2020 Charter Cruises


Trips On The Basingstoke Canal In Hampshire Aboard The John Pinkerton II

Why not Charter a Cruise for your Family Celebration, Private Party or Club Event in 2020?

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A relaxing cruise on our trip boat – the John Pinkerton II – is the perfect way to celebrate with family, friends or work colleagues. Your party of up to 50 guests will have exclusive use of the boat for the approx 2½ hour cruise from Odiham, in the peaceful surroundings of the Basingstoke Canal. Even if you live locally, the countryside and woodland views from the boat give you a totally different perspective, and make for a memorable and imaginative way to enjoy a taste of days gone by. Cruises run from April to October, and you can choose morning, afternoon or evening departures to suit your event. The added bonus is that all trips on the John Pinkerton II benefit The Basingstoke Canal Society, which works to safeguard the Canal for the future.

All trips are crewed by trained volunteer members of The Basingstoke Canal Society; all skippers are certified by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Make a day of it!

Why not make your half day trip on the canal into a day out by visiting another attraction in the area. Here are some ideas:

watercressSTEAM RAILWAY TRIP FROM ALRESFORD (right) Enjoy a steam train trip on the Watercress Line from Alresford in the morning, and a cruise on the John Pinkerton II in the afternoon. For details and bookings 01962 733810.

milest1MILESTONES MUSEUM AT BASINGSTOKE  (left) The Milestones living history museum at Basingstoke brings alive the social and economic history of Hampshire over 100 years. Walk through the town’s ‘streets’ with shop window displays showing how merchandise changed from 1850 to 1950. See the large collection of commercial vehicles, industrial and engineering artifacts and the recreation of the Chesil railway station at Winchester. For details and bookings 01256 477766.

Odiham CastleODIHAM (KING JOHN’S) CASTLE (right) It may be possible to arrange for a local guide to meet your party at the canal-side ruin of the early 13th Century Odiham Castle to describe the remains and give a 20 minute talk about its history in the days of King John.

Please ask for more information on these attractions when you charter the John Pinkerton II.

Make the most of your trip

CATERING There is a well stocked licensed bar on board, with light refreshments, tea and coffee. Corkage facilities are available by prior arrangement with the booking manager.

If you would like to use a catering service that will deliver to the boat, we can recommend:

Excel Jazz BandPLEASE NOTE: Food orders provided by outside suppliers do not include drinks. All beverages, including teas and coffees etc., should be obtained from the bar and paid for separately, or arrangements made to use the corkage facility.

Meals and drink are available before or after your trip from The Waterwitch pub, Odiham, adjacent to the Colt Hill departure point. 01256-702778

TRADITIONAL JAZZ BAND Add to the party atmosphere of your cruise and enjoy a canal boat shuffle with The Excel Jazzmen. For details and bookings 01252 549037.

ACOUSTIC DUO Sing along to tunes you know with Still Crazy Duo.  For details and bookings 07812 461367

Entertainers and also serving staff must be included in the total number of passengers.

BRING YOUR OWN MUSIC Or you may wish to play your own music:  on-board facilities include connection to a sound system for your iPod or mp3 player.

… AND DECORATE THE BOAT  Subject to the advance approval from the Booking Team.


Available Times and 2020 Tariff

swan-and-bridgeMornings 10.30am
Afternoons 2.30pm
Evenings 7.30pm
Charter cruises are available every day between April and October, apart from pre-published Public and Theme Trips.

HI-SEASON July and August
Monday to Friday afternoon £320
Friday evening to Sunday £340

MID-SEASON May, June and September
Monday to Friday afternoon £280
Friday evening to Sunday £300

LOW-SEASON April and October
Monday to Friday afternoon £240
Friday evening to Sunday £260

A discount of 10% is offered for weekday daytime cruises booked by schools and parties of senior citizens or disabled persons.

An approx 3½ hour extended trip can be arranged for an additional £70.

Charter Availability Calendar

Current availability of John Pinkerton Charter days and times can be viewed by clicking the Month Calendar links below.

You will not be able to book directly, but when you have selected a day and time, please email the Booking Team with your request.

Cruises available to charter are shown with green background; booked charters shown blue, public trips shown red, and offers shown yellow.

APRIL              MAY              JUNE              JULY              AUGUST              SEPTEMBER              OCTOBER

Enquiries and Bookings

For more information, or to make a booking for a charter trip, contact the Booking Team preferably by email, at jpbookings@basingstoke-canal.org.uk.

In case of difficulty, ring on 0750 686 4411 (10am – no later than 6pm please).

PLEASE NOTE: As a charity, our Booking Team consists of volunteers some of whom have day jobs, so please bear with us when phoning and leave a message if necessary – we will respond. Thank you for your consideration. 

How to Book a Charter Cruise

Please note that Charter Cruises cannot currently be booked on-line. We therefore ask you to bear with us and follow this procedure:

  1. Email the Booking Team to confirm that the boat is available on the date you want it.
  2. This date will be reserved for you for a period of 14 days, and shown on calendars above as ‘Offer.’
  3. Print a copy of the Charter Booking Form. (Adobe Reader Required).
  4. Complete the form and post it to the Booking Manager at the address on the form including 50% of the Charter Fee.
  5. The balance of payments must be made at least 14 days before the date of the cruise, which can be by cheque or by internet transfer. Payments may also be possible by debit or credit card over the phone.

Full Conditions of Hire are available here.

Departure Point

Charter trips depart from Colt Hill Wharf, Odiham.

key-starColt Hill, Odiham, RG29 1AL
The canal at Colt Hill is signposted down London Road at the eastern end of the High Street. Pass the Waterwitch pub and then cross Colt Hill Bridge, then turn right into the car park at the end of the road.

Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons

Please note that access into the boat is by five steps down from the rear deck, with handrails on each side; there is no mechanical lift for wheelchair users. Group organisers must provide able-bodied helpers for those that need looking after, and to lift wheelchair users if necessary.

Our smaller second trip boat Kitty, which operates in Woking, is fitted with a hydraulic lift for wheelchair users. For more details, see the Kitty website.

accessible-boatAlternatively, our sister charity Accessible Boating Association operates purpose-built boats to cater for disabled persons and their carers. For more details see www.accessibleboating.org.uk, or call on 07934 926683.


Except for assistance dogs, we regret that dogs cannot be taken on charter trips.

 Last updated by on 14 January, 2020