A POPULAR tourism operator in York has reported a record-breaking year in 2021 citing a surge in staycations and people's desire to get back to doing what they loved.

City Cruises York welcomed more passengers during the six months of June to November than before the Covid crisis, while revenue topped pre-pandemic levels, rising by 14.7 per cent compared to 2019.

The York-based boat operator said a major success was its self-drive boats which saw a 176 per cent increase in revenue and a 204 per cent increase in passenger numbers compared to 2019.

Meanwhile, web searches and internet sales rose by 163 per cent since 2019.

York Press:

City Cruises York has a fleet of seven passenger vessels and 14 self-drive boats, operating more than 6,000 sailings per years across a portfolio of core sightseeing, dining, and charter cruises.

Joanne Dykes, general manager, said: “We’re delighted with these figures for York and the team have worked incredibly hard over what has been a very tough period to make this happen.

"We put several new processes in place to help attract customers, including operating more efficiently to increase the demand of pre-bookings as well as accommodate walk-ups and operating a wider sightseeing, dining and charter schedule than previous years.”

City Cruises York plans to continue to invest by adding a seventh passenger vessel to the fleet - the Eleanor Rose, carrying up to 80 passengers over three decks, which will allow CCY to welcome more guests.

Commercial and marketing manager, Chris Pegg said: “We’ve benefited from a very buoyant domestic tourism market, with high demand in 2021 for all of our experiences.”

“In a challenging operating environment, we’re delighted to see the team’s hard work paying off.

“Our team make the experience for our customers and have been instrumental in keeping City Cruises cruising and ensuring that every visitor who steps on board has the very best experience.

"We look forward to leveraging the global brand while simultaneously ensuring that City Cruises in York stays rooted in our local community.”

Into next year, City Cruises hopes to host more dining cruises, expand its private charter offering.

It also wants to create more jobs with four full-time roles in operations, sales and maintenance going live alongside more than 50 seasonal work opportunities.

City Cruises York was purchased by the Hornblower Group in 2019 and is now part of the the City Experiences brand which represents a diverse portfolio of experiences in worldwide destinations.

This has resulted in continued, sustainable success with the business turning over more than £2 million for the first time in 2021.

The York operation based out of The Boatyard at Lendal Bridge carries more 170,000 passengers annually.