Daytime Cruises from Embankment Pier
Thames River Sightseeing
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).
Why Choose Thames River Sightseeing
- Modern & traditional sightseeing boats with open decks, heated saloons & toilet facilities.
- Regular departures: Currently every 40 minutes.
- Onboard Café Bars are open on Saturdays & Sundays serving hot drinks, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks & light snacks. Some sailings between Monday & Friday may also have refreshments available. (Read More)
- Scenic cruises between Westminster Pier, Embankment Pier, Festival Pier, Bankside Pier, Tower Bridge Quay (St. Katharine Pier) & Greenwich Pier passing more than 44 London landmarks.
- Wi-Fi Audio Guide available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German & Mandarin. (Smart device & headphones are not provided, Read More)
- Cruises to the Thames Flood Barrier. (Returning in 2022)
Thames River Sightseeing Routes
We are currently operating 7-days a week calling at Westminster Pier, Embankment Pier, Festival Pier, Bankside Pier, Tower Bridge Quay & Greenwich Pier. Unfortunately we are unable to offer our cruises to the Thames Barrier this year.
Cruises Calling at Embankment Pier
About Embankment Pier
Embankment Pier is located on the North shore of the River Thames next to Charing Cross Railway Bridge and Embankment Station.
Embankment Pier is just a short walk from Westminster Pier, Villiers Street, the Strand and a number of famous landmarks.
Landmarks near Embankment Pier include Cleopatra’s Needle, the Savoy Hotel, Somerset House & the New Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament).
Private Charters from Embankment Pier
Our versatile party boats are a popular choice for corporate & private events on the River Thames. Large open decks, heated saloons & fully licensed bars are just a few of the facilities to be found on-board.
We can provide a wide range of catering & dining options, perfectly paired with our extensive wine menu. Our entertainment options & decorations can also make your event truly unique.
Near Embankment Pier
About Cleopatra’s Needle
About Benjamin Franklin House
36 Craven Street is the only remaining home of the Benjamin Franklin, a famous scientist, diplomat & Founding Father of the United States. The house itself dates from around 1730 & is an authentic representation Benjamin Franklin’s time in London. Tours of Benjamin Franklin House are available for the public & there is also a small shop & toilet facilities onsite.
- Tour the only remaining home of Benjamin Franklin & the first de facto United States Embassy.
- Purchase souvenirs & gifts at the Benjamin Franklin House Shop.
About Royal Festival Hall
Royal Festival Hall is the last remaining building from the 1951 Festival of Great Britain. The hall can seat 2,500 guests & is situated in the Southbank Centre, the largest arts centre in the United Kingdom. Over 5,000 events are held at the Southbank Centre each year including exhibitions, festivals & performances by some of the worlds most famous artists.
About the Savoy Hotel
The Savoy Hotel was built by Richard D’Oyly Carte & opened in 1889. The Savoy proved popular with tourists & was the first hotel in Britain to utilise electric lifts & be lit entirely by electric lighting. The Savoy boasts numerous bars & restaurants & is adjacent to the Savoy Theatre.
About the Banqueting House
The Banqueting House is the last remaining building from Whitehall Palace, home to a magnificent ceiling painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens & the execution site of King Charles I. The building was designed by Inigo Jones in the Palladian style for King James I & was completed in 1622.
- One of the last remaining buildings from Henry VIII’s Whitehall Palace.
- The execution site of King Charles I.
- Peter Paul Rubens magnificent ceiling murals.
About the National Gallery
The National Gallery was founded in 1824 & opened to the public on the 10th May of the same year. As the collection grew the gallery moved from a small building at 100 Pall Mall to the present building, a purpose built structure designed by William Wilkins. Both The National Gallery’s building & collection has grown over the years, Sir James Pennethorne, Sir Charles Barry & Sir John Taylor have all extended the building & over 2,600 paintings are now housed within the collection. Today the National Gallery is free to visit & they organise a range of exhibitions & events showcases works from the collection. The gallery also has a number of giftshops, a dining room & cafés.
About the London Eye
At 135 metres tall the London Eye is the worlds largest cantilevered observation wheel. The London Eye was designed by Marks Barfield Architects & launched in 2000 as a temporary attraction. The London Eye has quickly become one of the most popular paid attractions in the world carrying over 3.5 million visitors each year. On a clear day visibility is up to 40km allowing views of Windsor Castle & the Queen Elizabeth II bridge at Dartford.
- See London from a unique perspective.
About Somerset House
Somerset House was designed by William Chambers & completed 1801. The house has been home to the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Society, the General Register Office & the Inland Revenue. Today Somerset House is open to the public and regularly hosts concerts & other public events.
About the Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976. Three individual theatres occupy the site & over 20 different performances are shown each year. The Olivier Theatre is the largest theatre & seats 1,100 guests. The Olivier Theatre takes its name from the National Theatre’s first artistic director, Sir. Laurence Olivier.
About St. James Park
St. James Park is London’s oldest royal park & is surrounded by three royal palaces, the Palace of Westminster, St. James Palace & Buckingham Palace. In 1536 the royal court was based at the Palace of Westminster & King Henry VIII purchased land at St. James to build St. James Palace & a new deer park. After his accession to the throne in 1603 James I had the park drained, landscaped & filled with exotic animals including camels, crocodiles, birds & an elephant.
