River Thames Cruises From London to Oxford

Cruises on the River Thames travel between London and Oxford for overnight cruises. You won’t find large river boats on Thames. Instead you’ll find cruises on smaller barge vessels, which typically accommodate up to an average of twelve passengers. Most itineraries are seven days long and stay within the Thames Valley region of the river.

More commonly, though, you’ll find day and evening cruises on the Thames. Several companies offer scenic cruises through London.

An Interesting Fact: Did you know there is a river with a similar name located in the United States? The Thames River is formed from the confluence of the Yantic and Shetucket rivers in Norwich, Connecticut. It’s a very short river – only about 15 miles long.

River Thames in London

River Thames in London

 By Diliff (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

River Thames Facts

The River Thames is 215 miles long and has over 80 islands. It is the longest river located entirely in England and the second longest river in the United Kingdom.

There are three parts to the river – the Thames Head, Thames Valley and the Thames Estuary. The river begins in Gloucestershire, England where it is referred to as the Thames Head. It flows basically in an easterly direction throughout most of its course.

The Thames Valley extends from Oxford to west London. And the Thames Estuary is the portion of the river from east London to the town of South-end-Sea in Essex, England where the Thames River empties into the North Sea.

River Thames Destinations

Whether you take an overnight cruise or a day or evening cruise on the River Thames, you’ll spend some time cruising through the city of London. The river is lined with many historical sites and popular tourist attractions.

As you cruise through London, you’ll pass under quite a few bridges. The River Thames has 34 bridges just in London! A few of them include the Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the Westminster Bridge.

Westminster Bridge on the River Thames in London, England

Westminster Bridge on the River Thames in London, England

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

In addition to its many bridges, you’ll see many other famous sites along London’s skyline. The Big Ben, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament and the London Eye are all visible from the River Thames. The London Eye – a 443-foot ferris wheel - is one of the city’s most famous and popular attractions. It’s located on the south bank of the Thames.

Other destinations in the Thames Valley are west of London and include Windsor, Henley, Reading and Oxford. During your visit to these cities, you’ll have a chance to see some famous castles like the Hampton Court Palace, the Windsor Castle and the Highclere Castle, which is featured in the television series “Downtown Abbey”.

There are a few companies that offer cruises on the River on the Magna Carta – a river barge boat that carries up to eight passengers. This definitely provides a unique experience for travelers.

Aboard the Magna Carta

By Gloverepp (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

For those who want a customized itinerary, Isabella River Cruises offers cruises to only one party at a time. They do not have a predetermined schedule or route and allow guest to choose what time they want to eat, where they want to go, what they want to see, and how long they want to stay at each destination.

What are others saying about this cruise? Read some reviews here.

Just looking for a 1-day cruise? You’ll also find several options for day cruises and evening cruises on the River Thames.

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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in  river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

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