Experience the John Bunyan Boat

Charter Cruises

The John Bunyan Boat offers you a unique and fascinating venue to impress your guests with a private river cruise. We can cater for every occasion as you cruise along the river, simply relax and admire the scenery or enjoy dancing and entertainment on board. Hold your next meeting / small conference, Business promotion or product launch.

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Special Occasions

Hold a drinks reception with a difference! The John Bunyan Boat is the perfect venue to celebrate your wedding day, engagement reception, and special wedding anniversaries. Enjoy a cruise at a time to suit you and your guests, just let us know your requirements and we will cater for them.

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Private & Corporate

Be it a special birthday, anniversary, school trip, corporate function, training event, award ceremonies, Business promotion, marketing event or meeting with a difference, give the team a call and we will be happy to discuss your ideas and help you choose the right cruise for you.

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Community Groups

We welcome charter bookings from all community groups and voluntary groups and offer a 10% discount to Registered Charities and Voluntary Organisations. We also take group bookings on public cruises, where we can arrange ploughman’s lunches and cream teas as well.

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Schools, Colleges & Youth Groups

We can work with you to turn the boat into a floating classroom. We offer a 25% discount for cruises on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We are limited to a total of 50 passengers (includes children and staff) for groups greater than 50 we can offer a “Split Cruise”.

For more information on cruise routes, pricing and T&Cs, download our charter brochure

‘Cruise Plus’ Day Tours

Discover little-known gems on a day tour to Bedford! On the banks of the beautiful River Great Ouse, just over an hour from London, Oxford and Cambridge, the historic market town of Bedford has a treasure chest of delights.

The John Bunyan boat team has teamed up with arts, leisure and cultural providers in Heritage Bedford to run “Cruise Plus” Day Tours on Tuesdays to Saturdays from April to October for groups of 30-50 people.

Download brochure
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Cruise…

At the heart of every tour is a relaxing 90-minute lunchtime cruise through the heart of the town on the new John Bunyan all-weather trip boat, with a fully licensed bar, galley café and catering service.

…Plus

Add your choice of morning and/or afternoon visits to one or more of Bedford’s star heritage attractions, all within 10 minutes easy walk of each other, the town centre and the riverside gardens:

  • John Bunyan Museum and Bunyan Meeting reveal the life of the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress
  • The Higgins Bedford offers superbly displayed local collections of art and design and local history
  • Town Trail highlights key people and places in Bedford’s 1000-year story, including Castle Mound
  • Panacea Museum tells the story of a unique 20th century religious community.

Book now!

For bookings, call us on 0330 1239 511 or email charters@johnbunyanboat.com

Upriver Cruise Routes

Enjoy a relaxing cruise through Bedford’s picturesque countryside, to discover Bedford's countryside including the unique pyramid! 12th century mound of Bedford Castle, passing the Guru Nanak Gurdwara temple in Queens Park, Kempston Outdoor Centre and on towards Kempston Mill

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Enjoy a relaxing cruise upstream from Priory Marina through the Bedford Town Lock, passing St Pauls Church which can be viewed as we approach Town Bridge and then continuing upstream to Sovereigns Quay and under County Bridge before turning back.

Enjoy a relaxing 3 hour cruise from Priory Marina through the Bedford Town Lock, passing St Pauls Church which can be viewed as we approach Town Bridge and then continuing upstream to Sovereigns Quay and under County Bridge. We continue up to Queens Bridge where you can catch a glimpse of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara temple in Queens Park, before turn around and head downstream towards the Barns Hotel. Before turn around and heading back to Priory Marina for disembarkation.

Enjoy a relaxing cruise through Bedford’s picturesque countryside, to discover Bedford's unique pyramid! Navigate the Town lock, and then see the 12th century mound of Bedford Castle before going under the historic Town Bridge, calling at Sovereigns Quay to pick up additional passengers, before cruise upriver passing the Guru Nanak Gurdwara temple in Queens Park, Kempston Outdoor Centre and on towards Kempston Mill before returning.

Downriver Cruise Routes

Enjoy and relax on the John Bunyan Boat cruise, down river through Bedford’s picturesque countryside and river wildlife as we cruise downstream towards Great Barford we will pass through; Cardington Lock, skirting Priory Country Park and Nature Reserves, Castle Mill Lock, Earthworks at Willington as we make our way to Great Barford.

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Enjoy a relaxing cruise through Bedford’s picturesque countryside and river wildlife as we cruise downstream to Cardington Lock, skirting Priory Country Park and Nature Reserves as we go through Cardington lock, towards Castle Mill Lock before turning around to return to Priory Marina.

Enjoy a relaxing cruise through Bedford’s picturesque countryside and river wildlife as we cruise downstream to Cardington Lock, skirting Priory Country Park and Nature Reserves as we go through Cardington lock, towards Castle Mill Lock. We continue through Castle Mill Lock past Bedford River Valley Park at Willington before returning to Priory Marina. This cruise can include a stop / meal at the Barns Hotel by prior arrangement and return by Coach to Priory Marina.

Enjoy and relax on the John Bunyan Boat premier cruise, for a 3 hour down river cruise through Bedford’s picturesque countryside and river wildlife as we cruise downstream to Cardington Lock, skirting Priory Country Park and Nature Reserves as we go through Cardington lock, towards Castle Mill Lock. We continue through Castle Mill Lock past Bedford River Valley Park at Willington. After passing the earthworks at Willington we make our way to Great Barford.
Taking a break for an hour before returning back to Priory Marina, the Premiere cruise can be combined with a meal at “The Anchor Inn and Restaurant” then return either by boat or more quickly by coach at additional cost). If returning by coach the price for a one way 3 hour cruise or return by boat remains the same as the 7 hour price.

What our customers say

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  •   Went on the John Bunyan boat as a group of approx 30.The weather was mixed - heavy showers & lovely sunshine, but it doesn't matter what the weather is like... read more

    TravellingSmilingxxx
    8/06/2019

      When our friends booked this evening cruise with Soul Music we expected a melodic evening sailing gently down the river Ouse. What we got completely destroyed a potentially lovely cruise.... read more

    DaveArtBedford
    8/19/2019
  •   We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. What a beautiful way to see Bedford. Loved every minute. What a great team!
    Best wishes
    Irene Grant-Jones

    SingingBlonde
    8/07/2019

      Great fun, the crew were polite and knowledgeable concerning the route and the cream tea was good. Wish we had booked the 4 hour cruise instead of from the quay... read more

    Michael G
    8/16/2019
  •   What a fantastic evening on the John bunyan.... a cruise down the ouse with perfect weather and great tunes of soul and Motown this a private charter so I was... read more

    audratimmins
    8/29/2019

      If there is anybody out there interested in superb soul music, get on the Soul Boat Bedford for a great soulful afternoon/evening. NOT TO BE MISSED.

    Raymondo65
    8/29/2019