Running right through the heart of the city, the Mersey River is the lifeblood of Liverpool, and the city’s iconic ferries have sailed its shores for more than 800 years. One of Liverpool’s most renowned tourist activities, a ferry ride across the river offers spectacular views along the waterfront.
Mersey Ferry services include cross-river commuter transport and trips along the Manchester Ship Canal to Salford Quays in Manchester, but the most popular choice for visitors is a 50-minute Mersey River explorer cruise. If you’re sightseeing in Liverpool, you can also combine a boat cruise with a hop-on hop-off, open-top bus tour, tickets to attractions like the Spaceport or U-Boat Story, or a visit to the Liverpool Cathedral Tower.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Audio commentary is available on-board.
- On-board services include a café, restroom, and open-air viewing deck.
- All Mersey ferries and ferry terminals are fully wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Mersey Ferries depart regularly from the Pier Head Ferry Terminal, next to the famous Liver Building on the Mersey River waterfront. The ferries sail across the water to Birkenhead Woodside Ferry Terminal and Seacombe Ferry Terminal on the Wirral Peninsula. River cruises can be boarded from any of the three ports.
When to Get There
Mersey Ferries run all year round, although times vary throughout the year. During the peak summer months, opt for an early morning departure if you want to avoid the crowds.
The Mersey River in Pop Culture
Taking a ferry cruise across the River Mersey is such a strong Liverpool tradition that it was immortalized in the 1964 Gerry and the Pacemakers song “Ferry Cross the Mersey.” A smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic, it remains one of Liverpool’s most popular anthems, covered by numerous artists over the years including Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Burton Cummings, Pat Metheny, and even Sir Paul McCartney, as part of a fundraising effort for the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.