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“Hot tip: take a ferry ride instead”

Bristol Packet Boat Trips
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Bristol Packet Boat Trips provide Harbour Tours, River Cruises and Boat Parties. We also provide special educational trips with commentary's that can be adapted to suit the requirements of the group.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We've done both the round-trip commuter ferry ride from the wharf at ss Great Britain and the 45-minutes Bristol Packet Boat Trip with commentary from the wharf very nearby, and for a 70p less, the much richer experience is to be had on the ferry. 1) The view from the Bristol Packet boat was much more limited than from the ferry. At one end there is the toilet and at the other end there is the drinks & icecream bar, so you can't see ahead or behind, and the sides of the boat are high so you can barely see over when sitting. On the ferry you can see front, back and to the side and you get a much better sense of what is going on in the water. 2) You do get a bit of a commentary on the Bristol Packet trip but having spent a good deal of time in Bristol we can't believe how light-on the information was. We got more from chatting to the ticket-collector on the ordinary ferry than from the worn-out commentary on the Bristol Packet tour. 3) The commuter ferry that goes to Temple Meads station and up to the Cottage Inn shows you a whole lot more of the harbour than the Bristol Packet trip, for less cost. All in all, having done both, we'd definitely recommend an ordinary ferry ride over the Bristol Packet trip. That said, if it's important to you to have access to a toilet and to be able to buy an icecream or drink during your 45 minutes on board, take the Packet trip.

1  Thank lamprells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"minute tour"
in 12 reviews
"harbour tour"
in 8 reviews
"running commentary"
in 6 reviews
"informative commentary"
in 6 reviews
"lovely trip"
in 9 reviews
"ss great britain"
in 21 reviews
"avon gorge"
in 16 reviews
"tower bell"
in 3 reviews
"bristol harbour"
in 11 reviews
"floating harbour"
in 11 reviews
"booze cruise"
in 4 reviews
"enjoyable trip"
in 4 reviews
"excellent value for money"
in 6 reviews
"hour trip"
in 3 reviews
"bristol channel"
in 4 reviews
"points of interest"
in 3 reviews
"suspension bridge"
in 10 reviews
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198 - 202 of 219 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2013

too short but nice guys who did it and made it interesting.The weather was nice which helped. Will do it again if I visit Bristol.

Thank Tappy19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

I went on the 3ish hour Avon Gorge trip on May Bank Holiday weekend with my family. Prices were around £15 per adult. I reserved places the day before over the phone and we settled up on the day at the quayside with no problems.

The trip itself starts with a short poodle around the floating dock before locking-out into the Avon-proper and sailing towards the mouth of the Avon. The boat we were on seemed ideally suited to the job, equiped with important things like a hull, engine, bar and blankets. The skipper provided an interesting and dry-witted commentary at appropriate points along the route. The other crew also seemed cheerful and welcoming.

On or trip, we didn't get all the way to the mouth of the Avon because it was rather windy. On the flip side we were rewarded with some excellent entertainment as we locked-in with a dozen or so yachts who were somewhat variable in their sailing abilities. Due to things like this, I suspect the trip is a little bit different every time, which is nice.

The exact timings of the trip are tide and river traffic-dependent but this all adds to the experience. It's always a bit cold on boat trips, but this one was especially so as the boat we were on is quite open to the wind. Although plentiful blankets are readily available, it's definitely worth brining warmer clothing than you'd think was needed.

Thank rjjgilham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

As it was a very cold day we decided to take the Packet Boat Trip dock tour. The boat was warm and the staff very knowledgable and attentive. The trip costs £5.50 for an adult and for a 45 minute trip with live commentary this seems more than reasonable!

The captain provided excellent knowledge on buildings and other boats on the river and made the experience for me. The boat is well appointed with a toilet and bar on board and being glazed on top and sides there are excellent views from all seats on the boat.

There are two boarding points for the trips with times well posted on their advertising boards. There are also a number of different trips including open way trips to Bath, and trips under the suspension bridge so see their leaflets or websites for prices, dates and advance booking.

1  Thank FredaAtTheHelm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 2, 2013

We were on the open top top boat. We took a blanket which was useful . They did have blankets for those who needed. Staff very friendly and very informative. Very enjoyable time and learnt lots about harbour.

Thank heidijane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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