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England River Cruises 2024/2025

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England Travel Guide

Imagine gliding along serene waters, with the lush English countryside unfolding on either side. England's river cruises offer this tranquil experience, connecting you to the heart of England via its historic waterways. These cruises take you through iconic cities and past picturesque villages, combining relaxation with the excitement of exploration. What makes these trips unique? You get to see England's famous landmarks from a new perspective, enjoy local cuisine onboard, and step off to explore castles, cathedrals, and markets. Plus, the calm pace is perfect for travelers who want to see England without the rush. It's an adventure that brings together the comfort of modern travel with the charm of English history. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your England river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

England Travel Guide
Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

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Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

Sail Date Operator Ship Departs Returns Length Price
Apr 18, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis11$17,390
Apr 22, 2024Avalon WaterwaysTapestry IILondonParis16$6,068
Apr 28, 2024Avalon WaterwaysTapestry IINiceLondon20$10,321
Apr 28, 2024Avalon WaterwaysPoetry IINiceLondon20$10,321
Apr 28, 2024EmeraldEmerald LunaBudapestPrague13$19,206
Apr 29, 2024Avalon WaterwaysTapestry IILondonParis16$6,453
Apr 30, 2024Avalon WaterwaysTapestry IIArlesLondon18$9,642
Apr 30, 2024Avalon WaterwaysPoetry IIMarseilleLondon18$9,642
May 03, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis10$11,990
May 10, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis13$33,100
May 10, 2024ScenicScenic JadeDublinBudapest34$50,129
May 11, 2024EmeraldEmerald SkyBudapestMunich8$7,790
May 11, 2024EmeraldEmerald SkyBudapestPrague11$8,390
May 12, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis11$15,990
May 12, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisLyon21$32,175
May 12, 2024TauckMS SapphireLondonParis12$8,790
May 18, 2024EmeraldEmerald SkyMunichBudapest8$7,790
May 20, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis13$19,790
May 22, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis11$18,690
May 26, 2024Avalon WaterwaysTapestry IINiceLondon20$10,491
May 26, 2024Avalon WaterwaysPoetry IINiceLondon20$10,491
May 28, 2024Avalon WaterwaysTapestry IIArlesLondon18$9,742
May 28, 2024Avalon WaterwaysPoetry IIMarseilleLondon18$9,742
May 29, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxParis21$30,950
Jun 05, 2024ScenicScenic CrystalDublinBudapest34$27,330
Jun 06, 2024TauckMS SapphireLondonParis12$8,790
Jun 08, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis11$14,990
Jun 08, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxParis21$35,550
Jun 08, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisPorto21$32,085
Jun 09, 2024Avalon WaterwaysTapestry IINiceLondon20$10,601
Jun 09, 2024Avalon WaterwaysPoetry IINiceLondon20$10,601
Jun 11, 2024Avalon WaterwaysTapestry IIArlesLondon18$9,742
Jun 11, 2024Avalon WaterwaysPoetry IIMarseilleLondon18$9,742
Jun 14, 2024VikingViking RadgridLondonParis12$6,999
Jun 18, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis11$17,890
Jun 18, 2024ScenicScenic AzurePortoParis21$31,955
Jun 19, 2024ScenicScenic JasperDublinBudapest34$27,430
Jun 28, 2024ScenicScenic GemParisParis11$14,990
Jun 28, 2024VikingViking RadgridLondonParis12$6,999
Jul 05, 2024ScenicScenic SapphireLyonParis21$30,910

England Travel Guide

England River Cruises Highlights

  • London - River Thames: The bustling capital's port is a launching pad for discovery. From the historic Tower of London to the modern London Eye, the city is your oyster. The port is well-equipped, with easy transport links to whisk you off to the city's famous sites.
  • Tower of London: Sitting grandly on the River Thames, the Tower of London is a historic castle that's been a fortress, palace, and prison. Don't miss the Crown Jewels and the Beefeater tours for a taste of royal history.
  • Oxford - River Thames: Oxford's port leads you to a world of learning and architecture. The city of dreaming spires is home to the University of Oxford, museums, and cozy pubs. Stroll through its storied streets or enjoy a traditional punt on the river.
  • Oxford University: The prestigious Oxford University offers stunning architecture and centuries of history. Many of its colleges are open to visitors, so you can walk in the footsteps of famous scholars.
  • Bath - River Avon: In Bath, the Georgian architecture and Roman history provide a stunning backdrop. The cruise port is a gateway to the ancient Roman Baths, the grand Bath Abbey, and the sweeping Royal Crescent. It's a walkable city with plenty to see and do.
  • Bath's Roman Baths: In the heart of Bath, the Roman Baths are remarkably preserved, giving an insight into the daily life of ancient Romans. The steaming pools and ancient artifacts tell tales of old.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon - River Avon: Shakespeare's hometown offers a charming mix of cultural heritage and delightful shops. Near the port, visit the playwright's birthplace, catch a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and explore the picturesque town.
  • The Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Over in Stratford-upon-Avon, this theatre is the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Seeing a play here is a magical experience for any literature lover.
  • Windsor Castle: If your cruise is along the Thames, you can't miss Windsor Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in the world and one of the Queen's residences.
  • Blenheim Palace: A little way from Oxford, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the birthplace of Winston Churchill, with an imposing building and sweeping gardens to explore.

