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River Cruise

Motoring along the River Thames is the most picturesque way to travel through London.

TravelCurious Tip

River cruises can be heavily booked, especially in the summer months – be sure to reserve your place!

The River Thames is London’s oldest and most permanent feature, a winding, colour-changing ribbon that has been the lifeblood of the city since its foundation. As well as supplying London with water, it is also a surprisingly common commuting method – many people still get to work and back by riverboat. For those with a little more time in their hands, however, a leisurely cruise on the Thames is both relaxing and a great way to see some of the best sites the city has to offer.


Into the Setting Sun

There are a huge number of different companies offering tours of the Thames, in everything from flashy catamarans to the cumbersome amphibious London Duck buses. Many will offer a variety of starting points, some as far downstream as the Thames Barrier. West of Greenwich Pier, though, most visitors choose to begin at Tower Bridge. Heading upstream from here, you will first pass the old Royal Navy battle cruiser turned floating museum HMS Belfast, before passing under the newest instantiation of London Bridge. Look out for Shakespeare’s Globe theatre on your left just before you pass under the Millenium Bridge a little further down.


Cruising Central

Just around the bend in the river marked by Waterloo Bridge and the National Theatre, the iconic figure of Big Ben will emerge beside the Houses of Parliament on the north bank, set across the Thames from the newer London Eye. Further along, you will slide past the dramatic monolith of the Battersea Power Station. After this point, the density of riverside parks begins to increase as you leave Central London, and you will be treated to the green expanses of Battersea and Wandsworth Parks, as well as the gorgeous Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in London
Big Ben
The iconic Victorian clock tower of London, which has become a symbol of the city itself.
Westminster Abbey
One of London's oldest and most magnificent churches, with a long-standing connection to the royal family.
London Eye
The London Eye is a huge observation wheel on the banks of the River Thames, offering spectacular views and more.
Palace of Westminster
The first parliament in the world, and the political heart of the United Kingdom.
River Thames
The second longest river in the UK the Thames is an iconic piece of London culture. Don't be put off by its murky colour it is actually one of the cleanest metropolitan rivers in European.
St Margaret's Church
The parish church of the House of Commons, it has seen many famous weddings and burials

Related Tours

Royal London: Private Half Day Highlights (with entrance tickets)
A whistle-stop tour of London's iconic landmarks and stunning landscapes. 
 
  • Visit the Tower of London, one of the world’s most important historic castles. 
  • See the magnificent Crown Jewels.
  • Experience stunning views of London’s attractions on a scenic cruise
  • Gaze at the Tower Bridge from the water and hear the fascinating history of its construction. 
  • View the iconic London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
  • See the grandiose residence of Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, and see London’s best Gothic architectural marvel: Westminster Abbey. 
Tower of London
 
Experience the best of London in just four hours with an expert London guide. Your tour will begin at the Tower of London where you will explore this 900-year-old castle. Learn about the kings and queens who lived and died in the Tower, as well as its role as a fortress, prison, zoo, and observatory. The highlight of the tour is viewing the famous Crown Jewels, where your guide will tell you about the many attempts to steal these beautiful diamonds!
 
River Cruise & the Houses of Parliament
 
After leaving the Tower you will travel along the Thames on a river cruise and look at some impressive sights, including Tower Bridge and the London Eye, finally docking in Westminster. Here, you will see the Houses of Parliament - the home of the British government, and the magnificent Big Ben. 
 
Buckingham Palace & Westminster Abbey. 
 
Your tour will also include a trip to see Buckingham Palace (we can't go inside, unfortunately), the home of Queen Elizabeth II (where you might witness the Changing of the Guards ceremony). A short walk on, you will come to the exterior of the beautiful Westminster Abbey, where every English king and queen for the last 1000 years has received their coronation, and where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. 
London's Full Day Highlights including London Eye Ride
This full-day tour is the perfect way to see London's iconic sites and experience a ride on the London Eye, as well as a Thames cruise. 

