We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Save
Review Highlights
Sunday Roast Cruise

Fantastic trip on the Hydrogen. Highly recommended. Parking nearby on a Sunday £1.00 all day. Two... read more

Reviewed 7 October 2018
riverswimmer
,
Essex, United Kingdom
via mobile
Excellent Trip with lunch

Wonderful historic barge. Anyhow first things first. Booking online was straightforward. Parking... read more

Reviewed 28 September 2018
sally l
,
Braintree, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 133 reviews
  
Reviews (133)
Filter reviews
132 results
Traveller rating
109
17
5
1
0
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
109
17
5
1
0
Show reviews that mention
All reviews tower bridge ploughman's lunch the galley well stocked bar afternoon tea below deck cake safety briefing hour trip barge trip the river biscuits ham birthday present cream tea wedding reception seafood platter
Filter
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 132 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Mrs Mad Dog and I booked afternoon tea on a Barge out of Maldon after being marooned on the Thames at Windsor (thats another review folks). The nice people at Red Letter Days sorted out a replacement after the company tried to steal our voucher and we set off for Maldon with great expectations.
First we encountered a small blonde lady in the office to enquire about pricing, but she was so rude we turned our backs on her.
After a short wait we were called forward to board our barge (there are three docked and all are used for different trips).Have to say that myself and Mrs M were the youngest on board at 56 and 58 and the rest of our fellow travellers were a fair bit older. Some seemed a bit frail. The crew on our barge did not seem to care about this and the oldies were left to fend for themselves. I think that they knew that they were not going to get help, so the fitter men and The Mad Dogs got everyone stowed and off we go.
The trip itself was a bit underwhelming, but I supposed that the barge was the star so............
Afternoon tea was cake and scones served by the nice girls down below who did a good job.
Mad Dog thinks that had we been on a different trip things would have been better. It would seem that the afternoon tea trip was sold to Pensioners clubs at a reduced rate who are easily pleased and don,t expect too much. Talking to some of the elder people they didn,t pay what we did so hence the rude blonde woman!!!
As I say it was a bit underwhelming so Mad Dog thinks maybe another trip with a bit more than afternoon tea to it would be better.

Mad Dog says Shiver Me Timbers Me Hearties!!!!!!!!!!

Thank maddogE3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephanie V, Manager at Topsail Charters - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for taking time to review your trip, We are very sorry that you felt underwhelmed with your experience, its unusual that customers don't enjoy our Barge Trips.

In regards to improving our customer service, would you please let us know the date of your trip and the Barge that you sailed aboard, as we endeavour to give great customer service and are constantly looking at ways to improve the experience.

Our demographic changes from trip to trip and we welcome a wide range of age groups.

Safety on board our vessels is paramount, the deck crew ensure at all times ensure the safety of our passengers.

With the Red Letter day vouchers we are the supplier of the experience and as they produce the voucher and sell the retail the cost is marked accordingly.

Please feel free to contact us to book a trip in the future and we hope you will enjoy the sail.

Sincere Apologises

Topsail Charters

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2018 via mobile

Fantastic trip on the Hydrogen. Highly recommended. Parking nearby on a Sunday £1.00 all day. Two Island trip, out past Northey and turning around near Osea. Plenty of space to sit or walk around taking in the views. Fully stocked bar, friendly informative staff. The roast lunch was very good considering the confined space of the kitchen.

Thank riverswimmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2018 via mobile

