This 8-person River Cruise Through England Sails to Castles From 'Downton Abbey' — Here's How to Get on Board

·2 min read
Magna Carter cruise boat
Magna Carter cruise boat

Courtesy of European Waterways

In the May 18 release of "Downton Abbey: A New Era," the Crawleys travel to the South of France, where Violet Crawley (Dowager Countess of Grantham) has just inherited a villa.

For those who have not inherited a villa, but are huge Downton Abbey fans, European Waterways is now offering the perfect cruise, bringing passengers to some of the most iconic sites featured in the series.

There are two upcoming departures for the six-night, seven-day sail on the eight-passenger Magna Carta — leaving Aug. 20 or Aug. 28, 2022. That's right, only eight people can fit on European Waterways' gorgeous, refurbished ship — which means you might want to bring seven of your friends for a full buy-out situation.

Magna Carter cruise boat
Magna Carter cruise boat

Courtesy of European Waterways

Traveling along England's longest river — the 215-mile River Thames — the itinerary focuses on Southern England and kicks off with afternoon tea at London's Stafford Hotel. As you sail, it's not uncommon to, while enjoying breakfast on the sun deck, look up to see an historic castle in your view.

Exterior of Hampton Court
Exterior of Hampton Court

Courtesy of European Waterways

Highclere Castle, the actual country home of Lady Fiona Carnarvon and George Herbert, the Eighth Earl of Carnarvon, which served as the Crawleys' home in the TV series and 2019 film (and is featured in the new film), will of course be a stop on the cruise. Since 1679, the Carnarvon family has used this castle as their residence. Included with both sails is a tour of the 1,000-acre estate and some of its 300 rooms and manicured gardens.

The Gardens at Hampton Court
The Gardens at Hampton Court

Courtesy of European Waterways

Back on the barge is an all-inclusive experience including all drinks and meals crafted by the resident chef. Refurbished from its 1930s roots, the barge's interior employs mahogany and teak woods in its design. There are just four suites. Each is air-conditioned and features a private bath, completely outfitted with period furnishings to help you dip back into Downton Abbey times. Meals are served in the dining room or on the sun deck, where a heated spa pool awaits. And there are bicycles on board, allowing guests to pedal along the Thames Towpath during the day.

Guards at Windsor Castle
Guards at Windsor Castle

Courtesy of European Waterways

As a bonus, this sailing also includes visits to sites that fans of Bridgerton and The Crown will immediately recognize, including Hampton Court Palace in the London borough of Richmond, which serves as St. James' Palace in Bridgerton.

Rates for the cruise are $6,190 per person, based on double occupancy; single supplements are available. See the cruises' full itineraries and book your spot here.