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5th Sept – 3 cruise places available

5th September Linking People Afloat Cruise  

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A few times a year we offer special Linking People Afloat Cruise which is a day cruise for individuals.  These cruises are for those not supported or belonging to a group, to enable them to come by themselves or with a carer or companion.  The day includes a lunch in the saloon, which affords a wonderful opportunity for social exchanges with fellow passengers and crew.

If you are an older person, or a person of any age with a disability, mobility or mental health issue including: ex-servicemen, dementia, stroke survivors; vision impaired, hearing impaired, MS, Parkinson’s, brain injury, special needs children, children with cancer etc.   This cruise would suit you.

Cruises are for a total of 12 passengers (including carers or companions), on our specially adapted barge Thames Venturer, which is operated by a Professional Skipper and up to 4 trained volunteer crew members.

The environment is supportive, protective and relaxing.  The crew will make sure you have a very memorable day and take care of you throughout.  The boat is warm and stable, with a wheelchair accessible gangway, lift and toilets.  On board, clients have a degree of mobility and camaraderie rarely found in other leisure activities.  Blankets and binoculars available.  Sun canopy for hot weather and enclosed viewing space for slightly cooler days.

Price: £36 per person, including morning and afternoon tea/coffee and lunch. 

On the 5th September, the boat, Thames Venturer will depart at 10am from The Barge Dock, Down Hall Road, Kingston KT1 1PS and return at 4-4.30pm.

Phone 020 8940 3509 to book your place.

Or send an email to  Subject Header: Next LPA.  To put your name on a waiting list for information on the next Linking People Afloat Cruise (LPA).

Wheelhouse group

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On deck at recent Open Day.  Patron Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton (in pink), her husband, Mayor of Kingston and Chair of River Thames Boat Project

Chelsea Pensioners on Board

We were proud to be able to take this lively and well behaved group of Chelsea Pensions out on the river. Their vivid scarlet uniforms were a remarkable sight on the Thames Venturer for people on the river bank and other boats. Some people stopped and stared, whilst others took photographs.

The Chelsea Pensioners had a very relaxing and memorable day, enjoying the changing scenery and the unique camaraderie. They had a tasty lunch and plenty of tea and coffee to keep them going. Although, one Pensioner remarked that “there was a lack of Rum rations”! It was indeed a marvellous day with smiles, reminiscence and jokes all around.

Your group would benefit from a therapeutic cruise.
We still have some dates available in October and we are taking bookings for next year as well. Please phone 020 8940 3509 or email

Photographs by Julian Meers

Kingston’s Virtual School – Water Testing

hermitage colour chart

Children from Kingston’s ‘Virtual School’, who participated in the Freshwater Watch citizen science programme on board Venturer in July were shocked at learning about average water usage in the UK the average daily amount used by one person is 180 litres.

In their water testing, they found, heightened levels of Nitrates in the Hogsmill a tributary to the Thames at Kingston (see photo).  This was possibly due to recent heavy rainfall but also attributed to use of nitrates on lawns, gardens, golf courses and bowling greens in the area.

Excess levels of nitrates in water can create conditions that make it difficult for aquatic insects or fish to survive.

What is a Virtual School?
The Surrey Virtual School (SVS) is not a teaching institution but a way of bringing together the information about children and young people who are cared for by Surrey local authority as if they were in a single school.  That way, their progress can be closely tracked and supported, and interventions can be targeted in a more strategic way.  More info click HERE

Next Boat Open Day – 9th September, Walton on Thames


3rd August Cruise spaces

We have 6 spaces available on the 3rd August available for a special Linking People Afloat Day.  The cost is only £36pp and includes tea, coffee and a 2 course lunch.  Departing from Kingston at 10am via Kew and returning by 4pm.

These cruises are for individuals, often isolated or not supported by a group, to come by themselves or with a carers or companion and include a social lunch in the saloon.

The cruise would suit older people, or people of any age with a disability, mobility problems or mental health issues including: ex-servicemen, dementia clients, special needs children, children with cancer, stroke survivors; vision impaired, hearing impaired and other issues.

