One must try an adrenaline rush ride on a rigid inflatable boat on the Thames. See the major sights from another fun perspective :)
Make no mistake - the river is quite wide, and meanders a lot in London itself, so a ride from Waterloo (London Eye) to the Thames barriers is quite a distance!
Float past the landmarks like Houses of Parliament, Savoy Hotel, the South Bank, and all the bridges, including London & Tower Bridge (the one that opens up), pass by Tower of London, then Greenwich & the O2 Dome; next brace yourself for a fast ride out through the Thames Barriers!!
This is the only company taking you through these flood barriers, so it's a unique experience.
You get protective jackets, and photos taken too! Safety features are second to none, and the boats are very powerful!
Board at: The London Eye Millennium Pier, London, SE1 7PB; sails every hour, including weekends! Great in ANY weather!
Prices from 22ukp per adult for 90 minutes of serious FUN.
For a short river cruise with some great views of London, head over to either bank of the Thames and hop on any one of the many cruise boats. There are many choices - from commuter boats like the Clippers, to cruise boats that can put on a complete party for you, including dinner, karaoke, gambling, etc.
There are many tour boats catering to tourists, providing guided tours up and down the Thames River. These go slowly and can take an hour or more to get from the West End to Greenwich (or back), a popular one-way route for tourists.
If you would like to spend less time on the boat, see just as much scenery, and can live without the commentary, I recommend taking the regular commuter high-speed ferries. As with the other operators, these are integrated into Transport for London's web site. For the route mentioned, check out the "Savoy to Woolwich Arsenal" route map under "Maps", "Route maps", listed under "Commuter services". Prices will be similar in most cases.
The boats themselves are run by Thames Clippers. Note that the TfL schedule is easier to follow than Thames Clippers'.
Passenger services on the River Thames are now regulated by London's transport authority - Transport for London (TfL). This has meant that several scheduled "commuter" and riverbus style services have become established in recent years, and there is better co-ordination of the tourist and sightseeing services.
There is lots of information on boat services on TfL's London River Services website (see link below). This has route maps and details of all the sightseeing and commuter services as well as some of the dinner cruise operators.
Whilst river services are not included in the Travelcard scheme, a valid card will get you a 1/3rd discount off the fare for most scheduled riverbus services and many of the sightseeing cruises.
Two scheduled routes which are particularly useful are run by Thames Clippers, using a fleet of fast water-jet powered catamarans (see pictures):
- "Tate-to-Tate": Millbank (for Tate Britain, near Westminster) - Waterloo (London Eye) - Bankside (for Tate Modern); every 40 minutes
- "Commuter service": Embankment - Bankside - London Bridge - Tower Bridge - Canary Wharf - Greenwich - Woolwich; every 15-40 minutes, depending upon the time of day.
They run a good, efficient service using modern, comfortable boats, on some of which you can sit outside on the rear deck as you whizz along the river at 28 knots (52 km/hr, 32 miles/hr) - great fun on a nice day. I occasionally use this service to go home from work, as there are piers very close to where I work and live. We also sometimes use it to go into town at the weekends. It is not usually the fastest option available, but it is certainly the nicest!
We decided that a boat ride would be a fun way to get back to London from Greenwich, so we took the Thames Clipper. The clipper is a high speed catamaran that is used for commuting on the Thames River. From Greenwich to London, the trip took about 30 minutes and there were about eight stops along the way.
The seating is comfortable and there is plenty of room to move around. You can even sit outside in the back of the boat on a nice day to enjoy the view. Snacks and beverages are available onboard.
The cost was a reasonable GBP 5.50, 1/3 off with our travelcard.
A boat service operates on the river Thames between the two Tate galleries (Tate Britain and Tate Modern) and makes a very pleasant way to travel between the two sites. It avoids the crowds that will be encountered on the underground and it is direct (you would have to change lines to get from Pimlico to any of the tube stations near the Tate Modern). The boat serves Millbank pier at the Tate Britain end and the Bankside pier at the Tate Modern end. At Bankside there is a kiosk where you can buy tickets, but if you are boarding at the Millbank pier there is no kiosk so you buy your ticket on the boat. There is a discount on the ticket price if you have a London travelcard.
