Boat Trips

Add a boat trip to your museum visit

Visit

On selected dates you can add a canal boat trip to your museum visit. The trips are normally aboard Long Tom, a purpose-designed sightseeing boat jointly owned by us and another waterways charity. It has big windows that open in summer, and passengers are seated at tables. Free tea or coffee is provided on all long trips and tunnel trips, and on these cruses a guide provides a commentary about the route on which you are cruising. The canal is a living piece of industrial history so seeing it from the boat is the perfect addition to your visit.

When trips operate

Trips in 2024 are on Thursdays Fridays and Sundays from Easter until the end of October. There are short trips on some Wednesdays and on Saturday July 20th. There will be winter trips in December with mince pies on board.

Where do they go?

There are six itineraries:

Other Boat Trip Opportunities

Historic Boat Trips

On selected Saturdays and Tuesdays we have historic boat cruises Follow the link for details.

Family Fun Days

Bring children for Family Fun on selected dates. A boat trip is available with pre-booking on most Family Fun Days

There is one winter itinerary:

How much does it cost?

Our 2024 summer boat trip charges are:

Ticket Tunnel trip Cream tea Long trip Camden LE Short trip
Adult 16-64 16 25 30 22 12
Concession 14 23.00 28 20 11
Child 0-15 10 18 23 17 9

About the trips

What's included?

All tickets include your museum visit. All long trips, Camden Locks Explorer and tunnel trips include a cup of tea or coffee on board the boat. Except on short trips, a guide travels with you to give a historical commentary. December mince pie cruises include a mince pie and cream, and the option of a hot fruit drink.

Can I buy a ticket on the day?

If there are any tickets left you can book online up to 15 minutes before departure. After that any unsold seats can be paid for at reception. However, this is not a good idea, it is reccommended that you book in advance otherwise disappointment is likely. If you make a booking online after paying for museum admission your museum entry ticket can be refunded at reception.

What if I book and cannot make it?

If you give us a minimum of one week's notice by email not by telephone we may be willing to transfer your booking to a different date. This is at our discretion. Refunds will only be made in exceptional circumstances, with at least a week's notice, and an administration charge of 2 per person will be deducted. Changes can only be requested by e-mail or using our Online Booking Support Form. Please do not telephone asking to change your booking.

A Taste of Tunnel

About Islington Tunnel

The tunnel was largely complete by 1818 and opened in 1820 with a procession of boats carrying dignitaries. The engineer was the canal's engineer James Morgan, and the tunnel is the major work of his life. Originally it was worked by "legging", which means that men lay on their backs on planks mounted on boats and pushed against the walls or roof of the tunnel to propel the boat. This was necessary because there is no towpath through the tunnel. Later, in 1826, a steam chain tug was introduced. An iron chain rang the whole length of the tunnel and was wound around a drum on board the tug, which was turned by a steam engine. Thus, the tug was pulled along the chain and it could tow several barges behind it. This speeded up traffic considerably. This method of towing boats and barges through the tunnel lasted almost without a break until 1926 by which time diesel tugs were available. The tunnel has lasted well since 1820 and remains in frequent use. You will be able to see the original brickwork and some sections that have been repaired in more recent years. It is 960 yards long and it will take about 20 minutes to pass through it in each direction on your trip. Your guide on trips that pass through the tunnel will tell you more.

There is more about the history of the tunnels on our page Canal Tunnels of London

Boat Trips Elsewhere in London

Boat trips offered by other organisations on London's Canals mainly run between Paddington and Camden. See our London Canal Cruises page for more information.

Gift vouchers for this and other online bookings

Passenger boat with big windows emerges from tunnel portal

How to book

Booking is online on this page. All 2024 dates are open for booking.There are 12 places on each trip (11 on long trips) and early advance booking is very strongly recommended. All passengers require a ticket including babies.

Bookings are made online and immediately using our online booking system. Payment is by credit/debit card and will be processed on behalf of the museum by Tygit Ltd. In the 15 minutes before departure any unsold places on the boat can be purchased in person from the museum shop.

If you have a problem making a booking we will try to help, but we cannot make additional places available on boats that are already full! Use the Online Booking Support Form if you need help

Long trips operate on Fridays only. They depart at 1100 (To Little Venice) or 1130 (To Victoria Park).

1130 departure for Victoria Park dates
July 12th and 26th
August 9th and 23rd
September 6th and 20th
October 4th and 18th
1100 departure for Little Venice dates
July 5th and 19th
August 2nd 16th and 30th
September 13th and 27th
October 11th and 25th

Cream tea cruises depart at 1500 every Thursday until 31st October inclusive and on selected Wednesdays in September and October.

Tunnel trips operate on Thursdays and Sundays until 27th October, except there are no trips on 1st September when the Angel Canal Festival takes place.

How accessible is Long Tom

The boat is not wheelchair accessible. Access to the cabin involves climbing down narrow stairs that turn. Staff will do their best to help people with access needs if they can.

The boat trip is suitable for blind and visually-impaired people, deaf and hearing-impaired people, and those with moderate walking difficulties. Please contact us to discuss your access needs and we will try to help if we can.

What should I wear?

The boat is fully enclosed but many people like to open the windows so it is best to have outdoor clothing with you. In the tunnel there is no sunshine so it can be chilly even in summer. Please wear sensible shoes that won't fall off your feet. In autumn and winter the boat is heated but we advise outdoor clothing be worn.