Educational Tours

Cruise Trips for Schools and Colleges

Every trip includes a live commentary tailored to suit the age of the students.

The themes below have been designed to fit with the National Curriculum and can be adapted to suit your needs:

We’ve been running educational cruises and tours in Bristol for over 40 years.


  • Origins of the City
  • Trade and Shipping
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Leisure and Tourism


  • SS Great Britain
  • Harbour Engineering
  • Great Western Railway
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge


  • City Regeneration
  • Urban Development
  • Changes in Land Use
  • Economic and Social Impact


  • Tidal Energy
  • Rising Water Levels
  • Investment & Environmental Impact
  • Current Development Projects

Really educational for all year groups as tours are tailored with very informative tour guides who provide lots of fun - a real pleasure to experience. We have used Bristol Packet Boat Trips many times and they are really reliable and cost efficient.

St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School

Bristol Packet harbour trip fits nicely with ‘urban change in the UK’. The Skipper’s commentary on the evolution and development of Bristol’s Floating Harbour is particularly useful for pupils studying Bristol’s urban change.

Marlborough College

Current Educational Packages

City Dock Tour

Fascinating for its rich maritime history, industrial archaeology, Brunel association & urban regeneration.

Duration: 1 hour
Level: All Key Stages

Avon Gorge Cruise

Cruise down the tidal Avon in the wake of a 1000 years of shipping and beneath Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Duration: 2.5 hours
Level: Key Stage 2-5

River Cruise

Travel through the City and cruise upstream onto rural stretches of the Avon keeping an eye out for wildlife.

Duration: 2 or 3 hours
Level: Key Stage 1-2

Educational Tour Rates

We have four boats available with a combined capacity of 245 passengers. The below rates are for each boat at the stated capacity, but it is possible to book multiple boats for larger groups.

Only the Bagheera and the Tower Belle are licensed to travel on tidal waters.

Our two heated and covered boats; the Flower of Bristol and Bagheera are available for hire all year round, however we are only able to stop at Eastwood Farm between April and September and there is limited access to the river from October to March.

Cruise Duration
(max 55)
Flower Of Bristol
(max 50)
(max 50)
Tower Belle
(max 95)
City Dock Tour
1hr Cruise
Avon Gorge Cruise
2.5hr Cruise
River Cruise
2hr Cruise
River Cruise
3hr Cruise

We can depart from any public landing stage in the Floating Harbour. There is good access for coaches to drop off passengers at the Bristol Packet Office next to the SS Great Britain, and a limited amount of coach parking in the Maritime Heritage Centre (SS Great Britain) car park, or on Cumberland Road nearby.

We cannot guarantee that there will be space for your coach to park and all parking is subject to the standard tariffs set by Bristol City Council.


We hope the following downloads will be useful in planning your next field trip or for use in your classroom.

Please get in touch for the latest copy of our Risk Assessment and Insurance Certificate.


Harbour Quiz

Floating Harbour Map

History Theme Sample Facts

Send Enquiry

Enquiries made through our form are viewed every day and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Or if you prefer contact us directly to discuss your options, check availability or make a booking.

Catering Required


Our charity, ‘My Future My Choice’ have been using Bristol Packet Boats for the last eight years with many hundreds of children exploring the waterways in the city. Bristol Packet Boats provide an excellent service and have never once failed to be on time. The crew provide an engaging and knowledgeable commentary on the heritage and present functions of the floating harbour and the river and they are always willing to align their talks and activities to suit the topic being explored by the school.

My Future My Choice

We have been using the Bristol Packet Boat for over 20 years as part of our year 3 residential visit to Bristol. We have always enjoyed a friendly, efficient and flexible service with excellent communication. The boats are very good value for money; the tour of the floating harbour, with the informative commentary, is a superb way of learning about Bristol and its place in World history. I really appreciate the flexibility of the team, always willing to help and go the extra mile, whether it’s helping to carry bags from the Youth Hostel, picking us up at different destinations or tailoring the tour to individual needs. I highly recommend the Bristol Packet Boat and look forward to using them for many years!

Timberscombe Church of England First School