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Thames RIB Experience
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Follow Thames RIB Experience for insightful information into the London and the River Thames!

Did you know Thames RIB Experience speedboat tours are a source of learning and historical insight? As well as being full-throttle, fast and fun they can also be a educational. Our social media channels bring a taste of the rich history of the river Thames and the landmarks you learn about on board and deliver it to your feed. Here are some of our recent ‘Facts of the Week’ posts, in case you missed them.

Monument and the Old London Bridge

The Monument is visible from the Thames through a fairly narrow gap between two buildings; Providian House to the west and St Magnus House to the east. This opening is in fact a remnant from when the medieval Old London Bridge once served the City.

It was decided in 1799 that the medieval London Bridge would be left in place 30 metres downstream of the New London Bridge construction project, in order to minimise disruption to traffic.

The Old London Bridge had been the only river crossing over the Thames until 1750 when the Westminster Bridge opened. Traffic could not stop flowing into the City during the construction of the New London Bridge, especially with powerful merchant guilds in the City of London who had strongly opposed the construction of the Westminster Bridge.

Beneath the steeple of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church, an archway is still present to this day. This once served at the pedestrian entrance to the Old London Bridge. Another giveaway will become apparent for those gazing downstream from London Bridge. Standing waves can form as the river flows over the old Bridge’s foundations.

Meridian East London Art Trail

Running along the meridian line from Stratford to North Greenwich, an art trail known as ‘The Line’ connects the Olympic Park to the O2. From the river, a number of these installations can be seen.

 On our trips to the Thames Barrier, as we pass the Greenwich Peninsula, interesting pieces by renowned architects and artists can be witnessed.

Demon with Bowl’ is the newest, third addition to the collection by artist Damien Hirst displayed along this stretch of river. It sits alongside the longstanding sculpture by Anthony Gormley ‘Quantum Cloud’ which can be seen in these photos to changein appearance as the perspective changes, as was Gormley’s intention to foreground the viewer’s influence on the viewed.

Tunnels

Almost 40 tunnels run underneath the river Thames.⁠ The Thames Tunnel in Wapping was the world’s first underwater tunnel, opened in 1843 by engineer Marc Isambard Brunel. ⁠

Allegedly inspired by a type of shipworm that uses its shell for protection whilst boring into ship hulls, the digging process used a unique tunnelling shield made of cast iron to be driven forward by jacks as material was removed from the tunnel face ahead. It therefore provided the basis for future tunnelling projects, such as the Tube network. ⁠ ⁠

The tunnel re-opened in 2022 as part of the Brunel Museum, situated directly behind Tunnel Wharf as seen here from the river. Events inside the tunnel as well as historical tours place regularly. ⁠ ⁠ Since the horse-drawn traffic of Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, the many subsequent tunnels under the Thames have come to serve a multitude of purposes. There are today railway, pedestrian, road and utility tunnels beneath the river, many of which have fallen into disrepair and hence are no longer used. ⁠Many of the access points to these tunnels still remain at street level. See if you can spot any the next time you are out. ⁠

Cinematic sights

Iconic landmarks such as the Palace of Westminster and the Millennium Footbridge are often pointed out due to their appearance in huge blockbuster films.

The Palace of Westminster has featured in numerous films and television shows, including the James Bond movie “Skyfall.”⁠ ⁠ The stunning Gothic architecture and intricate details of the building are even more impressive when viewed from the water.

The Millennium Footbridge is a modern marvel of architecture as seen in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”⁠ ⁠ Along with further fascinating facts and stories, you’ll also experience the exhilaration of a high-speed ride, complete with twists and turns that will leave you breathless.

River access stairs and causeways on the Thames.⁠ ⁠

As the population of London grew and ever more people sought frequent transit across or along the river, the watermen who served this demand began to require access points which could be used at different states of the tide. ⁠ Such access points formed an active part of London’s transport network from the 14th century up until the mid-20th century. Increased use of the Hackney carriage over time was a major factor in declining demand for Thames watermen’s services. Keep an eye out for the few remaining locations up and down the river. You may notice that the locations they still stand in, mostly allow the stairs to double-up as an extra safety precaution, being built near to bridges and pubs, where people were seen as most likely to fall in!

Thames Knowledge


In the ‘middle’ section of the river Thames where we operate, there are over 150 moorings, piers, quays, bridges and tunnels. If knowledge of the by-laws and applicable regulations wasn’t enough already, our skippers must learn all of these by heart as well as the regular vessel movements in the vicinity of each. The Warspite moorings seen here in the foreground provide an example of just one of many, with the names often originating many centuries ago. The same applies for operations going further afield on the river, multiplied many times however due to the greater distance covered. In such cases, it can take many years for such knowledge to be acquired.

Exclusion Zone

A view looking south onto the ever changing Vauxhall skyline shows a row of marker buoys sitting in front of Parliament. ]These mark an exclusion zone, kept on 24/7 watch by armed police. The 70-metre zone is positioned 15 metres from the embankment, and any vessel transiting this exclusion zone would be faced with at very least a serious talking to by the authorities. This is the reason for which the first arch of the Westminster Bridge remains closed to navigation, as it would bring any vessel using the arch directly up into the exclusion zone.


17 July 2023 /
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ADULT (14+): £35.50

CHILD (13 & under): £31.50

CHARTER (12 pax.): £355.00

NO BOOKING FEES CHARGED

TOWER RIB BLAST

20 minute trip

From/to Tower Millennium Pier

Adult: £35.50

Child: £31.50

Private boat: £355.00

ADULT (14+): £54.00

CHILD (13 & under): £49.00

CHARTER (12 pax.): £590.00

NO BOOKING FEES CHARGED

ULTIMATE TOWER RIB BLAST

40 minute trip

From/to Tower Millennium Pier

Adult: £54.00

Child: £49.00

Private boat: £590.00

ADULT (14+): £54.00

CHILD (13 & under): £49.00

CHARTER (12 pax.): £590.00

NO BOOKING FEES CHARGED

CANARY WHARF EXPERIENCE

45 minute trip

From/to Embankment Pier

Adult: £54.00

Child: £49.00

Private boat: £590.00

ADULT (14+): £69.00

CHILD (13 & under): £59.00

CHARTER (12 pax.): £750.00

NO BOOKING FEES CHARGED

THAMES BARRIER EXPERIENCE

70 minute trip

From/to Embankment Pier

Adult: £69.00

Child: £59.00

Private boat: £750.00


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SOUVENIRS AVAILABLE

We have limited edition merchandise available at our kiosk, as well as hard-copy and digital photos which capture the moment you & your crew embark on the invigorating, full-throttle speed section of your trip. Have a look what we have on offer!


  • London UK Souvenirs
  • London UK Souvenirs
  • Thames RIB Experience souvenirs
  • Thames RIB Experience keyring
  • Thames RIB Experience keyring
  • Thames RIB Experience keyring
  • merchandising
  • Tote bags river Thames
  • Sightseeing and shopping
  • Fridge Magnet
  • Bottle River Thames
  • drawstring bag
  • bandanas
  • London UK Souvenirs
  • London UK Souvenirs

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