Cruise Ship Review: Edward Elgar

by ontravelx

The biggest hotel boat in the United Kingdom, the Edward Elgar, is a two-decade-old vessel with a timeless appearance; it is cream colored with red accents.

Gloucester Docks, a beautiful restored Victorian warehouse in the middle of the city, is where she sets sail, and within minutes she is out in the countryside. Two- to six-night cruises go either north down the River Severn or south along the canal that parallels the river, the Gloucester-Sharpness Ship Canal.

An image of the Edward Elgar, the biggest hotel boat in the United Kingdom

Luxury Afloat: The Edward Elgar – The Biggest Hotel Boat in the United Kingdom

Surrounded by verdant hills, past old relics, and traveling at just 4 mph down a canal as several bridges open up, the experience has a surreal quality.

There will be plenty of time to see everything that Gloucestershire and Worcestershire have to offer thanks to the included excursions.

Who for?

In keeping with the tranquil atmosphere of these cruises, the majority of the passengers are middle-aged or older couples who are content to spend their time lounging around the ship’s dining room or lounge, on the upper deck, or in the ship’s hidden front seats.

However, even younger couples would also appreciate the tranquility and beauty of the English countryside on this holiday. Although the 22-passenger boat is designed for an adult audience, families and other groups can book the boat for events with children as young as seven.

Your room

Easy to understand and just to the point. The two double rooms with wood paneling and private bathrooms are modest and functional just for sleeping and showering. The windows are little portholes in each room. The two twin beds are set at right angles to one another, creating an L-shaped area outside the compact bathroom with the rain shower heads and toiletries provided.

There are comfortable duvets and pillows on the beds, some hangers, and space to store baggage beneath the mattress. However, the beds are the only seating option, creating a lively communal environment in the living room.

The cruises

Seven Wonders is the main one; it’s a six-night trip that covers the whole length of the Severn Navigation. as far upstream as boats can go, including past Tewkesbury, Upton upon Severn, Worcester, and Stourport. Edward Elgar takes a trip back to Gloucester (this time, a look around the harbor) and then travels almost to the Severn Estuary via the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal (off-limits to a vessel of this size).

almost a hundred miles at normal speeds. The river or canal is the primary destination for shorter trips.

Eating and drinking

The bar is self-contained, complete with bench seating and a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, such as Gloucester Gold beer and Fox’s Kiln Blood Orange Gin, both produced by the Gloucester Brewery, which is located right on the harbor. A standard Gin and Tonic costs just £3.20, while ordering from Fox’s will set you back £4.30, and both are discounted by 20% between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m.

On-board food tends to be traditional British dishes that won’t scare even the oldest guest. I had beef braised in Gloucester Brewery Dockside dark beer with mash and carrots and a Sunday lunch of roast chicken breast with all the trimmings. The menu has a slew of creative appetizers, including Cotswold gin-cured salmon with fennel and orange, and hearty lunch options, like handmade Scotch eggs. A full English breakfast, including options like French toast, is served every morning. There is a cheese dish at the conclusion of each of the four-course dinners, and both lunch and dinner are served with wine and beer. And if that weren’t enough, there’s always cake in the afternoon. All day long, you can help yourself to free tea and instant coffee, but if you ask nicely, the friendly staff (including the ever-cheerful Captain Steve) will even buy you a genuine cup of coffee on the house.

After the lockdown, glass partitions were installed to separate the tables in the eating saloon.


There is no fitness center or swimming pool—just pure, unadulterated leisure. Relax on the rooftop patio and people-watch (or see the distant Malvern Hills) or curl up inside and read a good book. However, the wi-fi (which worked well on our vacation) is complimentary, so feel free to bring a laptop and keep streaming Netflix. When the ship is in port, passengers can easily disembark and go for a walk.


All day, every day, you can find something to do. The vacation package we purchased includes excursions. This includes sightseeing trips in the form of walking tours of cities and towns as well as guided tours of attractions including Worcester Cathedral and the Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum, Tewkesbury’s Norman Abbey, Upton upon Severn’s Tudor House Museum, and the Gloucester docks. The Severn Valley Railway, a boat ride on the River Avon, and a visit to the Slimbridge Wetland Centre, where flamingos flock among the swans, geese, and kingfishers that occupy the river and canal, are all part of the package.

Quizzes are held in the evenings, while deck quoits (which include tossing a rope ring into them) are played on deck throughout the day. Even after supper, you can take a stroll to view Purton Hulks, a location where the canal runs so near the river that it was in danger of being washed away, prompting the sinking of many ancient boats, some of which were constructed of concrete, into the river bank and letting them fill with silt.

A jazz band plays at least once on every cruise.


This might be the way to fall in love with cruising if the thought of a large ship is too much (particularly in post-lockdown days). a quaint and cozy setting. Edward Elgar is a charming way to go through some beautiful countryside without having to worry about a rush hour or airport security.


From Gloucester Docks, the Edward Elgar sets sail from April through October, and new for 2021 are Christmas cruises. Prices begin at £360 per person (based on two people sharing a room) for a two-night trip and at £1,690 per person (based on two people sharing a room) for a six-night Severn Wonders cruise.

There are two different packages available, each of which includes a pre-cruise hotel stay and amenities like parking. Visit to reserve your spot now!

To book visit

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