The boat is also good for some sightseeing as it passes a number of key landmarks on the way.
Thames River Clippers offer a commuter service connecting Embankment, Bankside, London Bridge, Tower, Canary Wharf , Blackfriars, Greenwich O2 Piers and Greenland . They operate from 6 am to 9 pm daily except for Sat and Sun 9.30 am-9 pm. Fares are from £5 and you can also get a family roamer ticket (2 adults, 3 kids) for £26.50 that allows you to hop on and off but after 10 am.
The company runs four converted traditional working narrowboats that travel back and forth, hourly between 10 am and 5pm, from Little Venice to Camden Lock. The boats also stop on-route at the London Zoo.
Round trip fares for adults were 6.20 pounds. Children under 3 travel free. (and they will allow fold-up strollers on board) No Booking Necessary
To get to Little Venice, we took the Tube to Warwick Ave. (Bakerloo Line) Then it's a five minute walk down the street.
Wonderful way to see London serenely! And the markets at Camden Lock are awesome! Make a full day of it!
a nice way to get from the top of Edgeware Road/Maidavale, or from the zoo at Regents Park also, to the Camden markets is by canal boat that runs along the canal from Little Venice stopping at the zoo as the canal boat company has its own moor and entrance gate into the zoo, and along to the Camden lock where you can walk around the corner to the Camden markets. - or vice versa going in the opposite direction.
Following an important industrial transport route first opened in 1820 this is a lovely way to see a unique and interesting view of London.
The 4 canal boats that the London Waterbus Company uses along this route are converted traditional working narrow boats, and three of them are on the National Register of Historic Ships.
The Summer timetable runs from April to September with trips every day - the first days of April the boats run 1-2 hourly from 11am to 4pm - from the 6th of April boats run hourly from 10am to 5pm.
In October the boats run Thursdays to Sundays
The Winter timetable runs from November to March with weekends trips only.
See the website for the exact timetable and current prices.
Little Venice to the London Zoo takes approximately 35 minutes and to the Camden Lock approximately 50 minutes.
Tickets are sold on board - most debit and credit cards are accepted in addition to cash of course!
Groups of 20 can be booked with discounts for over 20 - need to be be booked at least 10 days in advance
Their brochures advise certain restrictions:
- pets, guide dogs, bicycles or other wheeled items cannot be taken on board - wheelchairs can only be taken if they can be folded (and there are steps to negotiate to get down into the boats)
- only lightweight, small and folded flat pushchairs or child buggies can be taken - and will be stored on the roof during the trip
It is so easy to get from Tate Britain to Tate modern [or vice versa].
The boat goes from outside either gallery.
The boat runs from around 10AM to 5PM seven days a week. Closed 24th - 26th December.
The single price is £5 for adults £2.50 for children 5-16 under 5’s free. A family ticket [2 adults 2 children] is £10.
The boat passes many famous London landmarks such as Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, St Paul’s cathedral and the Globe Theatre.
There is a very good boat service along the Thames in London that let's you move around many points of interest comfortably enjoying an unique scenery. With a travelcard you get a 1/3 off in your ticket. The most interesting places you can reach are:
- London Barrier
- Cannary Wharf
- Tower of London
If you want to go far, Kew Gardens or Hampton Court Palace are also beautiful destinations by boat
There are several services that offer trips in and around the Thames and there are river taxis for the more intrepid traveler. they are slower than the tube but offer scenery you would not otherwise see.
I have listed a catamaran cruise that I took. I have taken several and this is the most steady of the vessels I ahve been on. they also serves cold snacks, drinks and offer a photo service.
Hi i took a cruise on the river Thames and found it to be a great way to see some of the sights of london ,like parliment house ,st pauls cathedral and all with commentary its great,youll find it easy to get to with the tube get of at waterloo or the embankment stations.
You can take the river tour to see London.
The boats run every 20 min. or so and offer some very nice views.
The boat here is one of the night time dinner trips that goes up the river for dinner and music.
Take a river cruise or hire a boat on the Thames. Its a great experience, allowing you to get away from the congested streets and view the city from a different angle. Don't copy the James Bond scene in the Q boat though!