St. James Park underwent further alterations when Charles II opened it to the public & had it re-landscaped in a more formal style with a large canal. St. James Park saw another makeover in the 1820’s when the Prince Regent (later to become George IV) commissioned the architect & landscaper John Nash to give the park a more natural look. The canal was shaped into a lake & an iron bridge was built offering excellent views across the lake. The current bridge (The Blue Bridge) was built in 1957 & is the third bridge to span St. James Park Lake.
- Take in the view of Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade & the London Eye from the Blue Bridge.
- Learn more about the park on a walking tour (available on select dates).
- See the parks resident pelicans at feeding time.
- Refreshments available at St. James Café.
About County Hall
- Sea Life London Aquarium
- The London Dungeon
- Shrek’s Adventure!
- Namco Funscape Arcade
- Agatha Christie’s Witness For The Prosecution (performed in the County Hall Court Room)
About HQS Wellington
HQS Wellington is a Grimsby Class Sloop launched in 1934. She escorted convoys in the North Atlantic throughout the Second World War. She is now permanently moored on Victoria Embankment and is the livery hall of the Honorable Company of Master Mariners.
About the New Palace of Westminster
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).
- Guided tours available in multiple languages.
- Self-guided tours with a multimedia guide.
- Tours with afternoon tea overlooking the River Thames.
- Special exhibitions in Westminster Hall.
- Special talks & guided tours.
- Refreshments available in the Jubilee cafe.
About St. Margaret’s Church
- Refreshments are available at Westminster Abbey’s Cellarium Café.
- Purchase souvenirs & gifts at the Westminster Abbey Shop.
About Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey was built by King Edward (later to become St. Edward the Confessor) on the site of a Benedictine Monastery on Thorn Ey (Thorn Island) in Westminster. King Edward’s Abbey was consecrated on the 28th December 1065 however Edward was unable to attend the consecration due to illness, he died just days later sparking a succession crisis which intimately led to the Norman Conquest of England. William the Conqueror was coronated King William I on Christmas Day in 1066 & every coronation has taken place at Westminster Abbey since.
King Edward’s abbey stood for over two centuries until King Henry III started to rebuild the abbey in a Gothic style. Henry’s abbey was consecrated on the 13th October 1269 & still stands today. Westminster Abbey is the resting place of 17 monarchs & a number of poets, musicians, scientists and politicians.
- Explore King Henry VII’s Lady Chapel.
- Visit the Queens Diamond Jubilee Galleries.
- Visit the college garden (open on select days each week).
- Refreshments are available at the Cellarium Café.
- Purchase souvenirs & gifts at the Westminster Abbey Shop.
About the Jewel Tower
The Jewel Tower is one of the last remaining structures from the Medieval Palace of Westminster. The Tower was built by Henry Yevele between 1365-1366 for King Edward III & originally served as a store for precious items including silver plate. After much of the medieval palace was destroyed by a fire in 1834 the Jewel Tower became a records office for the House of Lords. In 1869 it became a testing office for the Board of Trade Standards Department (More commonly known as Weights and Measures).
- One of the last remaining buildings from the Medieval Palace of Westminster.
- Light refreshments available at the Jewel Tower Cafe.
About The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court was formally established on the 1st October 2009 & is the highest court in the United Kingdom. The court hears appeals for civil cases in the United Kingdom & criminal cases in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. The Supreme Court sits in the Middlesex Guildhall, an art nouveau gothic style building designed by J. S Gibson & completed in 1913.
- Guided tours led by a member of the court staff.
- Permanent & temporary exhibitions on the lower ground floor.
- Refreshments available at the Supreme Court Café.
- Purchase souvenirs & gifts from the Supreme Court Shop.
About OXO Tower Wharf
About the Florence Nightingale Museum
- Learn about Florence Nightingale’s life & achievements.
- Highlight Tours of the museums collections.
- Walking tours following in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale.
- Souvenirs available in the museum shop.
About Sea Containers House
About Sir John Soane’s Museum
Sir John Soane’s Museum is situated in the Grade I listed home of the Regency architect Sir John Soane. Soane commissioned numerous buildings throughout his career including country homes, the Bank of England & Dulwich Picture Gallery. During his lifetime Soane amassed a vast collection of items including books, manuscripts, paintings, models, sculptures & the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I. Soane obtained an Act of Parliament bequeathing his home to the British Public. Today Sir John Soane’s Museum is free to visit & remains mostly unchanged since his death in 1837. Tours & trails are are available at the museum to guide visitors through the rooms & collections that have been curated by Sir John Soane himself.
About the British Museum
The British Museum was created by an act of Parliament in 1753 & opened to the public in 1759. The museum combined the collections of Sir Hans Sloane with the Cotton, Harley & Royal Libraries creating a vast collection of historic & scientific objects. The museum is housed in a collection of buildings entered through a magnificent Greek revival building designed by Sir Robert Smirke. Today The British Museum is free to visit & is home to more than 60 free galleries where you can enjoy tours, talks & family activities. You’ll also find a range of shops & five restaurants at the museum.
- The British Museum is free to visit although some special exhibitions may charge an entrance fee.
- More than 60 free galleries to explore.
- A range of tours, talks & family activities.
- Special out of hours & member events.
- A number of shops & five restaurants.