The charity making life better by water

Festive Santa Cruises return to the North West

Festive Santa boat cruises are making a welcome return this month at two leading Cheshire waterway visitor attractions - the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port, and the Anderton Boat Lift in Northwich.

Santa sitting on a chair with toy elves on his lap and shoulder

Our elves have been working hard to create a wonderful new magical grotto where children can meet Father Christmas. He will be arriving in style from the North Pole on Saturday 10 December at 9.45am, ready for his first important festive encounter of the season.

What to expect at Ellesmere Port

Families can expect an exciting, fun boat trip, packed full of carols, games, a story, quiz and treasure trail to help track down Santa's missing presents, before children are shown into the magical grotto to share their own Christmas wishes and choose a special present to take home.

Supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery and the Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust, the Festive Boat Trip and Santa's Grotto Experience at the Ellesmere Port Waterways Museum will take place on December 10, 11, 17, 18, 23 and 24 at 10am, 11am, 12mid day, 2pm and 3pm.

Chris Done, our visitor services manager, said: “We're absolutely thrilled to finally have Santa back at the museum for the first time in three years. We all really missed him when he couldn't visit due to Covid restrictions. Our festive events are a massive part of the Christmas tradition for so many local families … so tickets are already selling well.

“In addition to the Festive Boat Trips, we also have some ‘Grotto only' slots where children can meet Santa on dry land… and every child receives a gift. We'll also have festive snacks in our Waterside Café, plus some themed crafts going on around the museum, so everyone is invited to come down and join in the festivities!”

What to expect at Anderton Boat lift

At Anderton Boat Lift, we will again be running their popular Santa cruises along the River Weaver Navigation in the Edwin Clark trip boat. Father Christmas and his elves promise lots of festive fun on the water, with songs, stories and gifts. And everyone is invited to take photos of the whole family with the VIP guest – for that special social media moment.

Boat trips will take place on December 10, 11, 17, 18, 23 and 24, and also include the opportunity to enjoy a special festive breakfast or lunch in the Anderton Boat Lift café.

Book your tickets

Last Edited: 07 December 2022

photo of a location on the canals
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