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Help & FAQ’s

Sightseeing Trips & Bay Tours

Q. Where is the departure and return point of Cardiff Cruises?

Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay or the Cardiff Barrage.

Q. What is a family ticket?

Two adults and upto three children.

Q. What counts as a concession?

OAPS, Students, Disabled people and Care Workers assisting other passengers.

Q. Can we come onboard in a wheel chair?

Yes you can for Bay Tours as our boat Marianne has portable ramps that the crew can quickly set up for you.

Q. I get sea sick, is the boat stable?

Cardiff Bay is a typically calm and relaxing waterways, our boats are stable and unlikely to trouble you.

Q. Can we bring our dog onboard?

Certainly, provided they do not disturb other passengers and are kept on a lead.

Q. What time should we arrive?

No more than 10 minutes before the advertised time you have booked.

Q. What is the deposit I need to make and can I reserve places?

Sorry but we do not take deposits, we take full payment in advance using this website. Once full payment is made, you will receive notification of this & full details regarding your booking.

Q. Can I charter/hire the boat for a party?

Absolutely, please check out our Private Hire page for more information, this page has much more in depth information and options available

Q. Do you sail all year around?

For daytime boat trips we sail between March – October our party boats operate onboard all year round.

Q. Why would a cruise be cancelled?

The weather is our friend because it is what makes every cruise unique but, unfortunately, we cannot control it (no matter how hard we try!). This means sometimes, the Captain will cancel a cruise because the weather conditions are not safe to sail in. Our captains are all highly experienced and know if the weather conditions are safe to sail in. We are not allowed to question a captain’s judgment. This could be seen as pressurizing them to sail which could compromise safety. Our captains put your safety first at all time. When cancelling a cruise, either on the cruise line beforehand or occasionally on site, the captain will usually try to offer some explanation as to why. Our captains make their decision to sail based on the most relevant and up to date forecast available just before they set their cruise line message. Sometimes the actual conditions may be different to what was forecasted. There are also different forecasts and they can be interpreted in different ways. So, like all weather people, we do occasionally make mistakes but unfortunately we can only go by what the forecaster says and some forecasters are better than others. We can tell you some of the general reasons why a captain may cancel a cruise:

Q. The weather looked nice and sunny so why was it cancelled?

The wind at ground or gradient level, or the gust speed might have been too strong and outside operational limits.
Heavy rain may have been forecasted in the area. We cannot sail in heavy rain as it means there will be poor visibility and it also makes the ship harder to manoeuvre.
Thunderstorms or CB (Cumuli Nimbus) clouds may have been forecasted. These are dangerous and we would not sail in these conditions.
If yours was a morning cruise, the visibility early in the morning during our cruise period could have been poorer than later in the day.

Q. I saw another boat sailing in the area so why was my cruise cancelled?

Our captain’s decision whether to sail is not related to what other sailors decide. Our captains consider all the weather factors and make their own decision, always putting your safety first.
The other boats could have had better shelter where they are sailing and may not be going out to sea.
It might be a private boat and they can legally sail in much poorer conditions than boats on public transport licences like ours. Private boat are also generally a lot smaller and therefore easier to handle.

Q. What happens if my sightseeing cruise is cancelled?

Don’t worry, if your cruise is cancelled because of the weather or related factors, you can just book onto another date. Plus, if you have a cancellation near the end of your voucher validity period we will extend it free of charge, at our discretion, so you have another opportunity to sail.

Parties & Private Hire

Q. What is included on a mixed party?

Prices and what is included depend on the time of year, our calendar has dates that are available or if you would like the boat to yourself check out the Private Charter details.

Q. What are the prices for drinks onboard?

Drink prices are subject to change, but our recent published prices can be found here.

Q. How old do you have to be?

Under 18s are only allowed onboard if it’s a private party but there must be one adult over 21 for every one person 18 or under. Our regular mixed parties are for over 21s only.

Q. Sounds a good deal, what else do I need to pay for?

Since September 2012 all drinks are charged at the bar, no drinks are allowed to be brought onboard. You’ll need to arrange your own transport and somewhere to sleep if remaining in Cardiff.
Given the unpredictable weather patterns the UK experiences we always recommend bringing a coat or jacket. Also, be at the departure point on time and get ready for a party to remember!!!

