast or Continental-style buffet breakfast with fresh breads, fruit, cereals, fruit juices, tea, and coffee.

Lunch: Usually 2 courses and lighter meals of colourful salads, pasta dishes, and cold meats that may be accompanied by hot soup or an entrée, followed by dessert.

Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure created by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee, and liqueurs.

Captain’s farewell dinner: Is on the final last night of the cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.

Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours, which includes wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are provided with meals and there is a Champagne welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Champagne (with the exception of the reception) and special vintage wines, however these can be purchased in advance of your cruise at cost price; please speak to Paradise Connections. We do not recommend specific beverage orders unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Hot Air Balooning

The region Magna Carta cruises is not suitable for hot air ballooning.


We recommend you bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise as there are no laundry facilities on board. However, the crew may be able to assist in an emergency on a request basis.

Luggage / What To Pack

Please plan to travel with one suitcase. Soft-sided luggage will be easier to store once you have unpacked. There is a limited amount of space in the barge and on the minibus.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Magna Carta and for the excursions.

Dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain's Farewell Dinner on the final evening, guests often dress-up which is optional.

Suggested things to pack:


Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you require frequent or ongoing medical attention.

The crew are unable to administer medicines but can accompany you to a chemist for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medication with you. Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.

Problem During Your Cruise

If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Please bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.

Restricted Mobility

Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.

Safety & Security

Once you are on board, your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures. Safety Instructions are detailed below.

Please note that we cannot be responsible for any valuables that you bring on board. We strongly recommend that you do not bring valuables with you unless required and that you ensure that all valuables are covered by your travel insurance. There is a small safe onboard. Cabin doors are not locked for safety reasons


We have a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of your fellow passengers.


The sundeck is split on two levels made of wooden decking with a table, 8 chairs and 2 recliners. There is a spa pool (hot tub) on the higher front sundeck and a canopy cover on the lower level sundeck which has doors and 1 step leading into the saloon, 4 steps between the lower and upper deck.

Themed Cruises

Golf, Theatre, Tennis, and Family cruise itineraries are available for charter groups. Special interest cruises often have a supplement, for details please visit Magna Carta's Itinerary page and Rates page.


Gratuities are not included in the cruise fare. Tipping is entirely discretionary but is greatly appreciated by the crew if you are fully satisfied with the level of service on board. As a guideline, the average tip given by our guests from around the world is approximately 5% of the Cruise Fare.

The usual way to give the tip is to give the amount in cash as one lump sum to the Captain / Cruise Director on the last day of the cruise. They will distribute the amount equally amongst the crew.

Sterling, Euros or Dollars are equally appreciated. ATMs are accessible for cash withdrawal on most itineraries during the cruise and the crew can advise where these are located.


For details of the Magna Carta vehicle, please see “Excursions”, above. The approximate transfer duration between central London and Magna Carta is 1 hour / 1 hour 30 minutes depending on the cruise direction.


Tap water in England and on board Magna Carta is potable. Bottled water is provided in each suite.

Safety Instructions On Board Magna Carta

On arrival the Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures on board. In addition, it is important that all passengers are familiar with the safety instructions detailed below.

Please ask a member of the crew on board if you require any further safety advice

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