2018 Downton Abbey cruises are April 1-7, April 8-14, July 15-21, and August 12-18.
The experience aboard Magna Carta is a study in contrasts both great and small, as the River Thames is akin to an ancient history book with pages still being written. The first recorded human activity along the river is dated back to pre-Roman Britain; today, recreational pursuits such as rowing, kayaking, and boating still take place on this enchanting waterway.
Within this timeless milieu, the Magna Carta uniquely immerses its passengers into an atmosphere both antique and modern, unknown and familiar. Guests are initially met by Magna Carta crew at the glamorous Stafford Hotel in London, where they are treated to an afternoon tea, a most recognizable British tradition! Then, the modern metropolis is but a distant memory upon boarding the Magna Carta, moored in the rustic countryside on the River Thames. Guests are greeted upon arrival by Magna Carta’s owner and Captain, Dominic Read, a resident of the area and an expert in the folklore surrounding the river and its inhabitants.
The cruise itself presents England’s iconic institutions alongside small slices of life: gently gliding past mansions, boathouses, villages, and towns, the Magna Carta introduces passengers to the area’s lifestyles and livelihoods. Throughout the cruise week, guests visit and explore Hampton Court Palace (where Magna Carta moors); the Tudor-style palace of King Henry the 8th, Windsor Castle, home to British royalty; and Christ Church College in Oxford University, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
The theme of cultural contrasts continues with the dining options, deliciously addressing outdated notions about British cuisine. Magna Carta’s modern menus are fresh and creative, utilizing the best of locally-sourced produce, meats, and fish. A broad selection of Old and New World wines are carefully paired with the meals, expanding the culinary exploration of sophisticated flavors.
Last visited in 2016