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York Boat Ghost Cruise (York)

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      29.09.2000 16:24
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      What could be more civilised than a moonlit cruise along the river, sipping a gin & tonic and listening to the gentle tones of a storyteller? Sound idyllic doesn't it, and for me at least it was. Ok, so it wasn't a gin & tonic it was a pint of lager and the gentle tones were punctuated by screams and trumpet blasts, but it was still a lovely way to spend an evening and much more relaxing than the Ghost Walks (which are equally good but more strenuous). Our cruise was advertised in all the tourist brochures, it started at about 7:30 from an easy to find meeting point just outside a pub. We managed to pick a wet and miserable night, which added to the atmosphere nicely while ensuring that we had the boat to ourselves. It wouldn't have mattered if there were another 30 people on board though as the boat was very spacious with lots of comfortable seating and, luxury of luxuries, an open bar! The storyteller was a lively young lady dressed in victorian costume and claiming to be the wife of an old ferryman. The boat had a very good sound system so hearing her tales was no problem at all, even when the group I was with were laughing and joking. She started telling us stories even before we'd left the quay and kept going for around 90 minutes, with just a brief pause for us to refresh our drinks. The tales were fascinating and told really well, even though we'd already been on a Ghost Walk there were tales we'd not heard and she put a slightly different slant on some of the ones we had so we had no chance to feel bored. Adding to the effect were the lovely views from the river and the chance to see the stunning architecture of the bridges close up. Cruising past pubs, fallen abbeys and Cliffords Tower while hearing about their grizzly pasts was definitely quite an experience and one I'd certainly recommend.

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