Are your cruises accessible?

City Cruises welcomes everyone! We’re committed to making your river cruise safe, enjoyable, and accessible.

  • Accessible Boat: Our fully-equipped River Duchess operates on a set schedule. To confirm timings for your visit, simply contact us beforehand.
  • Accessibility Information: For detailed accessibility information, please review our Accessibility Statement before your cruise.

Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out! Call us at 020 77 400 400 or email [email protected].

Can I bring a dog on the self-drive boats in York?

We happily welcome well-behaved dogs on board our Daytime Sightseeing Cruises, River Bus Service, and Self Drive Boats, at no additional cost, as long as they are kept on a leash. Please note that only Guide/Hearing Dogs are permitted on our Dining Cruises and Santa Experience.

How old do I have to be to hire a Self Drive boat in York?

Individuals who wish to rent must be at least 18 years old and may be asked to provide identification, such as a passport or driving license.

There are 8 of us, can we all get on one boat?

The maximum number of individuals allowed is five, due to licensing regulations.

Can I pay by card for the York self-drive boats?

If you have not pre-booked online in advance, both card and cash payments are accepted at the Self Drive landing. Furthermore, a minimum refundable security bond of £40 is mandatory for all rentals, which can be paid in full by either card (preferred) or cash upon arrival. If you choose to pay the security deposit via card, the refund will typically clear in your bank account by the third working day.

What is the Security Bond?

The security bond is there in case you cause deliberate damage to the boat whilst you are hiring it, return the boat to the Self Drive Landing later than the agreed time, return the boat in such a state that additional cleaning time is required before it can be hired out again, unduly harass other river users or deliberately flaunt the rules of the river. In any of these instances, you risk part or all of your security bond being retained.

Where do I go to hire the Self Drive boat from?

The Self Drive boats can only be hired from the Tower Gardens next to Skeldergate Bridge (YO1 9SN).

Can I moor up the self-drive boat and have a picnic somewhere?

“While the notion of mooring the boat and having a picnic elsewhere may be appealing, it is not allowed to do so due to shallow areas along the river banks. The only permissible location to moor the boat is back at the Self Drive landing at the conclusion of your rental period, as trying to halt or moor anywhere else may damage the vessel and result in forfeiture of your deposit.

Nevertheless, feel free to bring a picnic and soft drinks on board to enjoy. Please keep in mind that bringing alcoholic beverages on board is not allowed, and Self Drive boats cannot be rented if you or any members of your group are under the influence of alcohol.”

Can I book one of the Self Drive boats in York?

“If you choose to pre-book Self-Drive boats, morning reservations are available from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon, Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on weekends and Bank Holidays, at the Early Bird price.

Afternoon bookings can be made online between 12:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. However, please note that the final hour hire from October 29th to November 19th is at 2:30 p.m.

When you book online, you will only be required to pay in advance for the boat rental. The cash security deposit (minimum £40) must be brought with you on the day of your trip. Although you may have pre-booked online, you will still be required to fulfill the rental conditions when you arrive at the jetty. If you are found to not meet the rental requirements, you will receive a full refund from our Sales Office electronically, not at the jetty.

What are the Self-Drive Boats?

The Self-Drive Boats are a unique and fun way to explore the River Ouse and the city of York on your own, without the need for a skipper or any previous boating experience.

How do the self-drive boats work?

You can rent a Self-Drive Boat by the hour, and it comes equipped with everything you need to operate the boat, including a full safety briefing, life jackets, and a map of the river and local area. You will need to provide a valid photo ID and a refundable deposit when renting a boat.

How many people can fit in a York Self-Drive Boat?

Each Self-Drive Boat can accommodate up to 5 passengers, making it the perfect activity for groups of friends or family.

How long can you rent a Self-Drive Boat for?

Our online self-drive boat rentals are offered for a duration of one hour. However, if you prefer, you can rent for either 30 minutes or one hour at the quayside on the day of your visit.

What should you wear on the Self-Drive Boat?

To ensure your comfort during the cruise, we suggest wearing comfortable clothing and footwear. It is also advisable to bring along a light jacket or sweater in case of cooler temperatures.

Is the Self-Drive Boat wheelchair accessible?

Unfortunately, the Self-Drive Boats are not wheelchair accessible. However, we do offer other accessible experiences that may be suitable for your needs. Please contact us for more information.

What are some nearby places to visit in York?

While visiting York, there are numerous attractions to discover in the vicinity, including the iconic York Minster, the Jorvik Viking Centre, and the National Railway Museum. Moreover, you can leisurely walk along the renowned city walls or explore the charming shops and cafes located in the Shambles.

Can I bring my pet on a Self-Drive Boat?

We happily welcome well-behaved dogs on board our Daytime Sightseeing Cruises, River Bus Service, and Self Drive Boats, at no additional cost, as long as they are kept on a leash. Please note that only Guide/Hearing Dogs are permitted on our Dining Cruises and Santa Experience.

Is boating experience required to rent a Self-Drive Boat?

No, boating experience is not required, but we recommend that you have some basic knowledge of operating a boat and following the rules of the river.

Do you sell Gift Vouchers for the self-drive boats?

Digital Gift Cards are the perfect way to give someone an experience that lets them schedule their adventure at their convenience! A City Experiences digital gift card can be purchased anytime and is valid on all City Experiences, City Cruises, Walks, and Devour Tours experiences that take place in the US and in the UK. Gift cards can be used to pre-purchase experiences and upgrades online or through our contact center but cannot be redeemed for on-board/in-experience purchases.

What do the self-drive boats do when the river is in flood?

In York, there may be occasional instances of elevated river levels and strength of current which could affect our Self-Drive hire. Nonetheless, we will strive to continue our voyages as long as it is safe to proceed. However, our smallest boat may face limitations and be unable to pass beneath the bridges at a certain point.

We will endeavor to keep our customers informed through our website and advertising boards located at our moorings.

Do you accept the York Gift Card?

Yes, however we are only able to accept the Digital E-Card – we are unable to accept a physical card.

To redeem your York Gift Card, please present the digital card at the Boarding Point or at the On-Board Bar.