The boat is a supportive, protective and relaxing environment for only 12 passengers and 5 crew.

Our specially adapted barge Thames Venturer, is operated by a caring professional skipper and trained volunteer crew (dementia & disability).  On board, clients have a degree of mobility and camaraderie rarely found in other leisure activities.

Wheelchair accessible gangway, lift and toilets.

Call 020 8940 3509 now.


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Charity Boat Open Day Success

Hundreds of people discovered the River Thames Boat Project, a registered charity, at their recent Open Day. Visitors were delighted to realize that the Thames Venturer, a 29 meter Dutch Barge built in 1908 can provide full access for those with limited mobility and wheelchairs via a special gangway and lift. Below deck they viewed the 12 berths, 2 disabled showers and toilets, a full kitchen galley and a massive saloon area!

Homemade cakes were the most popular thing of the day, with people sitting under the sun canopy on deck or in the comfortable wheelhouse, watching the children playing Splat the Ship’s Rat and hook a duck, whilst talking to the volunteer crew about the charities activities.

The charity was especially proud to welcome on board Cllr Julie Pickering, Mayor of Kingston, Baroness, Campbell of Surbiton DBE (Patron), and President of the Kingston Rotary Club, Phillip Holt to launch the sale of their first ever colouring book for children. The River Thames Boat Project was also the chosen charity for the Kingston Rotary’s Dragon Boat Races.

Thank you to Le Boat for donating a weekend break on one of their boats, which was won by Peter Finch.   Details here

The River Thames Boat Project runs bespoke therapeutic cruises and educational activities for the local community, making the River Thames Accessible for those who have mobility and other issues. 70 volunteers, trained in dementia awareness and disability awareness help the charity which specialises in taking the elderly, or disabled, vision impaired, ex-servicemen and those with medical, special needs and mental health conditions.

Many local groups cannot afford a therapeutic cruise, so if you, or your organisation would be interested in sponsoring or fundraising for a cruise to help a local group, please do get in touch. 020 8940 3509

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River Thames Boat Project Patron, Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, DBE

Mayor of Kingston Julie Pickering
Cllr. Julie Pickering, Mayor of Kingston

Group discussion 1Group discussion 2Group discussion 3 Louise & SonjaHappy Kitchen Volunteers Jill & AntheaIMG_2858IMG_2860IMG_2868IMG_2870President of Rotary Phillip Holt
Phillip Holt, President Kingston Rotary

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No one misbehaved and these lovely ladies enjoyed finding out about our facilities.

Raffle Prize – Short boat break

Le Boat ( has just donated a 3 night weekend or 4 nights mid-week from Chertsey or Benson on the River Thames, for up to 6 people in 3 cabins in one of their motor boats.  They have kindly donated this prize to support our fundraising efforts at the Open Day on Sunday 16th July.

Tickets on sale at the Open Day – ONLY £1 a ticket.  Click here for more details

Boat photos

Boat Open Day Sunday 16 July

Count down to our Charity Open Boat Day on Sunday 16th July.  Find out about our therapeutic cruises, educational activities, residential trips or as a static venue for celebrations, wakes, training, education or meetings.

We are different to the local commercial operators, we offer bespoke solutions to your needs.

Come and see our wheelchair accessible lift, gangway and toilets.  Look around the sleeping accommodation and see the large saloon and practical galley (kitchen), which can be used for celebrations, training, education or meetings.

Find out how you can become a Friend of the River Thames Boat Project and have access to special Friends cruises and events.

Open Day Attractions:

  • Wonderful refreshments + homemade cakes to enjoy on deck or below.
  • Children’s games: Splat the Rat, Treasure Hunt and Roll the Dice
  • Handmade crafts:  Hand carved Posh Pens and candle holders,  handmade bags, aprons, soft toys, lavender bags, sweets and jams.
  • Colouring book launch and book sales.
  • Plant stall: Hot chilli plants, marigolds and more.

Poster A4 Open Day July 2017Thames Venturer in front of Kingston apartments

Saloon tableIMG_0768wood-pens-image2Walton Heritage Day 2015 Deck