Santa Experience

Today's cruise timetable

Unfortunately there are no cruises today. We currently only operate on weekends in January. Thank you.

View Prices and Times

Book tickets online

Our most magical event of the year returns again in 2018…

A special early bird booking window for 2018 Santa Experiences will open soon……

There is a reason why families return year after year to join us for our City Cruises York Santa Experience, it really is the most magical event on the River Ouse!

Santa clearly works hard all year around and especially in December when he somehow manages to find the time to visit all of the especially well behaved boys and girls before Christmas and he tells us that the City Cruises York Santa Experience is the most unique venue that he visits in the city.

Your Santa experience begins as you are welcomed into our Grotto, cleverly hidden away underneath the beautiful Lendal Bridge. Upon entering, the Santa Experience Captain will check all of the children off the special list that we receive from Lapland. If you have any pushchairs, then you are welcome to leave these in the safety of our Reindeer Pen (they will all be away on business with Santa at this time so there will be plenty of room).

You will then be warmly greeted by Santa’s good friend Mary Christmas who will gladly show you to your reserved seating and distribute the magic bells.

And we can’t tell you too much more about what happens next, that would spoil the magic. But we can guarantee that Santa Claus himself will find his way aboard and the whole family will have the most wonderful time on board our Santa Experience in 2018.

Each child will be hand delivered a personalised present from Santa whilst everybody on board will enjoy refreshments, fun and surprises, making this a Christmas treat to remember.

Tickets include the following:

Adult tickets (from £11.00 – £14.00*): include a glass of red or white house wine or a refillable cup of tea or coffee, an apple or mince pie and a cruise.

Children tickets (from £15.00 – £18.00*): include a soft drink (Fruit Shoot or Capri Sun), a novelty biscuit, a personalised gift from Santa, face-painting, colouring in sheets and a letter template to write a letter to Santa. Plus lots of fun with Mary Christmas and friends!

Infant tickets (free for children under 1): include a personalised gift from Santa but do not include a seat or refreshments. If you require a seat and refreshments for children aged under 1 year old, then a child ticket will need to be purchased.

How do we book online?

When booking online, you will need to do the following:

  • Select the number of people in your party (excluding any Infants aged under 1 unless you are purchasing a full child ticket for them to include a seat and refreshments).
  • Select your date, time and then the various ticket types that you require.
  • Enter your details including name, email address and home address.
  • Very important: In the “Comments box”, please enter the name, age and gender of all children in your party including infants under 1 year old. This means that we can pass these details onto Lapland to make sure that Santa brings an age and gender appropriate gift that is personalised for your little ones.
  • Then proceed to checkout.
  • One of our Sales Team will also follow up your booking with a courtesy call within a few days of your booking to ensure that we have all of your details correct.

If you have any questions about our Santa Experience, then you are welcome to call our Sales Office on 01904 628324. However, we hope that you will be able to find the answers here in our FAQs.

Please note: unfortunately, wheelchair access is not available on our Santa Experience as there are some steps when boarding the vessel.

Boatyard Departure Point

Access an interactive Google Map to take you directly to our YorkBoat Boatyard

Ticket Prices

Adults: from £11.00 – £14.00*

Children (aged 1 to 15): from £15.00 – £18.00*

Infants (aged under 1): Free (ticket includes gift from Santa but no seat or refreshments).

*Book early to take advantage of our Early Bird cheaper ticket prices on selected dates and times.

2018 Dates, Times & Availability

Saturday 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd December: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., & 3 p.m.

Sunday 2nd, 9th, 15th, 23rd December: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., & 5 p.m.

Wednesday 19th December: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., & 3 p.m.

Thursday 20th December: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., & 3 p.m.

Friday 21st December: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., & 3 p.m.

Ticket Terms

All tickets must be pre-booked. Tickets can be booked online or through the City Cruises York Sales Office by telephone or in person. If you are not booking online, please call our friendly Sales Team on 01904 628324 to make a booking or check availability. Full payment, names and ages of children are required at the time of booking so that we can pass these on to the elves in Lapland.

Tickets are non-refundable and non- transferable once booked.

During flooding or icy conditions we are able to offer a fixed landing point and therefore no refunds are offered if we are able to continue to cruise without sailing.

By purchasing tickets, you agree to our Terms and Conditions of Carriage and accept the Ticket Terms and Conditions.