African Queen Thames River Cruises

From the blog

Trail of the riverbank

By Carolin Hendrie

“As the sun burned through the morning mist, I sipped my tea and surveyed the scene from my chair on the deck of the African Queen. A pair of great-crested grebes performed dives, a swan and three cygnets paddled by and a heron took flight from a tree stump in dramatic fashion.

Less thank 40 miles from London there wasn’t sight nor sound of a car, just the gentle noise of a rushing weir and the sizzle of bacon in a pan. While the occupants of a nearby craft had to cook their own breakfast, the eight guests on our vessel – the only moving boat hotel on the Thames – were being waited on hand and foot.

No flinging of ropes, learning tricky manoeuvres or even pouring drinks for us. All we had to do was sit back and watch the landscape slip by, or hop off and become part of it ourselves on the towpath.

We joined the boat a Mapledurham, Berkshire, in the heart of Wind In The Willows country. Captain Andy gave a blast on his vuvuzela and was soon taking us through our first lock.

During the afternoon, as we admired the scenery, Andy’s crew-mates, Karen and Cherry, handed around glasses of Pimm’s while the guests got to know each other…”

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Here's what people say about us

  • A weekend with a difference!

    If you are looking for peace, great food, then this is the place to be. Andy, Bonnie and Bobby do everything humanly possible to make their guests comfortable. Andy is the skipper, keeping many people amused with his anecdotes and experiences of life. Bonnie and Bobby keep their guests exceptionally well fed and comfortable.

    Everybody on our trip gelled (young and old) and on Saturday we had a wonderful evening celebrating a guest’s birthday. We sang, danced, laughed and had a thoroughly good time.


    W Spatriciab – Wellington
  • Great weekend – nothing quite like it!

    Seeing our great national river up close while others do all the hard work was well worth the price. You would be hard pushed to find such a combination of excellent food and under-stated seamanship anywhere else. All we had to do was relax and enjoy. Given our weather can be unpredictable the boat was well fitted for all possible circumstances and so was the bar – nice to see a classic paper spreadsheet in use 😉

    Roger C – Mattishall
  • Christmas on the African Queen!

    Last year my fiancee and myself went on the African Queen for Christmas. We enjoyed it so much that we had to take my family and friends there this year. The location it self is probably one of the most beautiful locations in England. Again the crew’s service was excellent, no request is to big for Andy and Bonnie. Their hospitality is also unmatched.
    All I can say about the food is that words can’t do it justice and it needs to be experienced!

    Renier P – UK
  • Have just returned from five days on board the boat hotel, African Queen.

    It was a most enjoyable, relaxing experience. Our expectations were exceeded when we received a phone call from Bonny, the co-owner of the vessel, to welcome us in advance and to check that if we had special dietary needs could be met. She also checked that we had any concerns prior to our departure. Shortly after boarding we were treated to home made scones with jam and cream and that was the start of interesting, quality meals which were cooked to perfection. Delicious!


    Ezanns – Lincoln
  • Spent several days aboard a 100ft Dutch Barge! Excellent food – Bonnie is a superb chef, ably assisted by Bobby. Wonderful atmosphere. Compact accommodation but exceedingly clean and very functional! and “user friendly”. Andy is an excellent mine host – tells very funny stories and has a really good sense of humour. Beautiful countryside. An experience to treasure and to repeat!

    Patrick M – South Africa