Cruising the River Thames Like a Royal

Whether it’s street parties, grand picnics or other quintessential festivities, the British public certainly knows how to celebrate a royal wedding. On Saturday May 19th, 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make their vows at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle - Britons will have plenty of reason to bask in the merry-making.

 The level of demand for people visiting the UK and staying in Windsor has been phenomenal, with hotels (some as far away as Heathrow) charging up to $1,300US per night on the evenings surrounding the wedding. 

Many are looking for alternative accommodations, and Le Boat offers several choices for fans of British History and of the monarchy.   

“The Royal Cruise” offers an opportunity to enjoy the royal wedding atmosphere. The 215 mile-long River Thames winds past key royal destinations such as Hampton Court Palace, Cliveden House and of course, Windsor Castle – the location of Harry and Meghan’s wedding. 

Across the river is Eton College, Prince Harry's alma mater, and another highlight of the itinerary. Additionally, Windsor Racecourse offers a glimpse into the royal family's involvement with equestrian sports. The historic racetrack dates back to 1866 and is a favorite of the royals.

 

Experience Wedding Fever like a True Brit

For those who want to experience the wedding weekend excitement first-hand - Le Boat has reserved a limited number of exclusive mooring spaces for seven boats at MDL Marina in Windsor on Friday May 18th and Saturday May 19th. The marina is only three miles and a 13-minute taxi ride away from Windsor Castle, so guests staying there will be close to the action on the special day. 

Revellers will be delighted to find the boats decorated in bunting, and the fridges stocked with prosecco and nibbles to honour the special occasion. They can rustle up their own banquet-style feast on board the boats that have fully-equipped kitchens, or dine out in one of the many fine restaurants in the surrounding area.

On the day, guests can choose to watch the wedding where they like. Those who want to be part of the buzz around the castle can easily get to the heart of Windsor or find a cosy pub to watch the big event. With the wedding taking place from 2pm, guests will have plenty of time in the morning to cruise and explore. They can even journey down the river and watch from the comfort of their sundeck as the couple arrive, and then leave the castle as newlyweds. 

A Weekend Getaway or as Part of a Longer Cruise

The moorings at Windsor MDL Marina can be booked as part of an exclusive supplementary package added to bookings on the Thames over the Royal Wedding weekend. Le Boat is also offering a two-night return cruise from Chertsey available on seven boats (sleeping two to ten guests), including the moorings in MDL Marina, from Friday May 18th  to Sunday May 20th. What better way to extend the jubilation than by making a mini holiday out of it?

While the town of Windsor is guaranteed to be overflowing with royal watchers leading up to the wedding, you can even avoid the crowds and take in the festivities while sipping a cup of tea on the deck of your very own private luxury cruiser come wedding day.

Le boat offers eight different Thames River itineraries for a once in-a-life-time experience wherein you can wake up every morning in a different quaint English village and enjoy views of the castles and rolling green countryside from your upper deck. Some of the must-see Royal sights include:

Windsor Castle

Famous for being home to the largest inhabited castle in the world is a royal watcher’s paradise. Cast off from the Le Boat base in Chertsey and make your first stop Windsor Castle. See for yourself the opulence and splendor and discover why the couple picked this location for their wedding on May 19, 2018. Pack a picnic and get lost in the immaculately manicured Royal Gardens and be sure to stay for the changing of the guard (try and avoid the temptation to make them smile). Fun Fact: If the Royal Standard at Windsor Castle is flying, The Queen is at home but if you see the Union Flag flying, she’s not in residence.

Eton College

Cruise over to the other side of the Thames and find one the most famous public schools in the world, Eton College. Founded in 1440 by King Henry VI and former alma mater of Prince Harry, Eton has been the place for the elite of British society to educate their children for generations. Take a tour and you may even see the ancient desks and benches that bear the graffiti of generations of former pupils including 19 former British Prime Ministers.

Windsor Racecourse

It’s no secret that the royal family members are equestrian aficionados Harry and Meghan are no exception. This historic racetrack is one of the oldest in the UK dating back to 1866 and is a favourite of the royals. Offering races throughout the spring and summer you can also enjoy live musical performances on Monday nights under the stars.

Wedding Packages

The Royal Wedding Weekend supplementary package, including moorings at MDL marina, decorations and refreshments, costs $699 and must be added to another self-drive cruise on the Thames by calling Le Boat and quoting code RWWM.

The two-night cruise departing Friday 18th May from Chertsey is available from $1,655 on Caprice that sleeps up to six people. This cruise includes moorings at MDL Marina, decorations and refreshments and is also available on Classique Star, Horizon, Horizon 3 and Tango.

Numbers and mooring spaces are extremely limited with only seven boats or packages available and will be provided to customers on a first come, first serve basis.

Sample prices for self-drive cruises on the River Thames:

  • A seven-night self-catered stay on The Royal Cruise from Benson via Windsor on board Horizon that sleeps up to four people departing May 16 is priced from $3,011 per boat. No boating license or experience is needed.
  • A seven-night self-catered stay on The Majestic Cruise from Benson via Windsor on board Horizon 3 that sleeps up to eight people departing 18 May is priced from $3,827 per boat. No boating license or experience is needed.

Prices include boat rental and accommodation, towels and linen, locks fee, boat-handling demo and on-board cruising information. Travel to/from the base, fuel and Collision Damage Waiver are not included. Bike hire is available from $9 per day for adults; $7 per day for children.

Le boat offers eight different Thames River itineraries, including The Royal Cruise itinerary.

For more information, contact Le Boat on 1-800-734-5491