Downton Abbey the movie, following the popular TV series which swept the world, has sparked more cruise lines to promote tours to Highclere Castle in England where the movie was filmed so that passengers can experience the pomp and pageantry of the upstairs-downstairs period drama.
Several lines including Viking, Cunard and European Waterways, are offering specially tailored tours to the magnificent Highclere Castle, where the movie and popular TV drama was filmed. Passengers can then experience first-hand, what it is like to live the pampered lives of the Earl and Countess of Grantham in the movie.
European Waterways’ is offering a tailored-made, six-night itinerary on its luxury barge Magna Carta which will cruise down the River Thames and visit Highclere Castle where guests will be able to meet Lady Carnarvon, the 8th Countess of Carnarvon, the castle’s current resident.
Guests will be able to walk the halls where Downton Abbey was filmed, visiting the main hall, drawing room and bedrooms and explore the estate’s 1000-acre parkland.
Downton Abbey cruises on the eight-passenger Magna Carta this year have already been sold out but the line is taking bookings for next year, starting at $4750 per person, based on double occupancy.
“Highclere Castle looks magnificent on TV, but it’s even more impressive in person, with the splendour of its rooms and the castle’s beautiful parkland bringing the magnificence of the drama to life,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways.
Guests will also be able to visit St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle and Hampton Court Palace where movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Sherlock Holmes were filmed.
Even ocean lines are keen to get in on the Downton Abbey craze.
Cunard is offering “ A Very British Affair” tour where passengers can enjoy an exclusive evening of dining and entertainment at Highclere Castle. Starting with a canapés and champagne at the saloon, passengers will then be taken on a tour of the spectacular house including glimpses of the bedrooms before tucking into a sumptuous three-course meal in the opulent dining room while a string quartet plays music in the background.
The 24-night itinerary departing on 16 June next year will include two nights stay in London, a night in Winchester and a visit to Highclere before they embark Queen Victoria for a captivating cruise of the beautiful Baltics and Norwegian Fjords. The cruise will depart from Southampton and call at Lerwick, Akureyri, Isafjordur, Reykjavik, Torshavn, Kirkwall, Stavanger, Flam, Alesund, Bergen before arriving back in Southampton.
Prices start from $9999 per person for an inside cabin.
Viking has unveiled a new, pre-and-post cruise extension starting in 2021 which includes privileged access to Highclere Castle. Guests will be able to have tea at the castle and be taken for a tour of the castle’s public rooms, including the magnificent main hall, dining room, library and sitting rooms featured in the television costume drama. They will also be able to savour the recently launched Highclere Castle gin, a super-premium London Dry Gin inspired by the botanicals from the castle’s gardens. There will also be a visit to the nearby Bombay Sapphire Distillery to learn about the history and production of gin.
Highclere Castle, located between London and Bath, is the real-life home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon whose family has lived there since 1679.