Group travel organiser, Elizabeth Hodgson shares a fabulous festive experience with the Windsor & Maidenhead Boat Company. 

Group members wear their festive glasses on board The Georgian boat in Windsor for a Christmas lunch and cruise

Members of the group donned their festive glasses for the Christmas lunch cruise along the Thames.

Glasses of mulled wine provided a warm welcome for 50 Barnet U3A members as we boarded The Georgian for a three-hour cruise of the Thames, to and from Windsor, with a traditional Christmas lunch and all the trimmings.

The water levels were high (as were our spirits), and fast-flowing (as was the chatter and laughter). Many sported Christmas jumpers or other embellishments for the eagerly anticipated trip. Having enjoyed previous cruises on The Georgian, we had decided to see what interest there would be for a Christmas Lunch on board, and were overwhelmed with the response.

Elizabeth Hodgson, Barnet U3A

Elizabeth sporting a very special t-shirt (and magazine) on a previous cruise. 

Elizabeth Hodgson has been a GTO for more than 15 years and won the Group Travel Organiser of the Year® Award in 2021.

She organises all kinds of day trips and holidays for her group of 1,600+ members. 

Elizabeth told us previously that cruises along the Thames have always been very popular, and the Christmas cruise in Windsor proved this again. 

Read more from her and the group here


Gareth Pugh, chef and director of the Windsor & Maidenhead Boat Company, and his excellent team looked after us all admirably. The food was delicious with dietary requirements dealt with efficiently. The licensed bar was an appreciated addition.

The water levels were high (as were our spirits), and fast-flowing (as was the chatter and laughter).

There was little activity either afloat or ashore as we cruised along the river and through the lock; just the occasional swan or curious bird. We passed imposing properties with water lapping rather too close to their lawns with many jetties already below the water line. Against the flow we travelled for nearly two hours before returning in about a quarter of the time!

Windsor & Maidenhead Boat Company's Georgian boat which Elizabeth Hodgson's group had a Christmas cruise and lunch on

The cruise on board The Georgian was so popular they’re running another trip with the company in April.

Reluctantly we said goodbye to Gareth and his crew for a really lovely time – and a promise that we would be back in April so those who had been unable to secure places this time will have the opportunity to join us then.

To find out more about the Windsor & Maidenhead Boat Company and what they offer groups go to