Manchester Ship Canal
Manchester Ship Canal
4

Top ways to experience Manchester Ship Canal and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles217 reviews
Excellent
85
Very good
80
Average
38
Poor
6
Terrible
8

Harsha
11 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
Very disappointing today we didn’t even get to Latchford lock as there was construction work going in at Eastman locks and we had to return halfway. The PA system wasn’t working kept going off. What a waste of time and definitely not worth £46. Thought £46 may include a drink and something voucher. Will definitely not recommend.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TonyKnighton_Wales
Knighton, Wales112 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
Mersey Ferries run these 6 hour Manchester Ship Canal trips on occasions during the year when tides allow. They use the same 'ferries across the mersey' that plough back and forth across the river on a daily basis. The cruises pretty much all sell out and the boat feels pretty full by the time the passengers have all boarded and rushed to find a seat! We were lucky with the weather and given the season people divided themselves fairly equally between wanting an inside or outside position on the boat. On a really hot day seating outside would be stuffed as would inside on a rough day - so be warned!

The trip itself is totally immersing particularly once the boat leaves the river and enters the canal. A wonderful array of locks, swing bridges, rail and road bridges even a swing canal(!) await you along with a lot of fascinating working history and modern adaptations. Obviously many of the sights are not 'pretty' and reading one or two of the more negative reviews the writers seem to have missed the point that the canal was built for, and is still used for, industrial purposes! There are though also some surprising stretches of open countryside and a lot of bird life to view. Both the iconic Liverpool waterfront and the ultra modern buildings at Salford Quays are quite spectacular too.

Most tours have a two and a half hour stopover at your destination and buses are laid on to efficiently take you back to your boarding point.

If you are starting the cruise from the Liverpool end our advice would be to book from Seacombe as that way you get to board the boat before the much larger number join you at Pier Head and your choice of seat is more assured! Tours have to be booked in advance and, are not cheap at £38 a ticket but for 6 fascinating hours that really show you a view on the area you can get no other way, it is good value in our opinion. A live commentary is also a feature of the trip - that does mean a lot of talking in your ears but much of it is quite interesting and, I would imagine, not as simple as it may seem to deliver!

A unique highly recommended attraction.
Written October 13, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2205Julie1953
Warrington, UK36 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
We had good weather which helped but we wouldn't have missed this cruise for anything! We plan to repeat it in the opposite direction. Having lived within close proximity of the canal all our lives it was fascinating to see familiar sites from a different perspective. The lady giving the commentary held our attention throughout: what she didn't know wasn't worth knowing. My husband, who enjoys local history, couldn't believe what she knew.

Negatives: no info re safety or location of toilets onboard. The buffet was expensive and inadequate with a very miserable girl serving and many items listed on the menu unavailable. A bacon roll was available but had to be taken to another deck for heating! Take a picnic!!
Written July 6, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BrianD26
Ramsbottom Lancashire1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I have done this trip 3 times now and I hope to do it again Spring 2013.
Having grown up in the environs of the canal as a boy when a regular Saturday trip took us across Barton Swing bridge (before M60) it has always been a fascinating piece of Industrial Heritage. The Ferry trip is great and on each occasion we have had a knowledgeable guide and commentary. Two men and a lady. They walk around with a radio mike and are keen to answer any questions on the spot. The canal itself must rank as one of the all time marine engineering achievements and there is still lots going on even if Manchester Liners are missing. Thoroughly recommend this trip, usually a couple of hours in Liverpool around Pier Head before being returned to Salford Quays by bus. Care! Sometimes due to tides I think, you may find yourself at on the other side at Birkenhead pier. If you want Liverpool pls enquire before you book. Booking on line is easy, the phoneline Staff are also very helpful. Mersey Ferries have got this right! Good on them!
Written November 25, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

plumble
Poynton, UK99 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Friends
We sailed from The Quays to Albert Dock in Liverpool on a glorious summers day. We were able to sit on deck for the whole journey and found it very relaxing but at the same time most interesting. We were under the impression the Ship Canal was no longer commercially used but were completely wrong - it is. I won't say how or who by as I hope you will take this trip yourselves I can highly recommend it, just pick a fine day so you can sit out on deck to enjoy our lovely green and pleasant land as you gently sail by.
Written November 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gadabout
Holmes Chapel, UK55 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014
Took the 6hr Manchester to Liverpool cruise by Mersey Ferries. Was a great day out. Although it takes 6 hours, you see some interesting sights and hear the history as you go along and it didn't feel like such a long journey.