  • Start with a visit to the Tower of London, the oldest palace, fortress and prison in the whole of Europe.
  • Enjoy the wonderful scenery of Central London with a relaxing cruise down the Thames.
  • See London’s most famous buildings including St James’ Palace, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards, the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben.
  • Visit London’s Gothic architectural marvel: Westminster Abbey.
  • End your tour with a relaxing ride on the London Eye, which offers the best views of the entire city at a thrilling 135m.
Tower of London:

What a day to remember! Learn more about the great city of London and explore its fascinating history with an expert guide. Your guide will collect you from where you are staying and take you to the famous Tower of London, where you will discover the many stories of one of the oldest buildings in London, and experience where some of the greatest events in English History occurred. Best of all, you will be able to admire the stunning Crown Jewels. 

River Cruise, Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace & Park:

On leaving the Tower you will travel to Westminster by river cruise for a walking tour past some of London’s most famous buildings including St James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards, the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben. If you're lucky you might catch the Changing of the Guards ceremony, which is full of pomp and ceremony (this is dependent on the day and weather).

Westminster Abbey & London Eye:

After lunch in Westminster, you will continue your day with a private tour of London’s royal church, Westminster Abbey - the site of 38 coronations and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Learn about the Coronation ceremony and enjoy the beauty of this 800 year old treasure. After a day crammed full of history and culture, the best way to end your highlights tour is with a relaxing ride on the London Eye (one of the world's biggest Ferris Wheels), which offers spectacular views across London.

The Very Best of London: Crown Jewels and Big Ben
 Experience a full-day tour of London's spectacular landmarks with a private and knowledgeable Blue Badge guide.

  • Start with a visit to London’s castle: the Tower of London
  • See the stunning Crown Jewels
  • Enjoy the wonderful scenery of Central London with a relaxing cruise down the Thames
  • Stroll around Westminster and take in the stunning sights: from Big Ben to the marvelous architecture of Somerset House
  • Learn about Westminster’s political history and see the outside of the Houses of Parliament
  • Look at the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street
  • Experience the famous Trafalgar Square before wandering down The Mall to Buckingham Palace
    
    
 Tower of London
 
 
Your guide will collect you from where you are staying and take you to a spectacular castle. Here you will discover the many stories of one of the oldest buildings in London, and experience where some of the greatest events in English history occurred. Best of all, you will be able to admire the stunning Crown Jewels which are kept here behind extensive security in the aptly-named Jewel House.

River Cruise and Lunch

On leaving the Tower you will travel to Westminster by a scenic river cruise. Travelling by river is the most relaxing (and often most efficient) way of getting through the centre of the city. You'll pass under London and Waterloo Bridge, spy the London Eye, and view Somerset House on your right-hand side. After docking at Westminster Pier under the watchful gaze of Big Ben, your guide will recommend a number of restaurants and eateries where you can have a quick or leisurely lunch.
 
 Westminster and Buckingham Palace
 
 
The second half of the day will be dedicated to walking around Westminster and taking in the grandeur of Buckingham Palace. 
 
 First, you will be guided around the outside of the Houses of Parliament, with a lengthy stop outside Big Ben, and learn about the political history of Parliament Square. This will be followed by an exhibition of the outside of Westminster Abbey and, if time permits, you will be able to go inside (entrance tickets not included). This is London’s royal church which has been the site of 38 coronations and was where the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton took place. Your guide will then take you on a walk-up Whitehall to No. 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister's residence, ending up at Trafalgar Square.
 
 Finally, we will walk down to take in the view of Buckingham Palace and then up and down The Mall, where jubilant crowds have historically greeted the news about the royal family in this scenic tree-lined avenue.

We built this tour because 
it invites travellers to explore London's sites with a Blue Badge guide, with plenty of space for adaptability and personal preferences! 
Private Guided Walk of London with Thames River Cruise
  • Marvel at the outside of the Tower of London, Royal Palace and Fortress. 
  • Jump aboard a river cruise and float effortlessly down the Thames.
  • Enjoy beautiful views of Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral and more.
  • Disembark at Westminster, London’s grand governmental quarter.
  • See the outside of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and walk to Buckingham Palace.
Infusing gorgeous architecture, fascinating history and the relaxation and serenity of a river cruise, this tour covers London’s most unmissable sites in a comfortable 3 hours.  You'll begin outside the notorious Tower of London, a 1000-year-old royal fortress on the banks of the Thames. Enjoy expert narration and storytelling by your guide, hear of the executions that took place here and learn about Kings’ and Queens’ who lived and died within its walls. 

