Cruise Ship Evaluate: Edward Elgar

Cruise passing Holt Worcestershire

A timeless trying vessel relationship again twenty years, calm in cream with pink trimmings, Edward Elgar is the biggest resort boat on the UK’s waterways.

She sails from the Victorian warehouse splendour of Gloucester Docks within the coronary heart of town and is within the countryside inside minutes. Cruises, between two and 6 nights, head north on the River Severn itself and south on the Gloucester-Sharpness Ship Canal, which follows the river – and a few do each.

Cruise passing Holt Worcestershire
Cruise passing Holt Worcestershire

There’s an otherworldliness about proceedings, surrounded by inexperienced hills, passing historic relics and, on the canal, watching the numerous bridges swing apart to let the 4mph voyage proceed.

Excursions are included so loads of alternatives to discover Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

Who for?

The passengers are usually as sedate because the cruises, {couples} of a sure age completely satisfied to take a seat again and chill out, whether or not within the eating room/lounge or outdoors, on the higher deck or within the tucked away seats on the entrance.

Yet this isn’t particularly for older individuals and far youthful {couples} would get pleasure from a serene getaway amid lovely English surroundings. And whereas it’s usually an adults-only expertise it’s attainable constitution the 22-passenger boat for household (or different) gatherings and produce youngsters as younger as seven.

Your room

Bedroom is straightforward and to the purpose

Simple and to the purpose. The wood-panelled rooms, all en-suite, are all doubles however are small, locations to sleep and bathe however little extra. Each has a window, however not rather more than a porthole. The twin beds are at proper angles to one another, leaving an L-shaped area to face outdoors the little bathe room the place the rain bathe heads do a surprisingly good job and there’s bathe gel and cleaning soap. Beds have good duvets and pillows, there’s slightly hanging area and room for suitcases below the beds. But the beds are the one place to take a seat – so this results in a social ambiance within the lounge.

The cruises

The large one is the Seven Wonders, a six-night vacation that sails the complete size of the Severn Navigation. That means upriver, passing by way of Tewkesbury, Upton upon Severn, Worcester and on the Stourport, so far as boats can journey. Edward Elgar returns to Gloucester (a tour of the docks) then down the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal nearly into the Severn Estuary (off-limits to a vessel of this dimension). That’s nearly 100 miles of cruising. Shorter cruises both concentrate on the river or on the canal.

Eating and consuming

There’s a self-contained bar space with bench seats and a full drinks choice, together with Gloucester Gold beer from the dockside Gloucester Brewery in addition to its very moreish small-batch Fox’s Kiln Blood Orange Gin. Prices are very affordable – £3.20 for a primary G&T, £4.30 with Fox’s, plus 20 per cent off throughout 6-8pm completely satisfied hour.

Cosy bar space

Food, ready on board, veers in direction of upstanding British dishes which can be unlikely to scare even probably the most aged visitor – I had beef braised in Gloucester Brewery Dockside darkish beer with mash and carrots, and a Sunday lunch of roast hen breast with all of the trimmings. The menu guarantees extra avant-garde starters resembling Cotswold gin-cured salmon with fennel and orange, and lunch dishes together with selfmade Scotch egg. Breakfast contains a full English and variations resembling French toast. Dinners are all four-course, ending in a cheese board, and lunch and dinner include wine and beer. If that isn’t sufficient there’s additionally afternoon cake. Tea and instantaneous espresso are free all day, though the cheerful crew (even the jolly Captain Steve) will deal with you to actual espresso if requested.

The eating saloon is roomy however, post-lockdown, glass screens sit between the tables.


Canal with Severn backdrop
Canal with Severn backdrop

No pool or fitness center right here, merely leisure in its easiest kind. Sit on the rooftop terrace and watch the world go by (gaze on the Malvern Hills rising within the distance), or pull up a chair inside and browse. Although the wi-fi (which proved glorious on my journey) is free so you can take a laptop computer and keep it up together with your Netflix viewing. And when the boat is docked it’s simple to hop off for a stroll.


There’s one thing on supply nearly all day, every single day. Excursions are included within the vacation worth. That means metropolis and city strolling excursions, guided excursions of Worcester Cathedral and Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum, Tewkesbury’s Norman Abbey, Upton upon Severn’s Tudor House Museum and Gloucester’s docks. Other included sights are a visit on the Severn Valley Railway, a ship journey on the River Avon and a go to to Slimbridge Wetland Centre, the place hordes of flamingo be a part of the swans, geese and kingfishers that populate the river and canal.

On board, deck quoits video games (throwing a rope ring into are organised by day with quizzes after dinner. There’s even an after-dinner stroll to see Purton Hulks – a spot the place the canal runs so near the river it was at risk of being washed away so quite a lot of previous barges, together with some manufactured from concrete, had been sunk into the river financial institution and allowed to fill with silt.

At least one night on every cruise a jazz band performs.


If the thought of an enormous ship is an excessive amount of (particularly in post-lockdown instances), this could possibly be the best way to fall in love with cruising… a small, comfortable atmosphere. Edward Elgar is a fascinating method to cross by way of some pretty countryside, unhurried, uncrowded and involving no flights.


Edward Elgar sails from April to October from Gloucester Docks – and for 2021 Christmas cruises have been added. A two-night cruise, two sharing, together with excursions and drinks with meals, begins at £360pp; a six-night Severn Wonders cruise begins at £1,690pp.

Two bundle choices embrace a pre-cruise resort evening and extras resembling parking. To e-book go to

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