We look forward to seeing you onboard

Now booking!

Electra: Milton Keynes Community Boat


Electra is a brand-new fully-electric, 54-foot narrowboat that will accommodate up to 12 guests*. It has disabled access, with a lift and a toilet that take wheelchairs up 700mm wide. It’s called a Community Boat because it is run entirely by volunteers and it is open to everyone.

Electra operates out of the new Campbell Wharf development in the heart of Milton Keynes. It offers public cruises, private charters, seasonal specials and ‘park & parish cruises’ for local communities. Each week there’s something for everyone.

* Current restriction: up to 8 guests. See note below about COVID-19.

Now recruiting Shore Roles for the 2022 season!

We’re looking for volunteers to join our friendly Electra team for roles in Sales, Marketing and Outreach ready for the start of the 2022 season. We have paused recruiting for Boat Crew roles until March 2022.  Click here to find out more.

Our cruising programme for November and December 2021

Booking now open for

Autumn Private Charters on Thursday and Saturday mornings – ideal for a meeting or quiet catch-up time with friends and family. Treat yourselves with our Coffee & Cake offer in the first three weeks of November!

Coffee & Cake Public Cruises on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings – treat yourself to “elevenses” on board Electra! Wrap up warm and enjoy the autumn colours outside – you’ll get a different view of Milton Keynes as we glide along the Grand Union Canal. 03 to 24 November.

Christmas Public Cruises and Christmas Private Charters in the period from 27 November until 12 December Electra will be decorated for Christmas and offering ‘Mulled Wine & Mince Pie’ cruises, with both public cruise and private charter options.

Experience the Great Outdoors from indoors – on an Electra Cruise

Autumn is upon us, and winter just around the corner, but that isn’t stopping Electra from getting out on the gorgeous Grand Union! We’ll be running an Autumn/Winter schedule from 03 November after the clocks go back – so wrap up well and join us on board for a tasty hot chocolate or a warming mulled wine. We have heating, but we also need to ensure good ventilation, so we’ll be keeping the front windows open. So make sure you dress for the outdoors, though we will do all we can to ensure you’re as warm as possible indoors!

The autumn and winter months are an amazing time to get outside and enjoy the crisp fresh air. November should give us some great autumn colours– look out for rose hips, fungi and golden leaves along the banks, the sound of the poplar trees, and the sight of starlings in the sky. In December the structure of trees is more dramatic, and visibility along the water’s edge even better. There’s always to see on our cruises – all from the comfort of our saloon, with your choice of hot (or cold if you prefer!) drink in hand. We can’t wait to welcome you on board!

Making a booking

It’s simple to book online. Just select the button for Private Charters, Public Trips, or Gift Vouchers, take a look at what’s available, make your choice, and click through to purchase.

On Public Trip bookings be sure to book a free ticket for any Under-Two and a free Wheelchair ticket if needed in addition to your cruise ticket. Remember to list your pre-ordered food choices.

On Private Charter bookings be sure to add food orders as required for your guests and to insert the numbers of guests and wheelchairs.

For queries about how to make a purchase, or to buy tickets by phone call the Bedford & Milton Keynes Community Boats Ticket Helpline on 01946 848847 (line open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, calls at your network provider’s normal call charge).

. Tickets bought by phone can be emailed (or posted for an additional £2.50).

For queries about Electra or about cruise details, please email the volunteer team on bookings.electra@bmkwaterway.org


All our cruises are designed to be safe and operate within government guidance to ‘proceed with caution’ after 19 July.

Bookings: We are currently restricting guest numbers to eight individuals on all public trips and private charters. We will advertise on social media and on the website when this restriction is lifted.

On the day: Electra is well-ventilated. On arrival, we invite you to sanitise your hands and sign in using the track and trace app, or provide contact details manually. Seating is at four tables for two people. We suggest that you wear a face mask when boarding, leaving, or moving around the boat. If on the day you are suffering Covid symptoms or have been advised to self-isolate, please stay at home. By purchasing a ticket you agree to these conditions.

Where to find Electra at Campbell Wharf

Your tickets are attached to the email you are sent. Please bring them with you on the day of your cruise.

A file called “Ticket More Information” which tells you about parking and arrival and other key Joining Instructions is attached to your email too. It includes a copy of the location map. Download a copy here.


Booking Terms & Conditions

Please check the Terms & Conditions carefully before making your booking.
Click on the button below to download Terms and Conditions for Electra Public Trips and Private Charters.

Please note:

●   Only Assistance Dogs are allowed on board

●   Allow plenty of time to arrive, park and walk to Electra – you must be ready to get on board 10 minutes before the start of your cruise. We cannot hold the boat for late arrivals!

●   Wheelchairs: On Public Cruises each wheelchair user must buy a cruise ticket and in addition book a free wheelchair ticket to make extra space is kept for them on board. On Private Charters the number of guests and wheelchairs/walking frames must be notified as part of the booking

  • Download
  • Booking Electra for your 2022 Private Charter

    Electra Cruises will restart after Winter from 01 April 2022.  We have not yet set the cruising calendar and prices. We will publish these in 01 March 2022, when we can see what the state of Covid is after the winter months.

    However, we recognise that some people will be keen to book in advance Private Charters for specific dates, such as birthdays and other celebrations/events. So we’re introducing a ‘Hold My Date in Spring 2022’ list allowing us to take provisional bookings for April, May, and June 2022 for Thursday and Saturday charters. This will be on a ‘first come first serve basis’.

