Water activity

York: Self-Drive Boat Rental

Activity provider: City Cruises York

York: Self-Drive Boat Rental

Activity provider: City Cruises York
Likely to sell out

From US$ 54.64 per group up to 8

Likely to sell out

Try your hand at skippering your own boat by hiring one of these nippy little self-drive boats. They are fantastic fun, safe, and easy to drive. Suitable for up to 8 passengers.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible—book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 1 hour
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Private group


  • Drive your own motor boat on the same river that the Vikings travelled on before setting up their famous settlement, Jorvik
  • See sights of the city's riverscape at your own pace
  • Enjoy a picnic on board, as you are welcome to bring a hamper and non-alcoholic beverages with you
Full description

Enjoy a leisurely one hour hire, exploring York from the helm of your own self-drive motorboat. Become a captain and explore the sites of York’s riverside in style. Your private boat can accommodate up to 8 people and will provide plenty of room for you all to head out on your own aquatic adventure, exploring the same river that brought the Vikings to this beautiful city. You will receive full instructions on how to operate your motor boat along with safety and river rules, whilst life jackets will be provided for any children. Your boat operating area is along a route that will along you to take in the whole city from the river within the one hour. Additionally, on a half hour hire you can operate within this area and will be able to take in most of the built up section of the Ouse, or make your way down stream to the Millennium Bridge and back to the moorings again. Please note that the boats cannot be taken past Clifton Bridge or the Millennium Bridge. You are not allowed to moor the boat up and disembark at any point on the river other than at the at King’s Staith (where your hire first began).

  • Life jackets (compulsory for children aged 10 and under)
  • Full instructions on how to drive the boat, the area of operation and the rules of the river
  • 40 cash security deposit (you will need to bring this with you on the day)
  • Drinks or snacks (but you are welcome to bring these with you with the exception of alcohol)
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles

Select participants and date



Meeting point

The Red Boat Hire Point, King's Staith, Tower Gardens, York, YO1 9SN.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card
  • Cash

Not allowed

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  • Hires will begin on the hour from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on weekdays and at either 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM on weekends and Bank Holidays (there may be a wait of up to 15 minutes during peak times). The person hiring the boat must be at least 18 years old and be able to provide a valid means of ID
  • People under the influence of alcohol are not permitted on board and no alcohol is to be taken on board
  • You are more than welcome to bring a picnic and soft drinks along with you to enjoy on board
  • You will then be required to bring a cash security deposit with you on the day of travel (minimum £40)
  • Once you have pre-booked online with GetYourGuide, you will still be required to meet the conditions of hire on arrival at the jetty. NOTE: If you do not meet the conditions of hire you will be refused
  • You are welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic drinks and snacks on board
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 373 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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This was a brilliant activity! We really enjoyed this view of York. It was a drizzly day, but where you sit to drive is covered and there is the option to pull a roof over. Takes an hour and our two teenagers easily managed to drive the bot. Pretty slow, so perfectly safe. A really chilled out hour. Well worth it

July 31, 2022

Boat ride with 4year old, 8 year old and 13year old kids and they all loved it!!! We had a picnic basket and enjoyed our lunch on the boat. It’s not as loud as some of the reviews here, but I’m guessing the boats are different. We stopped for ice cream from the ice cream boat and that was so cool! We will definitely be returning again and getting a bigger boat, it’s well worth it!

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June 12, 2022

FYI... boats are now blue and white (Family weren't sure they were at the right place!) Lovely little trip up and down the river and the time allocated for me was enough. Boats easy enough to steer however the only discomfort was looking through the window.. you had to crouch down a little to see out the window.. found it was easier to stand and maneuver the boat. Great value for a large family.

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June 1, 2022

Product ID: 132348