England River Cruises Travel Tips

  • See all the sites of London, including Big Ben, the British Museum, and the Tower of London before your river cruise begins.
  • Take a ride on the London Eye before your trip. The Millennium Wheel is a cantilevered observation wheel located on the River Thames' South Bank and is the most popular paid tourist site in the UK. 
  • Visit Buckingham Palace, the London residence of the Queen.
  • Stroll through Trafalgar Square, part of the City of Westminster in central London. The square's name refers to the British navy's victory in the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Visit Runnymede, a water meadow that sits next to the River Thames 20 miles west of London. Historically, the area is associated with the signing and sealing of the Magna Carta.
  • Pass through Cliveden Reach, noted as one of the loveliest scenic spots along the Thames.
  • See the former Cliveden Estate of the Astor Family and view its gardens.
  • Take an excursion to Windsor Castle, home of the Royal family and built, in 1066, by William the Conqueror.
  • Savor gourmet specialties onboard made with locally sourced and specialty foods.
  • Visit the historic village of Cookham, home of the English painter, Sir Stanley Spencer.
  • Take a tour of Oxford and Christ Church.

England River Cruises Things To Do

  • London
    London

    It's always a good idea to visit London first when you are taking a classic England River cruise. Spending a few days in this historic and important city will complement your other river cruise activities. Some of the list of attractions to see include Big Ben, Buckingham Palace (home of the Queen), the Millennium Wheel, the British Museum, and the Tower of London.

    Best Time To Visit

    According to U.S. World Travel, the best time to tour London is from March through May, when the trees along the Thames begin to bloom, and the temperatures are milder. River cruise prices surge, along with the crowds, during the summer months.

     

    You Should Know

    London was the first city to feature an underground railway (the Tube). Dummy houses at 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens (Paddington) hide the Metropolitan tube line running below each "house." The Tube's track lies behind the "houses," which display painted-on windows. The most recognizable town on the River Thames is called Tower Bridge. People often mistakenly call the bridge London Bridge.
  • Hampton Court Palace
    Hampton Court Palace

    A royal estate located in Richmond-upon-Thames, Hampton Court Palace sits 12 miles southwest of London on the River Thames. The building of the palace was begun by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1515, who was a close confidant of Henry VIII. All of Henry VIII's wives lived at the palace, which the cardinal built as a gift to himself for becoming cardinal. However, Henry VIII ended up seizing the palace for his own use.

    Best Time To Visit

    March to May is the best time of the year to go when crowds are not as great. If you stop in around lunch, you will be rewarded with quieter surroundings.

     

    You Should Know

    The heart and lungs of Henry VIII's wife, Jane Seymour, are kept inside a lead box, concealed behind an altar in Hampton Court. The Great Vine in the Hampton Court gardens is the oldest grape-producing vine in England. The hedge maze, also located in the Hampton Court gardens, is the oldest in Britain. Henry VIII participated in jousting and tennis at the estate.
  • Runnymeade and Runnymede-on-Thames Resort
    Runnymeade and Runnymede-on-Thames Resort

    The borough and riverside setting of Runnymede is famous for its meadows, walking paths, and its Magna Carta memorial. Signed in 1215 by King John, the Magna Carta's creation set the standard for modern democracy. The meadow of Runnymeade sits adjacent to the River Thames, thereby making it a desirable location for a picnic.

    Best Time To Visit

    Weather professionals advise seeing Runnymede from May to early October for the best weather.

     

    You Should Know

    Three memorials are featured at Runnymede – the Magna Carta memorial, the JFK memorial, and the Royal Air Force memorial – commemorating the 20,000 airmen who were killed in World War II without a known grave. The Runnymede-on-Thames Hotel is an ideal place to enjoy lunch along the Thames or visit the resort's spa.
  • Windsor Castle
    Windsor Castle

    England River cruises often feature an excursion to Windsor Castle. The estate, which was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror, has been home to the Royal Family for more than 900 years. It is the largest occupied castle in the world. River cruise-goers can explore the castle's state apartments, visit St. George's Chapel, and admire the paintings and sculptures.

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to see Windsor Castle is early in the day (around 11:00 am) from May through October.

