Category : Cruise Areas in Europe

Immerse Yourself in English History at the Beautiful Hampton Court Palace

October 12th, 2016

The Magna Carta barge cruise includes visits to historic sites and beautiful gardens

If you love British culture and want to explore some of the English countryside, we highly recommend the Magna Carta which cruises on the vibrant and lively Thames River.  When cruising with them, we were delighted to walk from the barge to the Hampton Court Palace, most famous as a residence for Tudor monarchs and their consorts: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard, Edward VI (Henry VIII’s short-lived male heir), and Mary I and Elizabeth I.

Hampton Court Palace

What are some of the highlights of Hampton Court Palace?

The great hall of Hampton Court Palace

The Great Hall of Henry VIII  This huge medieval hall once featured William Shakespeare’s acting troupe where they performed in the early 1600s.

The kitchens of Hampton Court Palace

The Tudor kitchens
These were built to feed hundreds of people every day, of course without any modern appliances.  How did they do it? Step into the kitchens and find out. You may also be able to catch a live cooking event.

The famous maze at Hampton Court Palace

One of the most famous mazes in the world
Will you be able to find your way out from among the intricate hedges? The maze, by the way, wasn’t Tudor. It was conceived later on during the reign of William III.

The gardens of Hampton Court Palace

The gardens
Don’t miss out on exploring the splendid formal gardens and parklands that surround the palace.  You’ll come across deer and birds, fountains and ponds, sculpted trees and a wide variety of flowers in breathtaking settings.

The largest grape vine in the world at Hampton Court Palace

The biggest surprise of all is the largest grape vine in the world
Now that’s worth seeing!

A visit to Hampton Court Palace is just one of the royal visits you will enjoy while cruising on board the Magna Carta.Related Article

Contact Beth today for more details about traveling through England or other beautiful European waterways by barge.

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Explore the Thames on the Magna Carta Barge Cruise

Beth Hanson
Barge Cruise Specialist since 1988

Enjoy the Green Beauty of Ireland on a River Barge Cruise

April 24th, 2014

Did you know that May and June are the sunniest months in Ireland? Those months would be a great time to explore Ireland by taking one of our river barge cruises on the Lower Shannon River.

Experiencing the Beauty of Ireland on a Barge Cruise

Shannon Princess in Ireland

Shannon Princess cruises the Shannon River in Ireland

Why cruise the Shannon River in Ireland aboard our grand hotel barge? In addition to the luxurious dining and accommodations, there is all the beauty of Ireland to explore. From ancient archaeological sites to modern, bustling towns, you will experience the stunning scenery of Irish islands, lochs, and green countryside from the comfort of your floating hotel. Binoculars are available so you can enjoy the flora and fauna along the lush “Callow” landscape, rich with wildlife, through which you will be passing. With daily excursions in a comfortable coach, you will take a private tour of haunted Leap Castle with its eccentric owner, enjoy a Guinness and oyster lunch, and explore the Clonmacnoise sixth century monastic ruins. Other tour highlights include Birr Castle with its landscaped gardens, shopping for local crafts and gifts, and experiencing the Craggaunowen Iron Age Life Re-Creation Project.

6th century Clonmacnoise ruins in Ireland

Clonmacnoise 6th century monastic ruins

Why cruise on the barge Shannon Princess? In addition to a full-length upper sundeck, the Shannon Princess has a spacious open salon and dining room with panoramic views out its large observation windows. Meals are crafted by the Ballmaloe School trained master chef, with highlights such as roast shoulder of lamb and black velvet crepes. All meals, including wines, local cheeses, and other delicacies, are included in the price. Carpeted throughout, the Shannon Princess accommodates up to ten passengers in spacious cabins with ensuite bathrooms and newly tiled large showers. The cabins also have picture windows and individual heat controls for those inevitable cloudy days. Bicycles are available upon request.

Interested in golf, walking tours, artisan visits or family cruises? Shannon Princess is happy to customize a cruise for your charter group with special interests.

Are you ready to experience Ireland at its finest? Contact us today to learn more about cruising on a deluxe river barge along the Shannon River.

