Water activity

Manchester: City Center Canal Cruise

Water activity

Manchester: City Center Canal Cruise

Activity provider: Manchester River Cruises
Likely to sell out

From US$ 14.73 per person

Likely to sell out

Take a scenic cruise along Manchester's historic Ship Canal and River Irwell. Discover 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

See Manchester from another perspective on a scenic canal cruise. Make your way along the Manchester Ship Canal and River Irwell, admiring some of the city's key sights including Manchester United's home ground and the historic Stephenson's Railway Bridge.

Board the cruise in central Manchester and embark on a trip to the heart of Manchester's old docklands and 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 railway bridge from 1830. Pass by the first of the 120-meter-long locks of the Manchester Ship Canal, admiring the impressive Imperial War Museum and old Pomona Docks before heading into the heart of Manchester along the River Irwell. During the cruise, listen to commentary that describes the history of the Manchester Ship Canal. Learn about the industries that made the city one of the powerhouses of Europe in the 19th century and hear about the exciting future that's currently being built.

  • Cruise
  • Commentary
  • Food and drinks
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

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Meeting point

Go to Ralli Quay, located 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 footbridge; access by road is easier via the Bridge Street side of Stanley Street. The nearest parking is at the NCP New Bailey.

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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 1028 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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The ride gives a nice impression of the city from the water. The staff is friendly, there is a tape with information about the sights. Unfortunately we drove in the rain, so visibility wasn't great. Since we undertook the trip in December, there was no weather for sitting on deck. But the organizer can't do anything about that.

December 27, 2022

We where very lucky to find this and to be fair the experience seemed too good to be true and such good value ( that until the cruise turned up we wondered is this for real - yes it is ) The cruise boat was clean and airy. We where lucky as he heavens opened as we boarded but this only added to the experience and intimate coziness of the cruise. It’s November so not packed but that makes it feel like a hidden gem and for us felt very romantic. Drinks available onboard very reasonable and there is no commercialism which is refreshing and keeps it real The staff are so friendly and it was just an enjoyable 45 mins. The guide playing is not in your face but continuous and even locals would learn points of interest We loved it and would certainly recommend it - even finding it (without Google cheating) was fun! No big boards or sales men just a tiny sign pointing you. We found a good pub The Dockyard across the way as we waited for the boat to dock A great highlight to our day

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November 26, 2022

Really relaxing ride along the river and back. Not all scenery is what some people might have hoped for but I loved it none the less. To me it’s the real Manchester and Salford and where I grew up so was lovely reminiscing. Really friendly staff and lovely hot chocolate at great prices. Well worth it for anyone visiting or just something different when you’ve got some time to kill. Definitely recommend

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November 16, 2022

Product ID: 107185