River Cruises with Thames River Sightseeing
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.
Landmarks Between Westminster Pier & Embankment Pier / Festival Pier
About Westminster Bridge
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 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 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 Charing Cross Railway Bridge
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.
Festival Pier is located on the south shore of the River Thames next to Royal Festival Hall in the heart of the Soutbank Centre. The National Theatre, London Eye, OXO Tower Wharf, & County Hall (Home to the London Aquarium, London Dungeon, Shrek’s Adventure and more) are only a few minutes from Festival Pier. Festival Pier is popular with corporate & private charters, our daytime sightseeing cruises with Thames River Sightseeing also call at Festival Pier.
Landmarks Between Embankment Pier / Festival Pier & Bankside Pier
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 Waterloo Bridge
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 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 Cleopatra’s Needle
About the Yacht at Temple Pier
About Temple Stairs Arch
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 Sion Hall
About the Former City of London School
Former City of London School.
About Blackfriars Road Bridge
About Blackfriars Railway Bridges
About St. Paul’s Cathedral
There have been several cathedrals on the site on St. Pauls dating from as early as 604 AD. The most notable of these was the cathedral built by the Normans between 1087 & 1240. The Norman St. Pauls was the largest building in Medieval England, it lasted for almost 600 years surviving the Reformation & the English Civil War. In August 1666 Christopher Wren finalised plans to restore the cathedral although little more than a week later St Pauls was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Construction of the new cathedral commenced in 1675 & lasted for 33 years. The new cathedral was consecrated on the 2nd December 1667 & still stands today. St. Pauls is open for prayer seven days a week, sightseers can visit the cathedral from Monday – Saturday.
About the Millennium Bridge
The Millennium Bridge links Bankside on the South Shore to the City of London on the North. The bridge opened in June 2000 & gained its nickname the “Wobbly Bridge” after an unexpected swaying motion caused it to close. After almost two years of modification the bridge re-opened.
About Shakespeare’s Globe
The Globe Theatre at Bankside is an authentic replica of a 16th century theatre. Shakespearean plays are regularly performed & guided tours of the theatre are also available. The Swan bar & restaurant at the Globe serves breakfast, lunch, dinner & a “Midsummer Nights Dream Afternoon Tea” inspired by the Characters of Shakespeare’s plays.
Bankside Pier is located on the south shore of the River Thames next to the Millennium Bridge within the London Borough of Southwark. Bankside stretches from Blackfriars Railway Bridge to the edge of London Bridge City & is one of London’s newer tourist hot spots. Bankside & the surrounding area is home to a variety of historical & contemporary attractions including Borough Market, Southwark Cathedral, the Clink Prison Museum, Golden Hinde II, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern, Bankside Gallery & the Millennium Bridge. Bankside is also home to numerous riverside restaurants, pubs, bars & is just a short walk from London Bridge City, the City of London & the South Bank.
Landmarks Between Bankside Pier & St. Katharine Pier
About Southwark Bridge
About Cannon Street Station
About Cannon Street Railway Bridge
About Golden Hinde II
About the Shard
About Fishmongers Hall
About London Bridge
There has been a bridge across the River Thames on the site of London Bridge since Roman Britain. The current bridge is the fifth bridge to stand on this site and was opened by the Queen in 1973.
About the Monument to the Great Fire of London
The Monument to the Great Fire of London was designed by Christopher Wren & Robert Hooke. The Monument stands 202 feet tall & is located exactly 202 feet from the bakery of Thomas Farriner where the Great Fire of London started in 1666.
About 20 Fenchurch Street (The Walkie Talkie)
20 Fenchurch Street, nicknamed The Walkie Talkie was designed by Rafael Viñoly & completed in 2014. The top floors of 20 Fenchurch Street are home to the Sky Garden, an award winning garden landscape with restaurants, bars & a viewing area.
About Hays Galleria
About the Former Billingsgate Fish Market
The Old Billingsgate Fish Market was designed by Horace Jones (who also designed Leadenhall Market and worked with John Wolf Barry to design Tower Bridge).
The market was completed in 1875 and was open until it moved to larger premises in Docklands in 1982. The old market building was refurbished by Richard Roger’s and is now an events venue.
George Orwell, the Kray Twins and Michael Caine were just a few famous Londoners who worked at Old Billingsgate at one time or another.