Q. What is the deposit I need to make? can I reserve places or pay on the day?

Sorry but we do not take deposits, we take full payment in advance using this website and are unable to accept bookings on the day.

Q. I am organising a charity fundraising event, can you help?

To help with your fundraising we offer a standard 10% discount on boat hire provided it is on a weeknight (usually a Friday), please take a look at our private charter page for more information before contacting us. This discount does not apply to student discounted charters.

Q. Some of us are vegetarians, what do we get to eat?

Vegetarians receive a Quorn hot dog in place of a BBQ item – make sure you pre-order these, and our muffins are suitable for vegetarians.

Q. One of us is not allowed to eat beef/pork/wheat/yeast what do we do?

Unfortunately we are not a big enough business to cater for individual diets and catering for one person is not something we can do.

Q. How long is the bar open for?

By Law, we have to give time for ‘drinking up’, in order for us to comply with these regulations, last orders announcement is 30 minutes towards the end, the bar will CLOSE 20 minutes before the end and the music will finish 10 minutes before the end of your trip, leaving 10 minutes for you all to find your things and head to the after-party.

Q. There are loads of us who want to come onboard, can we get a discount?

Discount is available for private bookings with groups of 30 or more. Details can be found here on our Private Charter page

Q. I have chosen the wrong date or need to change it

Oh-no! not to worry we can do this for you, but because it has to be done manually it incurs a £10 fee, please send us an email and we will take care of this for you.

Q. Can I get a refund?

Yes, however an administration fee of £10 will be deducted, if the value of the transaction to be refunded is over £100 then there is also a charge of 10%. Within a 21 day period before the cruise a refund will not be possible. In order to process the refund we need an email confirming the date and number of places to refund from the person who made the original booking to be sent to accounts@cardiffcruises.com.

Q. Where does the cruise start from?

Mixed parties depart from the Lower Boardwalk, Mermaid Quays.  For private charters it is possible to embark at Taffs Mead Embankment, Penarth/Barrage and Pier 64 subject to prior arrangement and approval from the Harbour Authority.  Our big party boat, Dame Shirley, can only depart from the Graving Dock next to the Mount Stuart Weatherspoons pub.

Q. Can my children come, can I bring a baby?

Under 18s (including toddlers and babies) are only allowed onboard if it is a private party, not for mixed parties listed on our website.

Q. In what circumstances would the cruise be cancelled?

During 2009 only 3 cruises were cancelled. The first was due to there being less than 9 people onboard (its a large boat to fill with only a handful of people onboard), the other two were due to the extremely high winds we experienced during November 2009 where it was decided that for passenger comfort and safety we should not sail. In all of these circumstances an alternative date was offered or a full refund including booking fees.

Q. Do I have to dress up in fancy dress?

Of course you don’t, but you might find you’re the only one who doesn’t!

Q. What kind of music do you play?

Party / dance / dance floor / current chart / sing-along. We have music onboard with a vast selection of tunes and requests can be made on the night, if you have any specific tunes please bring a USB stick with your music on and we will happily play them.

Q. How long does the trip last?

Every cruise lasts for 3 hours

Q. What do I need to bring?

ID is required by everyone. You will need to make arrangements for transport to and from Cardiff City centre. Please also bring the good times!

Q. Do you have any facilities on board to do a quick video or slideshow?

We do have 2 plasma screens which are used to show the rugby and are available to be used when our vessel is hired exclusively. The screens are connected to our computer allowing you to use powerpoint (version 2003) or play a home movie.

Q. Can I smoke?

You can, but only at the stern (back) of the boat which is open to the elements.

Q. There are only 6 people in our group

That’s no problem as long as you don’t mind sharing with other like-minded people on a mixed party.

Q. Do you meet safety regulations?

All our vessels comply fully with the appropriate safety regulations and licenses as set out by Cardiff Harbour Authority, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and of course our staff have training in Fire Safety and First Aid.

Q. Can I get a VAT receipt?

Sure, no problem at all, it will be sent when full payment has been made.

Q. Why must I pay upfront?

To confirm the booking we have to pay costs upfront too, book early to avoid disappointment.

Q. My tickets haven’t arrived?

We no longer post out tickets, we operate a guest list for each night, don’t forget to bring your booking confirmation with you!

Q. How can I pay?

We accept most major credit cards (using this website only) and BACS transfers (for transactions of £700 or more).