     

    You Should Know

     Windsor Castle contains 1,000+ rooms, which cover about 485,000 square feet. The grounds of the estate stretch over 13 acres. During the First World War, the Royal Family changed their last name to Windsor, thinking that Saxe-Coburg-Gotha sounded too German – a response to England's anti-German sentiment at the time. Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret lived at Windsor Castle during London's Blitz. A warning bell would ring if there was a threat of bombing, which alerted the girls to head to the dungeons. Rumor had it that Hitler would not bomb the castle, as he wanted to make it his home.
  • Cliveden Reach and Cliveden Estate
    Cliveden Reach and Cliveden Estate

    Cliveden Reach is considered one of the prettiest areas to see when river cruising on the River Thames. Currently, the area features boating services for visitors from June to October. Self-hired vessels have electric motors to reduce pollution. In Victorian times, boating on this part of the Thames was highly popular. This section was also home to the wealthy Astors who not only enjoyed boating but also owned the Cliveden Estate. 

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to see the attraction is from May to October.  

     

    You Should Know

    During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, Cliveden Reach had large amounts of river traffic – more than any lock up-river. One day in 1894, almost 1,000 small river vessels passed through the area. The wealthy Astors, who lived at Cliveden Estate, owned a variety of watercraft, including canoes, skiffs, whiffs, punts, and even an electric canoe.
  • Cookham
    Cookham

    A popular Thameside resort and village, Cookham features excellent inns and restaurants. The village was the home of English artist, Sir Stanley Spencer, who referred to Cookham as "heaven on earth." He featured the town in many of his paintings. 

    Best Time To Visit

    A pleasant time to see Cookham is during the shoulder season, or during April and May or September and October.

     

    You Should Know

    The restaurant and inn, Bel and the Dragon dates back to 1417 and is considered one of England's oldest licensed houses. While it has gone through a substantial restoration, the Church of the Holy Trinity still features sections of its Norman foundations. Many interesting memorials can be seen inside the church. The Swan Upping ceremony takes place in the third week of July in Cookham as well as other Thames locales. Mute swans are caught before being ringed and released.
  • Hurley
    Hurley

    Hurley is a parish featuring the hamlets of Cockpole Green, Knowl Hill, Warren Row, and Burchetts Green. It sits halfway between Oxford and London, or about 55 miles from each city. The river has always played a vital role in the village's livelihood and history. 

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to see Hurley is when it's cooler and less crowded or from April through May or September through October.

     

    You Should Know

    A monastery was founded in Hurley by Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1086. While the monastery dissolved in the 16th century, remains of the monastic buildings can be seen woven into many of the local residences surrounding a green next to the church.The Olde Bell Inn, dating back to 1135, was once used as a monastic guest house. It is believed to be the oldest inn in England.The old church in Hurley is unique, as it does not feature a tower nor aisles.
  • Henley-on-Thames to Oxford
    Henley-on-Thames to Oxford

    The river cruise concludes, docking at the Henley Regatta Rowing course after traveling through Henley-on-Thames. An excursion to Oxford enables river cruise participants to tour Christ Church, which was founded by Cardinal Wolsey and, again, by King Henry VIII.

    Best Time To Visit

    Cooler times make a trip to Oxford more pleasant, such as early May or late September/early October. 

     

    You Should Know

    The lovely surroundings of Oxford are where Lewis Carroll penned Alice in Wonderland. The University of Oxford is over 922 years old, making it the second oldest university after the University of Bologna, which is 930 years old.

England River Cruise Packages

  • Getting There

    Starting your English river cruise is easy, no matter where you're coming from. If you're flying in, the main airports in England, like Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester, offer good links to the starting points of these cruises, often in major cities like London, Oxford, or Bath. From these airports, you can take a train or a bus to get to the heart of the action. The cruise ports are well-connected and easily accessible by public transport or taxi. For those driving, there are usually parking facilities nearby. Once at the port, you'll find the cruise staff ready to welcome you aboard. It's a hassle-free beginning to what promises to be a relaxing journey through England's scenic waterways.

  • The Perfect Time for an England River Cruise

    When planning a river cruise in England, the timing is crucial due to the country's famously unpredictable weather. The spring season, spanning from late March to early June, is an ideal time for a river cruise in England. During this period, the country blossoms with vibrant colors, and the weather is comfortably mild, making it an excellent time for river cruising. Additionally, spring is generally less crowded than summer, offering a more peaceful river cruising experience.

    Summer, from June to August, is another popular time for river cruising in England. This season boasts the warmest weather and the longest days, which are perfect for maximizing sightseeing opportunities during your river cruise. However, summer is also the peak tourist season in England, meaning the waterways and attractions might be more crowded, which could impact the tranquility of your river cruising experience.

    Autumn, occurring from September to November, offers a different charm for river cruising in England. The season is quieter and cooler, with fewer tourists, often resulting in lower prices for river cruises. The autumnal landscape, with its changing leaves, adds a picturesque backdrop to the river cruising experience, dressing the countryside in brilliant hues.

