Thames river bus services are popular with commuters and visitors to London alike. They are faster and more frequent than other river tour services and some boats have refreshments and Wi-Fi. They also offer an opportunity to see London’s famous landmarks from the water; but unlike river tours, they generally do not offer commentary.
River buses are great value and serve six different routes with destinations between Putney and Woolwich Arsenal.
Thames Clippers operate the Hilton London Docklands Riverside to Canary Wharf ferry route as well as other river bus routes, including the popular Tate to Tate boat between Tate Britain and Tate Modern.
Popular stops include:
- Millbank pier for Tate Britain
- Bankside Pier for Tate Modern
- London Bridge Pier for London Bridge and the Shard
- Tower Pier for Tower of London and Tower Bridge
- Hilton London Docklands Riverside Pier
- North Greenwich Pier for The O2
- Greenwich Pier for Greenwich
The Woolwich Ferry is a free service between Woolwich and North Woolwich. Visit Greenwich Council's Woolwich Ferry page
Thames River Bus Tickets and Timetables
Generally, you need to get a ticket from a pier ticket office before boarding a boat. However, some services require you to buy your ticket on board.
Travelcard holders can get discounts on many standard riverboat routes, and pay-as-you-go Oyster cards are accepted on Thames Clippers, giving you a 10% discount on most single journeys. A Thames Clippers River Roamer (hop-on hop-off day ticket) is also available. Download your free River Bus Services and River Tours Services guides from Transport for London.
All London's piers are wheelchair accessible, except Cadogan Pier and London Bridge City Pier. Most river buses are accessible, and newer river craft have dedicated wheelchair spaces. You should check with individual service operators about the level of accessibility on their boats.
Staff are always on hand to offer help with boarding and disembarking from river craft. However, it is advisable for people with mobility impairments who are travelling as a group to provide advance notice to the operator concerned, to ensure a smooth journey.
River Cruises and Tours
For further information, check the Transport for London website