Boats for Groups

Organising a boat trip for a group

Visit

This page is all about organising the charter of a boat for a group boat trip to or from the London Canal Museum, as part of your visit. It is great to not only find out about the rich canal history of London in the museum, but also to get out on the canal on board a boat. Everyone loves a boat trip! If you want a boat trip for a handful of people you are on the wrong page. Go to our scheduled boat trips page. This page is about groups of at least 10 people.

A Few Important Points

Two Types of Boat

Group of people on a boat, on the canal, seen from inside boat at rear

Using a scheduled boat

If you do not have enough people in your group for a private boat charter, you can book places on one of the regular passenger boats which run between Camden and Little Venice. To get to Camden, from the museum, either:

The routes

A boat trip in conjunction with a museum visit is an ideal way to really experience the atmosphere of the Regent's Canal and view the buildings and sights of the canal from the water. There are two routes that you can follow:

Choosing a Route

Choosing How to Do It

Number in Group Suggested Plan
1-9 You don't count as a group. Go to our boat trips page
10-12 Charter one community boat
13-24 Charter one community boat and run two trips. Some visit the museum whilst the others are afloat.
25-36 Charter one community boat and run three trips, an hour apart. Whilst some are afloat, the others are in the museum.
37-48
  • Charter two community boats and run two trips, two boats per trip, leaving an hour apart. Whilst half the group are afloat, half are in the museum.
  • Alternatively, hire one commercial boat for the whole group for either an out-and-back trip or a one-way trip to or from Camden or Paddington
49 - 72 Charter a commercial boat either for an out-and-back tunnel trip, or a one-way trip to or from Camden or Paddington.
73 - 98 Charter a commercial boat. There is one that takes 80, another takes 98 for shorter journeys such as Camden to/from the museum. Alternatively split the group and charter more than one boat.
99 or more You will definitely need two boats and we will need to plan the boating and museum visit carefully. The party will need to be split into two for the boat trips and it would be sensible to stagger the refreshment services in the museum if tea/coffee is wanted.

Itinerary ideas

These are just examples - you can plan your day to suit your group:

  1. A group of 50 arrive at the museum at 1030. They have an introductory talk on arrival and then coffee at 1100. They look around until 1215 when they head off to a nearby restaurant for lunch, returning to the museum at 1345 for a one-way boat cruise to Paddington, which ends close to the station for easy transport home. (alternatively, they have a packed lunch on the boat, leaving earlier)
  2. A group of 24 people arrives at the museum at 1330. After a short introduction, 12 group members embark on a community narrowboat for a trip through Islington Tunnel whilst the others enjoy the museum. At around 1445 the first group to take a boat trip is back, and the second 12 group members go for a boat ride, whislt the first group visit the museum. The visit is over at around 1600.
  3. A group of 35 go to Paddington in the morning where a boat is waiting. They board the boat, and are served morning coffee and later a buffet lunch during a cruise to the museum, arriving early afternoon. Introductory talk followed by museum visit. Staff give directions to the plentiful public transport options.
  4. Arrive at museum 1100. Guide gives you an introduction and is then available to answer questions whilst group members look around informally. At 1300 go to a local pub or cafe for lunch, or group members choose their own lunch arrangements individually. Museum staff offer directions to nearby facilities. At 1400 assemble back at the museum for a guided towpath walk to Camden. At 1530 arrive at Camden and board a boat for a trip to Little Venice. The day ends around 1630. Group members travel home from Little Venice by bus, train or Underground.
  5. A group of 48 people hires two community boats. They all arrive at 1100, have a short introduction to the museum, and then divide into two groups. The organiser has given them a choice of "tunnel or locks" and knows who is in which group. 24 people do a "locks" return trip to Camden on two boats, the others explore the museum. When the boats get back, about 90 minutes later, the two groups change places and the second group goes for a trip. This trip goes through the tunnel and back, returning in about an hour. Packed lunches that they have brought with them can be eaten on the boat or in the museum. The museum provides tea/coffee at around 1220 to 1240.
  6. A group of 60 people on a tight budget visits the museum starting at 1400. They have booked a community boat for a half-day. After an introductory talk the boat starts taking members of the group for a short cruise, 12 at a time, each trip lasting about 15-20 minutes. After 5 trips, everyone has enjoyed a short cruise. Visit ends around 1600.

Refreshments

Ask your boat company about providing refreshments or food on board. Generally this will be possible on the commercial boats.

Reccommended Boats

Click on small picture for larger picture Boat Name(s) Base location Boat Operator Capacity Description
Wide boat My Fair Lady against backdrop of buildings My Fair Lady Camden Walker's Quay 98 A fully enclosed, heated, all-year-round hospitality boat with full kitchen facilities. Can be chartered to bring large groups to the museum or can provide a restaurant cruise departing from or arriving at the museum for a smaller number of people.
The Prince Regent The Prince Regent Paddington The Floating Boater 80 Enclosed luxury hospitality boat with full kitchen for dinners etc. Can be chartered to bring large groups to the museum for a function, or can provide a restaurant cruise departing from or arriving at the museum for a smaller number of people. An open air deck is provided at the front.
The Jenny Wren, traditional narrowboat Jenny Wren Camden Walker's Quay 72 A traditional narrowboat with open accommodation perfect for summer trips, but with protection in the event of rain.
Dusk Till Dawn Dusk Till Dawn Paddington Jason's Trip 36 A fully enclosed, wide beamed party boat with hospitality facilities and heating.
Historic narrowboat Lapwing Lapwing Paddington The Floating Boater 30 A fully enclosed historic narrowboat with hospitality facilities
Narrowboat Jason Jason Paddington Jason's Trip Approx 48 One of the oldest working narrowboats on the canal system, Jason is a traditional boat with open accommodation pefect for summer trips, but with protection in the event of rain. Availability is very limited during the summer season as this boat is operating a scheduled service.
Historic narrowboat Tarporley Tarporley King's Cross Camden Canals and Narrowboat Association 12 A historic narrowboat with a small open deck at the front.
Narrowboat Angel Angel II Islington Islington Community Canal Boat Trust 12 A modern narrowboat with a small open deck at the front.
Pitate clun boats in lock Pirate Viscount and another boat Camden (west) The Pirate Club 12 each A pair of narrowboats with a small open decks at the front. The Club's new boat will be accessible to disabled persons - available from July 2011
Narrowboat Lady Mildmay, with open front Lady Mildmay and Opportunity Hackney Laburnum Boat Club 12 each A pair of smaller narrowboats that have both enclosed cabins and large open decks at the front, making them versatile in unpredictable weather. Lady Mildmay (pictured) is wheelchair accessible.
Floating Classroom Beauchamp the Electric Barge Beauchamp Paddington The Beauchamp Lodge Settlement 60 A large electric barge designed as a floating classroom. This boat tends to be slower than other boats so plenty of time has to be allowed for trips on board. It is fully enclosed with heating.