We’re ready to help when you’re ready to go barging. Happy travels,

Beth Hanson
Barge Cruise Specialist since 1988


Explore the Thames on the Magna Carta Barge Cruise

May 14th, 2013

England is steeped in history (as well as tea!), and nowhere is that more evident than when navigating the waters through which that history has flowed. We believe that one of the best ways to become steeped in that history yourself is by taking a river barge cruise aboard the Magna Carta on the Royal River Thames.

A luxury cruise aboard the 8 passenger Magna Carta on the Royal River Thames

Magna Carta meanders through the scenic English countryside. Photo courtesy of

Aboard the luxurious, eight passenger Magna Carta, you will enjoy both the elegance of a bygone era and the comfort of modern conveniences. Built in 1936 of mahogany, teak and oak woods, the Magna Carta includes such modern amenities as under floor heating, a spa pool and modern, ensuite facilities in its spacious 200 sq. foot staterooms. The barge is also outfitted with amenities such as WiFi internet access and touring bikes that you can use to meander along the Thames footpaths. The upper deck includes a salon in which you can sample a wide variety of wines, as well as the dining room, where the master chef will present you with succulent local dishes including roast guinea fowl, rack of lamb, breast of duck, and traditional English cheeses.

Magna Carta moored along the Thames

Magna Carta moored for a night’s rest along the Thames. Photo courtesy of

While enjoying the lovely English countryside from the comfort of your floating country hotel, you will meander past quaint riverside villages and historic royal palaces. Your trip begins with an English cream tea to properly prepare you for your idyllic waterway excursion. In addition to river views of the fabulous waterside houses of Bray, there are carefully planned side trips to points of interest such as Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle and Windsor Great Park’s Saville Gardens. From the ancient village of Hurley with Ye Olde Belle, England’s oldest inn, to Cookham, which hosts the painter Sir Stanley Spencer’s gallery, to the River and Rowing Museum at Henley, you will find a wide array of sights and sounds to please all of your senses.

Guided excursions are highlights of the barge cruise on Magna Carta in England

The main street of Henley-on-Thames. Photo courtesy of













So come steep yourself in tea, history and idyllic English countryside.

Contact us to sign up today for your cruise on the Royal River Thames!

Bring on the crumpets!

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Immerse Yourself in English History at the Beautiful Hampton Court Palace

Beth Hanson
Barge Cruise Specialist since 1988


A Barge Cruise in Scotland for Laddies and Lassies!

April 3rd, 2013

Scottish HighlanderIs it true? A barge cruise in Scotland? Aye, laddies and lassies, there is a splendid deluxe barge cruise on the 8-passenger Scottish Highlander complete with tartan decor and a warm Scottish welcome.

Scotland is certainly filled with breathtaking scenery, romantic medieval ruins and lively cities, but most tourists expect to see these while riding in a car or a tour bus when visiting Scotland. We suggest you think off-road instead, and cruise the Great Glen aboard this comfortable and inviting barge.

Scottish Highlander is equipped with all the modern amenities, including central heat, an all-weather, passenger-friendly wheelhouse, and eight touring bikes for your enjoyment of that breathtaking scenery. Your home-away-from-home also has all the atmosphere of a Scottish country house, complete with tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. You will enjoy traditional Scottish fare, including local salmon and game, unique regional cheeses and, of course, a large selection of single malt whiskeys. In addition, you will be regaled with local history, legends and sagas by the after-dinner storyteller.

Those stories will come alive as you sedately cruise four lochs (Ness, Oich, Lochy and Dochfour) and the Caledonian Canal, visiting such historic landmarks as Glencoe (of the Campbell and MacDonald clans), Eilean Donan and Urquhart castles, Cawdor Castle (home of Shakespeare’s Macbeth) and the Culloden Moor with its heather-clad hillsides. You will be intrigued with visits to local shops, where you can purchase your own woolens, tweeds and local gifts, a mountain gondola, and a tour of the Ben Nevis whiskey distillery.

As with all of our barge trips, you unpack once in your private cabin then relax for the rest of the week to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! So contact us now and let us help you book your idyllic Scottish barge cruise.

Beth Hanson
Barge Cruise Specialist since 1988