Updated 10th September

Public Cruises

New Covid Rules – our public cruises aren’t be affected unless you have booked a group of more than 6 (you are allowed 6 people from mixed households). If you have more than 6 people, we can still accommodate you safely but need to make sure you are socially distanced from other members of your group to comply with the new rules when you arrive and ask you to comply with these new regulations once on board.  Remember we are already operating under reduced numbers to allow for plenty of room on board, both on deck and below decks.

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 desk will be left between you and other groups to comply with social distancing regulations.
  • 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 pre-plated from our saloon table.  If you prefer it to be brought to you on deck, just ask.
  • If social distancing cannot be maintained, our crew will don face masks for any closer up interaction such as helping you safely board.
  • 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.
  • For the cooler months on the longer trips, an indoor seating area with will be allocated to your group in case you wish to use the saloon for eating and drinking (you can’t see out from below decks so bring appropriate clothing to enjoy the views and scenery).

The new look cruises programme includes options not to have our food (delicious as it is !) if you feel happier bringing your own picnic or snacks (but not drinks).

If you choose to cancel your trip our standard cancellation terms apply.

Private Hire

Update – it looks unlikely that these can proceed at present. Many of you have missed special birthdays or wedding anniversary celebrations and probably can’t wait to get together with friends and family for a party. Thistle and Hydrogen are available for private parties for a maximum 30 guests and subject to social distancing rules.  As we usually take 50 guests, there is plenty of room for guests from different households to move around and still chat and enjoy being together..

Like most venues, our late 2020 and 2021 diary is already filling up – so don’t leave it too long to enquire !

Weekends Away

We have decided not to offer sailing weekends on Reminder for the rest of 2020 and look forward to a cracking season in 2021.

“Reminder” is available for self-catering cottage hire bookings moored on Cooks Yard, up to 14 guests – update – now a maximum of 6 people, but you are allowed from mixed households.


Vouchers bought direct from Topsail are extended to end of 2021.  If your voucher is from a third party such as Buy a Gift or Activity Superstore, please contact them directly.


The Topsail Team look forward to seeing you soon.