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Wandering Duck Canal Boat: The City Tour

Experience Manchester from a different angle

Written by . Published on July 10th 2013.

Wandering Duck Canal Boat: The City Tour

MARK and Ruth Bratt of Wandering Duck are particularly proud of their canal tours, “If people haven’t experienced being on the canal then they can sometimes struggle with the concept. Just think of us as a giant VW floating campervan that takes eight people out for an overnight camping trip… but on the water.”

“That's basically down to the nine locks, but we're a hands on trip. Our guests work the locks and they can steer the boat too.”

“We invented the concept in order to allow individual people to come and experience a bit of canal life on a small budget and meet other people.”

Ruth and MarkRuth and Mark

The couple have recently released a new route for their trusty 69ft narrowboat, Rakiraki (incidentally the Maori word for duck and a district in Fiji’s Ra province – needless to say that they’ve travelled a fair bit).

Departing from the Manchester Piccadilly Basin in the Northern Quarter, the trip will take in nine city centre locks, past Canal Street and the Hacienda, through to Deansgate Locks and the Castlefield Basin.

Guests on RakirakiGuests on Rakiraki

Rakiraki will then head out through a series of post-industrialised derelict mills and onto United’s Old Trafford stadium, along the Bridgewater canal and on to the Barton Swing Aqueduct (a 235ft masterpiece of engineering built between 1893-1894 that fills up with 800 tonnes of water no less) before finishing for the day in the picturesque village of Worsley; where you’ll pub up, grub up and bed down for a night on-board.

The following morning, Rakiraki will then conveniently return its passengers back to the Castlefield basin to get on with the rest of their day. Handy.


“Before Wandering Duck there were no boat trips through Manchester” said Mark, “That's basically down to the nine locks, but we're a hands-on trip. Our guests work the locks and they can steer the boat too.”

“People who live in Manchester and haven't done the canal walk from Piccadilly Basin to Castlefield Basin get to experience Manchester city centre from a very different angle.  For example, passing Deansgate Locks at lower level between the actual locks is not what people are used to seeing. Canal Street also looks very different from down on the actual canal.”

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£59 per person.

The tour starts on a Tuesday at 9am or on a Wednesday at 3pm

The boat can take up to eight guests at a time – Guests sleep in bunks of 2x4 berth mixed-cabins.

More information on the Wandering Duck here.

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Great thanks for sharing this. www.freemahj.com/…/…

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