What can I expect on the day
Discover all the sights of this historic university town from the water on one these Oxford River Cruises! Choose between a River Experience Cruise or Spirit of Oxford excursion and skip all the tiresome traipsing around the city on foot. Instead, relax and enjoy the sights from the comfort of a motor launch - an ideal activity for couples, families and small groups alike.
All boats will depart from a lovely little decked docking area next to the famous Folly Bridge in the centre of Oxford, for an afternoon river cruise on the calm waters of the Thames that flows right through the middle of town. We advise booking early, as boat trips are always really popular during the main summer tourist season in Oxford.
The Oxford River Experience lasts 50 minutes cruising along one of the busiest stretches of the Thames, winding through the city centre with punts, university rowing boats and private pleasure cruisers all sharing the waters. Your captain knows this route and the history all around you very well and he’s sure to regale you with knowledgeable facts and stories to accompany the sights you’ll see, from the famous universities and colleges, to the picturesque ancient bridges that straddle this legendary waterway.
Taking a more leisurely two and half hours, the Spirit of Oxford cruise follows in the footsteps of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell’s river journey as they created the iconic children’s novel, Alice in Wonderland. Along this route, you’ll come across Port Meadow, an area of common land almost unchanged since prehistoric times, as well as the village of Godstow and Trout Island, inspiration for the magical, imaginary land of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. You’ll then loop back to take in the key waterside locations of Oxford, in the same manner as the shorter River Experience.
Both river cruises offer several departures per day during high season. Boats used are Edwardian-style river launches, capable of taking up to 50 passengers on the sightseeing tours of historic Oxford. Fully restored with a teak interior, the launch is both quiet and comfy, as it's electric powered.
Trips on these historic floating pleasure boats make for an unforgettable introduction to the academic world of one of Europe’s oldest university towns, providing photo opportunities from a refreshing new angle. For anyone with an interest in history, architecture or simply with an appreciation for beautiful surroundings, our Oxford River Cruises are surely worth a punt!
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