Summer Holidays 2019
There’s plenty to do in & around the River Thames during the Summer Holidays. We have cruises between Westminster Pier, St. Katharine Pier & Greenwich Pier everyday & five sailings continue downriver to the Thames Flood Barrier.
Below are just some of the events taking place at Westminster, St. Katharine’s & Greenwich.
Events & Attractions
1. Cruise through the Thames Barrier
The Thames Flood Barrier is one of the largest movable flood defences in the world. Since its completion in 1986 the barrier has been closed 182 times (accurate as of February 2018). 95 of these closures were to protect against tidal flooding & 87 closures were to protect against tidal/fluvial flooding.
Between April & October Thames River Services operate five sailings to the Thames Barrier everyday. You can join a barrier cruise at Westminster Pier, St. Katharine Pier & Greenwich Pier.
2. Relax on a Sunday Evening Cruise from Greenwich Pier
We have been operating our 2-Hour Sunday Evening Cruise for over 30 years, it’s London’s oldest evening cruise & departs from Greenwich Pier (by the Cutty Sark) every Sunday from May until September. Our evening cruises operate from 19:00 – 21:00 during May, June, July & August & 18:30 – 20:30 in September. The cruise travels upriver from the Royal Borough of Greenwich, passing Docklands & underneath Tower Bridge before cruising through the City of London & City of Westminster. We travel as far as time & tide allow before turning & cruising back to Greenwich.
Our Sunday Evening Cruise is the perfect way to end a day out in Greenwich, we have indoor & outdoor seating, heating, a fully licensed bar & a live commentary.
3. Visit Parliament
Known as the ‘Houses of Parliament’, the new palace was built between 1840-1870 after the original palace was damaged during a fire. The palace is the home of UK Parliament & the iconic Elizabeth Tower (known as Big Ben).
While parliament is in recession the Palace will be open for audio tours & guided tours in a range of languages seven days a week. Discover the history behind one of the countries greatest Gothic buildings & marvel at Augustus Pugin’s elaborate interiors.
After the tour you can indulge in afternoon tea in a room with a River Thames view.
4. Greenwich Summer Festival
The Greenwich Summer Festival takes place at Cutty Sark Gardens, next to the Cutty Sark & Greenwich Pier. The Festival brings a range of delicious street food, arts & crafts & live entertainment.
5. Visit the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace has been the home of the Monarch since the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Originally built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham the house was purchased by King George III as a private residence for his wife, Queen Charlotte. The palace has seen numerous alterations including King George IV’s magnificent staterooms (designed by John Nash) & the fourth wing (designed by Edward Blore) commissioned by Queen Victoria to create extra space to house her growing family.
From the 20th July – 29th September the magnificent State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will be open to the general public. Visitors can explore the State Rooms from £25.00 per adult or purchase a Royal Day Out for £45.00 which also includes entry to the Queens Gallery & the Royal Mews. Highlights of the State Rooms tour include the Grand Staircase, the Throne Room, the Ball Room & the largest private garden in London.
6. Tower Escape at the Tower of London
Visit the Tower of London & marvel at over 1000 years of history. View the Crown Jewels, hear stories from the Yeoman Warders & see the armour of Kings Henry VIII, Charles I & James II.
Explore the stories of prisoners held in the Tower of London during the reigns on Queen Elizabeth I & King James I. Meet prisoners Arbella Stewart, William Seymour & learn about John Gerard’s escape from the Salt Tower. Tower Escape takes place multiple times each day & is included in palace admission.
7. Luna Cinema at the Old Royal Naval College
The Luna Cinema is coming to the Old Royal Naval College for three nights of films all shown within the grounds of Sir Christopher Wren’s riverside masterpiece. Thursday 29th will be Les Miserables, a film which saw the Naval College’s grounds transformed into 18th Century France during the French revolution. Friday 30th August will feature The Greatest Showman & Saturday 31st will be Bohemian Rhapsody.
8. Pollinators in Greenwich Park
Visit Greenwich’s Royal Park for a morning of family activities & learn about the butterflies, bugs & beetles who call the park home.
Tickets are £6 for children & free for adults & can be purchased on the Royal Parks website.
A visit to London isn’t complete without a cruise on the River Thames. Thames River Sightseeing operate regular services from six piers on the River Thames including Westminster Pier, Embankment Pier, Tower Bridge Quay (St. Katharine Pier) & Greenwich Pier. Thames River Sightseeing cruise 361 days a year & operate a fleet of all-weather vessels with spacious open decks perfect for the summer months & heated saloons with panoramic windows for the colder months. The vessels range from more traditional River Thames passenger boats (London Rose) to more modern vessels purposefully built for the River Thames (Thomas Doggett). A cruise between Westminster & Tower Bridge Quay takes just 30-40 minutes & passes numerous London landmarks including the New Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament), the London Eye, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the Shard, London Bridge & Tower Bridge. Passengers can cruise further to the Royal Borough of Greenwich & the Thames Barrier passing the Cutty Sark, Old Royal Naval College, the Queens House, the O2 & the North Greenwich Cable Car.
Passengers can embark at Westminster Pier, Embankment Pier, Festival Pier, Bankside Pier, Tower Bridge Quay or Greenwich & take advantage of a range of ticketing options. Single tickets are suited for day trippers or passengers travelling in or out of London & return tickets allow passengers to disembark & explore before joining a return sailing later the same day. A 2 Day River Pass is the perfect option for anyone visiting London over multiple days. A River Pass allows unlimited travel on our services for just £19.50 per adult, a family River Pass is just £39.00 (for 2 Adults + 3 Children).
Between April & October Thames River Sightseeing operate cruises to the Thames Barrier, cruises to the Barrier are round trips & pass through the Thames Barrier twice before cruising back to Greenwich, Tower Bridge & Westminster. Pre-booked groups can embark or disembark at Barrier Gardens Pier to visit the Thames Barrier Information Centre & Café. A cruise to the Thames Barrier offers a unique perspective of the second largest movable flood defence in the world.
Thames River Sightseeing also offer excellent group rates & discounts which are perfect for families, tour companies or travel trade. Toilet facilities & a Multilingual Audio Guide are available on all sailings. The Multilingual Audio Guide is an informative commentary available through our onboard Wi-Fi in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Mandarin (Smart device & headphones are not provided, Read More).
Westminster Pier is located on the North shore of the River Thames in the City of Westminster. The pier is a short walk from the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament), Westminster Abbey & St. Margaret’s Church (A UNESCO World Heritage Site). Numerous museums & landmarks are within walking distance of Westminster Pier including the Banqueting House, Household Cavalry Museum, the National Gallery & the London Eye.
St. Katharine Dock was constructed by Thomas Telford & opened in 1828. The docks became popular with expensive cargo’s from around the world including ivory, shells, sugar, marble, wines, fragrant spices & perfumes. Today St. Katharine’s is a haven for yachts & historic vessels including traditional Thames sailing barges. A wide range of cafes, bars & restaurants are located at St. Katharine’s & regular food markets also take place throughout the week.
Greenwich Pier is located on the South shore of the River Thames in Maritime Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pier sits between the famous tea clipper Cutty Sark & Sir Christopher Wren’s Riverside Masterpiece, the Old Royal Naval College. Today the Royal Borough of Greenwich is an eclectic mix of historical & modern buildings. Greenwich town centre is home to a collection of museums, pubs, restaurants, markets & shops.