Crusing River Thames

City Cruises

Whats the fastest way to familiarize yourself with a city, in 30 minutes?
When on holiday in unfamiliar country, I’m sure most would agree with me that taking a river cruise is definitely one of the best ways to see a city and orientate yourself with it’s surroundings, in order to quickly gain your bearings.
It’s also a pretty scenic experience too and usually doesn’t cost much.
We’ll be cruising River Thames today!
  City Cruises run sightseeing cruises along the River Thames in London, including evening dinner cruises.
London Bridge; a world renown icon of London
With cruises departing every 30 minutes, every day of the week, all year round – City Cruises gives you the freedom to explore the many sights of the River Thames.
You can choose from a wide range of different cruising options. From a casual 30 minute cruise through the heart of London to the full three-hour Thames sightseeing experience.
Big Ben & the Palace of Westminster in the distance
Cruising the Thames river allows you to have a riverside view of the landmarks & monuments of London, for example – Houses of Parliament, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London among many more.
Definitely not Hyde Park though, that’s too far away!
The large iconic dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral can be seen in the distance too!
Are you able to spot the dome of the cathedral of St. Paul?
But more importantly, it takes you to the other end of the river if that’s where you’re headed. Think of it as a water taxi – with a very splendid view of London.
We tried an early evening City Cruises cruise and although it was a slightly chilly evening, we still stayed on the upper “sun deck” which I could imagine would be lovely during the day.
The live commentary is superb and everyone who takes this river cruise will learn something new about one of the attractions they pass.
A Citycruises Ferry passes us by
And, of course, you can ask a real person questions, so don’t be shy. Multi-lingual audio guides are available too.
Big Ben; Perhaps the most well known landmark of all in London!
A major plus point for me was the length of the cruise. Taking only 30 mins, I could round off a fun day of sightseeing while relaxing, take in the views while listening to the commentary.
Another important point for me is the fact that it was a one-way journey. Meaning that City Cruises brought us to the other side of river Thames, which was where we wanted to go.
The HMS Belfast, a battleship that seems to defend and protect London Bridge, in the background
London Eye Pier
We boarded the ferry from the London Eye Pier. Located directly beneath the capital’s towering viewing wheel, the London Eye pier (also known as “Waterloo Millennium Pier”) is where one of London’s most vibrant and pleasant tourist areas is located: South Bank.
Surrounded by popular attractions, take a leisurely walk along the esplanade, passing by street performers, shops, cafes, pubs and the occasional vendor offering roasted chestnuts, before reaching the “cultural heart” of the city.
I spy with my little eye… What do I see? London Eye!
The British Film Institute, National Theater, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Imax and The Old Vic are all nearby.
South bank
Do you know what is the tallest man-made building in Europe?
The Shard!
That tall cone shaped like a Christmas tree, ladies & gentlemen – is The Shard
Dominating the south bank and indeed the capital, London’s sightseers cannot fail to see what is Europe’s tallest building, the 310 meter-high Shard.
The public viewing areas on floors 68, 69 and 72 are almost twice as high as any viewing platform and offers incredible views across London and beyond.
HMS Belfast; A battleship I wouldn’t want to mess with
On the river almost directly in front of the Shard is the battleship, or more accurately light cruiser, the HMS Belfast. The HMS Belfast is situated right in between the south and north banks.
She has been moored here since 1971 having had an illustrious career before hand having taken part in several significant battles. Her mighty guns were capable of hurling a 500llb shell over 14 miles.
Further along the bank lies another distinctive, helmet shaped building. This is the office of the Mayor of London, the new County Hall.
Tower Pier
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down… London Bridge is falling down…. And we ALL FALL DOWN!! 🙂
Probably the most popular stop-off point on the City Cruises sightseeing tour, this is where we disembarked the ferry. The Tower Pier is perfect for anyone wishing to explore two of London’s most famous attractions: the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
This pier is also the best place for further travel through the city of London – the capital’s main financial district and its original historic heart.
Other attractions in the area include the museum ship HMS Belfast, St. Katharine’s Dock, the Design Museum and the Monument, Christopher Wren’s memorial to the Great Fire of London – all of which are less than a twenty minute walk from the Pier.
North bank
Just a moment or two after passing under London Bridge, look carefully between the buildings and you’ll see rising up another famous landmark which marks the site of the start of the Great Fire of London in 1666. Simply called The Monument, it is topped with a spectacular golden fireball.
Behind, you’ll see several of the skyscrapers in London, crowding the skyline.
The most distinctive of them in the area at present, is nicknamed the Gherkin. Looking more like a large bullet, it is covered in a spiral pattern of tinted glass which adds to its distinctiveness.
A little further along, right on the water’s edge is a distinctive, arched, red brick building with weather vanes on its roof that give away it’s original purpose. It was Old Billingsgate Market, the building that housed London’s fish market.
Further along the equally distinctive shape of one of London’s oldest buildings comes into view. The Tower of London.
It’s four turrets have made it a riverside landmark for a thousand years. And also a place many feared to visit as it was more than likely they would not make it out alive! And probably not in one piece too!
The Traitors Gate which can be seen from the river, is where many of those unfortunate souls where taken into the Tower on a one way trip to the executioner, by way of the torture chambers.
Crossing the river beside the Tower is one of the world’s most famous bridges, Tower Bridge. Of course its most famous feature is that it opens to allow tall ships to pass through.
But when closed it almost seems to guard the river entrance to the city from the sea.
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About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

3 thoughts on “Crusing River Thames

  1. […] Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London; is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London of England. Despite the Tower of London’s grim reputation as a place of […]

  2. […] the River Thames as the London Eye Ferris Wheel is conveniently situated directly beside the pier! Further more, after your scenic cruise, you can continue to sight-see the various point of interests…. Which direction you choose to go is entirely up to you. Either way, you’ll be rewarded by […]

  3. […] the Confessor had moved his court to the Palace of Westminster, situated on a central site near the Thames River. In 1265 a parliament was created with two houses: the Lords and the Commons. The House of Lords […]

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