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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. 
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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