Boat Trips on the River

Experience Stratford from the River Avon, a cruise is a lovely trip to enhance your tour of Stratford.

Choose from 4 local providers:

Canal and River Tours

We all associate Stratford upon Avon with Shakespeare but not everyone is aware of the town's central role in the busy waterways of the Industrial revolution. Canal and River Tours ensures that your experience leaves you with a deeper understanding of this rich heritage. 

Enjoy the drama of travelling through the town’s historic working lock to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and see the sights from a new perspective. Gain an insight into Shakespeare’s work, the river wildlife, the canal, and its heritage from the light-hearted and lively audio commentary. 

The cruise starts from the most beautiful part of town in the canal basin, next to the main shopping areas, Royal Shakespeare Theatre and refreshment boats. Jennifer May is a modern Dutch Barge, heated and fully covered with unique viewing angles through the glass roof panels, and the capacity to seat up to 60 people in comfort.

The vessel is also fully equipped to effortlessly board and carry wheelchairs, prams and has a fully accessible WC with baby changing facilities.

For more information:

Avon Boating

Covid 19 (Coronavirus) - Limited Offering

From July 4th we will be able to offer a limited number of boats and experiences.

Motor Boats will be available on a first come first served basis with a queue system in place and there is no pre-booking at this time. Due to cleaning and distancing processes, there are currently fewer boats available for hire.

Electric Launches “Elver” and “Flying Duck”  will be available to pre-book online up to 24 hours before and gaps in bookings can be taken on the day on a first come first served basis.

We have your safety and our staff’s safety in mind at all times, so please expect to be asked to wait in a designated place.

Throughout the hire process please be patient and listen to all instructions given by staff.

All of our hire boats and life jackets will be sanitised between uses which may mean that you have to wait a little longer than usual before being invited to a boat and we thank you for your patience.

Experience Stratford from the River Avon, a half hour cruise is a lovely trip to enhance your tour of Stratford.

There are regular departures from the Bancroft Gardens next to the theatre. There is a fleet of different boats available, from rowing boats to punts available to hire by the hour. It is also possible to charter extended cruises on a 1898 coal fired steam including buffets, high teas and river picnics make a perfect venue for corporate events. Bar services are provided on board.

More information at

Bancroft Cruisers

Bancroft Cruisers run 45 minute sightseeing river cruises and private or corporate charters on the beautiful River Avon in the heart of the Shakespeare Country. Based at Stratford upon Avon we are well equipped to provide you and your friends & family with a perfect walk-on sightseeing, or pre-booked bespoke exclusive river cruise for birthdays, anniversaries, pre-wedding parties or anything that floats your boat!

Bancroft Cruisers also run Ghost Cruises in association with Stratford Town Walks and regular Sundowners Champagne & Canapés evening cruises.

Open all year round river conditions permitting on the licensed and fully accessible Rita Ellen or on the Princess Marina, our traditional sightseeing boat.

School parties and coach trips also welcomed. Reduced rates for pre-booking

Trips depart from the Holiday Inn landing stage.

  • Adults: £6.00
  • Concessions (over 65s): £5.00
  • Children (under 16s): £4.00
  • Family £18.00 (2 Adults and Upto 3 Children)

More information at

Countess of Evesham
The Countess of Evesham, nicknamed Stratford's 'Orient Express', is a purpose built 70ft restaurant cruiser. Enjoy a romantic supper along the floodlit banks of the Avon. The Countess enjoys a growing reputation for fine cuisine with a well stocked wine list. Centrally heated the Countess is open throughout the year and offers all the amenities of a top quality restaurant.

Cruising times may be flexible for group bookings

More information at