Cruise the Ouse with the John Bunyan Boat!

One of our more unique cultural providers, The John Bunyan Boat recently announced their 2019 cruise schedule. As we leave the depths of winter behind and spring is finally upon us, a cruise along our local river provides a unique perspective on Bedford.

As well as running a wide range of public cruises, the Bunyan Boat have worked with local schools, colleges and youth groups to offer a variety of cruises in a unique education friendly environment. A cruise can provide the opportunity for teachers to integrate a lesson plan based around such topics as nature, the environment, history, geography, commerce, waterways, transportation and others into a real-world experience.

The Bunyan Boat is able to provide a third party ‘educator’ alongside the cruise itself. Here are some of the themes:

  • Visit the John Bunyan Museum in addition to your Bunyan Boat cruise and find out about the exciting life and legacy of John Bunyan himself.
  • Environment – Kate Bygrave, an environmental educator and youth worker gives commentary on the various natural features and variety of wildlife along the riverside which can be seen from the Bunyan Boat.
  • Local History – Karen Fryc, co-author of “The Bedford Chronicles” covers many historical eras associated with Bedford and it’s river during the cruise.
  • Pirate based Art Cruises with mixed media artist Anne-Marie Stijelja – expect face painting, flags, eye-patches, mermaids, maps, word searches and pirate daggers!
  • Mini Map-Makers with Alice Gadney – find out more about the River Ouse and how it has changed on maps throughout time (goodie bags included!)

Last year saw the Bunyan Boat enjoy their most successful season yet, so the team are excited to share their newly launched cruise programme for 2019, launching just in time for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Here are some highlights of their season:

  • Their first monthly Jazz Cruise of the season sails from The Barns Hotel on Thursday 18th April with music from Rachel & Friends
  • On Easter Monday there are short cruises along the Embankment, leaving from Sovereigns Quay (next to Star Rowing Club and close to Riverside Bedford)
  • The usual Thursday Afternoon Public Cruises from Sovereigns Quay to Cardington Lock, commence on Thursday 25th April.
  • The Motown-Soul Cruise with DJ Keith Stewart runs on a monthly basis commencing 9th May.
  • The Walkers Special run on Thursdays @ 1.30pm offering a one-way ride from Priory Marina to Sovereigns Quay (in the Town Centre). The passengers are then free to enjoy Bedford Town Centre with a walk back alongside the river to Priory Marina (visiting the cafes etc. on the way!)
  • The “Folk On The Boat” run in association with Mill Race Folk and featuring various folk music artistes commence on Thursday 23rd May.

Do check out The Bunyan Boat’s website to book one of these events, and if you are interested in finding out how they might be able to work with your school, visit their Profile Page on the Culture Challenge Directory.