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River Cruise Experience

River Thames, Oxford   

• Enjoy an Oxford River Thames cruise
• Hear the history of the river from your skipper
• See ancient Folly Bridge and more..
• Available between April and December

What's Included

• Enjoy an Oxford River Thames cruise in an elegant Edwardian style River Launch
• Hear the history of the river from your skipper
• See ancient Folly Bridge, Christchurch College, the College boat houses and Iffley Lock
• 'River Experience' cruises last 50 minutes
• 'Spirit of Oxford' cruises last two and a half hours

What Can I Expect

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!


• Available on selected days between April and October
• Boarding is 15 minutes prior to departure
• 'River Experience Cruise' departure times 11.00 - 16:30
• 'Spirit of Oxford' cruises depart at 12:30pm


• On the River Thames with departures from No.1 Folly Bridge, Oxford

Suitable For

• Clothing should be suitable to the weather of the day
• Hats and sunscreen are advisable on hot days
• No high heels may be worn
• Buoyancy aids are available
• Under 18's must be accompanied by a fare paying adult
• No pets
• There is no wheelchair access but assistance can be given to those with a limited mobility to board the craft
• Adult tickets 16 years and older, Child tickets for under 16's

Anything Else

• A bar is available to purchase refreshments


Average Rating 5
Total Reviews 2
Recommend to Friend 2
about 5 years ago
We had a fabulous trip on the river in Oxford.......not the Thames, the Isis.......the trip took you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and out into the beautiful countryside....we stopped halfway at The Perch at Binsey ......the weather was perfect, the company on the boat (only eight of us) was good and the staff most helpful....we had a wonderful time
about 8 years ago
I bought this for my husband and I as his Christmas present to introduce him to another side of Oxford, as I had lived nearby but he doesn't know it well. It was perfect. We arrived early and had a drink by the river first, then embarked with our fellow passengers. About 12 of us, around 2 tables so there was plenty of room. We were sitting at the back of the boat near the captain, which turned out to be the best place to be as we could hear what he was saying very clearly. There was no microphone so the people at the other end of the boat may have struggled. No one complained though so it might have been fine. The food was already plated on the tables and covered in cling film. A very nice mixed plate of cold meats and salmon, cheese, quiche and salad. With strawberries and cream for dessert. We were asked what we wanted to drink, most people had wine, and some had soft drinks, and there were bottles and carafes of water on the table. Our captain, Pete (I think), was fantastic. Very knowledgable about Oxford, history in general and full of interesting anecdotes. He even ended up reciting a Shakespeare sonnet at one point which suited our location in Oxford, and the beautiful scenery we were gliding through, perfectly. We were lucky with the weather but it was drizzling a bit when we embarked. There are covers that can be zipped down though, so we wouldn't have got wet. It would have been a shame if it had continued but wouldn't have ruined it. All in all. I can heartily recommend this as the perfect way to spend a summer evening in Oxford. And very reasonably priced I thought.
River cruise
River Cruise Experience
Spirit of Oxford River Cruise
Total Price£44.00
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