Water activity

Manchester: City Center Canal Cruise

Activity provider: Manchester River Cruises

Manchester: City Center Canal Cruise

Activity provider: Manchester River Cruises
Likely to sell out

From US$ 11.17 per person

Likely to sell out

Take a 60 to 70-minute cruise along Manchester's historic Ship Canal and River Irwell on board a boat from central Manchester. Venture through the industrial heartland of the north of England and see historic monuments such as Stephenson's railway bridge.

About this activity

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Duration 65 minutes
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Audio guide included


  • Get a unique view of Stephenson's 1830 railway bridge and the contrasting Ordsall Chord
  • Cruise past Manchester United's home ground, known as the "Theatre of Dreams"
  • See highlights, from the ultra-modern Media City to the railway arches over Hulme Lock
  • Learn about Manchester's industrial past and exciting future from the on-board commentary
Full description
Climb aboard a pleasure boat in central Manchester and embark on a trip to the heart of Manchester's old docklands into the center of the city. See sights from the modern Media City, now home to the BBC and the new home of ITV's Coronation Street, to the imposing Old Trafford football stadium and George Stephenson’s 1830 railway bridge. Pass by the first of the 120 meter long locks of the Manchester Ship Canal, and admire the impressive Imperial War Museum and old Pomona Docks before heading into the heart of Manchester along the River Irwell. Listen to a full commentary that describes the history of the Manchester Ship Canal and the industries that made the city one of the powerhouses of Europe in the 19th century. Hear about the exciting future now being built.
  • 60-70 minute cruise
  • On board commentary
  • Bathrooms on board
  • Departure from Manchester City Center
  • Food and drinks
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

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Meeting point

Ralli Quay is on the other side of the river from the People's History Museum and opposite the Dockyard Bar. There are steps down to the quayside in front of the office building with a brick façade and blue windows at the end of the silver foot bridge; access by road is easier via the Bridge Street side of Stanley Street. The nearest parking is at the NCP New Bailey. Google Maps link to the exact meeting point is: https://goo.gl/maps/aFdgK25m68e1LvxZA

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Important information

Not allowed

  • Non-folding strollers
  • Party groups

Know before you go

  • The cruise is not wheelchair accessible as there are some steps descending into the vessel, and there are a series of steps down to the quay side before boarding the vessel
  • Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate full-sized baby strollers
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 866 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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It was easy to find the departure place and the staff were kind although no interaction after getting on board. The cruise did take us everywhere they said which was nice. The boat itself looked a bit tired and it was leaking a bit from the roof where I was seated, let's say it added to the experience.

September 16, 2022

The Manchester Canal Cruise was an excellent experience shared with family and friends. From the beginning, staff were friendly, welcoming and helpful. Check-in and boarding the boat were quick and simple. The tour guide gave enough detail about the sites and the history of Manchester. There were enough seats at the top of boat for a reasonable amount of people to be seated and it not feel cramped. The upper deck was open too and downstairs seating was enclosed but still allowed for a good view. Overall, it was a wonderful experienced. The canal cruise is suitable for families with young and older children, with a significant other, a solo experience or with friends.

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August 30, 2022

It is very good trip for me and my family. The sound of the guide was not loud and clear enough, especially for the people at the top. The trip was good and we saw a lot of attractions. I advice the people to go down in the BBC station to discover that area and visit the war museum. The price of ticket for the trip was expensive.

August 29, 2022

Product ID: 107185