About Waterguard House
About HMS Belfast
About City Hall
About the Tower of London
The Tower of London takes its name from the White Tower which was constructed in around 1078 by William the Conqueror. Over the last 900 years the Tower of London has served a number of uses including a fortress, armoury, royal palace, royal mint, treasury, menagerie, prison & more recently the home to the crown jewels. The Tower is guarded by the Yeoman Warders who were formed by King Henry VII in 1485.
About Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world & was designed by Sir John Wolfe Barry & Horace Jones. The bridge opened in 1894 & the centre span is split into two bascules which open to allow ships to pass through to the Upper Pool.
St. Katharine Pier
Tower Bridge Quay (formerly St. Katharine Pier) is located on the North shore of the River Thames at St. Katharine Dock, a short walk from the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Tower of London. The dock opened in 1828 & was once 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.
Landmarks Between St. Katharine Pier & Greenwich Pier
About Butlers Wharf
About St. Katharine Dock
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.
About the Mayflower
About the Prospect of Whitby
There has been a pub on this site since 1520 making the Prospect of Whitby London’s oldest riverside pub. The original pub was called The Pelican but was locally known as the Devil’s Tavern because it was popular with pirates & thieves.
About the Narrow
About Limehouse Dock
About the Grapes
About Canary Wharf
About Cutty Sark
Visit the last remaining tea clipper, Cutty Sark. Originally built at Dumbarton, Scotland in 1869 she spent her working life transporting cargo including tea from China and wool from Australia. She has now been fully restored and is an award winning visitor attraction.
About the Royal Observatory
The Royal Observatory Greenwich was founded in 1675 by King Charles II. The Observatory sits on the hill in Greenwich Park and is the location of the Historic Prime Meridian (Greenwich Meantime). The Royal Observatory is also home to the Greenwich Time Ball which has marked 13:00 Greenwich Meantime everyday since 1833.
About the Old Royal Naval College
The Old Royal Naval College is Sir Christopher Wren’s riverside masterpiece, built in the 17th Century as the Royal Hospital for Seamen on the site of the Tudor Palace of Placentia. The Old Royal Naval College boasts beautiful surroundings & some of the most magnificent interiors in London. The Painted Hall in King William Court is home to the largest painted ceiling in Europe, a Baroque masterpiece by Sir James Thornhill depicting over 300 years of English aristocracy & British Naval Power. The Chapel of St Peter & St Paul in Queen Mary Court has a beautiful interior designed by James ‘Athenian’ Stewart. Visitors to the Old Royal Naval College can enjoy tours of the Painted Hall & the grounds & visit the cafe & gift shop located in King William Court.
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.
Landmarks Between Greenwich Pier & the Thames Barrier
About the Queens House
About Trinity Hospital
The first Trinity Hospital was built in 1613 by the Earl of Northhampton, Henry Howard. The current building dates from 1812, is home to 41 sheltered apartments & is supported by the Worshipful Company of Mercers.
About the Optic Cloak
The Optic Cloak, by Conrad Shawcross
About the Isle of Dogs Pumping Station
About West India Dock
About A Slice of Reality
A Slice of Reality, by Richard Wilson
About the Virginia Quay Settlers Monument
About Trinity Buoy Wharf
About the O2
The O2 (designed by Richard Rogers) was originally constructed in 2000 for the Millennium Experience and was called the Millennium Dome. After the Millennium Experience ended the dome was developed into a sports & entertainment complex by Anschutz Entertainment Group. The dome was sponsored by o2 & is now home to over 30 bars & restaurants, a bowling alley, cinema, ICON Outlet shopping complex and the O2 arena.
About Quantum Cloud
About the North Greenwich Cable Car
The Emirates Airline Cable Car is the first urban cable car in the United Kingdom & was designed by Wilkinson Eyre. The cable car was completed in 2012 at a cost of £60 million. The cable car travels between Greenwich Peninsula on the South of the River Thames & the Royal Docks on the North with a capacity of 2,500 passengers in each direction every hour.
About 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.
About Thames Refinery (Tate & Lyle Sugar)
Tate & Lyle’s Thames Refinery is the largest sugar refinery in Europe & one of the largest in the world. The refinery was built in 1878 & produces over 500,000 tonnes of sugar every year.
Please note our sailing times can vary due to the weather, tides & traffic on the River.
Thames River Sightseeing operate services between Westminster Pier, Embankment Pier, Festival Pier, Bankside Pier, St. Katharine Pier & Greenwich Pier.
Between April – October Thames River Sightseeing also cruise through the Thames Barrier offering a unique view of London’s movable flood barrier.
Please note our sailing times can vary due to the weather, tides & traffic on the River.