In a previous article about Thames River cruises, we gave a basic overview of cruises on this famous English river. We explained what a Thames River cruise is (a short trip that doesn’t go very far along the river) and why many people might be inclined to take one (to see some of the famous sights of London and to quickly move between them). One thing we were sure to emphasize is that a Thames River cruise is not like a regular cruise (i.e., a vacation cruise on the ocean), largely because they are so short – they last a few hours at most. For this reason, they aren’t like a lot of river cruises (e.g., Nile River cruises) either. You might think this makes booking a Thames River cruise different from booking a regular type of cruise, and you would be right in thinking this. Since many people have only booked regular cruises, we figured we should explain how to book a Thames River cruise.
Booking a Thames River cruise is actually fairly different than booking a regular cruise, but there is a little overlap. Most notably (and obviously), both types of cruises can be booked online, like just about everything else nowadays. Like a regular cruise, you can go to the website of a company that offers Thames River cruises and book directly with them. The website of City Cruises, evidently the main provider of Thames River cruises that take place in London, is easy to navigate and use, and if you are interested in eating dinner on one of the boats that cruises up and down the Thames, you can do so online at the website of Bateaux London, to name a couple of possibilities. However, there are not nearly as many companies that offer Thames River cruises as there are companies that offer regular cruises, so you won’t have to sift through many different possibilities when booking online. (You also might not be inclined to compare tons of different companies, even if they did exist, anyway, as a Thames River cruise, lasting only a few hours at most, is nowhere near the financial commitment as a regular cruise vacation.)
In truth, though, there is a good chance you won’t even book (online or otherwise) your Thames River cruise at all. Rather, you might just buy a ticket to board the ship at one of the several ports along the river. A Thames River cruise will only occupy a morning (or a comparable segment of time) in London, so it is often better to simply wait to buy the tickets until you know you have some free time. Also, if you are on a trip to London and want to see lots of the sights, you might consider buying a pass that allows you entry into many of the attractions of the city. The London Pass, for example, is a popular option to consider if you have at least a full day in the city and want to cram lots into it, and this pass includes a free ticket to board one of the ships that cruise up and down the Thames. Clearly, booking a Thames River cruise can be quite a bit different from booking a regular cruise, as you generally don’t buy a ticket to board a cruise ship that will be sailing the ocean for a week moments before it leaves.
There really isn’t much to booking a Thames River cruise. If you want to handle it ahead of time, you can certainly buy a ticket online without any trouble, but it is often just as easy to buy a ticket at one of the ports along the Thames River in London. Either way will allow you to see much of London in a comfortable, relaxing way.