account arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right closecontact-us emailFacebookheart instagramjoin linkedin phonepinterestplaysearch twitteryoutube

Charter Trips

Sit back and enjoy our fantastic waterway. Our private cruises are great for groups, families and parties for up to 43 guests. All our bookings include a qualified skipper and friendly crew, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the cruise. 

Flexible for You

Charter trips can be arranged for any day of the week with timings to suit you. 

An all-day trip would allow for a cruise from the vessel’s base at Paper Mill Lock to see the impressive Sea Lock at Heybridge Basin; or the regenerated basin at Springfield and back to base. The minimum period is 2 hours. 

All vessels are wheelchair and push-chair friendly. See prices for group bookings

Food & Drink

When you book your celebration or a group outing on board our larger boat, Victoria, we can provide food and drinks on board as well as a licensed bar serving hot and cold drinks. See our full catering menu.

Our boats

Victoria

Up to 43 Guests

Victoria is perfect for wedding receptions, celebrations and group outings. The boat can accommodate up to 36 guests seated for food or 43 standing and includes a qualified skipper and crew. Our licensed bar also serves hot and cold drinks. Trips depart from Paper Mill Lock.

Albert

Up to 12 Guests

Albert is a 13.7m narrowboat, ideal for families and groups of up to 12 people and includes a trained skipper (with crew if necessary) and normally operates from Paper Mill Lock.

Blackwater Dawn

Up to 12 Guests

Blackwater Dawn is a widebeam trip boat for up to 12 people with an open forward seating area. Normally operating daily ticket trips from Daisy Meadow Car Park at Heybridge Basin, from Easter until the end of September. Also available for charter bookings and early evening hire.

City Boat

Up to 12 guests

City Boat is Dutch-manufactured polyethylene boat that is reputed to be virtually unsinkable and is designed for recreational trips.  It has an electric outboard and low headroom so we can under the low bridges across Chelmsford City’s rivers.  The boat has been sponsored by Chelmsford Business Improvement District to provide some additional life and colour to the city centre, and offers the opportunity to view the central area from a new perspective.  Trips run on weekends and school holidays until September.

Departure locations

Paper Mill Lock

North Hill, Little Baddow, Chelmsford CM3 4BS

Heybridge Basin

Basin Road, Heybridge Basin, Maldon, CM9 4RR

Book Your Cruise

Contact us to find out more about our cruises and to book your celebration or outing on one of our boats.

  • Customise your cruise
  • Explore our tranquil Navigation
  • Experience the rural Essex countryside

Call 01245 226 245 or email victoria@waterways.org.uk.

Your Questions Answered

Prices

Victoria (36 seated, 43 standing)
2 hours £325  
Extra hours £150 per hour


Albert and Blackwater Dawn (up to 12 people)
£80 for 1 hour, £160 for 2 hours and £40 for every extra hour.

Bookings will be confirmed upon receipt of the deposit (usually 50% of the cost). Balance and food orders will be required 21 days before your trip.

Food & Drink

When you book your celebration or a group outing on board our larger boat, Victoria, we can provide food and drinks on board as well as a licensed bar.  All menu prices are per person.

CREAM TEA BOX – £9.00
Two hand-baked scones (one fruit & one plain) with jam and clotted cream served with tea or coffee.

AFTERNOON TEA BOX – £12.00
A selection of sandwiches (Ham Salad, Cheese & Coleslaw, Egg Mayonnaise & Tomato and Tuna & Sweetcorn) with a selection of cakes, scone, jam & clotted cream served with tea or coffee.

PLOUGHMAN’S BOX – £9.50
Ham & cheese with salad, pickles and coleslaw served with crusty bread served with tea and coffee.

Please let us know if there are any special dietary requirements.  All menu prices are per person.

Weddings

You can book our boats for your wedding reception.  Victoria is the perfect transport from Ulting Church.   We would be pleased to discuss your requirements.

Accessibility

We are fully equipped to accommodate wheelchair users, but we would be grateful to have as much notice as possible as to the number of wheelchairs likely so that we can prepare appropriate seating arrangements for you to enjoy your trip.  

Weather Conditions – Flooding

Victoria and Albert do not cruise when the Navigation is in flood as the boats cannot pass under bridges. Should this occur Victoria or Albert may be used as a static venue at Paper Mill Lock at 50% of the trip cost.  Alternatively a full refund will be offered.  It is more unusual for the Navigation to be in flood at Heybridge Basin, but should this occur, the same terms apply for Blackwater Dawn.

Things to do