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My name is Dominic Read and I am the Captain and part owner of the Magna Carta, the finest and most luxurious charter vessel cruising the British Isles.
I have been working with hotel barges for over 20 years and along with my business partner Geoffrey Temple, who has over thirty five years in International hotel management, formed Temple Read cruises and built the Magna Carta to begin river cruising in 2002.
Until Magna Carta was completed, the only way to enjoy the space and facilities of the very finest floating hotel barges was to take a barge vacation in France, or afloat on some of the other European rivers and canals.
I have worked as Captain on many types of boat in England as well as being a private guide for small groups travelling to the famous (and hidden) places of interest over the British Isles. Knowing how popular tourism is to our country, we thought it would be a great idea to combine the very best of holidays afloat and private sightseeing tours.
Many of the hotel barges which river cruise in Europe carry 10, 12 or even 20 passengers and are no larger than Magna Carta and often smaller! We deliberately chose to take just 8 guests and give each one the maximum in terms of service and space. The end results are cabins each averaging 200 sq ft with king-sized beds and extra spacious en-suite facilities.
The saloon and sun decks are also much larger than expected and give our guests the space to really relax and unwind. Service is second to none with a crew of four that includes myself, a master chef, a hostess and deck hand.
Captain Dominic Read, Magna Carta