Frequently Asked Questions



How much does it cost?

Check out our public cruise prices and charter prices

Is the boat available on the date we want?

Check the public cruise timetable or email for charter availability.

If I book more than one trip can I get a discount?

Discounts are available on charter bookings – see charter prices or email

Do you offer concessions on public cruises?

Yes. Concessionary rates are available to pensioners, students, and people with disabilities. Documentary proof may be asked for. See bookings page for full details.

What are the ages for the child tickets?

Child tickets apply to children aged 5-16. Infants aged 0-5 need a zero cost infant ticket.

Are there discounts for group bookings?

We offer discounts for community groups and education groups who charter the boat. Small community groups may find it better value to block book places on a public cruise.
There are no discounts for group bookings on public cruises.

Can I get a refund if I cancel?

If you wish to make a cancellation: Tickets for public cruises may be rescheduled or cancelled up to two full days before the trip. Cancellations are subject to a £12 administration fee.
Charter cancellations depend on timing and are covered by the Charter Terms & Conditions.


How many people does the John Bunyan carry?

Our passenger limit is 50 people. For school trips this includes children and staff.

Do you provide refreshments?

Yes we have a café/bar offering a range of drinks and snacks and you can pre-order ploughman’s lunches and cream teas on every public cruise.
We also offer a charter menu and bar list, please see our brochure.

What drinks does your bar serve?

Our bar stocks beers and lagers, wine, a small range of pre-mixed drinks and soft drinks. The brochure gives details.

Can we bring our own?

The John Bunyan boat is a licensed premise. No alcohol may be brought on board on public cruises.
On charter cruises you may provide your own food and drink; loading, bar and catering charges will apply.

Is there a toilet on board?

Yes. The toilet is accessible for Wheelchair users.

Is the boat heated?

Yes, and it has large glass windows so you will be snug in spring and autumn.

Are there breaks for smokers?

There are no breaks on public cruises.
Breaks may be possible on charters but must be arranged with the Boatmaster.

Can my dog come on board?

Guide or Assistance Dogs only.


Where do you sail from?

The John Bunyan boat is based at Priory Marina. Charters normally depart from there.
Public cruises depart from Sovereign’s Quay in Bedford Town Center – wait for the boat by our bright blue noticeboard there.

Wheelchair Access

The John Bunyan boat is equipped with an access lift and an accessible toilet all wheelchair users will board first and depart last.


Priory Marina. There is plenty of free parking for both coaches and cars at Priory Marina. Please follow the signs and the instructions we will give you for coaches.
Sovereigns Quay. Car Parking is available at Prebend Street (surface Level, Pay & Display) from the car park, head north on Prebend Street, then cross the road to join the Embankment path and follow the river east to the Quayside. Harpur Shopping centre and River Street car park are also close by. Please check times and payment terms carefully. Coaches can drop off/pick up on Horne Lane.
Newnham Steps. The mooring point for our Cruise Plus cruises and cruises booked through the Swan Hotel is located at the junction of Newnham Street and the Embankment, opposite Castle Mount, and should not be confused with Town Bridge Steps, slightly further upstream, directly outside the Swan Hotel. The closest car park is Lurke Street Car Park, and coaches can drop off at Castle Lane.

Where do your trips go - what can we see?

Take a look at our public cruise and charter cruise route descriptions to help you decide. We like all the cruises – each one has something different and special to see, and it’s always relaxing out on the river.

Are there trolleys to help with loading?

Yes, these can be made available please request at time of booking.

Can we decorate the boat for our party?

Yes of course, within safety regulations. Please ask at the time of booking.

How early can we board to decorate the boat?

This depends on what is happening prior to your charter. Access times must be arranged when you book your charter.

Can you recommend a DJ?

Yes. Put this on your Charter Booking Form and we’ll discuss options with you.

What do I wear?

Whatever you will feel comfortable in for your cruise! The boat has windows and a heater so dress normally for the weather at the time of year you are cruising. You may prefer flat shoes for getting aboard.