The Manchester Ship Canal is 36 miles long and runs from the River Mersey to the heart of Manchester in northwest England. Import and export companies ship eight million tons of cargo per year through the canal, but passenger cruise tours are also offered. These tours provide commentary on historic buildings and local industries. Most tours include stops at Liverpool's Pier Head and Salford Quays along the route.
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Mersey Ferries offers canal cruises that depart from Seacombe, Wirral, and Pier Head on selected dates from April to September. Cruise commentary provides insight into the history of Britain's major waterways. The itinerary includes a 2½-hour stop in Salford Quays and a 2½-hour stop in Liverpool, where you'll visit the Imperial War Museum, Lowry Outlet Mall or Albert Dock. At the end of the cruise, a bus takes travellers back to the boarding point. Mersey Ferries amenities include a licensed bar, refreshments and snacks for an extra fee. The ship offers climate-controlled decks and seating.
Mersey Ferries Victoria Place, Seacombe, Wallasey, Wirral, Merseyside CH44 6QY +44-01-50- 639-0609 merseyferries.co.uk
The Northern Nostalgia cruises the Manchester Ship Canal for four days and three nights with a return trip on the Yorkshire Steam Railway. This weekend getaway cruise provides accommodation at Mercure Hotel in Norton Grange, dinner, breakfast, excursion activities, a cruise along the Manchester Ship Canal, return steam train ticket from Embsay to Bolton Abbey, luxury coach travel and Holiday Insurance. The Northern Nostalgia departs on Friday and stops in Sheffield before guests arrive at the Mercure Hotel in the late afternoon and returns on Monday.
Northern Nostalgia Belle Coaches 2 Suffolk Road Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1DZ +44-01-50-257-4669 bellecoaches.co.uk
City Centre Cruises
Enjoy Sunday lunch aboard the City Centre Cruise liner. This three-hour daily cruise departs from Castlefield in central Manchester, sails through the Bridgewater Canal to the lock at Pomona and continues to the Manchester Ship Canal and River Irwell to Salford Quays. Stops are made at the Lowry Complex and the Imperial War Museum. Boarding starts at 12.30 p.m. and the ship sails at 1 p.m. from Castlefield Hotel. The lunch is a set menu; vegetarians can pre-arrange a meal that reflects their dietary needs.
City Centre Cruises 14 Falterley Road Northern Moor, Manchester, M23 9BR +44-01-61-902-0222 citycentrecruises.co.uk
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