Magna Carta barge

Former name: Pia

Specifications of Magna Carta barge

Year of build1936  /  Age: 87
Flag state United Kingdom
Classhotel barge
Speed10 kn / 19 km/h / 12 mph
Length (LOA)36 m / 118 ft
Beam (width)5 m / 16 ft
Gross Tonnage225 gt
Decks with cabins1
Former namesPia
OwnerDominic Read and Geoffrey Temple
OperatorEuropean Waterways Barge Cruises

Magna Carta barge Review

Review of Magna Carta barge

MS Magna Carta barge is a luxury hotel barge (cruise ship) 1936-built in Holland as cargo barge for drybulk cargo shipping (mainly sand) in Belgium. The vessel was drydock converted to a hotel barge in 2001. The conversion project was designed and managed by Dominic Read. The UK-flagged vessel is currently owned by Dominic Read and Geoffrey Temple (shipowners) and operated under charter by European Waterways.

MS Magna Carta barge cruise ship

Upper deck's dining area is part of the saloon (bar lounge) with stylish furnishings and large picture windows. Modern amenities include a sundeck spa pool, underfloor heating, modern en-suite bathrooms in the 4 staterooms (cabin size 200 ft2 / 19 m2). The ship has 4 double cabins (for up to 8 passengers) plus separate crew quarters housing the crew of 5 (master chef, two housekeepers/waiters, deckhand/tour guide and Captain-Pilot).

The vessel has fuel capacity 3 tons and water tanks with capacity 10 tons.


Magna Carta barge cruises on 6-night / 7-day itinerary along Upper Thames River in England, inclusive of guided shore excursions (sightseeing tours). The itinerary (Sunday through Saturday) includes as ports:

  • (Day 1) London - the ship is moored at Hampton Court, boarding is at 4 pm, follows Champagne reception onboard and overnight port stay
  • (Day 2) Hampton Court Palace tour, after-lunch cruising, passing through Molesey Lock, river cruising through Sunbury, Shepperton Lock (overnight mooring)
  • (Day 3) Shepperton departure, cruising to Windsor (onboard lunch), cruising through Chertsey, passing Penton Hook Marina and Bell Weir Lock, afternoon excursion to Windsor Castle
  • (Day 4) bus tour to Dorney Court, follows leisure time in Eton or Windsor, onboard lunch, cruising to Boveney Lock, Boulters Lock, Cliveden (mooring overnight)
  • (Day 5) from Cliveden is visited Cookham, follows touring of Cliveden, onboard lunch, cruising through Bourne End and Marlow to Hurley (overnight mooring)
  • (Day 6) tour of Peter Freebody’s boatyard (traditional wooden boat builder), cruising to Remenham (mooring), onboard lunch, van tour to Oxford, follows the Captain's Farewell Dinner on the ship.
  • (Day 7) onboard breakfast, disembarkation at 9.30 am, bus travel to London Heathrow Airport.

The ship also operates 3-night cruises (departures on Sundays or Wednesdays) and can also be privately chartered with a custom-made itinerary.

Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.

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Magna Carta barge Wiki

  • In 2018, the US travel company Barge Ladies offered 6-day River Thames cruises themed after Harry Potter movies. The voyages were scheduled on the Magna Carta barge, with max booking capacity 8 passengers in 4 rooms. The all-inclusive cruise tour deal included stops at places which appeared in the Harry Potter movie series. The barge was crewed by 6 members, one of whom is a chef preparing Hogwarts-inspired meals.
  • The Harry Potter themed cruises cost USD 36,000 (full barge charter / or USD 6,000 per day). The charter price, even split by 8 (USD 4,500 pp, or USD 750 pp per day) was a pretty expensive barge cruise deal.