York
Cruises & Boat Tours

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended York Cruises & Boat Tours

York: River Ouse City Cruise

1. York: River Ouse City Cruise

The York City Cruise provides an entertaining and informative tour of the historic city as seen from the River Ouse. Enjoy the sights from a different perspective as a friendly and knowledgeable team guides you leisurely up and downstream. Your cruise departs from the King's Staith landing. Admire the scenery from the comfort of the enclosed saloon or the upper deck and treat yourself to a refreshing drink from the bar. The duration of the cruise is either 45 minutes or 1 hour and is determined by the weather on the day and by demand. Your ticket will be valid for whatever duration is offered on the day of your visit. Typically the 1-hour cruise follows a route that heads upstream to Clifton Bridge on the northern outskirts of York city and then downstream as far as the Millennium Bridge on the city’s southern outskirts, before returning back upstream to the original landing stage. The 45-minute cruise operates in the same area without going quite as far in either direction, passing through the center of the walled city. During the cruise, the captain will keep you entertained with live commentary about the sites you pass. Learn about York’s history of flooding and its prosperity as an inland port, as you sail along the river that brought the Romans and the Vikings to this site. You’ll sail on a vessel that features an enclosed and heated saloon, restrooms, and a fully stocked bar serving beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, hot drinks, and snacks.

York: Self-Drive Red Boats

2. York: Self-Drive Red Boats

Enjoy a leisurely one hour hire, exploring York from the helm of your own self-drive motorboat. Become a captain and explore the sites of York’s riverside in style. Your private boat can accommodate up to 8 people and will provide plenty of room for you all to head out on your own aquatic adventure, exploring the same river that brought the Vikings to this beautiful city. You will receive full instructions on how to operate your motor boat along with safety and river rules, whilst life jackets will be provided for any children. Your boat operating area is along a route that will along you to take in the whole city from the river within the one hour. Additionally, on a half hour hire you can operate within this area and will be able to take in most of the built up section of the Ouse, or make your way down stream to the Millennium Bridge and back to the moorings again. Please note that the boats cannot be taken past Clifton Bridge or the Millennium Bridge. You are not allowed to moor the boat up and disembark at any point on the river other than at the at King’s Staith (where your hire first began).

York: River Ouse Early Evening Cruise

3. York: River Ouse Early Evening Cruise

This 1-hour Early Evening Cruise is an entertaining and informative tour of historic York from the River Ouse. Enjoy the city from a different perspective as a friendly and knowledgeable team guides you leisurely up and downstream. During the cruise, the captain will keep you entertained with live commentary about the sites you pass. Learn about York’s history of flooding and its prosperity as an inland port, as you sail along the river that brought the Romans and the Vikings to this site. You’ll sail on a vessel that features an enclosed and heated saloon, rest rooms and a fully stocked bar serving beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, hot drinks and snacks.

York: River Ouse Floodlit Evening Cruise

4. York: River Ouse Floodlit Evening Cruise

Relax and enjoy a romantic end to your evening in York on this 70-minute Floodlit Evening Cruise. Your ticket includes a choice of refreshments; adults and concessions aged 18 and over can choose from a hot drink and a biscuit or a glass of Prosecco. Children and concessions aged under 18 can choose from a hot drink and a biscuit or a soft drink and a biscuit. Boarding commences at 20:45 and the boat departs at 21:15 from the King’s Staith Landing in central York. The boat returns to the departure location at 22:25. Sail a circular route on the River Ouse, as you enjoy a relaxing mix of jazz and swing background music. The on-board floodlights will illuminate landmarks along the water edge, as you take in the historic sights of York from a different perspective. You’ll sail on a vessel that features an enclosed and heated saloon, rest rooms and a fully stocked bar serving beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, hot drinks and snacks.

York: Evening Dinner Cruise

5. York: Evening Dinner Cruise

During the two and a half hour cruise, as you wine and dine, you will be kept entertained by a live and informative sightseeing commentary, interspersed with background music. You will be served a glass of house wine as you step aboard, before being treated to three delectable courses, followed by a choice of tea or coffee and chocolates. You will take in great views of York's riverscape before heading beyond the city limits to view the spectacular 13th Century riverside residence of His Grace the Archbishop of York, Bishopthorpe Palace. You will then continue further downstream towards the villages of Naburn and Acaster Malbis, before returning to the city center.

York Afternoon Tea Cruise

6. York Afternoon Tea Cruise

Enjoy this charming cruise aboard the Captain James Cook boat, with delicious food, sailing daily from April to September. Be delighted by this 1.5-hour cruise with a selection of dainty home-made sandwiches, delicious finger desserts and a fruit scone with preserve and cream. All served with freshly brewed tea and coffee. This cruise departs from King’s Staith Landing. Your cruise will also include an informative commentary from a local, knowledgeable skipper as you sail through the city and then downstream to Bishopthorpe Palace, the stunning riverside residence of His Grace the Archbishop of York. Relaxing background music will play between the live commentary. The menu includes several rounds of sandwiches including coronation chicken, sliced ham with mustard mayo, egg mayonnaise and cress and cream cheese and cucumber. As well as homemade scones you will also be served a selection of cakes including carrot cakes and lemon drizzle cakes. Unlimited tea and coffee are also available.

