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Greta - Information & FAQ

Greta is a Thames Sailing Barge built in 1892 to be used as a working barge transporting cargo on the River Thames and the Thames Estuary.

Greta still works providing Thames Sailing Barge day trips for individuals and groups from early spring through to late September/early October.  Daily sailings from the South Quay - Whitstable Harbour (near Canterbury),  Kent.

You can also have private use of the 'GRETA' Thames Barge by chartering the barge for the day. Our insurance allows for groups of up to 12 passengers. On Thames Barge Match Days we allow up to 8 passengers.

Valid for one year, a Gift Voucher for a Thames Barge Sailing Trip on the 'GRETA' makes an excellent present for a birthday or any other Special Occasion. Order now for this year or next year!

Depending on the course set on the day by the Skipper - Steve Norris,  you might see the Maunsell Forts built during World War 2 that are  just over 12 miles from Herne Bay.The Kentish Flats offshore  Windfarm  6.2 miles off Whitstable, the old Herne Bay Pier Head, where once steamers called to take trippers to France, The Ancient Reculver Church Tower, once more than a mile from the sea or even seals off the Isle of Sheppey!

Most of our boat trips from Whitstable are approximately six hours in duration, so bring your own picnic and refreshments. 

 We can also arrange catering with a local supplier for large parties.

A typical day on board 'GRETA' starts 30 minutes before departure with a welcome coffee and a brief talk about the barge and safety. Slipping her moorings the 'GRETA' sets out for the day's sailing. Once the sails are set and the engine is stopped a new calm atmosphere envelopes the barge and its occupants. Peace and quiet replace the stress and strain of every day life.

Lunch may be taken at anchor or underway.

If anyone in the party are of a musical ilk please bring your instruments along and have a sing-a-long. Drifting along with a guitar strumming and gentle voices mingling makes for an idyllic afternoon.

You can just lie back and doze, wake up, eat and drink and doze again; you can help with the sails, winding the anchor or leeboards. Passenger involvement in the sailing of the 'GRETA' is optional and at the Skipper's discretion.

After a day of sailing, which is to a certain extent influenced by the wind and tide, the 'GRETA' returns home to her mooring along side the South Quay inside Whitstable  Harbour.