Ferries on the Thames

By | Category: Travel news

In many cities of the world, ferries perform a vital task in taking commuters to work, relieving roads of yet more cars and showing tourists a view of the city that can’t be seen for the land.

But London has always seemed to be lagging behind. Think of Stockholm, Sydney, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Macao and ferry journeys are part of everyday life for both the commuter and the tourist.

How many people do use the River Thames as a way of getting around? The answer is more than you might think. Next year, MBNA Thames Clippers, is twenty years old, yet already it has carried its 40,000,000th passenger suggesting that it carries about two million people a year. But that understates the number of people who use the river.

Back in 1999 when MBNA Thames Clippers began it has one boat and that could carry only 80 passengers. It had just one route – from Greenland Pier via Surrey Quays Pier to Savoy Pier. This year it will carry 4.2 million commuters and tourists and routes include Putney to  Canary Wharf, Battersea Power Station to London Bridge and the London Eye to the O2 and on to Woolwich Arsenal.

Today it has 17 fast ferries and they will be joined an eighteenth (and its largest) catamaran at the beginning of 2019. The new 222 capacity boat will be the largest in the fleet and will enable the river bus service to carry up to a further 300,000 passengers a year, further increasing capacity by 8%.

For the visitor to London, travelling on MBNA Thames Clippers has the advantage of the free ap which acts as a guide telling you about the sights that you can see as you travel along the river.

 

 

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