Magical Harry Potter cruise to set sail this summer
Dreaming of a truly magical cruise? Either Harry Potter fans or just those who prefer to perceive this life as an everyday fairy tale and are in no hurry to grow up will totally fall in love with this travel idea.
American travel company Barge Lady Cruises is offering a six-day trip aboard the luxury boat Magna Carta, which will sail on the River Thames in England and take you to several locations where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.
Starting per $4,190 per person and about $34,000 for eight guests, the river cruise boat fits up to eight passengers in four rooms and contains two decks, a spacious salon and dining room, a hot tub, under floor heating in the cabin and bathroom, a flat screen TV and DVD player and WiFi with limited availability. 2018 Harry Potter cruises are not numerous. Available only August 19 – 25 and September 16 – 22, Harry Potter fans probably should better book their places as soon as possible if they don’t want to miss the first theme cruises.
Now, the fulfillment of your children’s dreams is taken to the next level, and imagine it takes place on a luxury barge.
The itinerary includes stops at Virginia Water lake, where Harry first encounters Buckbeak in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the street that contains the house where Harry used to live with his Uncle Vernon and Petunia Dursley, and Warner Brothers Studios, where you will take part in the official Harry Potter tour.
Within this timeless milieu, the Magna Carta uniquely immerses its passengers into an atmosphere both antique and modern, unknown and familiar. Guests are initially met by Magna Carta crew at the glamorous Stafford Hotel in London, where they are treated to an afternoon tea, a most recognizable British tradition! Then, the modern metropolis is but a distant memory upon boarding the Magna Carta, moored in the rustic countryside on the River Thames. Guests are greeted upon arrival by Magna Carta’s owner and Captain, Dominic Read, a resident of the area and an expert in the folklore surrounding the river and its inhabitants.
Passengers will also be taken to Oxford University's Christ Church College, whose buildings have served as sets and inspiration for sets in several Harry Potter films. In fact, its Great Hall served as the inspiration for Hogwarts' own majestic dining hall.
The theme of cultural contrasts continues with the dining options, deliciously addressing outdated notions about British cuisine. Magna Carta’s modern menus are fresh and creative, utilizing the best of locally-sourced produce, meats, and fish. A broad selection of Old and New World wines are carefully paired with the meals, expanding the culinary exploration of sophisticated flavors.
Those Harry Potter fans who won’t have enough time to book the cruise or have some other plans for the dates might plan a small pilgrimage to Harry Potter destinations around the world.
Kings Cross Station in England
Kings Cross Station in London is probably the most famous Harry Potter place in the word.
You can stand in front of Platform 9 3/4 and take an adorable picture running through the wall, as if you finally got your Hogwarts letter! This is a must-see if you're ever in England and have an extra hour to spare.
With rich wooden panelling and drawers full of magical artefacts and wizarding gear, The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4 has numerous souvenirs for the fans.
The shop was opened by Harry Potter star Warwick Davis who played both Professor Flitwick and Griphook in the films. Surrounded by crowds of Harry Potter fans Warwick cut the ribbon to declare the shop open.
Goathland Railway Station, North Yorkshire, England
Goathland Railway Station was used as Hogsmeade Station in the films and fans still flock here to get their photos, despite not being able to jump aboard the Hogwarts Express (though you can do this on the Jacobite Steam Train).
The Weasleys' home, known as the Burrow, is located outside the village of Ottery St Catchpole, also near the home of the Lovegoods, the Diggorys and the Fawcetts. The Burrow was used as the Order of the Phoenix's headquarters, due to the compromised Fidelius Charm placed on 12 Grimmauld Place, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until it lost its given protection. The Weasley house has seven floors. It is also quite dilapidated, managing to remain standing only by magic. Despite the house's rundown appearance, Harry remarks on his first visit that it was the best house he had ever been in and it becomes his second favourite place in the world (after Hogwarts). The well-hidden orchard nearby doubles as a Quidditch pitch for the Weasley boys and Ginny Weasley. A multitude of garden gnomes infests the garden of the Burrow. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Burrow was described as a pig-sty that had extra rooms added to it. When a new child was born, Molly and Arthur Weasley just added an extra room onto the house. Outside the front door were a jumble of wellington boots and a rusty old cauldron.
Malfoy Manor is the home of the aristocratic Malfoy family: Lucius, Narcissa, their son Draco Malfoy and later Bellatrix Lestrange (sister of Narcissa). It is mentioned in the fifth book that the manor is located somewhere in Wiltshire, England. The Malfoys were previously served by Dobby the house elf, before Lucius was tricked by Harry into freeing him.
In the Chamber of Secrets, Draco reveals that the manor has its own "chamber of secrets" under the drawing room, which was used to hide valuable dark artefacts when the Ministry raided the manor. Voldemort used Malfoy Manor as headquarters on at least one occasion in Deathly Hallows. The three Malfoys seemed quite displeased by this use of their manor as Voldemort himself noted; only Bellatrix appears to be pleased he is there. The Malfoys have become prisoners in their own home and in very real fear for their lives. During the Deathly Hallows, several prisoners are being kept in the basement on Voldemort's orders, including Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas, Griphook the Goblin, and Mr. Ollivander. When Snatchers capture Harry, Ron, and Hermione, they are brought to Malfoy Manor. They escape with the other prisoners thanks to Dobby's help. The four residents of the manor are then placed under house arrest by Lord Voldemort, until they join with other Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Malfoy Manor was inspired by and partly shot at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire – a National Trust property.
Photo via Wikipedia Commons / Carlos Cruz