Boat trips: 10 sightseeing tours

Take to the water on one of these brilliant boat trips. Just pick your speed, from stately to supercharged, then sit back and enjoy the wonderful scenery along our coasts and canals.

  • Puffin Island, Anglesey
    Puffin Island, Anglesey

    There aren’t usually many puffins on Puffin Island, even in summer, but plenty of other seabirds throng there, as do seals. Starida runs a guided cruise around the island from Beaumaris Pier. For engineering fans, Starida also offers trips along the Menai Strait to admire its striking bridges.

  • RIB ride on the Menai Straits, Anglesey

    Menai Straights RibRide, Caernarfon, Snowdonia

     by Ribride

    The Swellies are a tricky set of whirlpools and surges between the Britannia Bridge and Menai Bridge across the Menai Strait. For sailors, they’re challenging – but if you’re whipping along in a high speed RIB Adventure Boat, they’re a barrel of fun. They guys at RibRide know what to do.

  • A couple walking along the cliffs looking to Bardsey Island at Llyn Peninsula
    Bardsey Island, Llyn Peninsula

    Run by a local family who have lobster fishermen and Bardsey Island farmers for generations, Bardsey Boat Trips doesn’t just take you across the fast-moving Bardsey Sound to the island – they can also show you the stunningly wild coastal scenery around the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula.

  • Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
    Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

    From March to October, you can board a brightly painted, wheelchair-accessible narrowboat near Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon for a leisurely 2.5-hour return trip along the canal to Brynich. Big windows allow everyone to enjoy the view of the leafy banks as you motor along. 

  • Cardiff Bay
    Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay

    With only 12 seats, the Daffodil is a cute little boat, styled like a mini steamer. There’s a canopy overhead but the sides are open – great for photography. Hop aboard in Cardiff Bay to sail up to the Barrage, cruise around the Wetlands Reserve or potter up the River Ely to Cardiff Marina.

  • To explore Cardiff Bay and the waters beyond the Barrage at a relaxing pace, take a summer cruise from Mermaid Quay or Penarth Pier in a boat named after Dame Shirley Bassey. It shimmies into the Bristol Channel and circles gently around Flat Holm Island, with great views from the bows.

  • G

    Sea Safaris & Bay Island Voyages

    Speed boat trips, Cardiff Bay

    Speed boat trips, Cardiff Bay

     by Gwilym Owen

    The guys at Cardiff Sea Safaris and Bay Island Voyages don’t hang about – from Mermaid Quay, they’ll blast you around Cardiff Bay in a boat which can really move, especially when the water’s flat as a pancake. On longer trips, they’ll head beyond the Barrage to follow the South Wales coast and scoot around Flat Holm Island.

  • Canal boat and horse, Llangollen Canal

    Canal boat and horse, Llangollen Canal, North East Wales

    In Llangollen, you can cruise back in time to an era when a towpath really was a path for towing, rather than for strolling, jogging or haring along on bikes. A horse drawn narrowboat trip is a supremely romantic way to relax. After that, switch to a motorised boat to cross the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

  • Worm's Head, Gower Peninsula

    Worm's Head, Gower

     by Wales on View

    You haven’t really seen the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty if you’ve only explored it on land. Set out to sea in a RIB with an expert guide, and a whole new dimension is revealed, from grassy banks to towering cliffs of textured rock with mysterious, hidden caves.

  • Aerial shot of Castle Hill and Tenby beaches with Lifeboat stations in front

    Castle Hill in Tenby, Pembrokeshire

     by Visit Britain

    In Tenby, you can feel the breeze in your hair aboard a yacht that sailed the Amazon and cruised the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic. This luxurious sailing vessel shows you the Pembrokeshire coast on one-hour cruises and private charters – a very special way to enjoy the sunset in summer.

If you’re keen to see birds and animals by boat, check out Wildlife Watching: 15 sightseeing tours.