Answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions
Type of boat?
We operate several types of boat:
Modern day-boats: ‘Eliza Grace’ and ‘Trickster’ are high quality Dutch-built Antaris day-boats. They are 6.3m long and 2.4m wide, making them very comfortable and stable craft for jaunts on the river. Both have cushioned seats, picnic tables, and refrigerators so we can keep your drinks cool. A canopy can be raised to protect you from sun or rain! Eliza Grace and Trickster are safety approved for up to 6 passengers
Edwardian-style fan-tail launch ‘Hebe’, with her quiet electric drive, was fully renovated in 2021. The boat has cushioned seats, a picnic table, a refrigerator to keep your drinks cool, and a USB charging point. She has a canopy to provide some shade and shelter. We limit Hebe to parties of 6 passengers so you have plenty of space
Valinor is a modern Dutch-built ‘Interboat20’, approved to take up to 8-people plus our skipper. She is 6.35 m long and 2.4m wide, making her a very comfortable and stable craft. The boat has cushioned seats, a picnic table, a refrigerator to keep your drinks cool, and a USB charging point. She has a canopy to provide some shade and shelter.
Number of passengers?
Modern day-boats ‘Eliza Grace’ and ‘Trickster’ take up to 6 people. They are good sized boats with plenty of space
Edwarding style ‘Hebe’ also takes up to 6 people with comfort
These numbers are limits on your party-size. You do not need to factor in our skipper
All children over 12 months of age count as full passengers
Our gift vouchers provide the flexibility to choose a convenient date and time for a cruise on any one of our comfortable boats
The £195 price covers the cost of a 2 hour private cruise and includes the services of a professional skipper, or the option to ‘self-drive’
You may cancel your booking and receive a full refund up to 48 hours in advance of your trip. This is normally close enough to the date to have confidence in the weather forecast
No refunds are given for cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice. When customers make cancellations with less than 48 hours notice, Henley River Boats may be able to offer an alternative date or time
If weather or river conditions for your trip are forecast to be ‘bad’, we will attempt to contact you the day before before to discuss whether to proceed with your trip as scheduled or offer you an alternative date. We assess ‘bad’ weather based on the bbc.co.uk forecast for Henley-on-Thames predicting more than a 50% chance of heavy rain during the time-slot for your booking
If your trip goes ahead, our boats are equipped with rain-hoods that protect passengers while seated
No refunds are given for cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice
The boat you will be travelling in has passed an independent examination of the safety requirements set out in the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS), an initiative owned equally by the Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency
In the unlikely event of an emergency please follow instructions from your skipper or an HRB representative
Buoyancy aids or life-jackets are available to all passengers on request. Children aged 3 years or younger must wear a buoyancy aid at all times and we recommend children aged 4-14 also wear buoyancy aids or life-jackets
We will be applying additional procedures for all bookings during the 2022 season to ensure the safety of our clients and team. This will include careful cleaning of commonly touched areas of the boat and equipment between trips.
Self-drive (aka 'bare boat charter')
Eliza Grace, Trickster and Hebe are available for self-drive hire.
An HRB representative will introduce you to the boat and make sure you are familiar with the controls and safety features. If you have no experience of driving a boat our representative will be happy to come with you on the boat for the first 10 minutes while you build your confidence
Special requests or tailor-made itineraries?
Where are we located?
The boat will be waiting for you along the river’s edge at Mill Meadows park, near the River & Rowing Museum. There is a map and more detail on our ‘Contact’ page, and out ‘pin’ on Google Maps is very accurate. One of our team will phone you 15 minutes before departure to make sure you find the exact location
There are no toilet facilities aboard our boat but Henley River Boat customers are welcome to use the facilities inside the River & Rowing Museum. There are also public toilets at Mill Meadows park
We regret there is no step-free access to our boats and we are unable to accommodate wheelchairs. Your skipper or an HRB representative will be at hand to help passengers step on and off the boat
Please allow plenty of time to drive into Henley. Traffic and car-parking can cause delays at peak times, especially on sunny weekends
24-hour pay-and-display parking is available at Mill Meadows. If this is full, additional car-parking is available at the railway station
The River & Rowing Museum car-park is open between 9:00am and 5:30pm for a charge of £4. Please note the car park gates are locked at 6pm and do not open again until 9am the following morning
Can I bring my own food and drink?
Yes, we positively encourage this! You can bring your own supply of refreshments and a picnic. Our boats have a refrigerator or cool box and table areas. But please do not feed the skipper while he is driving!
Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Our skipper will ask passengers to stop further drinking and has a right to cut short a trip should passengers become unsafe or abusive
Can I order a picnic?
You are very welcome to bring your own food and drink onto our boats, but if you want to pre-order catering we recommend “Chocolate Café Henley”
The team at Chocolate Café Henley offer afternoon teas, celebration cakes, prosecco, beers, hot food and drinks
Simply call 01491 411412 and place and pay for your order directly with Chocolate Café Henley. Tell them, and us, the order is for a booking with Henley River Boats and we will make sure your items are ready onboard
Please also email us to say you have booked catering!
Well behaved children are welcome aboard subject to them being accompanied by at least one responsible adult
The maximum number of passengers for each trip is 6 people which includes children over the age of 12 months. Children aged 3 years or younger must wear a buoyancy aid at all times and should travel next to or seated on the lap of a responsible adult
Dry and well behaved dogs are welcome aboard, at the owner’s risk
Dogs should not be allowed to swim from the boat!
You are welcome to bring small portable speakers and play music at a moderate volume. We have a USB charging point should you need one