A Christmas cruise along Salford Quays aims to bring the festive cheer to local children this season.

Manchester river cruises are giving children the chance to cruise along the quays; with cookies and juice, all whilst hanging out with Santa Clause himself! Ran by a family-built business, with a heritage of working the waterways of Manchester, their aim is to share the festive spirit.

Photo credit: Charlotte Linnecar

This winter, Cruise with Father Christmas is available for children and adults to embark on an adventure down the Manchester ship canal. Departing from Salford Quays, Santa and his crew of elves, will be entertaining guests whilst they travel along the channel.

The festive cruise event takes place throughout December, alongside several other Christmas themes boat rides.

Photo credit: Charlotte Linnecar

Manchester’s only open aired seated boat, is moored under the Millennium Footbridge at the back of the Lowry Theatre, awaiting its passengers. Princess Katherine is at home is MediaCity, built in 2007, it quickly became one of the first and largest urban regeneration projects in the United Kingdom.

The Manchester ship canal is a 36-mile-long inland waterway, in the North West of England linking Manchester to the Irish Sea. This waterway starts at the Mersey Estuary near Liverpool and follows the original routes of the rivers Mersey and Irwell.

Credit: Charlotte Linnecar

Cruise passengers will embark along the River Irwell towards the city center of Manchester, touring some of the Victorian engineering that was first placed alongside the 1700’s attempt to create navigable canals.

As he brings a bit of his grotto on boards, Santa’s message is to share cheer and joy. Delighted to welcome aboard kids of all ages, though activities are targeted at 2- 10-year-olds. Big kids are welcome to join in, as adult participation is key, as stated by the cruise: “This is a Chief Elf Skai rule.” So no going down the chimney this year, the children aboard will receive gifts from his grotto on this hour-long experience with Santa and his elves.

Credit: Manchester River Cruises

The Christmas Cruise is just one of many events hosted by Manchester River Cruises, a family with over a hundred years worth of knowledge working on Manchester’s canals.

The boat, Princess Katherine, is a Dutch design, originally built to tour the canals of Amsterdam. It’s had a short stop in Glasgow for the commonwealth games under the name ‘Robert the Bruce’, before it made its move down south to cause ripples in the river Irwell.

The Princess Katherine has a full capacity of 90+ passengers, equipped with toilets and central heating. Accommodating for its season-loving travelers.

So, forget leaving out the tarts. This year we’ll be sharing mulled wine and mince pies- not to forget the cookies, with the man himself.

I guess we’ll let Rudolph off the reigns for this one.

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