At the beginning of the Easter holidays, Ed and I took the children out for a family trip with City Cruises Poole on their Harbour and Islands circular cruise. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, as it had been a little grey and dull for the previous few days but turned sunny with only a light breeze on the day of our trip.
The City Cruises Poole Harbour and Islands circular cruise departs from Poole harbour at set intervals throughout the day. It is advisable to book online in advance, but you can also turn up and see if there is availability at the City Cruises kiosk on the Quay if you prefer.
We had been gifted a complimentary family ticket for the purpose of this review and headed over to board the boat, as advised, fifteen minutes prior to departure. The children were so excited to get on and explore. The boats aren’t that big, which is great for younger children, who might find a bigger vessel a little daunting. Boarding is nice and simple. Show your ticket to the crew members and find a seat inside or outside, depending on personal preference.
We decided to sit outside at the back of the boat, and the children enjoyed seeing the shoreline disappearing from sight as we set sail. This particular cruise takes you around Poole Harbour, past Brownsea Island, by Sandbanks Peninsula and Studland Bay and back, taking in plenty of sights and landmarks on the way.
There is a live commentary from the captain during your trip, however I would advise sitting inside to be able to hear this properly on windier days as we couldn’t actually hear very clearly what was being said whilst sat at the back of the boat.
The inside lounge area also has a fully licensed bar, serving both hot and cold drinks and snacks such as crisps and chocolate bars, should you get a little peckish.
This particular cruise is 70 minutes. There are other options, which are longer, but I felt it was the perfect length for families and especially for us, with a two year old in tow, the length of the trip was just right. The boat doesn’t go too fast, so we felt safe throughout the trip and it was so relaxing out on the deck that six year old Carly fell asleep on my lap!
The only thing I would mention is to make it clear to children you won’t be getting off of the boat until you depart at the end, as my eldest Cameron was disappointed when we went past Brownsea Island and didn’t get to explore it.
Priced at £11.50 per adult, £7.00 per child or £30.00 for a family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) and children four years and under free of charge, the Poole Harbour and Islands Circular Cruise is a fantastic trip for families this Spring/Summer.
We were provided with a complimentary family ticket for the purpose of this review, however all words and images are my own.