Thames Sailing Barge
  • Thames Sailing Barge
  • Thames Sailing Barge
  • Sunset Cruise with Topsail Charters
  • Sunset Cruise with Topsail Charters
  • Sunset Cruise with Topsail Charters
  • Topsail Charters
  • Thames Sailing Barge
  • Sailing Barge Hydrogen Saloon

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Step abpoard a vintage sailing barge for a memorable river cruise. Sailing Barges ‘Thistle’ built in 1895 and ‘Hydrogen’ built 1906 were once part of the East Coast's traditional fleet of cargo vessels; two of over 2,000 barges then. Today only a handful survive. A gentle cruise on one of these vessels allows you to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful rivers of the East Coast in a memorable and interesting way. 

Join us for one of our public cruises or be part of a group booking, catering for up to 50 people.  Choose from a wide range of catered river cruises onboard our fleet of historic Thames Barges for individuals and groups plus  2 hour cruises, day sails, weekends away and static parties.

Secrets of the Blackwater Day Sail - A relaxing day sail from Maldon exploring the river Blackwater. 

Two Island River Cruise - Join at Maldon Quay for a two hour cruise, past Northea Island to Osea Island before returning.

Orwell River Cruise - A Three or four hour Cruise from Ipswich to the mouth of the river and back.

Suffolk Rivers Cruise - A relaxing Day sail exploring the Rivers Orwell and Stour

“Hands-on” Day Sail - Join our crew for a participation day to help set sails, take the wheel, find out how a barge is sailed by just two people.

See more examples on our website. We also offer weekend breaks for groups of up to 12 people.

Tickets limited. Book online via website or by phone.  Escape your world and relax in ours!

Sorry disabled access restricted - please contact us for further guidance.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Private Hire - depends on location, duration etc - please ring office.
Public trips - full programme with prices on our website.



  • Disabled access

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)


  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments


  • Children welcome


  • Facilities for groups
  • Guided tours for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Facilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitality
  • Sole use of venue
  • Wedding receptions


  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs) - We have details of two local dog sitters
  • Public toilets


  • Typical duration of route - Choose between a two hour "Two Island" cruise, or a full 11 hour "Secrets of the Blackwater" day sail.

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted



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    Map & Directions

    Road Directions

    Maldon Quay - from A12 South take A414 for Danbury and Maldon and follow into Maldon. Follow signs for town Centre and come down High Street. At bottom of high street, take left fork down Church Street to Quay. Parking at bottom of High Street in Edward Bright Close (Marked "P-Hythe Quay". From A12 North take exit for Witham and follow signs to Maldon.  

    Public Transport Directions

    The nearest railway station is Witham, which is 7 miles away.

    Topsail Charters

    Type:Boat Trips

    Cooks Barge Yard, The Hythe, Maldon, Essex, CM9 5HN

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 218 reviews218 reviews
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    Tel+44 (0)1621 857567


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    Opening Times

    * Available any day, any time.

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