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Yorkshire and The Humber

Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Yorkshire and The Humber 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.

Skipton: 1-Hour Canal Cruise

2. Skipton: 1-Hour Canal Cruise

Welcome aboard the best 60 minutes of historic escapism you can find in Skipton. Enjoy a lively canal trip that proves you don't have to let planning or nasty weather get in the way of a good time. Keep your camera ready to capture the picturesque countryside scenery.  Your guide for the canal tour is award-winning comedian Dave Spikey of “Phoenix Nights” and “8 out of 10 Cats” fame. With his characteristic Northern patter, Dave takes you on a whistle-stop tour of Skipton and shares canal history that’s refreshingly different from your average commentary. Above the jokes and laughter, hear points of interest and fascinating stories of how the Leeds and Liverpool Canal delivered the lifeblood of the Industrial Revolution through Yorkshire. Food and drink are available onboard too for a fun twist on your lunchtime break.

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.

Emmerdale Village Set Guided Tour

4. Emmerdale Village Set Guided Tour

Explore the stunning Emmerdale Village and visit the outdoor set where episodes of your favorite soap are brought to life. Home to the stars of Emmerdale during the week, this weekend tour gives you the chance to experience the drama for yourself. Due to the closed set location, your journey will start at The New Inn, Eccup Lane, Leeds, LS16 8AU. Board the tour bus and transfer to a secure area located within the Harewood Estate. Set off on a fully guided, outdoor walking tour and explore the village and the exterior sets of iconic locations from the TV show including The Woolpack, Café Main Street, David's Shop, and more. There will of course be plenty of time to take photos.

York: Self-Steer Boat Rental

5. York: Self-Steer Boat Rental

Enjoy a leisurely one hour hire, exploring York from the helm of your own self-steer 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: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

6. 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.

Leeds: 2-Hour Highlights Walking Tour

7. Leeds: 2-Hour Highlights Walking Tour

Meet your Blue Badge-certified guide in the heart of the city. Whether a tourist or a long-time local, let your guide lead you on a fascinating journey through the history of Leeds. Discover how it has come to be the city known and loved today.  Learn the story of wool, how it made the city rich, and how the industry paved the way for some great engineers. See what must be the most beautiful factory in the world, made out of local materials. The two-hour walk will take you to some hidden corners, as well as past art galleries, arcades, markets, trading places, and pocket gardens. Pick up some quirky facts along the way. Finish back at City Square with the history of the city brought to life and lots of tour tips for making the most out of the rest of your stay.

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

8. 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.

From Manchester: Yorkshire Sightseeing Day Trip

9. From Manchester: Yorkshire Sightseeing Day Trip

Get a taste of Yorkshire on a full-day minibus tour from Manchester. Explore the county's history and cuisine, admire feats of Victorian engineering, and see the picturesque Hardraw Force waterfall. Make your way to the National Express Coach Station near Manchester Airport Railway Station to meet your driver for the day. Then, board your minibus and travel along roads inaccessible to normal buses throughout the day. After a partially-narrated 2-hour journey, arrive in Haworth to discover the stories of the Bronte Sisters — Anne, Charlotte, and Emily. From there, head to the stunning limestone feature of Malham Cove, formed by melt-water from glaciers over 12,000 years ago. See the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct, a masterpiece of 19th-century engineering, and take a stroll to get a closer look at its 1.5 million bricks. A stop at the must-visit Wensleydale Creamery follows. Sample some of its famous cheeses, made originally by Cistercian Monks. Next, visit the pretty village of Hawes, a honeypot boasting shops, cafes, pubs, and locals sipping John Smith's while munching a Yorkshire Pudding. Once you have explored Hawes, head to Hardraw Force, the UK's highest single-drop waterfall (30 meters/100 feet). Enjoy the splash pool and the breathtaking natural “amphitheater” before beginning your journey back to Manchester. Please note that the Hardraw Force entrance fee is not included in the tour price, but is available as an optional add-on for £2.50.

York: Bishopthorpe Palace Christmas Cruise

10. York: Bishopthorpe Palace Christmas Cruise

The Bishopthorpe Palace Christmas Cruise is an ideal way to escape the busy shopping streets and step into the Christmas spirit. Your ticket includes a choice of hot drink (tea, coffee or hot chocolate) and a mince or apple pie.The one-hour relaxing cruise features traditional Christmas songs, punctuated with live captain’s commentary. Leave from old port district at King’s Staith, pass underneath the Millennium Bridge before leaving the outskirts of the city and sail past the site of the Battle of Fulford, arguably one of the most significant in the history of the United Kingdom. Experience a fantastic chance to look out for wildlife including swans, cormorants and kingfishers, as you leave the city centre and sail downstream to the village of Bishopthorpe. The vessel turns at the glorious 13th century Bishopthorpe Palace, official residence of the Archbishop of York. Your vessel will be equipped with an enclosed heated saloon, at least two toilets and a fully stocked bar serving beers, wines, spirits, soft drinks, hot drinks and snacks.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Yorkshire and The Humber

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What people are saying about Yorkshire and The Humber

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 200 reviews

Annabella was lovely & very knowledgeable. Visiting our family but never properly walked around. Went to places we have never seen. Wonderful experience.

Excellent river cumulus, friendly people and relaxing atmosphere. Very nice city, recommended for a trip to York.

I think you need prior knowledge of driving boats before booking, especially a busy times

Fabulous evening - perfect from start to finish. Looking forward to the next one

Lovely way to relax and spend an hour gently cruising down the canal