The John Bunyan Community Boat announces the 2022 Cruise Program.


April to September will see the familiar sight of the blue and white John Bunyan Community Boat gracing the River Great Ouse in and around Bedford. Over 50,000 passengers have enjoyed cruising on the vessel in the past 9 years on various trips, from Kempston in the West to Great Barford in the East. Manned entirely by volunteers for the benefit of the residents of Bedford and surrounding districts.


Now is the time book a trip on the boat and enjoy the Spring sunshine and calming waters of the river. It is hard to improve on a peaceful and tranquil meander through the countryside around Bedford or enjoy views of the town and Embankment from a new vantage point, whilst taking refreshments from the galley.


This summer the John Bunyan Community Boat will be retaining popular cruises from previous years plus introducing a gin tasting in conjunction with The Secret Bar, curry night in conjunction with Thali and Tandoor on the 12th May, history cruises and Irish nights with Inis Eire. As part of the community the John Bunyan’s aim is to provide something for everyone whilst involving local businesses.


Check the John Bunyan website for new and existing events                          


Children will be able to enjoy popular EyeSpy cruises along the Embankment during school holidays, new History cruises in conjunction with the Mercure Bedford Central Hotel and Family Walkers trips on a Thursday. All designed to give mum, dad and grandparents something to keep the little ones occupied outside term time.

Two popular returning adult cruises are the Wednesday Mercure Bedford Afternoon Tea Cruise. Following a leisurely cruise from Priory Marina, disembark at St. Mary’s Garden and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea, prepared by Will Smith – a finalist on T.V.’s professional master chef. Whilst savouring the spectacular view over the Town Bridge, Embankment and river before boarding and cruising back to Priory Marina.

Departing from Newnham Road Steps on Thursday evenings will be the popular music cruises Jazz, Irish, Motown. The Embankment Hotel will be offering a pre-cruise gourmet meal at a discount for all revellers.

For those looking for a special treat a Wednesday three-hour cruise from Bedford Priory Marina, buffet lunch at the Anchor Great Barford, followed by a coach trip back to the Marina is highly recommended. Along with Thursday and Sunday Afternoon Public Cruises towards Kempston and Cardington Lock from Sovereigns Quay or a Saturday Evening Fish & Chip Supper Cruise from Priory Marina. 

For details of prices, times and dates, or to book your tickets, visit the new look John Bunyan website. 


Welcome to the John Bunyan Boat

For more information:

The John Bunyan Boat was launched at Priory Marina, Bedford on July 5th 2013, and since that date has carried over 50,000 passengers it is licensed to carry up to 50 passengers.  It currently runs over 150 cruises a season: a mixture of public cruises, special cruises such as Jazz, Afternoon Tea & Lunch cruises, Fish & Chip Suppers, and charter cruises for celebrations, family parties, wedding cruises, local organisations, local companies, schools and youth groups.

The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust was established in 1995 to promote a new 16-mile Waterway Park, incorporating a new broad waterway connecting the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes to the River Great Ouse in Bedford.

Running trip boats is a key activity for the Trust, raising funds and awareness. Its cruises let thousands of local people enjoy being on their local waterway in Bedford, and now in Milton Keynes, demonstrating the value that Waterway Parks can bring.

Having designed a route, now protected by local authority policies in three Local Plans, the Trust is currently lobbying for its inclusion as part of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc infrastructure. The Trust works with a range of partners to ensure opportunities to integrate the Waterway into development and thereby maximize delivery of local benefits. The Trust is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity.