Serena De Sousa Dunne has been a skipper with Berkshire-based French Brothers for more than seven years. She shares her favourite area to cruise in and why she loves her job. 

French Brothers

French Brothers’ sailings take in wonderful views of Windsor Castle. 

I have been a skipper at French Brothers for more than seven years now and I thoroughly enjoy it. We cover a lot of the River Thames from Henley all the way to Hampton Court and my favourite area to cruise in is definitely Cliveden because of how natural and tranquil it is.

If I was to recommend a particular cruise, it would probably be our Maidenhead to Windsor trip as you get to take in all of the lovely houses, restaurants, hotels, greenery and most importantly Windsor Castle. I find the best, most comfortable viewing point to be downstairs in the front cabin.

French Brothers skipper Serena De Sousa Dunne

Serena’s favourite time of year to cruise along the Thames is spring. 

How I became a skipper

I actually started off working for French Brothers as a bar and crew member and then went on to complete my boatmaster qualification at the age of 21. 

I absolutely love being outside on the water surrounded by wildlife. My favourite time of year is spring because of all the baby wildlife being born. Also it’s when the river changes and the surroundings become very green, luscious and full of colourful flowers. 

French Brothers are great for groups as the boats are very spacious but it is still intimate enough to all be together and we provide such a great platform for viewing and enjoying the Thames all year round.

French Brothers' Thames trips

GTOs can choose from a range of cruises including afternoon tea sailings. 

What French Brothers offers groups

The operator offers boat trips from Maidenhead, Windsor and Runnymede with exclusive group trips, discounted rates and packages.

GTOs can choose from a choice of round trips along with lunch and afternoon tea cruises as well as special experiences on a Victorian steam vessel. 

There are a selection of short and long trips. For Windsor, a 40-minute cruise goes upstream to Boveney Lock and returns with views of Windsor Castle and Eton College while a two-hour Runnymede cruise has additional views of the Royal Farm and Queen Adelaide’s Cottage before passing through Old Windsor Lock and the village of Datchet. 

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