Wonderful historic barge.
Anyhow first things first. Booking online was straightforward. Parking nearby was expensive although nothing to do with the actual trip. Cost for 4 hours cost £6 although the fee was £5.50-no change given.
We were cheerfully greeted as we boarded. The crew helped us board. People with mobility problems would struggle. There are a few up and down steps to negotiate whilst boarding and a pipe that has to be stepped over. The stairs to below deck area bit steep too. Food and toilets are below deck.
The on deck seating is basic ie benches no comfortable seating. There is comfortable seating below deck but no view from there.
We were very very fortunate with the weather. Warm with gentle breeze which really enhanced the experience. On a very hot or a day when it is raining I imagine the experience wouldn’t be so good. On deck there is no cover so people are exposed to the elements.
There was a brief formal welcome by the skipper. He did a concise safety talk and explanation about the trip. There are laminated information sheets which are readily available regarding the history of the barges and things to see during the trip.
The barge was clean and tidy.
The crew cheerful and efficient.
The food was delicious. We had ploughman’s with the best ham I’ve ever tasted. There was plenty of salad, coleslaw, bread and some amazing pickle. It was followed by very tasty apple and blackberry crumble and fresh cream. A real treat I must say.
There are no tables to eat at so we had the plates on our laps which was fine. Drinks were extra but reasonable. I think the orange juice in a large glass was approximately £2 and tea and coffee was £2.
We had a great time. The trip was clearly very popular. Everyone was friendly.

Thank sally l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2018

Celebrated a friends birthday on "thistle ". It was absolutely amazing. We were fortunate to have good weather which was a bonus so we were able to sit up on deck . The sitting areas were really comfortable and all the deck areas were spotlessly clean. The 3 course meal we had was excellent , plentyful and the staff were really efficient and pleasant and nothing was any trouble. After our Meal we sailed up the river from Maldon and it was a real experience. A wonderful day was had by all. I would certainly recommend it.

Thank CanterburyBridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2018 via mobile

Did the short trip out today out and thouroughy enjoyed our selves. Beautiful barge, friendly crew and hostess. Just a wonderful experience. Planning to book longer trip out next year.

1  Thank EricTheWeary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2018

We recently had a fantastic day trip on Kitty, from Tower Pier in the centre of London, under Tower Bridge, and down the Thames as far as the Ford Dagenham factory before turning round and returning back to Tower Pier. A few of us were allowed to have a go at the wheel, steering the barge down the river: not something you do every day!

We saw HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge (which lifted twice for us, holding up London traffic!), all the big London sky scrapers, Canary Wharf, Cutty Sark, Greenwich Old Naval College, The O2 Dome, Thames Barrier, Tate & Lyle Sugar, Woolwich Ferry and more. Plus over 300 rowing boats in the Great River Race!

We were extremely well looked-after by all of the crew, who were happy to answer endless questions. They don't always manage to hoist sails, but we were lucky enough to enjoy dry weather and a light breeze, and so we could hoist several sails and turn the main engine off - actually sailing a sailing barge on the Thames.

Kitty has a small bar and sitting area, kitchen/galley, dining room where coffee and biscuits, lunch, and tea and cakes were served, and nicely-kept toilets. The lunches were cooked freshly on board as we sailed down the Thames.

While the day was long (seven hours on the boat), the time flies by if you have an interest in sailing, old boats, or seeing London from a completely different set of angles. The meanders of the Thames are very disorientating, so well-known landmarks appear in unexpected places.

2  Thank Fonant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2018

Its the second time we've booked with Topsail Charters to see the Clacton Airshow and this time took some friends so I was praying for good weather. We were on Hydrogen but it really doesn't matter which barge you are on its just a fabulous day out. The staff are great and the galley produces good quality food from a fabulous plowmans lunch to a hearty meal on the way home. The experience of watching the air show from the barge is exhilarting - you can't help but smiile! Thank you Topsail.

1  Thank Janette S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2018

great few hours lovely, very informative and knowledgeable crew, great catering highly recomend the Thistle

Thank Loll C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2018 via mobile

Hired your boat ‘hydrogen’ for our 25th wedding Anniversary recently. Staff and crew were all lovely. We had an amazing day, our guests loved it as it was so different. We had a few questions on the run up to the day and when we called the office they were extremely helpful.
Would highly recommend for a trip/special event.
Thank you x

1  Thank MrsArky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2018 via mobile

What a wonderful day my 88 year old parents had on Kitty. We all enjoyed ourselves. Friendly helpful crew. Amazing cream tea. Thank you ladies.

The only reason 5 stars is not given is a little helpful information such as for the elderly a cushion to take to sit on would of made my parents trip so much more comfortable

2  Thank Sandra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews