Disclosure: We were invited by Mersey Ferries to experience the River Explorer Cruise and Spaceport free of charge for the purpose of this review. please see our disclosure policy for more information.
Liverpool is my absolute favourite city to visit as a family. There’s so much to see and do no matter what your budget. I also really love the people, they are warm and friendly and make you feel right at home. Mersey Ferries recently invited us onto their River Explorer Cruise with a visit Spaceport included. A River Explorer Cruise on board the world-famous Mersey Ferry is the best way to see Liverpool’s historic waterfront. Lasting 50 minutes the cruise offers stunning views of Liverpool’s skyline and World Heritage waterfront.
Mersey Ferries River Explorer Cruise
The kids had never been on a ferry boat before so they were both really excited to climb aboard. There was plenty at each terminal to keep them occupied while we waited. The Seacombe terminal has a huge cafe and soft play area. There’s also lots of information about the history of the ferry and Liverpool inspired artwork on the walls at each terminal.
Once on board, there’s guided commentary throughout the 50-minute trip which I thought was absolutely brilliant. I learned so much about Liverpool and the iconic buildings that I didn’t know. Listen out for the story about the Liver birds, pay close attention to the explanation as to why one bird points outwards and the other inwards, it will give you a giggle.
The river explorer cruise starts at Pier Head, it passes Seacombe and Woodside where you can hop on and off to explore the attractions. At Seacombe there’s Spaceport and at Woodside, you will find the U-Boat Museum.
Despite us just having had the hottest summer we chose the wettest and windiest day to get on board. This didn’t stop our enjoyment at all though. There was plenty of room inside to sit and still enjoy the views. I actually preferred sailing on the choppy waters, the kids were delighted with the bouncy boat ride.
At Woodside we got off the ferry to have a look at the U-Boat Story, entry is included in the price of your ferry ticket. The museum is home to a World War II German submarine. Inside you can discover what life was like inside the U-Boat. You can also see into the cross-sectioned submarine.
Although Chris and I found the story interesting the kids weren’t really interested. They did enjoy trying some of the interactive exhibitions though. I think older kids would enjoy the experience a lot more, Daisy and Jake are 6 and 4 at the time of our visit.
With half an hour to wait for the next ferry we sat and had a drink and chocolate brownie in the Home Cafe. We did find the prices a little on the expensive side here although both the drinks and the brownies were delicious. I think next time we visited will try the cafe on board the ferry, the cakes they had on offer looked lovely.
Back on board and the rain had finally stopped. We headed straight upstairs to the top deck, this is definitely the best place on the ferry to take in all the amazing sights.
We were sad to depart at Seacombe as we all loved being on the water. I definitely see a trip on the river Mersey becoming a regular day out for us.
To finish off the fantastic day we visited Spaceport which is an interactive attraction all about space. There are several space-themed galleries to walk through and lots of interactive hands-on exhibits too.
If you are a Star Wars fan then you won’t want to miss Sci-Fi Icons, a private collection of Star Wars memorabilia. The kids loved this part of the attraction, they have watched the films with Daddy so knew who most of the characters were.
There’s a huge collection of Star Wars toys dating back from 1977 to 1996, seeing it all was a trip down memory lane as I actually had some of the original figures when I was a kid.
The kids loved all the hands-on exhibits in the Observatory, there are lots of things to learn about space and our planet in this area. There is also a creative station for kids to sit and draw some aliens and spacemen. Daisy and Jake particularly liked this area, it’s a great place for little ones to sit and enjoy.
Our favourite part of Spaceport though was the Space Dome Show. We watched a 25-minute film called ‘We Are Aliens’ narrated by Rupert Grint. The film is shown in the 360° dome theatre which is an amazing experience within itself. We were all in awe as we watched and listened to the film all about the galaxy.
The only thing we missed out on this trip was the Explorer 1: Space Ride, a simulator ride on a cosmic coaster. Daisy and Jake didn’t want to go on it this time.
We spent about 2 hours in total at Spaceport and had a great time. Parking is free so there’s no need to worry about rushing around the attraction.
The River Explorer Cruise and Spaceport family ticket costs just £41 and are valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children. I think this is an amazing value day out for the whole family. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy a picnic if you want to stretch your budget even further and bring your own lunch. You can find out more about the river cruise and attractions along with prices on the Mersey Ferries website.
There really wasn’t anything we didn’t enjoy about the whole experience, we had an amazing day and the kids haven’t stopped talking about it since. It’s the perfect adventure for the whole family and we will definitely be back soon.