Way back last December I was lucky enough to win a Jurassic Cruise to Swanage with City Cruises.
It was planned in for their last cruise of the season, however, with the promise of some fabulous weather this weekend, they kindly moved it to Saturday for me.
We had Sebby’s class teddy with us, so started the day on Poole Quay where we treated the kids, and Pip, to a cone of chips whilst we waited for our boat to arrive.
Poole Quay in itself is a fun place to visit, with plenty of places to entertain the kids and we took Pip to see the old lifeboat station.
The kids recognised the boat, the Solent Scene, as soon as it docked as we have sailed on it before on their Santa Cruise. In fact, Eliza was a little disappointed that Dr Balloonman wasn’t there but they were soon distracted by watching a small tug boat attempt to pull a huge tanker out of the dock.
On the way to Swanage you sail across Poole Harbour past Brownsea Island, the largest island in the harbour and home to Brownsea Castle and the famous red squirrels who reside there.
It also takes you past Millionaires Row at Sandbanks, home to the rich and famous including Harry Redknapp and Adele.
It is then out to sea past the Sandbanks Chain Ferry and onto the beaches of Studland Bay.
Studland is one of our favourite places to take the kids as it is sheltered and the water is shallow and safe for them to play, so it was lovely seeing it from a different angle as we approached the opening cliffs of the Jurassic coast.
We sailed past Old Harry Rocks, which are three chalk formations, including a stack and a stump which were named after the infamous Poole pirate, Harry Paye.
Isaac especially interested in the rock formations and got really excited when Daddy explained he had kayaked out to the rocks and explore the caves. We have had to promise we will do it with him next summer.
The Captain also gave an informative to talk during the cruise, pointing out points of local interest and the geology of the local area.
It was then on to Swanage Bay where we docked.
You can choose to go and explore with 2-5 hours ashore in Swanage or head straight back on the return journey.
We decided to head straight back as had only visited Swanage and rode the steam trains a couple of weeks before and the sun finally joined us on the way back home.
Of course, being on a boat you have to try the King of the World pose!!
We were also impressed by the sheer number of boats on the water and almost everyone waved back to us.
We really enjoyed exploring the local area by sea and hope to take a cruise further along the coast next time.
A family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) for a return trip to Swanage costs £32.63. They also run a sea train adventure which includes a steam train ride to pass by Corfe Castle and back for £50.33 for a family which is great value.