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REVIEW: Exploring the Dorset Jurassic Coast with the new City Cruises Jurassic Adventurer

As an outdoorsy family, we are always on the hunt for new ways to explore our beautiful county of Dorset. We have found the jackpot here with the City Cruises, Morebus, and Swanage Railway collaboration.

It's a really fun and engaging way for the children to explore too. My two young daughters couldn't believe their luck when I told them we were going on a bus, train AND boat all in the same day!

This fantastic tour takes you from Poole Bus station, through to Wareham and Corfe Castle where you board the Heritage Train to Swanage with a few hours of free time to enjoy all the beauty that Swanage has to offer. Finishing off with a stunning cruise back to Poole Quay. We had a beautifully calm and sunny day for it and as I stood on the deck of the City Cruises Poole vessel, I was blown away by the sheer scale and grandeur of Old Harry Rocks and the views back to Swanage and across to Poole. 

The beauty of the Dorset Jurassic Coast

If you've yet to visit The Dorset Jurassic Coast, the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stretches for over 95 miles, showcasing a remarkable geological history that dates back millions of years. This breathtaking landscape is renowned for its dramatic cliffs, picturesque beaches, and an abundance of fossils that offer a glimpse into the distant past. On this trip, you will have magnificent views of the Isle of Purbeck, Old Harry Rocks, Brownsea Island, Sandbanks Peninsula, Millionaire’s Row, and Poole Quay.

Overview of the Poole Harbour Cruise

We had a truly remarkable experience and this trip offers huge value for money as it's a full day out where you see and experience so much.

I was a little anxious as to whether or not my girls would last the whole day, but City Cruises definitely had parents in mind when they organised this. Everything was planned out perfectly; with time for toilet breaks for the kids (without too much waiting around), and with all the different modes of transport and having the two hours in Swanage to have lunch and play on the beach, they were entertained all day long.

We of course went on the top deck of the bus and we enjoyed this so much we have since returned to Corfe Castle on the bus - the views across the Purbecks are stunning and ones that you miss in the car.

Swanage Railway is like stepping back in time and we enjoyed waiting on the platform with the most magnificent backdrop of Corfe Castle. We boarded the front carriage of the steam train and once again were treated to views we had never experienced. We have been on these trains before with the Polar Express, but it's always been dark so it was wonderful to really take in the route this time.

We stopped at Swanage and had a few hours of free time. What better way to spend it than with fish and chips on the beach!? We then took a very short walk to Swanage Pier where we boarded the beautiful City Cruises vessel. The ship was spacious, with both indoor and outdoor seating areas, providing ample opportunities to take in the stunning views and for the kids to explore.

This was definitely a highlight for the little ones and they excitedly explored the whole ship and top and bottom decks. I was a little nervous about them on the top deck as the gaps between the railings are quite large so I didn't let them out of my sight, but the City Cruises crew were fantastic, and really enjoyed showing them around.

The cruise was as much of a delight for us adults as the kids. The views were stunning and the conditions couldn't have been better.

One of the highlights of the cruise was the on-board commentary, which brought the Dorset Jurassic Coast to life. Living here, you often take it for granted but I enjoyed all of the key landmarks being pointed out, and learning the historical anecdotes and insights into the unique geological features of the region - as well as which celebrities own properties on Millionaires Row!

After an hour we were back at Poole Quay full of the most amazing memories.

Booking your Poole Harbour Tour with City Cruises Poole

Children under 4 are free, 5-16 are £28.50 and adults £39.00 and cruises are daily until 31st October. You can check availability and book online via their website.

Tips for a memorable experience with City Cruises Poole

To make the most of your Poole Harbour cruise with City Cruises, Morebus, and Swanage Railway, here are a few tips I would suggest:

  • Dress for the weather: The Dorset Jurassic Coast can be quite breezy, so be sure to pack layers and bring a light jacket or windbreaker to stay comfortable.
  • Bring your camera: The stunning scenery and iconic landmarks along the coast are sure to provide endless photo opportunities, so don't forget your camera or smartphone.
  • Arrive early: Allowing plenty of time to board the cruise and find your preferred seating will help you settle in and maximize your enjoyment of the journey. 
  • Explore the onboard amenities: Take advantage of the bar, outdoor decks, and other facilities to enhance your views and overall experience.
  • Engage with the crew: The knowledgeable and friendly crew members are a wealth of information, so don't hesitate to ask questions and learn more about Dorsets Jurassic Coast.

For more information on City Cruises and Swanage Railway here!

Review Author - Founder and Managing Director of Total Guide to Liz Hutchings

Swanage Railway

Swanage Railway

Station House, Railway Station Approach, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 1HB

City Cruises Poole

City Cruises

City Cruises creates amazing experiences on land and on water. Explore a new destination or play tourist in your own city.

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