Keep reading to discover London’s best boat tours and hires.
What better way to see and experience London than via its waterways and there are lots of great boat tours to do in the city depending on what experience you’re looking for. How about seeing London’s top sights while cruising down the river Thames? What about sailing down London’s prettiest canals aboard a floating barge? If you’re a party animal, how about boarding a party hire boat and dancing the night away? Check out my round up of London’s best tours and hires.
If you’ve ever fancied being a captain of your own ship, then head to Paddington and hire a Go Boat. Go Boat allows you to hire your own boat and sail it down London’s Regent’s Canal at your own pace. You can book a boat trip from £79 for a group of 8 people, As captain of your own ‘ship’ you’ll get a full briefing, with all the necessary instructions and training needed from the qualified Go Boat crew prior to setting sail, so you don’t have to worry if you’ve no previous knowledge. You’ll be given a map of the route to navigate your way along the canal, and enjoy riding the waves whilst taking in all the spectacular views of the London sights. Why not take a picnic on board too? Dogs are also welcome.
Riding The Waterbus is one of my favourite things to do in London. It follows the Regent’s Canal from Camden to Little Venice for approximately 45 minutes one way seeing some of the most beautiful sights along the way. Each boat has large windows that slide open to allow the best of viewpoints, and you’ll get plenty of fresh air as you sail from bustling Camden and its trendy Market, pass through the grounds of London Zoo, enter the impressive 249 metre Maida Hill Tunnel and see the magnificant mansions of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill.
Hold on tight for an exhilarating encounter like no other, as you speed down the Thames on a Thames Rocket. This 12 metre boat made from fibreglass, with an 880hp engine, offers you 40 invigorating minutes, where you’ll splash and blast through the water, piloted by expert skippers, who will skilfully navigate your route, as you race past many of London’s monumental landmarks. Hold on tight as you glance at speed the popular sights of the Tower of London, the Gherkin, and Canary Wharf. You can ride the Thames Rockets in the evening too which makes for a thrilling night-time encounter, when many other boats have moored for the evening. Life-jackets included!
The Thames Clipper are the largest fleet on the River Thames. Licensed by Transport For London, this river bus service offers an unique and ideal way to get daily commuters from A to B on a daily basis, whilst taking the pressure off other methods of transport within the city. Don’t be fooled, this service is not just for London residents. With 23 piers across the capital, and services running every 20 minutes between the major central piers, it’s an ideal way for tourists to visit the numerous places of interest, whilst enjoying the family friendly service on board.
The Thames Sightseeing Boat Tour is a traditional sightseeing boat tour. You can buy cruises for the more famous landmarks such as The London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and The Tower of London , or choose to go further South of the river to Greenwich for the Cutty Sark or Royal Observatory. They also offer 2 day river passes if you want to use the boat instead of jumping on the tube. A great alternate way to get around the city while enjoying the sights.
These Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) are lightweight, high-performance power boats, designed for reaching extremely high speeds across the water to give an adrenaline rush like no other. With an exhilarating range of speedboat experiences, you can blast towards Canary Wharf, the O2,or the Tower of London, to name but a few whilst taking in the numerous sights of the city as you whizz by. Starting out at Embankment Pier, their multiple RIB vessels are able to accommodate groups of any size, and everyone is equipped with wet-weather gear and safety jackets before taking their first steps onto this ride of a lifetime.
City Cruises do a variety of London boat tours that you can choose from depending on what you’re looking for. There’s the London sight seeing tour with guided commentary taking you past London’s key sights. There’s the 24 hour river pass where you can hop on and off all day and use it like a bus. There’s even a afternoon tea or dinner cruises for something extra special. There really is no better way to see the city on a sunny day while sailing down the Thames.
Forget traditional sightseeing boat tours … do you want something super quirky and a bit crazy? If so, the London Party Boat is for you. On selected dates you can book tickets for a four hour party cruise with top DJ and fully stocked bar while you dance the night away cruising past London’s most iconic landmarks. How cool is that? This would be great for hen or stag do’s or big birthdays with friends. Alternatively, you can hire whole vessels for office parties, babymoons (see it here), or weddings.
I hope you enjoyed reading London’s best boat tours and hires.