One of the most beautiful landscapes you will see during your getaway to London is the Thames River crossing the heart of the city. On both sides of its banks rise several of the most famous monuments of the British capital that have transformed its skyline to become a tourist attraction in itself.
If the idea of navigating the waters of the Thames by boat like a sailor appeals to you, the first thing you will need to know to plan the activity is how much the tickets for a Thames cruise cost, where to buy them and if there is any way to save a little on the tickets. All this and more I will tell you below!
1. What budget do I need for a Thames cruise?
The most economical option
If you feel like taking a cruise on the Thames but you are traveling to London on a tight budget or do not want to invest too much money in the activity, from 15 € you can get a ticket to ride on a boat to sail the waters of the river.
It is the cheapest option. You will make a one-hour closed tour of the Thames seeing many of the tourist attractions that are scattered along its course. For example Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, the Tower of London or Tower Bridge, among others.
A fantastic plan to photograph several of the sights of the city from a different perspective while you rest and relax.
The most flexible option
However, if you want to do a cruise on the Thames but you are looking for a little more flexibility in the activity, for a little more money**(from 23 €** in Hellotickets) you can do a river cruise with free stops to get on and off anywhere along the route as if it were one of the tourist buses of the city.
This option is great if you want to take a quiet boat ride to take some pictures of the river and at the same time take advantage of the crossing to move between different parts of the city to explore them on your own.
2. How much budget do I need for the most premium Thames cruises?
Whether you want to treat yourself during your stay in London or if you are traveling with your partner and want to surprise her with a romantic plan, from 40 € you can get in Hellotickets a ticket for one of the premium cruises on the Thames that usually include the boat ride and a snack or dinner with entertainment on board.
Within the premium cruises on the Thames there are also different price ranges depending on the type of activities that are performed on the tour.
For example, afternoon tea cruises are more economical than multi-course dinner cruises where there are also live music performances and smart-casual etiquette is required to attend.
3. Can I take a Thames cruise with a tourist card? How much does it cost?
That's right! For example from 74€ you can get the London Pass at Hellotickets, which will allow you to take a cruise on the River Thames with a 1 day River Roamer pass. That is, you can enjoy a cruise with free stops on the River Thames.
This way you can embark at any of the docks available along the river to make the boat cruise in full or to move between the different tourist attractions in the surroundings, getting on and off at the stop you want to explore each site on your own.
Many travelers visiting the British capital purchase one of the London sightseeing passes to make the most of their trip.
In the case of the London Pass you pay for days of use. It is an option that I recommend you to consider if you plan to see many different places during your getaway because these tourist cards will help you save time and money.
If you are interested in this tourist card and would like to buy it, in the post The best tourist card in London you have a detailed analysis so you can see everything you can do with it.
4. Can I buy tickets for the Thames river cruise at the ticket offices? How much are they worth there?
Yes, it is possible to buy tickets to ride a cruise on the Thames at the ticket offices you will find at the docks. However, I recommend you to buy your tickets online to avoid the queues that form there and to do it well in advance, as it is one of the most popular activities among tourists going to London and tickets can sell out quickly.
The price varies depending on the cruise operator, the length of the route and whether or not it is a one-way ticket but you can find options starting at €13 for adults over 16. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 pay less and tickets start at €8.
5. Can I take a free Thames cruise? How can I save?
No, it is not possible to ride a Thames river cruise for free. However, when purchasing your tickets to enjoy this experience there are ways to save.
With a Tourist Card
One of them is to buy a London tourist card, specifically the London Pass**(from 74 €** at Hellotickets) which will allow you to visit more than 80 attractions in the city plus a river cruise.
With a combined ticket to several attractions
The other is to buy a combined ticket to two tourist attractions on the river bank. The most popular option is the Thames river cruise and the London Eye.
From15 € you can book an adult ticket on the website of the London Eye but if you pay a little more, from 22 €, you can get a ticket with priority seating in the front row of the boat to have unobstructed views of the river landscape.
If you want to know more about this option, I recommend you to read the post London Eye and Thames cruise: the perfect combination on your trip to London before getting the tickets.
With an Oyster Card
If to move around London using public transport you have taken the Oyster Card (a rechargeable wallet card that lowers the price of the single ticket) you are in luck because you can ride with it on the River Bus, the boat operated by the company Uber Boat by Thames Clippers that allows you to move from one side of the city to another by water instead of by road with the bus or underground with the subway.
If what you want is to take a short cruise on the Thames without spending a lot of money, just for the pleasure of sailing on a boat, using the Oyster Card is a good way to fulfill your wish while saving a little money, since you will not need to buy a general admission ticket to get on board.
6. How much does it cost to get to the Thames cruise pier?
In my opinion, the subway is the fastest way to move as a tourist between the attractions of London and to take it you can buy a single ticket from 6 € depending on the area of the city where you move.
Before riding, I recommend you to check the fare on the London Transport website by entering the departure station and destination to calculate the approximate cost of the ticket.
If you are getting on the Thames cruise at Westminster Pier or London Eye Pier you can get off at Westminster tube station, the closest to both places.
To save a little money when using public transport, which is not exactly cheap, I advise you to get a ticket for the London sightseeing bus (which will allow you to move around the city while enjoying the sights of the cityscape) or take one of the Travelcard or Oyster Card.