This Harry Potter Cruise Sounds Magical, But You're Going To Need To Save Your Galleons To Afford It
You might never get the chance to drive the Weasley's flying Ford Anglia or take a ride aboard the Hogwarts Express, but this summer, you can take your fandom to the open waters aboard a new Harry Potter-themed river cruise. For seven days, a group of eight lucky aspiring witches and wizards will have the chance to visit the most iconic landmarks from the film series while riding down the Thames on an enchanting barge ship. If you haven't finished making your summer bucket list yet, you're going to want to make sure this is on it — though you should probably start saving your Galleons now, as the cruise will cost you a cool $4,190 per person.
From the coffee shops of Edinburgh to the King's Cross railway station in London, the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland's West Highlands to busy streets of Hogsmeade in Florida's Wizarding World, there are dozens of incredible tourist destination for Harry Potter fans to visit all over the world. Every year, thousands of Potterheads make pilgrimages to the most iconic locations in their fandom's history, and every year, it seems there is a new spot to add to the list, and 2018 isn't going to be any different. In addition to the new exhibition of Harry Potter: A History of Magic, which opens in October at the New-York Historical Society, and the hundreds of festivals and events taking place in honor of the series's 20th anniversary, there is a unique new opportunity for Potterheads who aren't afraid of getting wet.
Starting this summer, Barge Lady Cruises will be offering a magical experience unlike any other: a Harry Potter Magic Cruise down the majestic River Thames. The trip starts in London, where guests meet the cruise ship's crew before being treated to a delightful afternoon tea at the elegant Stafford Hotel. After enjoying the beloved English tradition, passengers will set off for a seven day adventure aboard the intimate, eight-passenger Magna Carta barge ship that ferries fans from one fantastic film location to the next.
Along the way, Potterheads can try and reenact the famous hippogriff flying scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when they stop off at Virginia Water, the site of Harry's lakeside encounter with Buckbeak. Next, they'll have a chance to track down the Dursleys at Dorney Court and Picket Post Close, the real-life locations of 4 Pivet Drive in the first film, before heading to Christ College at Oxford, where they can take in the same impressive architecture new Hogwarts students marvel at in the Great Hall. True fans will also jump at the chance to visit the behind-the-scenes Harry Potter tour at Warner Brothers Studio, where they will have plenty of time to stock up on Hogwarts House swag and scrumptious sweets before the trip back to reality. Entrance to each destination, including additional stops at Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle, are included with the cruise, and guests are even given access to bicycles onboard to use at each tour stop.
When passengers aren't busy snapping photos of their favorite movie scenes or reliving the best part of the books, they can relax on board the Magna Carta, where they will be served all-inclusive fresh, locally-sourced meals and accompanied by thoughtfully paired wines. Cruise tickets might not include bottomless pints of Butterbeer, but it does include an open bar.
The 2018 Harry Potter cruises are scheduled to take place August 5-11 and August 19-15, but you might want to hold your hippogriffs before getting too excited about this fantastic opportunity. Unless you're prepared to rob Gringotts, you might find the fare for this unique experience out of your price range. Witches and wizards with galleons to spare can charter a private cruise for themselves and seven friends for around $34,000.