    Charter times in April – June will remain broadly the same as the 2021 schedule, ie Thursdays and Saturdays at 10.30 am and 2.45pm for a 2 ¼ hour cruise from Campbell Wharf to Linford Wharf and back. There will be at least one food option for morning and afternoon cruises. Anyone holding a provisional date for a Private Charter will be asked to confirm and pay for it by the end of February. If not paid for by this point the date will go on open sale.

    Please email bookings.electra@bmkwaterway.org to pencil in your date.  By late February we will have further information available as to whether we will be able to offer the full charter experience for up to 12 guests in the Spring, at a cost of £150 (excl. food options), or whether we are still restricting guest numbers to a maximum of 8 – and therefore remaining at the same Charter price as in 2021 of £120 (excl. food options).


Electra Special Events

Special Events for October include:

The First Walk and Glide Festival on 16 and 17 October. In partnership with The Parks Trust. Click here for more details

A range of Half-Term cruises in partnership Canal & River Trust: more details soon!

Volunteers wanted!

Now recruiting volunteers for Shore Roles ready for our 2022 season

We’re looking for volunteers to join our friendly team in Sales, Marketing and Outreach to help Electra provide cruises for even more guests in the 2022 season.

We will be recruiting Skippers and Cabin Hosts from March 2022. Watch this space!

What next? If you think you might like to volunteer for one of these roles, fill in an Expression of Interest form by clicking on the EOI button.

If you’re interested in volunteering with Electra, then please fill in and send this form and we’ll contact you as soon as we can.

We look forward to hearing from you!


What's special about Electra?

    A ‘Green’ Boat

    Electra is powered by lead carbon batteries that charge overnight from renewable sources, plus 12 solar panels. This system also powers the dishwasher that lets us use reusable glass and crockery. So zero emissions, less disturbance to wildlife and other canal users, and less waste! We also recycle, and work with local business where we can.

    With Great Facilities

    We can welcome up to 12 guests (currently restricted to max. 8) at tables for two. Our access lift and lavatory take wheelchairs up to 700mm wide. We have a small Galley Bar for refreshments, and there is a digital screen on board. Electra is well ventilated and has heating, for your comfort whatever the weather.

    Run By Volunteer Crew

    We take care of you from start to finish, leaving you free to relax and enjoy your cruise. All of our volunteer Skippers and Cabin Hosts are trained and qualified to offer safe and enjoyable cruises that are open to all – to support the development of the new Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Park.

    Offering Food Options …  

    We will be serving tasty treats on some public trips, starting with Cream Tea and Fish & Bubbles Cruises. Cream teas can also be booked on private charters. Part of our green agenda is to source food and drink from local suppliers where we can. We’re starting small but will add more options soon!

     … And A Galley Bar

    Electra’s card-only Galley Bar serves hot, cold and alcoholic drinks, plus a few snacks. It’s small, but we aim is to provide something for everyone to enjoy on board – including fresh ground coffee, prosecco, and Electra’s very own craft beer. Once we have an onshore store, we’ll be able to offer even more!

    Giving You A Different View Of Milton Keynes

    Watch the world go by through our large picture windows that bring you eye-to-eye with the swans. Stand in the bow to enjoy the breeze and take photos of a memorable trip, as we glide through parkland, past waterside art and wildlife. You’re guaranteed a different view of Milton Keynes on Electra!

Founding Sponsors & Supporters

The Trust is delighted to have worked with a wide range of Founding Sponsors and Supporters to bring Electra to Milton Keynes. Electra proudly carries their names on panels on both sides of the boat.


Partnerships with local catering suppliers

Part of Electra’s ‘green agenda’ is to reduce food-miles by buying from local businesses wherever we can. So far our volunteer team has created links with:

●   Camphill Milton Keynes cafe for scones
●   JamMK in Walnut Tree
●   Moore’s Fish & Chips in Oxley Park
●   Concrete Cow Brewery for beer (one of their new Local Heroes range of beers is named after Electra and is for sale on board in a souvenir bottle)
●   The Willen Ice Cream Company for a selection of artisan ice creams (once our freezer is available)
●   Caron’s Cakery Cake artist

We are keen to develop further relationships with local catering supplies in the Milton Keynes area, so please get in touch with us at cabinhost.electra@bmkwaterway.org

Why is the Trust doing this?

The Milton Keynes Community Boat will give the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust a presence at the heart of the city, in the newly developed Campbell Wharf area.

The boat will cruise on the Grand Union canal through eleven parishes and many areas of parkland from Fenny Stratford to Cosgrove, where it will:

  • raise the profile of the Trust at the western end of the route
  • bring in new Trust members and volunteers in Milton Keynes
  • raise additional funds to enable the work of the Trust
  • enable residents and visitors to make more use of the canal and the parks it runs through
  • help to improve the canalscape and increase community activity along the route
  • demonstrate the local health, economic and social benefits that waterway parks can bring

Find out more

View our News & Events page for details of the next public meeting. All are welcome.

Follow us on social media @ElectraBoatMK

The team is keen to hear from local people who are interested in the project and would like to share their ideas and experiences about cruises in Milton Keynes, and maybe get involved – there are many different volunteering opportunities giving the chance to get involved in an exciting project from the outset.

Electra is very much a ‘community boat’ as we will be working with councils, businesses, charities and community groups to reach out and serve everyone in Milton Keynes. For example, the schedule will include a number of sponsored cruises for local disadvantaged, isolated or disabled groups, who would not normally have access to the canal and associated parkland. This will be achieved through partnerships with The Parks Trust, canal-side Parishes and Borough Wards, as well as local businesses and charities – and national charities like the Postcode Community Trust. We’re keen to hear from potential partners too.

Contact the Electra Team electra@bmkwaterway.org

There’s enthusiastic support for the Milton Keynes Community Boat … please join us!