    Winter river cruises in England have their unique appeal, characterized by cozy atmospheres and festive holiday markets in December. However, the colder weather and shorter days mean less daylight for exploration. To balance good weather with smaller crowds, the best time for a river cruise in England is generally from late spring to early autumn. This period offers a harmonious blend of pleasant weather and relatively fewer tourists, making it an ideal time for river cruising in England.

  • Experience the Flavors of England on a River Cruise

    England's food scene is a big part of the travel experience, and on a river cruise, you'll get to taste it all. Traditional English cuisine is hearty and comforting—think fish and chips, meat pies, and Sunday roasts with all the trimmings. Don't miss out on a full English breakfast, complete with eggs, sausages, bacon, beans, and tomatoes, at least once during your journey.

    For something sweet, afternoon tea is a must-do. Enjoy it on board or at a cozy café in port, where you can savor scones with clotted cream and jam. And let's not forget the cheese and cider, which are particularly good in the countryside regions along the rivers.

    Look out for local specialties in each port. Seafood is fantastic in coastal areas, while inland, you might find regional treats like Cornish pasties or Lancashire hotpots. Many river cruises offer onboard dining featuring local ingredients and traditional dishes, giving you a taste of the region even when you're on the move.

    So, whether it's enjoying a pint in a riverside pub or tucking into fresh local fare on the boat, the flavors of England are a highlight not to be overlooked.

  • Immerse Yourself in England's Culture

    A river cruise in England offers a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture. English customs can be quaint and charming, with an emphasis on politeness and tradition. You'll find this in the daily ritual of tea time, the enthusiastic support for football matches, and the love of a good garden.

    Cultural festivals also pepper the English calendar. You might catch the colorful Notting Hill Carnival in London, the rowdy Cheese Rolling in Gloucestershire, or the regal Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames. Each festival gives you a different taste of English life.

    Engaging with locals at these events or even chatting with them in traditional pubs can enrich your understanding of the English way of life. It's this connection that transforms a simple vacation into a true cultural adventure.

  • Why Book a River Cruise to England?

    Booking a river cruise to England is a great idea for several reasons. For starters, it's a fantastic value for money. Your accommodation, travel, and often meals are included in one price. Plus, you get to see parts of the country that you might not see on the road or on a train. A cruise gives you a unique view of England's coastline and countryside, gliding past historic landmarks and stunning landscapes that you can admire from the comfort of your deck chair.

    There's also the convenience factor. Once you unpack in your cabin, you're set for the entire trip. No need to haul your bags from one hotel to another. You can just relax and enjoy the journey. And there's something pretty special about docking right in the heart of cities and towns, stepping off the boat and into the action.

    Cruise passengers often get exclusive access to certain tours and experiences, too. You might find yourself on a private tour of a castle, a special tasting at a local vineyard, or enjoying an evening of entertainment reserved just for your group. A river cruise to England isn't just a trip—it's a collection of unique experiences all rolled into one.

  • Ready to Book Your England River Cruise?

    If you're looking for a unique way to see England, a river cruise should be at the top of your list. You'll sail past historical landmarks, through stunning landscapes, and stop at charming towns along the way. With the ease of unpacking once and waking up in a new place every day, it's both relaxing and exciting.

    On board, you'll enjoy local food, meet friendly people, and have access to exclusive experiences. Whether you're after the tranquility of the countryside or the buzz of city life, you'll find it all on an England river cruise.

    So, why wait? Booking your cruise is the first step towards an adventure that combines the comforts of modern travel with the rich tapestry of English culture. Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime. Your England river cruise awaits!

England River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are England River Cruises?

    England river cruises might be defined as 7-day journeys that go from London to Oxford or more all-inclusive offerings that include other countries, such as Germany, France, and Switzerland. Generally, if your main wish is to see England and its countryside, you should choose England River cruises that stay within the country's borders. 

  • What’s Included on England River Cruises?

    Most England river cruises feature all meals and some even include airfare in the total price. Some river cruise-goers charter a boat for their England river cruise holiday. Unlike ocean cruises, you normally will participate in an off-shore excursion each day of your river cruise adventure. Ocean cruises are different as some dates are sail days. 

  • What’s the Best River Cruise for an England River Cruise?

    If you want to confine your England river cruise journey to England, you will find that it is best to choose a river cruise provider, such as European Waterways. Otherwise, if you want to see other countries, a good all-inclusive river cruise company is Viking. What you choose will be based on where you wish to travel, the length of the river cruise, the time you choose to go, and the price.

  • How Much Do England River Cruises Cost?

    If you charter a river cruise, you can pay as much as $35,000 – indeed, a lot of money for this type of luxury. However, with that being said, most river cruises will cost you around $5,000 for a suite, or approximately $1,500 for a cabin for a shorter river cruise (around 7 days).

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