There's hot & cold food, soft drinks & alcohol available throughout, which is tasty & reasonably priced.

When you get to Liverpool, you get 2 hours to have a wander before they lay on a coach to get you back to Manchester Piccadilly or Salford Quays.

Written October 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally H
Dunblane, Scotland, United Kingdom66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
If you find waiting difficult this may not be the trip for you. Due to situations beyond the control of Mersey Ferries we had 2 long delays at the start which meant we only got an hour in Liverpool.

The trip was very good with lots to hold our interest on the route with an excellent commentary throughout. The ferry motored along when it could although this made the journey cold on deck. It was lovely and peaceful when the ferry was going along gently. Had the sun not come out we would probably have been chased inside by the cold wind.

As the weather is unpredictable make sure you take layered clothing if you intend staying outside, particularly up the front. We were on the left of the boat which was cooler than the right, although as the day progressed we got more of the afternoon sun. There was lots to see on both sides of the boat but a few more on the left. As the canal met the Mersey at Runcorn the right side of the boat was the place to be. So six and half a dozen which is the best side to be!

We had a hot dog and icecream on board and both were good. They did a roaring trade in hot drinks and other snacks helped by the fact we were delayed.

If you want to make sure of the best seats for you, you need to arrive just after 9.

You can book the u-boat tour as well but if the ferry is running late and the museum is closed you get your money back so you have nothing to lose by booking it but don't get your hopes up.

6 hours is a long time on a boat especially when you're sitting waiting for other boats to pass so if you have youngsters who are easily bored this may not be suitable.

I really enjoyed the day and Mersey Ferries were very good.
Written July 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DecerningLondon
Horley, UK99 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
My sister and I went on the Mersey Ferries trip down the ship canal on Saturday 28th of June. The weather was not to good but it did not mater as it brought back a lot of childhood memories of the ships going down to Salford docks. It was interesting to see all the swing bridges and locks and to see just how wide the canal is. Food and drink was available and not to expensive, we took our own picnic. We were amazed to see so much wildlife on the canal from herons to kingfishers. The staff on the boat were very helpful and polite. The boat was clean and so were the toilets and enough so we ladies did not have to queue. We also enjoyed the 2 1/2 hours in Liverpool before we were returned by coach to Salford Quays. My only complaint was the the commentary was very interesting but it could not be heard in all place round the boat.
Written July 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hortenseLeeds
Leeds, UK180 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Couples
Last Sunday I spent six hours frozen stiff and very bored on the Manchester Ship Canal Cruise. OK - it was June and supposed to be summer and, therefore, warm, but then again we are in England and the weather, as ever, was going to prove unreliable.

Unless you are very keen on boats and have an interest in canals, then this really is probably not going to be for you, and with poor weather it had not much to commend it. It may be that if it had been sunny and warm, my view would be different, but I doubt it. The plastic garden chairs were not particularly comfortable in which to spend six hours, - and although I really was very cold, other reviewers have said they found it stifling hot! From one extreme to another, it would seem!

We had two hours in Liverpool (and at 4.00 pm on a Sunday there is not much to do), and were then returned to Salford Quays, an hour's journey, on a double decker bus.

In my view, not one of the best ways to spend a summer Sunday!
Written June 29, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

juneale
Stoke-on-Trent, UK10 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We are surely not on the same boat as the previous reviewers. There are 388 people plus crew on an old ramshackle dirty ferry. We had to stop at seacome terminal again to pick up extra seating as they had not counted passengers and seats. Food ridiculously expensive and rubbish. Cannot hear the pa system although at a guess what is being said is not worth listening to. Feels like being on a shipping container vessel as we can't see much or hear anything but too many people on board trying to enjoy. Do not waste your cash ... Wish I had been warned.
Written June 27, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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