river thames


holidays UK – Boating holidays on the River Thames – no airport tax or Air passenger Duty

Having just been on line searching for a ‘cheap holiday break’ for our family, we couldn’t believe how expensive it was to go abroad this Christmas period. As we are working during the summer months with river cruises and our boating holidays on the Thames, the winter time is the only time we can take our annual holiday. Having made a few enquiries as to why the prices per person to go on a package holiday were so high, it transpires it is largely due to Air passenger Duty (APD) and other related airport taxes.

So, may be a holiday in the UK is the best idea for our family holiday this year.

We are fortunate to operate our cruises in some of the most stunning countryside in England which provide the perfect holiday setting for our boat trips on the Thames.

Henley-On-Thames is an idyllic town combining a market town full of cafes, restaurants and pubs with countryside setting and an abundance of festivals such as the Henley 80’s Rewind Festival, Henley-On-Thames Royal Regatta, Henley Music Festival and many more. This makes our cruise destination Henley a popular choice with our guests. Henley is also close to Windsor and many guests use this as a base to visit Windsor castle, Legoland, Ascot Races as these places are only 25 minutes or so away by car or by train from Henley Train station.

Each week, we are featuring another video which we had made this summer to give our potential guests more of an idea of what our boat cruises and boating holidays. This week, the video is of Boat Geanna.

Hotel Boat Geanna is a skippered hire boat on the River Thames. We drive the boat and then having arrived at the destination, we moor up safely and leave guests to enjoy their holiday, whilst being only a few minutes away by car should they need us. Boat Geanna is 4 star rated with visitengland.com. The aim is to provide a comfortable, luxury boat with all the facilities one would expect from a 4 star holiday cottage, but on water. This is an ideal way for holiday makers to experience a boating holiday without all the stress of having to drive the boat. As the boat can accommodate up to 11 people, it is the perfect venue for hen parties, get-togethers, family holidays and other social events. Everyone under one roof, but with seperate cabins for privacy etc.

This boat has already been featured in the channel 4 programme ‘Four In A Bed’ which is a programme where B&B owners and hoteliers stay in each other’s establishment and then rate their stay. We were delighted to have won this competition and if you would like to watch it, here is the link to view it http://www.channel4.com/programmes/four-in-a-bed/episode-guide/series-2/episode-53

Alternatively why not have a look at our own video of boat Geanna. We’ve thought outside the box for our video’s and this one is no exception. Guess which advert on TV inspired this one! here’s the link to our Geanna boating holiday page where the video is located.

Boat Geanna river cruise video

A busy week for River Thames Boat Hire and Boat Cruises on the Thames

This week has been the busiest week on the River Thames – all thanks to the glorious sunshine we’ve been having. All our cruises on the Thames have been in hot summer sunshine this week. Our guests always say we must have arranged the weather just for them as it really has been lovely out on the River.

One of our crew members, featured in the photo, is very popular with our guests on boat GINETTA. This is Toffee and he has been with the company for 5 years with the very important post of Head of Security. As our guests will testify, he is very hardworking and spends his time sunbathing on the back deck. When we have Children’s Birthday Parties, he assumes the role of ‘Old Sea Dog’ especially in our children’s pirate parties. The children and adults seem to love him and Toffee certainly enjoys the fuss they make of him.

This summer has been a difficult one for everyone in the British tourist industry but we are pleased to say we have managed to overcome the challenges thrown at us by the weather and rising river currents that have prevented many River Thames cruises from occurring, due to the fast stream conditions. We certainly did our best to ensure everyone still had a boating holiday. As you can see from the photo, the river was quite fast, unusual for June and July.

Our narrow boat holiday hire boat GINA spent the first part of the summer season on the kennet and Avon Canal. We are particularly grateful to the Canal and Tipee Experience Company for all their assistance during this time. Our day cruise boat GINETTA suffered a broken propellor when she struck an under water log. Ginetta had to be towed all the way from Henley-On-Thames to Caversham by her sister boat, GEANNA. This was a difficult tow and again, we are in debted to our new friends at Canal and Tipee experience in coming out to help us with this. Ginetta was crane lifted out of the water to have a new propeller fitted.

