WJ Tested: Luxury Barge Magna Carta Review

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Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge Cruises the River Thames in England

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge Cruises the River Thames in England

WJ Tested: Luxury Barge Magna Carta Review

An introduction to barge cruising on the River Thames and luxury barge Magna Carta.

The River Thames flows 215 miles (346 km) in southern England from Thames Head in Gloucestershire to the Thames Estuary on the North Sea in Essex.  It is the longest river in England and flows through the capital city of London.

As is often the case with waterways, the Thames, which once provided a critical route for trade and commerce, is now regarded as a supreme playground for boating, be it rowing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, punting, skiffing or as we enjoyed — barge cruising.

The luxury hotel barge, Magna Carta, has been offering the finest of river barge cruising on the River Thames since 2002.  The idyllic scenery provided a most enchanting backdrop for a leisurely cruise along this world-famous river.  We were regaled whilst on our 3 day/2 night journey from Henley-on-Thames to Windsor.

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge Cruises the River ThamesTowards Windsor

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge Cruises the River ThamesTowards Windsor

The Magna Carta, designed to allow for spacious accommodations, is 117 ft. by 16.5 ft.  Four cabins, all averaging 200 sq. ft. with roomy en-suite bathrooms, make for sumptuous surroundings for a maximum of eight guests.  The picture-windowed saloon offers sanctuary with a bar, library, leather sofas and a most comfortable dining area.  The two-tiered sun deck is fully-outfitted with wood table, chairs, steamer chairs, umbrella and a sunken Jacuzzi.

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge Cruises - Salon

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge Cruises – Salon

A week aboard Magna Carta is an all-inclusive voyage. Four crew members consisting of a Captain, Master Chef, hostess and deck hand tend to guests needs. Get ready to revel in an abundance of history on a restful cruise along the River Thames.


More Details: Cabins

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge - Cabins

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge – Cabins

The Magna Carta accommodates eight passengers in four cabins. Each of the cabins is approximately 200 sq. ft, with three of the four having the ability to be set up as either a king bed or twins.  Natural light and ventilation is achieved through small porthole windows that open slightly and are fitted with blinds. The predominant colors throughout Magna Carta are blue and white along with various hardwoods.

These spacious cabins boast a TV with built-in DVD player – a decent selection of DVDs are available for passengers to pick from.

Heated wooden floors are a welcome addition on chilly English mornings and on the rare chance of hitting a heat-wave, Magna Carta has air conditioning units in each cabin.

Plenty of cupboard and drawer space make it easy for passengers to unpack at the beginning of their cruise and not bother with their luggage again for the rest of the week.

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge - Cabin Bathroom

Magna Carta Luxury Canal Barge – Cabin Bathroom

Large private en-suite bathrooms feature full-size tile showers, flush (not marine pump) toilets, a mirrored bathroom medicine cabinet over the pedestal sink containing complimentary Floris of London toiletries (including shampoo, shower gel, body lotion, bar soap, sewing kit, ear buds, packets of tissue and a nail file)  and a heated towel rack. Bathrobes and hair dryers are also provided in each cabin.

Daily cabin service typically occurs when guests are having their continental breakfast, during which time towels and washcloths were replaced, trash removed, beds made, bathroom cleaned and bottled water replenished.

Excellent Food and Wine While Cruising The River Thames on Magna Carta

Excellent Food and Wine While Cruising The River Thames on Magna Carta

Read More:

Magna Carta Food and Wine

Magna Carta Location and Shore Excursions

Magna Carta Bottom Line and Value


Note: Viv and Jill cruised the river Thames aboard luxury canal barge Magna Carta during a September 2009 visit to England.

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2 Responses to WJ Tested: Luxury Barge Magna Carta Review

  1. Wow!! What an adventure this must have been for the both of you! Such intimate surroundings would make for a most wonderful journey plying the waters of Europe! I must try this one day and soon! Thanks for the awesome write up my friends!!

    Jeff Titelius 09/20/2012 at 4:45 pm
    • In the British peerage syestm, barons rank below viscounts, and form the lowest rank in the peerage. A female of baronial rank has the honorific baroness. A baron may hold a barony (plural baronies), if the title relates originally to a feudal barony by tenure, although such tenure is now obsolete in England and any such titles are now held in gross, if they survive at all, as very few do, sometimes along with some vestigial manorial rights, or by grand serjeanty.William I introduced baron as a rank into England to distinguish the men who had pledged their loyalty to him (see Feudalism). Previously, in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England, the king’s companions held the title of earls and in Scotland, the title of thane. All who held their barony in chief of the king (that is, directly from William and his successors) became alike barones regis (barons of the king), bound to perform a stipulated service, and welcome to attend his council. Before long, the greatest of the nobles, especially in the marches, such as the Earls of Chester or the Bishops of Durham, might refer to their own tenants as barons , where lesser magnates spoke simply of their men (homines).Initially those who held land direct of the crown by military service, from earls downwards, all alike bore the title of baron, but under Henry II, the Dialogus de Scaccario already distinguished greater (who held in baroniam by knights’ service) or lesser baronies (generally smaller single manors). Within a century of the Norman Conquest, as in Thomas Becket’s case (1164), there arose the practice of sending to each greater baron a special summons to the council that evolved into the House of Lords, while the lesser barons, Magna Carta (1215) stipulated, would receive summons only in general, through the sheriffs. Thus appeared a definite distinction, which eventually had the effect of restricting to the greater barons the rights and privileges of peerage.Later, the sovereign could create a new barony in one of two ways: by a writ of summons directing someone to Parliament, or by letters patent. Writs of summons featured in medieval times, but creation by letters patent has become the norm. Baronies thus no longer directly relate to land ownership, following the Modus Tenendi Parliamenta (1419), the Feudal Tenure Act (1662), and the Fines and Recoveries Act (1834) which enabled such titles to be dis-entailed.In the twentieth century Britain introduced the concept of non-hereditary life peers. All appointees to this distinction have taken place at the rank of baron.In addition, Baronies are often subsidiary titles, thus being used as courtesy titles by the eldest sons of earls.

      Francesco 10/26/2012 at 4:10 am

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