Boats for Groups

Organising a boat trip for a group


This page is all about organising a boat trip for a group of at least ten people, 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 nine or fewer 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

London Canal Museum Boat Trips

We operate boat trips on:

Boat emerging from tunnel mouth, greenery either side.

The maximum number of people on any one boat is 12. However you can split your group between boats. Whilst some people are on the water, others are in the museum, and then they change places. This is ideal for groups of up to 36, split between up to 3 different trips

The charge per person for groups (10 or more) on scheduled trips is 12 per head including museum entry. The trip lasts about 50 minutes and passes through Islington Tunnel, which is around three-quarters of a mile long

Group visits are arranged through our grouups co-ordinator. Email and ask for a call-back or give details of your requirements if you already have them.

Group boat trip prices

Ticket Tunnel trip Cream tea Long trip Short trip
Adult 16-64 14 23 28 10
Concession 12 21.00 26 9
Child 0-15 8 16 21 7

Reminder: The above prices are for customers in groups of 10 or more using scheduled public boat trips. There is no group price for historic boat trips.

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 or book on a scheduled trip via our group co-ordinator
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. Alternatively at higher cost charter a commercial boat.
  • 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. Book direct with the operator.
73 - 98 Charter a commercial boat. There is one that takes 72, another takes 98 for shorter journeys such as Camden to/from the museum. Book direct with the operator.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. Book commercial boats direct with the operator. 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 24 people arrives at the museum on a day when tunnel boat trips are running. After a short introductory talk by a staff member 12 of them set off on a pre-booked tunnel trip whilst the others drink coffee and begin visiting the exhibitions in the museum. About an hour later the first 12 return and the second 12 go afloat
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Boats from Camden to Paddington

Another option is to book places on one of the regular passenger boats that run between Camden and Little Venice. To get to Camden, from the museum, either:

Routes - private charter

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 for a private charter


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

Reccommended Boats

Click or tap on a small picture to see a larger picture

Picture Boat Name Base Location Boat Operator Capacity Description
Wide boat My Fair Lady against backdrop of buildings My Fair Lady Camden Town 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 Jenny Wren, traditional narrowboat Jeny Wren Camden Town Walker's Quay 72 A traditional narrowboat with open accommodation perfect for summer trips, but with protection in the event of rain.
Floating Classroom Beauchamp the Electric Barge Beauchamp Paddington The Beauchamp Lodge Settlement 60 An electric wide-beamed 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.
Narrowboat Jason Jason Paddington Jason's Trip 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.
Narrowboat Freda Freda Islington The Copper Quay 42 Built in 2016, this narrowboat is locally-based and offers sheltered or open accommodation according to the weather.
Historic narrowboat Tarporley Tarporley King's Cross Hidden Depths 12 A traditional historic narrowboat with small open front deck
Narrowboat Long Tom Long Tom Islington Angel Community Canalboat Trust 12 A purpose-designed passenger boat jointly owned by Angel CCT and London Canal Museum. Charters are arranged direct with ACCT but for groups visiting the museum our Groups Co-ordinator will make arrangements.
Narrowboat Angel Angel II Islington Angel Community Canalboat Association 12 A traditional narrowboat with open front deck
Narrowboat Lady Mildmay, with open front Lady Mildmay and Opportunity Hackney Laburnum Boat Club 12 A pair of short-length narrowboats with large open front decks that enable all passengers to sit outside if they wish.
Picture to be added Pirate Viscount Camden Town (west) The Pirate Club 12 A narrowboat with open front deck
Pirate Castle boats in lock Pirate Prince Camden Town (west) The Pirate Club 12 An accessible wide-beamed boat with spacious accommodation on board designed with disabled persons in mind.