THAMES Rivercruise, in partnership with Reading Council, is launching a unique historical themed river cruise this summer, with the launch of a Reading Abbey cruise.
The cruise, which starts at the Thameside Promenade in Caversham, will then stop at Caversham Lock, Blakes Lock, Bel & the Dragon ( Blakes Lock Museum), Duke Street Bridge (for access to the Oracle shopping centre), and finally the Abbey Ruins.
The new cruises will join Caversham with the centre of the town – acting as not only a wonderful cruise, but also a water bus. The cruises will be running on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 25th July to 18th August.
The Caversham to Abbey Ruins cruise leaves Caversham Pier at 10am and takes a leisurely hour and a half, arriving at the Abbey at 11:30am. This gives a four and a half hour break at the abbey and/or in Reading town centre. The cruise then returns at 4pm from the abbey and arrives back at Caversham for 5:30pm. Single or return trips are available.
During the day people have the option to join one of four, 45 minute town centre cruises, linking to areas hard to reach on foot and giving a unique water-born insight on the town, departing and returning from the Abbey Ruins /Wharf in Chestnut Walk at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm or 3pm. This shorter tour takes in the Bel & Dragon and Duke Street Bridge by the Oracle shopping centre.
The cruise officially launches on Wednesday 25th and Saturday 28th July. Tickets can be purchased in advance from www.thamesrivercruise.co.uk or on the day when boarding. For more information contact Thames Rivercruise on 0118 948 1088 or visit their website.
Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “What nicer way to access the newly opened Reading Abbey Ruins this summer, than a leisurely cruise along the river, taking in the beautiful sights of Reading’s waterways, including, Caversham Lock and Blakes Lock Museum. Accessing the historic abbey by the river is such a fitting mode of transport, considering the importance of the waterways to the abbey in its heyday. You’ll be approaching the abbey just as people did in the time of King Henry I! I’m pleased we are able to support Thames Rivercruise in putting together this offering and I’m really looking forward to climbing aboard for the cruise myself.”
Tim Deaton, Director of Thames Rivercruise, said: “For a long time we at Thames Rivercruise have wanted to operate along the Kennet, offering a service to the town centre. The service this year is experimental and if successful we would like to develop the service and vessels used so we are able to operate through the Oracle Centre and around the Abbey loop. This would lead to the operation of both a commuter and leisure service.”
Visit www.thamesrivercruise.co.uk/book-online/reading-abbey-town-cruises for the full timetable and prices.
Reading Abbey Ruins officially reopened to the public on Saturday 16th June after almost 10 years closure. The project to open the ruins and revitalise the historic Abbey Quarter, Reading Abbey Revealed, is a major project, made possible through £1.77 million funding support thanks to National Lottery players and the Heritage Lottery Fund and match funding of £1.38million from Reading Borough Council.
Photo opportunity: Cllr Sarah Hacker and Reading’s Mayor, Debs Edwards, will take part on the Abbey Cruise on Saturday 28th July. Members of the media are invited to attend. Please arrive at the Thameside Promenade in Caversham at 9.50am ready to board, for a 10am departure.
Find out more about Reading Abbey at www.readingabbeyquarter.org.uk
The boat operating this service is single deck with a wide access. Not all landing stages during this trial are wheelchair friendly although the boat does carry a ramp. We recommend giving the office a quick call on 01189 481088 to discuss your requirements and we can advise on the best options for you or your guests.