Cruise Ship Review: Edward Elgar

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A timeless looking vessel courting again two many years, relaxed in product with crimson trimmings, Edward Elgar is the largest lodge boat on the UK’s waterways.

She sails from the Victorian warehouse splendour of Gloucester Docks in the heart of the city and is in the countryside within just minutes. Cruises, among two and 6 evenings, head north on the River Severn by itself and south on the Gloucester-Sharpness Ship Canal, which follows the river – and some do both equally.

Cruise passing Holt Worcestershire

There is an otherworldliness about proceedings, surrounded by green hills, passing historic relics and, on the canal, viewing the several bridges swing apart to let the 4mph voyage proceed.

Excursions are included so plenty of chances to explore Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

Who for?

The travellers have a tendency to be as sedate as the cruises, partners of a certain age pleased to sit back again and relax, whether in the dining room/lounge or outside, on the higher deck or in the tucked absent seats at the front.

However this isn’t precisely for older folks and substantially younger couples would enjoy a serene getaway amid beautiful English landscapes. And while it is commonly an adults-only experience it’s feasible constitution the 22-passenger boat for spouse and children (or other) gatherings and convey children as young as 7.

Your area

Bed room is simple and to the issue

Simple and to the position. The wood-panelled rooms, all en-suite, are all doubles but are little, destinations to slumber and shower but little extra. Every single has a window, but not a great deal additional than a porthole. The twin beds are at proper angles to just about every other, leaving an L-shaped house to stand outdoors the minor shower home where by the rain shower heads do a astonishingly excellent task and there’s shower gel and cleaning soap. Beds have great duvets and pillows, there is a minimal hanging house and area for suitcases less than the beds. But the beds are the only place to sit – so this sales opportunities to a social environment in the lounge.

The cruises

The large 1 is the Seven Miracles, a 6-evening holiday getaway that sails the total length of the Severn Navigation. That implies upriver, passing through Tewkesbury, Upton upon Severn, Worcester and on the Stourport, as significantly as boats can journey. Edward Elgar returns to Gloucester (a tour of the docks) then down the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal just about into the Severn Estuary (off-limits to a vessel of this measurement). That’s just about 100 miles of cruising. Shorter cruises both concentrate on the river or on the canal.

Feeding on and ingesting

There is a self-contained bar region with bench seats and a comprehensive beverages choice, like Gloucester Gold beer from the dockside Gloucester Brewery as properly as its pretty moreish little-batch Fox’s Kiln Blood Orange Gin. Prices are quite sensible – £3.20 for a essential G&T, £4.30 with Fox’s, additionally 20 for every cent off during 6-8pm delighted hour.

Cosy bar location

Food, geared up on board, veers toward upstanding British dishes that are unlikely to scare even the most elderly visitor – I experienced beef braised in Gloucester Brewery Dockside darkish beer with mash and carrots, and a Sunday lunch of roast rooster breast with all the trimmings. The menu claims extra avant-garde starters such as Cotswold gin-fixed salmon with fennel and orange, and lunch dishes like selfmade Scotch egg. Breakfast attributes a entire English and variants this sort of as French toast. Dinners are all four-study course, ending in a cheese board, and lunch and supper appear with wine and beer. If that isn’t more than enough there’s also afternoon cake. Tea and instant espresso are free of charge all day, even though the cheerful crew (even the jolly Captain Steve) will treat you to true coffee if questioned.

The eating saloon is roomy but, article-lockdown, glass screens sit amongst the tables.


Canal with Severn backdrop
Canal with Severn backdrop

No pool or health club listed here, simply just peace in its most straightforward kind. Sit on the rooftop terrace and enjoy the world go by (gaze at the Malvern Hills rising in the distance), or pull up a chair inside and study. Though the wi-fi (which proved great on my trip) is free so you could take a laptop computer and carry on with your Netflix viewing. And when the boat is docked it’s quick to hop off for a stroll.


There is a little something on offer you just about all working day, just about every day. Excursions are integrated in the getaway price tag. That usually means town and town going for walks tours, guided tours of Worcester Cathedral and Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum, Tewkesbury’s Norman Abbey, Upton upon Severn’s Tudor House Museum and Gloucester’s docks. Other involved sights are a vacation on the Severn Valley Railway, a boat trip on the River Avon and a go to to Slimbridge Wetland Centre, where hordes of flamingo join the swans, geese and kingfishers that populate the river and canal.

On board, deck quoits game titles (throwing a rope ring into are organised by working day with quizzes soon after dinner. There is even an after-dinner wander to see Purton Hulks – a spot the place the canal operates so near to the river it was in risk of currently being washed away so a amount of previous barges, such as some manufactured of concrete, were sunk into the river bank and permitted to fill with silt.

At the very least one particular evening on each cruise a jazz band performs.


If the notion of a big ship is also significantly (especially in article-lockdown periods), this could be the way to slide in adore with cruising… a modest, cozy ecosystem. Edward Elgar is an enchanting way to move by some lovely countryside, unhurried, uncrowded and involving no flights.


Edward Elgar sails from April to Oct from Gloucester Docks – and for 2021 Xmas cruises have been extra. A two-night cruise, two sharing, which include excursions and drinks with meals, begins at £360pp a 6-night Severn Miracles cruise starts at £1,690pp.

Two bundle possibilities include a pre-cruise lodge evening and extras such as parking. To e book pay a visit to