From 12th April you can book up to 6 people from mixed households (or 2 households) on a cruise and be together on deck. The saloon and bar area can only be used to collect food and drinks to take back on deck.  The toilets are available.  All sails longer than 2 hours have been removed from our programme.  We don’t expect you to enjoy a cruise in pouring rain so if 24 hours before hand, the BBC Weather forecast shows more than a 70% chance of heavy rain for a substantial proportion of the cruise time, we will cancel and you can transfer or request a refund.

From 18th May you can book up to 6 people from mixed households (or 2 households) on a cruise and be together on deck and you will also be given an allocated space below decks to use as you wish during the cruise.

From 22nd June all returns to normal with no booking restrictions

Being on the deck of an historic vessel to enjoy a river cruise is one of the safer leisure options available thankfully, and we are  “Covid-19 Secure Risk Assessed” and signed up to the Visit England “Good to Go” marque (a bit like a hygiene certificate).  Here is a summary of the arrangements.

  • Boarding and disembarking is managed to maintain social distancing.
  • Guests are allocated a specific space on deck for arrival and the safety brief.  Thereafter you can choose to spread out and move around, observing distancing and the comfort of other guests.
  • Space on deck and the saloon (from 18th May) will be left between you and other groups to comply with social distancing.
  • A one way system has been introduced for accessing the saloon below decks and the loos,
  • Payment by card machine for drinks is preferred.
  • Food must be pre-ordered and will be served to you in the saloon.
  • If social distancing cannot be maintained, our deck crew will don face masks for any closer up interaction such as helping you safely board. Below decks, staff will wear face masks at all times.
  • The barge will be thoroughly cleaned before each trip and the toilets cleaned regularly during the cruise.
  • Hand sanitiser will be placed on deck for your use when boarding and near the toilets.
  • When going below decks (i.e. indoors) you are required to wear a face mask except when eating or drinking.

If you have to cancel your trip due to personal Covid circumstances, we will make every effort to re-sell your places and then be able to offer you a full refund or transfer (but only if we can re-sell).  If we have to cancel because of new Covid regulations, then a full refund or transfer will be given.

Private Hire

From 13th April numbers for weddings will increase to 15 guests and funerals or wakes 15.

From 18th May “significant life events” (we’re not sure what these are) are allowed to be celebrated for up to 30 guests.  30 guests are allowed on deck together but we assume if going below deck to eat or drink, the Rule of 6 applies,

Weekends Away

From 18th May, overnight stays and accommodation is allowed under the Rule of 6 (or 2 households) so you can book a weekend sailing for your own private use.

From 22nd June, things return to normal and you can invite up to 12 guests from mixed households for a weekend sailing or book places on one of our weekend breaks for individuals.

“Reminder” is also available for self-catering cottage hire bookings moored on Cooks Yard, up to 14 guests from 22nd June.


All vouchers bought direct from Topsail are valid to end of 2021.


The Topsail Team look forward to seeing you soon.