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 Booked 25 times yesterday

From US$ 11.93 per person

Likely to sell out Booked 25 times yesterday

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

4.5 /5

based on 728 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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Nice boat cruise along canal, seeing numerous sights including historic bridges, BBC Head office , Coronation St studio, Old Trafford stadium to name a few. Also former factory areas, long redeveloped as apartment buildings, former dockyards converted to horticultural areas. Was very pleasant, however as we sat upstairs I found it difficult to hear the commentary. Would definitely do this again & sit downstairs, with a snack & beverage in hand .☕ Would recommend, especially for 1st time tourists.

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August 8, 2022

Very pleasant cruise along Irwell onto Ship canal. Commentary was full of interesting facts, reflections on how and when various buildings, bridges were built. The commentary isn't a non-stop barrage of facts and figures, comes over in parts relating to where you are. Excellent trip I would recommend it. Very pleasant hour and at £10 pp is a real snip. Guys on board, friendly, seem happy to be there,

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August 1, 2022

I was celebrating my granddaughter’s birthday and she really enjoyed the trip. There was great commentary and lots of interesting sites to see on the way. Living in Manchester it was great to find out information about places that I normally see in passing but did not know their history. Even though it started to rain it only made the trip more interesting. I glad I took the trip.

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July 25, 2022

Product ID: 107185