Island Scene New

Host your private group event on the water

Fresh air, an escape from the day-to-day, a private boat, non-stop views, and mouth-watering cuisine. That’s our definition of the perfect event — and our promise to you. Customised to fit your needs whether it’s a wedding reception, company event, or any other celebration. Come on board and find out why every event is better on the water.

Why choose us for your next event?

Choice of quality vessels

We have the largest fleet of boats in Poole – the largest of which can accommodate up to 120 people for a private event. Our smallest boat can accommodate up to 80 people as has a large outside deck but has a small saloon and bar, perfect for up to 20 people.

Vast operational network

The scale of our operation makes us more able to adapt to challenges and in turn makes your event more secure.


You are in control. We can operate from both Poole Quay and Swanage Pier and we can personalise your event on board to make it as unique as you are.

Here for you

Dedicated sales and delivery team who are available to you at every stage of the booking and delivery process.

Part of the Hornblower group

The global leader in world-class experiences, our customer experience draws on our learnings around the world.

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Event Details

Tell us about your event

Contact Details

Contact Information

  • Events on the water

    Treat your staff to an unforgettable boat cruise. We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country and what better way to see it than from a boat. Sailing through Europe's largest natural harbour past Brownsea Island, Old Harry Rocks and The UNESCO World Heritage Site of The Jurassic Coast, then going towards Swanage then back through Poole Bay, Sandbanks Peninsula and Millionaire's Row, you can enjoy the stunning scenery whilst dancing the night away. Boats are also a fanatsic and unique way to impress future clients - picture a cruise around the coastline whilst enjoying some prosecco and canapes and light music. A variety of catering and entertainment options are available to personalise the cruise to you!
  • Weddings

    What could be more memorable than spending your wedding day sailing along the Dorset Coastline. Take your commitment vows overlooking Brownsea Island and have photos in front of Old Harry Rocks or the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Jurassic Coastline. Our larger boats can accommodate up to 60 people for a commitment ceremony and 120 people for the wedding reception and we have a dedicated team to help you plan everything from catering, flowers, decorations and more. Packages available for just the ceremony and drinks reception, or to spending up to 6 hours with us from ceremony, drinks reception, BBQ and evening reception. Packages can be tailor made to suit you and make your dreams come true. For those that are already married and are looking to re-new their vows then holding the ceremony and reception on a boat is a unique way to mark your special day and impress your guests.
  • Parties & Celebrations

    If you are looking for a unique and memorable party venue, then City Cruises have a variety of different sized boats to meet your requirements. We have 2 larger boats with a dedicated dancefloor - perfect for sailing towards Swanage whilst enjoying a live band or a DJ. We also have 2 smaller boats that offer an intimate setting for a smaller celebration. A variety of catering is available from a BBQ on the boat to an elegant afternoon tea. Perfect choice for birthdays, anniversaries, hen parties and more.
  • Schools & Universities

    Take the classroom to the open air and educate students of any age about the beautiful Dorset Coastline and wildlife we are lucky enough to have in abundance. Take a trip around Poole Harbour, the largest natural harbour in Europe, or sail along the UNESCO world heritage site, The Jurassic Coast and learn about 185 million years of geographical history and visit the only place on Earth where rocks from The Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods can be seen in one place.
  • Christmas

    Are you ready to set sail on a holiday celebration like no other? Gather your loved ones and join us for an unforgettable Christmas party on the stunning waters of Poole Harbour.
  • Scattering of Ashes

    Many people request to have their ashes scattered in a location that holds some special meaning to them. This includes being scattered at sea particularly popular for people who have a fondness of the sea or a nautical background. For the families this is a beautiful way to say a final farewell to their loved one in a peaceful and memorable setting.

Our Customers

Our wedding was wonderful and unforgettable. The food was fantastic and the service was first class. I am so pleased that we choose Hornblower Cruises for our wedding and will definitely recommend you to our family and friends.
- Michelle K
Thank you for making our wedding PERFECT! The stars were aligned-the food was excellent, service was impeccable, and the MC and music was THE BEST! I savored every bit of my wedding and received many compliments from the guests.
- Stacey K

Our Fleet


FAQs – Private Hire

Where does the Poole private boat go?

