London: Thames River Boat Services

London: Thames River Boat Services

There are two types of river services in London - scenic sightseeing river cruises (with commentary), and river taxi services (without commentary). There is a wish to expand the use of these services in coming years.

Thames Clippers runs the river boat services in London. The five routes that currently run are limited in scope. The most commonly used route for visitors will be RB1 which links the London Eye going eastwards towards Embankment, Blackfriars, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Greenwich and North Greenwich (for The O2). Four other lines are available but RB1 is the most comprehensive.

How often do the Thames river cruises run?
River services operate every 20 to 30 minutes on all lines, and the boats have on-board cafes, bars and seating. Most boats also have on-board toilets. Journeys take about 17 minutes from the London Eye to Tower Pier, and 45 minutes from the London Eye to The O2. All passengers are guaranteed a seat by law.

How much do Thames river cruises cost?
Fares for the river services are expensive compared to the rest of London’s public transport network. If you buy your tickets at ticket offices, adult single fares vary between £4.20 and £8.20 depending on the distance travelled. A River Roamer day ticket (unlimited travel in Central and East areas from 9:00am) is £17.35. Children 5 to 15 pay half price. Under 5s travel free.

If you buy your ticket online, use an Oyster Card (Pay as You Go), contactless payment, or on the Thames Clipper app, prices are cheaper - £3.90 to £7.20 for a single ticket, and £14.70 for a River Roamer (online only).

Travelcards are not valid on river services but you will receive a 30% discount off your river ticket or pass.

Top Tip: These are commuter boats with no commentary. However, Thames Clipper has created an audio guide for your journey that works using the GPS on your phone. The app is called “Thames Clippers in:flow”, and is available on Apple and Android devices. If you do want a service with commentary, then take a look at City Cruises.

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