African Queen Thames River Cruises

From the blog

Thames of endearment

By Deborah Stone

“Deborah Stone keeps an eye out for Ratty, Mole, Mr Toad et al on a journey along the River Thames.

“Poop-poop,” I felt like shoting as we set sail down the River Thames, yards from Mapledurham House, the country pile that many believe Kenneth Grahame used as a model for Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows.

Like Toad, I was setting out on an adventure, in my case sailing down Britain’s most written-about river in a cosy Dutch barge, African Queen. I was looking forward to passing any number of river folk – even moles and water rats – and pleased to be following in the wake of Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men ina Boat. First, however, to celebrate the start of out five-day cruise, we enjoyed afternoon tea on deck in the sunshine.

The British appetite for river cruises is growing so rapidly that as well as searching out new itineraries and uncharted territory abroard, we are also looking to our own waterways.

The Thames is a favoured option, although it’s unlikely to challenege the Danube or Rhine in popularity, since ancient low bridges make navigation along the full length of the river a problem. That’s why, on that first day, we sailed only as far as Sonning, where we spent the night moored by Sonning Lock…”

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If you would like to book a serene voyage along the Thames visit for more details or call 0800 056 6071 quoting AQRC2.

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Here's what people say about us

  • 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 ūüėČ

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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