European Waterways will complete five Downton Abbey cruises this year after adding two more sailings to meet demand.

Cruising on the eight-passenger vessel, Magna Carter, the itinerary takes guests along the River Thames and includes a rare visit to Highclere Castle – the setting of the popular period drama series, Downton Abbey.

There are already three ‘Downton cruises’ scheduled to depart on April 13, April 20 and May 4 – and now cruisers can book departures on August 10 and 17 August.

European Waterways managing director Derek Banks said the cruise has been popular.

“We introduced the tour of Highclere Castle into our shore excursion programme last year and our clients on Magna Carta enjoyed it so much, we decided to bring it back in 2014 for selected departures,” Mr Banks said.

The Victorian castle is located on a 1,000-acre estate and is the home of the fictional Crawley family on the show. The property is actually owned by Lord and Lady Carnarvon, who still reside in the castle today.

Other features of the cruise include a private tour of Dorney Court where Elizabeth and The Other Boleyn Girl were filmed and a tour of Christ Church, where Lewis Carroll wrote ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’.

The cruise is priced from $5,800 per person twin share for six nights and includes all meals, wines, daily excursions and local transfers.