We look forward to seeing you onboard

Electra Community Cruises 2024

As a community boat, Electra’s brief is to develop cruising opportunities to suit the needs of the diverse population of Milton Keynes. So as well as public trips and private charters, Electra is developing community programmes to give enjoyable waterway experiences to more people.

Sponsored Cruises for Community Groups

Electra serves wide range of guests, including people with disabilities, who come from all local MK postcodes. However, it’s clear that guests do not yet reflect the whole MK population, and that we need to do more to raise awareness and remove barriers of access. Our initial research suggests that barriers can include finance, illness, disability, mental health issues, lack of access, lack of awareness, and cultural barriers relating to use of open space. By offering free or part-funded cruises to groups who will benefit we can start to overcome these barriers and provide enjoyable waterway experiences for all.

So far we’ve arranged over 20 Sponsored Cruises, with funding from a range of sources including the Postcode Lottery Trust, MK Ward Councillors, John Lewis and Waitrose, and Canal & River Trust. Sponsored groups include young people with learning needs, elderly sheltered housing residents with dementia, refugees, stroke survivors, and foster carers.

Our aim is to be able to fund 30 cruises each season. We run an ongoing Appeal Fund – find out more here – and we also invite donations through our online ticketing system and on board. If you would like to become a sponsor or find out how to access a cruise, please contact us at electra@bmkwaterway.org

Special Events in Partnership

We enjoy working with other local organisations to encourage more people to get out and about, on and beside the canal. We run special events and attend local festivals. We’re always looking for new opportunities – please contact us at electra@bmkwaterway.org if you’d like to invite us to work with you. For example:

Walk & Glide Weekends 

Walk and Glide

In partnership with the Parks Trust we run occasional Walk & Glide Weekends. Different three-hour walk/cruise options enabled people to explore more of Milton Keynes’ waterside parkland, and experience the peacefulness of gliding along the canal on an electric boat. The walks, led by Parks Trust volunteers, have stops at points of interest, such as the new Gyosei Art Trail sculptures, or medieval fishponds and ‘ridge and furrow’ farmland. Electra volunteers gave walkers a warm welcome on board, with refreshments available from the Galley Bar.

Heritage Events

Heritage Weekend GLMP
(Photo Credit: Adrian Court)

Electra runs cruises to and from Heritage Open Days events in September at Great Linford Manor Park, plus return cruises from the Park to New Bradwell. Park visitors enjoy popping on board to see the facilities Electra can offer, find out about our cruises, and take a ‘look under the bonnet’ at our bank of batteries as a fully-electric boat. We’re keen to develop links in future with other heritage sites too, and to offer canal history cruises.

Fenny Stratford Canal Festival 

Fenny Festival

Electra runs short cruises at the annual Fenny Stratford Canal Festival organised by volunteers in the Inland Waterways Association MK Branch. It’s a great opportunity to meet potential new volunteers and let people know about our cruises. We donate Gift Vouchers as raffle prizes and look forward to hosting the lucky winners.