York: River Ouse Lunch Cruise

7. York: River Ouse Lunch Cruise

Join a delightful 1.5-hour cruise and enjoy a delicious 2 course, plated lunch served on board the Captain James Cook boat. Your dessert will also be accompanied by tea or coffee. This cruise sails from our King’s Staith Landing only. Boarding commences at 11:30 AM, with your lunch served from 12:00 PM. Your cruise will also include relaxing background music whilst you enjoy your lunch, followed by some informative commentary from a local, knowledgeable skipper as the boat turns at Bishopthorpe Palace, the stunning riverside residence of His Grace the Archbishop of York and also as you head back upstream into the city. Menu: Individual Chicken and Ham Hock Wellington, Roast New Potatoes, White Wine and Thyme Sauce, served a selection of seasonal vegetables. or Vegetarian Option: Creamed Leek, Mixed Bean, Mushroom and Wensleydale Wellington, Wilted Spinach and Tomato Sauce, served a selection of seasonal vegetables. --- Chocolate and Strawberry Roulade --- Tea or Coffee

York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

8. York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

Contained within a ring of medieval stone walls, York concentrates 2000 years of history into a remarkably small area. This ninety-minute tour begins at Bootham Bar, the city’s northern entrance, from which every period of York’s development is visible, from Roman times to the present day. You’ll then enter the tranquil, green oasis of the Museum Gardens - a Victorian botanic garden which contains an 18th Century observatory, the remains of a Roman fortress and the spectacular ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. From here it is a short walk to the Minster - the largest medieval gothic cathedral in the country - which has dominated the city’s skyline for over 900 years. The Minster lies at the heart of a warren of ancient streets whose layout is Viking in origin. You’ll hear tales of Viking invasion while delving deep into the maze of secret passages known as ‘Snickelways’; passing an unhappy mermaid and a little red devil as well as catching a glimpse of a 15th Century banqueting hall. Finally you’ll emerge into the Shambles,York’s best-known cobbled street - once a row of butchers, now instantly recognisable to Harry Potter fans as the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

From York: Day Trip to Whitby and The North York Moors

9. From York: Day Trip to Whitby and The North York Moors

The tour heads out of the hustle and bustle of the city for a scenic drive through the Vale of York. The first stop is at the Kilburn White Horse hill figure on the boundary of the North York Moors National Park, where your guide will tell you the story of how it was carved into the hillside in 1857. The next stop is in the picturesque market town of Helmsley, where you can view the medieval castle, explore the quaint shops, or just have a leisurely Yorkshire brew in one of the cafés. After Helmsley, you will head off through Hutton-le-Hole into the heart of the scenic North York Moors National Park for some photo stops, passing the 16th century Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge (the highest point on the Moors) and Ralph’s Cross.   Then, stop in the quaint and picturesque Yorkshire village of Lealholm to see the stepping-stones over the River Esk — a great photo opportunity. It is then just a short journey into Whitby. Whilst hearing stories about the seaside town’s history from your guide, you will also learn about the main places of interest that you may want to visit. As you arrive in Whitby, there will be a brief stop at the Captain Cook Statue and Whalebone Arch on the West Cliff then alternative drop-offs at the harbour or Whitby Abbey (recommended if you wish to start your visit there and avoid having to climb the 199 steps).   You will have a leisurely 3 hours of free time in Whitby where you can visit the town’s newest attraction, The Endeavour Experience — 1 of only 2 full-size replicas of the HM Bark Endeavour in existence. See also the Captain Cook Museum, take the Bark Endeavour scale replica boat trip around the harbour, or view Whitby Abbey, inspiration for the Dracula books. You may also just explore the shops and market of the seaside town and experience fish and chips from the famous Magpie Café. After Whitby, you will head back onto the North York Moors and arrive in the picture-postcard village of Goathland (filming location for Aidensfield in the Heartbeat television series and Hogsmeade in the Harry Potter movies) where you can explore the filming locations, or maybe just grab an ice cream from the village store. The tour leaves Goathland for a final stop to enjoy the stunning views at the Hole of Horcum before heading back to York.

York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Tour

10. York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Tour

See York and some of its iconic sites without joining a tour group with this affordable walking tour that lets you explore at your own pace. York is a city that has been at many defining historical crossroads. On this is self-guided walk, you'll hear the extraordinary 2,000 years of history that made the city into what it is today. You'll experience Roman, Viking and medieval York, and you'll see the city's great sights and some of it's lesser ones too. And as you walk you'll learn the history of this great City and the central role it has played in the history of England. From its humble beginnings as a riverside Roman settlement, to its turbulent takeover by the Vikings, and on to its thriving medieval period of commerce - let's uncover some of the great figures and lesser known characters that have shaped this beautiful city by the Ouse River.

Frequently asked questions about York Cruises & Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Cruises & Boat Tours that are worth visiting in York?

The other unmissable things to do in York are:

Which York Cruises & Boat Tours are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in York

Want to discover all there is to do in York? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about York

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 200 reviews

Fantastic experience. The boat ride was not too fast or slow, and the boat was very steady. Captain was informative and we loved having a bar!

Wonderful experience. The boat ride was nice, and the tea/snacks were delicious.

Easy to understand instructions with pictures. Steady drive up the river

Amazing so good we went on another later would Highley recommend

Was absolutely lovely enjoyed it would definitely do it again.