For a shorter cruise, or a cruise from November to the end of March, City Cruises Poole will sail around Poole Harbour, sailing past Brownsea Island, Sandbanks Peninsula, Millionaire’s Row and more (2 – 3 hours). Weather dependent the cruise can also sail towards Old Harry Rocks past Studland Bay. For a longer cruise (3 – 4 hours) the boat will take you through The Harbour, then past Studland Bay, Old Harry Rocks, The Jurassic Coast and into Swanage Bay, then back to Poole Harbour through Poole Bay.

What sights will I see on the Poole private boat hire?

Harbour & Islands Cruise – Poole Quay, Brownsea Island, Brownsea Castle, (Furzey Island, Green Island – subject to tides), Sandbanks Peninsula, Millionaire’s Row. Jurassic / Swanage trip – Poole Harbour as above + Studland Bay, Old Harry Rocks, Jurassic Coast, Swanage Bay.

How long is the Poole charter boat cruise?

Minimum of 2 hours for a private charter. Evening charters average are 3 hours.

What is the maximum/minimum number of guests we can have onboard your Poole private boat hire?

There are 4 boats in the Poole fleet. The two smaller boats can accommodate up to 80 guests and the two larger boats can accommodate up to 120 guests for a private party.

Does your Poole charter boat have an outside deck?

Yes, all our boats have at least one outer deck as well as an indoor saloon. All decks have seating on them

Are kids allowed on board your Poole charter boat?

Yes of course! They would just need to be accompanied by an adult.

Can we have decorations on the Poole charter boat?

Yes of course! You can decorate the Poole charter boat in whichever way you wish, ie. Balloons, banners, flags, bunting etc. However some items are not allowed such as glitter, confetti, small streamers or open flames such as candles.

Is the Poole charter boat wheelchair accessible?

Due to the fluctuation of tides our boats are not fully wheelchair accessible. Guests must be able to walk the gangway onto the boats and the wheelchair will be stored on board during your trip. Of course our crew are there to help!

Which pier can we embark/disembark at?

Poole Quay is our main location, but we also offer our Jurassic Circular Cruises and Swanage to Poole sightseeing cruises from the victorian Pier in Swanage.

Can we have our Poole private boat hire event go past 10:30pm?

Unfortunately not.

Do you cater for all dietary requirements?

Yes, we cater for most dietary requirements, including gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, lactose free, coeliac, peanut & seafood allergies. Please speak to our sales team on booking as we need to be notified of any allergies 2 weeks prior to the day of the event.

Do you do vegetarian and vegan options?

Yes, we do vegetarian and vegan options.

Do you do halal food?

Yes, all our food is halal, except for the dishes containing pork.

Can we bring our own food and drinks on the Poole private boat hire?

If your Poole private boat hire event is off peak, you may be able to bring your own food onboard. This would need to be with a licensed caterer, and we would need to discuss their requirements and see proof of insurance. You wouldn’t be able to bring your own soft drinks or alcohol. The only exception would be for specialty drinks we can not supply. There will be a corkage fee in these cases.

When do you need to know final numbers?

We would need to know final numbers at least 2 weeks prior to the Poole charter boat event.

When do you need the final payment?

We would need final payment at least 2 weeks prior to the Poole private boat hire event also. We ask for 50% of the full charge on confirmation as a deposit and this is non refundable.

Do you allow ticketed events?

We may consider a ticketed event and this would need to be discussed with the sales team when enquiring. Any ticketed events need to book our security guards at the ratio of 1 guard to 30 guests. All guests will be expected to carry ID with them and bags will be searched on entering the boat. Any incidences on board will mean the trip will be terminated and the boat will return to harbour immediately.

Do you allow 18th and 21st birthday parties?

We do not host birthdays under 25 as standard. If it is a small sit down family event, an exception may be granted.

Do you allow smoking on the Poole charter boats?

Yes, in the designated smoking areas only.