Next embark on a beautiful 45-minute river cruise through the heart of London. See some of London’s most beautiful palaces, cathedrals, bridges and buildings as you make your way upstream.

Disembark at Westminster and explore London’s governmental quarter, walking past the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey at your own pace.  Discover  where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married while your guide tells you stories about royal splendour and scandal alike. Slowly amble through the Royal Parks to Buckingham Palace - the Queen’s official London residence - and if you are there by 11.45am you will also be able to see the Changing of the Guards ceremony.
Welcome to Historic London - Private Tour including entrance tickets
·        See the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey
·        Go on a short cruise down the river past the London Eye, Somerset House and the edgy South Bank 
·        Gaze up at the dome in St Paul’s Cathedral 
·        Appreciate the splendour of Guildhall above the arena where gladiators fought

The English, and British, capital has a great deal to offer travellers seeking its past. Stretching back nearly two millennia, the city has come far from its roots as a Roman provincial outpost. Going with an expert, and private, guide through its historic heart, you will experience the journey to global city in the company of its most important buildings.

The World of Westminster

While it can be hard to believe, the area now known as Westminster was once apart from the Saxon City. This changed over time, helped greatly by the construction of Westminster Abbey and the growth of the area into the political centre of first England, then the United Kingdom. Going through the area with your guide, you will see the Houses of Parliament as well as other sights which – though perhaps less well-known – have still played their part in British history. Go past Downing Street, where people could walk up to the front door only 30 years ago, and St Margaret’s Church where Sir Winston Churchill led parliamentarians to give thanks after the defeat of Germany in 1945. 

The Old City

East of Westminster is where the Romans and Saxons built their respective cities: Londinium and Ludenwic. Approaching it by boat, where you will go past sights including the London Eye, the bohemian South Bank and Somerset House. This past helped the area become a global financial centre, and your guide will be happy to talk about how this happened as you take a trip up the historic Fleet Street to St Paul’s Cathedral. Built over the site of a predecessor that burnt down during the Great Fire of London in 1666, Wren’s domed masterpiece is an architectural masterpiece which has become a symbol of the city. Although the legacy of the London blitz means many of the buildings are modern, there remain some beautiful reminders of how the city looked before it was bombed; not least of which is Guildhall. With a past going back more than 800 years, the building is now home to the City of London Corporation. Even older are the ruins below the building, and your guide will take you into its depths to see the remains of the Roman amphitheatre.
Royal London Half Day Walking Group Tour with Tower of London tickets and River Cruise
Enjoy a highlight tour of London's iconic landmarks and stunning landscapes. 
 
  • Visit the Tower of London, one of the world’s most important historic castles. 
  • See the magnificent Crown Jewels.
  • Experience stunning views of London’s attractions on a scenic cruise
  • Gaze at the Tower Bridge from the water and hear the fascinating history of its construction. 
  • View the iconic London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
  • See the grandiose residence of Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, and see London’s best Gothic architectural marvel: Westminster Abbey. 
Tower of London
 
Experience the best of London in just four hours with an expert London guide. Your tour will begin at the Tower of London where you will explore this 900-year-old castle. Learn about the kings and queens who lived and died in the Tower, as well as its role as a fortress, prison, zoo, and observatory. The highlight of the tour is viewing the famous Crown Jewels, where your guide will tell you about the many attempts to steal these beautiful diamonds!
 
River Cruise & the Houses of Parliament
 
After leaving the Tower you will travel along the Thames on a river cruise and look at some impressive sights, including Tower Bridge and the London Eye, finally docking in Westminster. Here, you will see the Houses of Parliament - the home of the British government, and the magnificent Big Ben. 
 
Buckingham Palace & Westminster Abbey. 
 
Your tour will also include a trip to see Buckingham Palace (we can't go inside, unfortunately), the home of Queen Elizabeth II (where you might witness the Changing of the Guards ceremony). A short walk on, you will come to the exterior of the beautiful Westminster Abbey, where every English king and queen for the last 1000 years has received their coronation, and where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. 
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