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Matthew Pearson

What is the Thames River Boat Cruise?

As you plan out your trip to London, you won't want to miss out on a Thames River boat cruise. It's simply a must do for anyone visiting the city. Whether you're interested in a sightseeing tour or a dinner cruise, there are plenty of Thames River cruise options available for you to choose from. You'll be able to take in all of the incredible sites and sounds of London from the comfort of a boat, including historic landmarks, modern architecture, and stunning parks and gardens. With so many river Thames cruises available to suit all budgets and interests, a Thames Boat trip is a fantastic way to experience the heart of London.

The Uber Boat by Thames Clippers gives you the chance to see the city from a different angle. You'll get fantastic views of London as you head down the famous, storied River Thames.

Where does the Thames River Boat Cruise leave from? And where does it go?

The boat departs from four locations (you have to start off from the 1 of the 4 locations below to validate your ticket, between 10am-6pm):

  • Westminster
  • Embankment
  • London Bridge
  • Tower Bridge

These are the different stops:

1. Putney
2. Wandsworth Riverside Quarter
3. Plantation Wharf
4. Chelsea Harbour
5. Cadogan
6. Battersea Power Station
7. Vauxhall (St George Wharf)
8. Millbank
9. London Eye (Waterloo)
10. Westminster
11. Embankment
12. Blackfriars
13. Bankside
14. London Bridge City
15. Tower
16. Canary Wharf
17. Doubletree Docklands
18. Greenland (Surrey Quays)
19. Masthouse Terrace
20. Greenwich
21. North Greenwich
22. Royal Wharf
23. Woolwich (Royal Arsenal)
24. Barking Riverside

These piers are part of the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers service in London, and they are spread across different zones from west to east along the River Thames. Most of them are wheelchair accessible, and many have nearby Santander Cycle stations for easy commuting. You can select a pier's name to learn more about it on the website.

How much does it cost?

The hop-on hop-off boat normally sets you back:

  • Adult River Roamer: £21.20
  • Child River Roamer: £10.60
  • Family River Roamer: £42.40
  • Concession River Roamer: £10.60

These prices are valid starting from 6:00 AM.

But it’s included with your London Pass.

How often do the boats run?

According to the FAQ page on the official website of Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, there is usually a 10-20 minute frequency at key London piers. The service operates every day of the year except for Christmas Day (source: Thames Clippers FAQ).

What time do they run?

Here is the timetable as of July 29, 2023. Please always confirm it is the latest.

How do I use my London Pass to get a hop-on hop-off cruise?

Simply show your London Pass at the ticket office at one of the four main entry points. You will receive a 24 hour hop-on hop-off ticket. The 24 hours starts at the time you receive this ticket from a City Cruise ticket office.

If I get a return ticket, do I need to stay on the boat for the return journey or can I disembark?

You don’t need to stay on the boat. You can disembark, explore the area and get on a later boat for your return journey. Make sure you check that the service will still be running though!

What can I see from the boat?

From the comfort of the sightseeing boat, you can see many of London’s most famous buildings and cherished landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern, Cutty Sark and The Shard.

Are the sightseeing boats fully accessible for people in wheelchairs?

Most of the boats are, with a maximum of two spaces for wheelchairs. It’s best to call the reservation team to check which services will be best for you. You can reach them on +44 (0)207 7400 400. Their hours at 8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am - 4pm on weekends and bank holidays.

Are the sightseeing boats heated?

Yes, they all are, and all Thames River Boat Cruise boats have indoor seating.

What are the boats like?

All have an indoor lower deck, while most have an open-air upper deck, giving you unimpeded views.

Can I get food and drink on board?

You can. There’s a bar onboard all sightseeing boats offering hot and cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches.

Is there an audio guide?

There is a live or recorded commentary in English on board all sightseeing cruises. This is entirely complimentary.

Is it in any language except English?

Yes, you can get an audio guide in seven other languages: Italian, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese. Pick up your free audio guide from the bar aboard the boat.

Can I bring a bike aboard?

No, unfortunately not, but kids' scooters are allowed aboard a Thames River Boat Cruise. Looking for some other things to do around London? Check this out.

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