We’d also like to thank all our guests who’s cruise dates had to be moved due to the weather this summer. Everyone affected understood the conditions we faced and we are delighted that when they did have their cruise on the new dates, the weather was perfect!

Boat GEANNA has had an exceptionally busy summer with many guest bookings coming from overseas. Several guests booked boat Geanna for the Olympics and Paralympics games. Staying on Hotel boat Geanna were the families and friends of some of the Olympic competitors. We also had hen parties staying on the boat and school reunion parties. We even had a jazz band stay!

September is normally a month when River Thames boat cruises start to wind down. However, the Indian Summer we seem to be having now has made September one of the busiest months of the year.

Boating Holidays on the Thames

boating holidays UK – a new idea to promote boating holidays on the River Thames

When deciding ‘Should we buy a canal boat or not?’ many moons ago, we remember avidly watching canal boating programmes on TV, including ‘The boat that Guy built’ which we enjoyed watching immensely.

However, in the back of our minds was, is this a holiday /lifestyle that would appeal to our family including 3 ‘dis-interested’ teenagers, a cat and a dog?! The image we were left with, having watched all these programmes was that boating on the river and canals was something one did if you were of an older generation or a past time enjoyed by ‘boating types’ that have done boating all their lives and you also had to know a lot about boats, be an accomplished boat handler and know how to fix engines etc. Could we do all this?

So, anyway, we took the plunge and had our first boat built and moved on, 6 months later. The verdict? we’ll never go back on land!

Now myrivercruising is growing as a business, we are accomplished boat handlers and our thoughts are returning to how we first thought about boating holidays and what might our potential guests be thinking before embarking on a river thames boat cruise of their own.

So firstly, we would like to alleviate all fears about boating holidays in the UK and to  tell everyone, give it a go! Teenagers love it (yes really – especially if there is an iPod dock, 240v sockets to charge phones, Ipads etc,  TV with PS3 connection and your own private cabin (space) all found in our narrow baot GINA and in our hotel boat GEANNA).

We have just finished filming a set of short videos which hopefully will give our potential guests an insight into River boat holidays. These videos will show that a boating holiday in the uk is for all the family, especially for kids and of course for your dog. We provide training for all our narrow boat holidays so that guests have confidence in driving the boat and knowledge of how to navigate the upper River Thames.

Most of our guests are families with children enjoying cheap boating holidays (our prices are very competitive). We have also had professional people escaping the stress of work. A river thames boating holiday is the best way to completely unwind and forget about work life and deadlines. The other advantage boatings holiday on the River Thames is that you don’t have to physically ‘do’ locks. Unlike canal boat holidays in UK, the locks on the River Thames are manned by friendly lock keepers who do it all for you.

Those of you who watch Channel 4 ‘Four In A Bed’ may have seen us with Hotel boat Geanna. people who saw this and who have subsequently booked, have all said they would never have thought of  booking a UK boating holiday had it not been for this programme and the fact that they saw that boating isn’t just for those few who ‘did’ boating, but was in fact a holiday for everyone. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/four-in-a-bed/episode-guide/series-2/episode-53

So, have we tempted you yet?

See our special offers – book now before our last minute deals are all gone!

Special offers

River Thames boat cruises take on a new theme!

Despite the rain, one type of River cruise has prevailed where the weather isn’t a problem – our new children’s Pirate party cruises. The rain has not put off our young sailors who have bravely sought treasure and enjoyed a voyage of discovery on the River Thames on our good pirate ship ‘GINETTA.’ Muddy wellies and happy children. Result!

Special Offers

January Sale – save up to £250 on a River Thames Boating Holiday

Save up to £250 on a 4 night mid-week holiday or 3 night weekend holiday

This offer is for Boating Holidays River Thames on Boat Geanna. For larger groups of over 6 people (up to 11 people max) pay only the 6 person price, meaning your extra guests go free.

Extra guests (above 6 people) are usually £50 per person in addition to the base price, so for bookings of 11 people, this means 5 guests go free saving £250.

This offer is only valid for bookings made from 1st January 2015 – 30th January 2015 on Boat Geanna for holiday dates up to 23rd May 2015.


So if you are planning a hen party and are looking for a bargain, then this deal is for you. Offer expires 30th January 2015


To Book Click Here 


Call 07780 88 71 72 to reserve your special offer!