Private Parties from November to March

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Bishopthorpe Palace Christmas Cruise

Santa Experience

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Celebrate and enjoy your private party with City Cruises York this winter – we have some incredible offers for you!

City Cruises York private charters off­er you a unique, floating venue to celebrate your private party on the beautiful River Ouse, cruising through historic York and beyond. What better way to make an impression on your corporate guests, employees or friends than on board a venue with ever changing scenery?

Book your private party with us in November, January, February or March (up to 24th March, 2018) and take advantage of the following special offers:

  • 20% off the cost of your boat hire on any evening,
  • Complimentary bottle of Prosecco for the organiser,
  • Complimentary Prosecco boarding drink if you order from our catering menus,
  • Complimentary glass of wine with your meal when you order from our catering menus and,
  • Complimentary balloons

Simply quote “Winter Parties” when you complete an online enquiry form, email us or call our Sales Team on 01904 628324.

Our fleet of party boats can accommodate from 10 up to 100 guests, have fully stocked bars, toilets and are suitable for any occasion, from small gatherings to large celebrations. Enjoy wonderful food, dancing and entertainment for 10-100 people as you relax and cruise through York on your own privately chartered riverboat in York, most of the year! View our 5 party boats!

The earliest departure time in an evening is 7 p.m. and the latest finish time is 10:15 p.m at King’s Staith or 10:30 p.m. at Lendal Bridge.

When you break down the cost of a private charter cruise with City Cruises York on a cost per head basis, you will see that is very competitive with hiring a function room in the City Centre (and remember, your function venue will be sailing up and down the beautiful River Ouse!). Your first port of call would usually be to choose your vessel and then you can select from our large range of optional extras such as entertainment, catering, drinks and decorations. See some examples below, they are even cheaper when you take into account our special winter offers:

(The example packages are samples only. Please bear in mind that guest numbers and costs per head will vary depending on the number of guests on board, season and choice of food and entertainment).

Hen Party for 35 people

Hire River King for 3 hours £600 £480
Captains buffet x 35 @ £12.50

Glass of wine with your meal

Prosecco boarding drink

Balloon package





Disco £220
Total £1137.50
Cost per person: £32.50

Birthday Party for 60 People

Hire River Palace for 3 Hours £850 £680
Admiral’s Buffet x 60 @ £14.95 £897
Balloon package,

Prosecco boarding drink

Glass of wine with your meal 




Total £1577
Cost per person: £26.28

Corporate Hospitality Cruise for 80 people

Hire Captain James Cook for 3.5 hours £1150 £920
BBQ Menu x 80 @ £20.50 £1640
Balloon package Free
Band music license fee £25
Prosecco boarding drink

Glass of wine with your meal



Total £2585
Cost per person: £32.31

Pre-meal drinks reception cruise for 35 (not Friday or Saturday)

Hire River Duchess for 2 hours £550 £440

Prosecco boarding drink

Balloon package




Total £660
Cost per person: £18.86

Catering & Boarding Drinks

Our professional caterers can prepare food from a range of mouth-watering menus ranging from Canapés to hot or cold buffets and from afternoon teas to hot suppers. Take a look at our Catering Menus.

We can also supply a Welcome Drink for all of your guests as they step aboard your party boat; choose from a glass of wine, bucks fizz, cocktails, soft drinks and more. Take a look at our Welcome Drink list.

Finally, you can pre-order drinks packages from our Banqueting Wine List to make your special event even more special. Take a look at our Wine List.

But remember, if you order from our catering menus between November and March you receive complimentary Prosecco boarding drink and a complimentary glass of wine with your meal.


You can choose to keep your guests entertained in a variety of ways; we can arrange to have gaming tables on board if you would like to host your own floating casino night or we can source you a professional DJ with optional karaoke if you just want to let your hair down. See our full list of recommended entertainers.

Alternatively, our band list comprises anything from Jazz to Rock ‘n’ Roll to Caribbean steel drum bands! We will be happy to recommend a live band to suit your event. Take a look at our recommended Band List.

Finally, if you prefer to simply prepare a playlist in advance on your MP3 player or bring your favourite CDs we can play these as background music over our public address system (not played at the same volume as a disco though).


We can dress the boat however you wish; helium balloons, floral displays, bunting or even ‘Just Married’ life rings and banners. If you want to have a Pirate Party we will source the decorations for you. Or if you supply your own we will happily dress the boat for you ready for your special event (there would be a charge for using our helium for balloons). View our decorations packages.

Again, remember you will get our complimentary balloon package for private charters between November and March.

Booking and Availability

We can help you create your own bespoke cruise with a choice of boat, food, boarding drinks, entertainment and decorations. Impress your guests with cocktails and canapés or delicious dinner and drinks. Dance the night away or simply sit back and relax in the comfortable saloon or spacious top deck.

For full details of our Private Charter service, view our brochure. Your next ‘port of call’ is to complete an online enquiry form, following which one of our friendly sales team at City Cruises York will be delighted to get in touch with you to discuss your ideas, helping you to choose from a wide range of options. You are more than welcome to visit our Sales Office for a tea or coff­ee to further discuss your special event before having a private viewing of the fleet.

We can arrange a booking to view the boat between 9:30-10:00am on weekdays and between the same time on Saturdays from May to September (subject to the boat not being in operation). Then sit back and let us do the rest so you can simply step aboard and enjoy your special event.

Boat Hire

Please see below the current prices for the private charter of our fleet. These prices are for the boat itself and are fixed regardless of how many guests you invite, provided that number does not exceed the maximum allowed for each vessel. Please click on each vessel to see further details about its size, facilities and layout.


  Evening Hire    
Vessel 2 Hours (N/A Fri & Sat) 3 Hours 3.5 Hours
Captain James Cook £800






River Palace £700






River Prince £650






River Duchess £550






River King £500







NB: Friday and Saturday evenings – minimum of 3 hour hire applies.

NB: If hiring Captain James Cook on a Friday or Saturday night it must be for a 3.5 hours’ charter on dates that our Party Nights Afloat Cruise is due to operate. Details and conditions apply.