The Captain Cook Experience Review: Boat Trip at Whitby

We’ve been to Whitby many times now. The historical town on the North Yorkshire coast has a harbour with many boats that offer boat trips….


We’ve been to Whitby many times now. The historical town on the North Yorkshire coast has a harbour with many boats that offer boat trips. Our two-year-old has taken a liking to boats, so we decided to take him on The Captain Cook Experience boat tour.

This boat tour was featured on Mr Tumble’s ‘Something Special’ TV show on BBC, so we’ve seen it many times and were excited to go on it in person.

The Captain Cook Experience Boat - HM Bark Endeavour in Whitby

HM Bark Endeavour

The Captain Cook Experience is a boat trip that takes place on a replica of the HM Bark Endeavour. It’s 40% the size of the real ship that Captain Cook sailed over 250 years ago.

The Bark Endeavour Whitby was constructed based on authentic maritime drawings, following a 12-month process from 2001 to 2002. This remarkable project was undertaken by Parkol Marine Engineers, one of Whitby’s oldest shipbuilders renowned for their expertise in crafting traditional sailing vessels.

The ship’s name, Bark Endeavour Whitby, partly originates from its traditional “bark” construction method. Larch planks were carefully steamed and affixed to a sturdy English oak frame. The ship’s dimensions are approximately 14 meters in length and 4 meters in width, representing around 40% of the original ship’s size.

During construction, great care has been taken to faithfully replicate various features of the original vessel, with meticulous attention to detail. The addition of intricate rigging and carved timber mouldings enhances the overall design.

To ensure a comfortable journey for modern passengers, Bark Endeavour Whitby is equipped with two 6-cylinder, 120 HP engines, allowing a travelling speed of 9 knots. The ship has been fully outfitted with the latest safety aids and navigation instruments, ensuring a secure passage at all times.

The Captain Cook Experience Boat - HM Bark Endeavour in Whitby

About Captain Cook

Captain James Cook was a renowned British explorer and navigator who made significant contributions to the field of exploration and cartography. He was born on October 27, 1728, in Marton, England, Cook started his career as an apprentice in the merchant navy before joining the Royal Navy in 1755.

Captain Cook led three major voyages of discovery to various parts of the world. His first voyage, from 1768 to 1771, aboard the HMS Endeavour, saw him chart the eastern coast of Australia and make the first recorded European contact with New Zealand.

His second voyage, from 1772 to 1775, took him further south to explore the Antarctic region and confirmed the existence of the southern continent. During his third voyage, from 1776 to 1779, Cook set out to find a northern passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic but tragically lost his life in a conflict with native Hawaiians on February 14, 1779.

Cook’s expeditions greatly expanded the world’s knowledge of geography, cartography, and natural history. He is remembered for his accurate mapping of previously uncharted territories, as well as his contributions to the field of navigation and his efforts to combat scurvy among his crew.

Captain James Cook’s legacy endures as one of the greatest explorers in history, and his achievements continue to be celebrated and studied to this day. His name is associated with numerous landmarks and locations worldwide, and his spirit of adventure and curiosity lives on as an inspiration for future generations of explorers.

The Captain Cook Experience - HM Bark Endeavour in Whitby

The Boat Trip

This boat tour is located opposite the amusements. There are signs that say The Captain Cook Experience so you can’t miss it! We booked on to the next trip, paid and were given some tokens and told to come back in 20 minutes. We went for a walk along Whitby Pier as we waited

The boat trip lasts around 25 minutes. There are sea shanties being played through the speakers. As you set sail, the music turns to a voiceover that tells you about the safety features of the boat and what to do should the ship sink, and then it switches to tales of the sea. Through the voice-overs, you learn all about Captain Cook, the HM Bark Endeavour, the replica ship you are sailing and it tells you about life on the ship. It was interesting to learn how life was back then, what they ate and how much alcohol they drank!  

Captain Cook’s Endeavour was constructed in Whitby in 1764 by Thomas Fishburn. He set off on his first journey from Whitby!

 The Captain Cook Experience Boat - HM Bark Endeavour in Whitby

Our Captian Cook Experience

Overall, we really enjoyed our boat trip. I didn’t know what to expect, but the voice-over telling us all about the Endeavour and Captain Cook was a nice touch. My two-year-old really enjoyed it, too. We sat near the back of the boat, near the front you could see people getting splashed occasionally, so stay away from the front if you don’t want to get wet!

It’s a bit tricky getting on and off the boat if you struggle with mobility. You have to go down some steps and then across a narrow metal path.

View of Whitby from  The Captain Cook Experience

Captain Cook Experience Prices.

It costs £5 per person and is free for under 2’s. we didn’t get charged for Leo, even though he is 2, they didn’t ask how old he was, they just charged us £10.

For up to date information, visit the website here:

I haven’t been on any of the other boat trips, so I can’t say if this was better or worse, but I can say that we liked it and the length was perfect for a toddler!

When we got back to our holiday cottage, we put Ceebies on and guess what was showing?

Something Special Pirate Episode featuring The Captain Cook Experience

The episode of Something Special with Justin on the same boat! It must have been fate. All aboard!

Looking for something else to do? Visit Whitby Abbey.


  1. Thanks for the write up! I tend to avoid touristy boat rides but sounds like this one doles out a lot of good info. The price doesn’t seem bad either.

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