Thursday Cruises

We are delighted to announce a series of Socially Distanced Cruises to see in the Autumn on the John Bunyan Boat.

Before you book

To ensure we can comply with Social Distancing guidelines, we are restricting our capacity to 12, which means we can only accept bookings from parties of 2 or 4 people. Each party must be part of the same support bubble.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are only able welcome on board those who;

  • are able to board the boat unassisted (or with minimal assistance from a companion)
  • can wear a mask for the duration of the trip
  • can sit for 1 hour uninterrupted.

Unfortunately, this means we are unable to accept bookings for anyone who would require the lift to board, including wheelchair users, anyone who is medically exempt from wearing a mask, or for small children who would not be able to stay seated for the duration of the cruise. This is to ensure we can protect both passengers and volunteers, and we look forward to welcoming you back on board the John Bunyan Boat very soon. There are no Concession tickets available for these cruises.

The contact details you give when booking your tickets will be stored, as per our existing privacy policy, but we may now, in the event of any outbreak need to pass those contact details to the track and trace system, in the event of an outbreak. By purchasing a ticket you agree to us doing so. Please ensure you put up to date contact information on your booking.

You will be asked to complete some screening questions on the day before boarding the vessel, please read the questions below carefully and if you answer Yes to any question, please do not book a ticket. If your circumstances change and you would answer Yes to any of the questions between booking tickets and your cruise date, please give us a call or email as soon as possible to rearrange your cruise.

Screening Questions

  • Has anybody who lives in your house been diagnosed with Coronavirus in the last 14 days?
  • Have you, or anyone in your household been advised to self-isolate because you have Coronavirus symptoms?
  • Have you been advised to self-isolate because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus?
  • Are you, or anyone in your household suffering from flu, high temperature, new continuous cough or loss or change to sense of smell of taste?
  • Have you been advised to self-isolate because you have entered the UK in the last 14 days?
  • Have you been advised to shield by current government guidance because you are at high risk from Coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)?
  • Are you travelling from an area currently in local lockdown, or an area defined as an Area of Intervention with advice not to travel by Public Health England?

On the day

You will be asked to confirm that you answer No to all the above questions. If you have to answer Yes, you will not be allowed to board and a refund will be arranged (usually within 5 working days.) Boarding will also depend on a temperate check, carried out by our volunteers.

The wearing of a facemask or covering is compulsory on boarding the boat, and throughout the duration of the trip.

Our Volunteer crew will be wearing all appropriate PPE for yours and their protection.

You will be asked to queue at an appropriate distance while boarding. Please pay attention to signage on the shore.

You will be sat facing the bow of the boat in tables of 2. We have space for 1 table of 4 per trip, you may book this via our website if it is available.

We have one toilet on board, which will be open during the cruise. We ask that you do not queue to use the toilet. If you are unsure if it is free, please ask a cabin crew member.

Unfortunately, no food or drink will be available to be consumed on board. You are welcome to bring a bottle of water if you need to, but please do not remove your masks more than is necessary.

Thursday Afternoon 1 hr Socially Distanced cruise Embankment Cruise

Sovereign’s Quay and return departing at 2pm and 3.30pm

Enjoy the Embankment from a different point of view! Cruise along the River Great Ouse before returning to Riverside Square.

Table for 2 £14 / Table for 4 £26

3rd Sept / 10th Sept / 17th Sept / 24th Sept

Click here to book your tickets


3 - Thursday Afternoon Cruise

Sovereigns Quay to Cardington and return - 2 hour cruise departing at 2.30pm

Cruise under the historic Town Bridge past Bedford Castle mound and then through the Town Lock, and along the tranquil river to Cardington lock. Licensed Bar available on board.

Adult £13 / Concession £11 / Child £9 /Family £31

If you're booking in advance, you can also book the following refreshments in addition to your ticket.

Cream Tea £6 / Ploughman's Lunch £7.50 (add 75p for Gluten-free option) / Picnic Box £9.

2020 Cruise Dates: 14th May/ 28th May / 11th June / 25th June / 9th July / 23rd July / 6th Aug/ 20th Aug /    3rd Sept / 17th Sept / 1st Oct / 15th Oct 

Tip: to book, click the link below and select THURSDAY CRUISES from the drop-down menu. Select the date of your cruise, and then select your tickets. Click on ORDER TICKETS. The next screen will offer you FOOD OPTIONS available on your selected cruise. Select the food you would like, then add the quantity. You will then be taken through for payment.

Click here to book your tickets and food


2 - Thursday Walkers Special Cruise

Priory Marina to Sovereigns Quay, returning on foot - 45 minute cruise departing at 1.30pm

Join the boat at Priory Marina, cruise upriver through Bedford Town Lock, along the Embankment and under the historic Town Bridge to Sovereigns Quay. Disembark and make your own way back to Priory Marina. Licensed bar available on board.

Adult £6 / Concession £5 / Child £4 / Family £14

Please note this ticket is valid for a one way journey only, and can not be used for a return journey.

2020 Cruise Dates: 14th May/ 28th May / 11th June / 25th June / 9th July / 23rd July / 6th Aug/ 20th Aug /    3rd Sept / 17th Sept / 1st Oct / 15th Oct 

Tip: to book, click the link below and select THURSDAY CRUISES from the drop-down menu. Select the date of your cruise, and then select your tickets. Click on ORDER TICKETS. You will then be taken through for payment.

Click here to book your tickets


Passengers must arrive 15 minutes before departure time. Bookings close 36 hours before cruise start time. You can still purchase a ticket on board, subject to availability, but not book food.
All cruise times approximate, dependent on river conditions and time spent going through locks.
If the river is in flood, cruises will be re-routed or cancelled and alternative dates or refunds will be given. Please check the latest news before you leave. If you have not pre-booked, please check our Facebook page for last minute changes.
Family tickets are for 2 adults and 2 children.
Concessionary rates are available to pensioners, students, and people with disabilities. Documentary proof may be asked for.
We can reserve provisional places on our public cruises for groups of over 10 people for up to 30 days. Please call our booking line on 01946 69 03 01.

See bookings page for full details. Terms & Conditions apply.