Brilliant Ways to Spend the Summer on the River

The sizzling summer months are the perfect time to explore the stunning river Thames. From sunset cruises to floating cinemas, there are watery adventures to float everyone's boat.   

Movies on the river  

If you love films, but don’t want to be stuck in a multiplex on a balmy night, watch a movie under the stars on the top deck of a boat while drifting along the Thames. Time Out Movies on the River is offering food and drink-fuelled sunset cruises from the Tower of London throughout June and July. The first ever cinema on the Thames screens popular classics, such as Clueless, Back to the Future, Casablanca and When Harry Met Sally. London-based films being shown include Love Actually and Mary Poppins. And if you fancy catching a flick with a watery spin, book tickets to see Jaws or The Little Mermaid.  

Sunset drinks  

Sip a glass of bubbly and nibble canapes as the sun sets over London on a two-hour Sundowner evening cruise. As the twinkling lights of London start to appear, look out for some of the capital’s most famous riverside monuments, including Shakespeare’s Globe, The Shard and St Paul’s Cathedral. Soak up the view from the open-air upstairs deck or in the saloon, with its big windows. Don't forget to put on your dancing shoes as a live musician will be entertaining passengers with pop, rock and swing numbers.  

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Special brew  

City Cruises has placed handmade beer barrels on its boats to honour the age-old craft of brewing English India Pale Ale (IPA). In the 1700s, East India Company traders created India Pale Ale in breweries that lined the Thames. The beer was transported by ship in hogshead barrels, helping it to mature in a unique way. This summer, the Gipsy Hill Brewing Company has made traditional English IPA, which is being matured in barrels while travelling on City Cruises’ boats for three to four months: the same amount of time it would take to sail to India. Keep your eyes peeled for these barrels when aboard one of these boats!   

Speedboat ride  

Zoom down the Thames in a military-grade speedboat on a heart-thumping ride that will take you from Westminster Pier to Canary Wharf and back again in 50 minutes. This thrilling experience with Thamesjet takes in many of London’s top landmarks that line the stunning waterway, including the Coca-Cola London Eye and Tate Modern. You’ll also pass under 10 of the capital’s great bridges, including The Millennium Bridge and Tower Bridge. Experienced skippers will be ramping up the speed, so hold on tight for a ride on the wild side!  

Afternoon tea cruise 

Spend a relaxing afternoon cruising along the Thames while tucking into a sumptuous afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, pastries, and scones with lashings of clotted cream and jam. If you’re in a party mood, treat yourself to a glass of bubbly. Ideal for a catch-up with friends or a birthday treat, City Cruises’ afternoon tea cruise takes one hour and 30 minutes and boards daily from Tower Pier at 3.15pm, travelling to Canary Wharf and then returning at 5pm. After you’ve finished eating, walk upstairs to take in 360-degree views of the city’s riverside attractions.   

Showboat cruise  

Add a touch of glamour to a sizzling summer night by jumping onboard a three-hour Showboat dinner cruise. You’ll be greeted with a glass of bubbly before settling down to a four-course dinner and half a bottle of wine, accompanied by a live musician singing pop tunes and West End musical hits. After you've finished eating, you can hit the dancefloor while admiring the view of the Thames-side buildings all prettily lit up against the inky-black sky.    

Sightseeing cruise  

Spend a whole day goggling the river's big-hitter attractions with the hop-on hop-off sightseeing river pass, the River Red Rover. Jump aboard from one of five piers, including Westminster, the Coca-Cola London Eye, Bankside, Tower of London and Greenwich, with open passage on any City Cruises sightseeing boat for 24 hours. You can expect comfy seats, hot and cold drinks, guided commentary, friendly staff and knockout views of some of the capital's top sights. Cruises depart every 40 minutes, every day of the week.

 It's never too early to book or plan Christmas and New Year's Eve! Celebrate in style with a festive cruise along the river Thames.