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Why a Thames River Cruise is the Best Way to See London’s Most Iconic Landmarks

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Lady and child on river cruise

What better way to see the most famous London landmarks, than in the luxury of a Thames river cruise? This isn’t just a mere method of transportation from A to B, but a true magical mystery tour of all the best sights and iconic landmarks that London has to offer.

Whether you're drawn by the romance of a London Dinner Cruise under the twinkling city lights, the quintessentially British experience of afternoon tea on the Thames, or the thrill of an Elvis Tribute River Cruise, our London sightseeing river tours have something for everyone to enjoy.

With a choice of 4 different piers to sail from, you’ll be completely spoilt with the most unrivalled views of London, as every twist and turn of the river reveals another chapter in London's rich story. From the monumental Tower Bridge to the historic Houses of Parliament, let us walk you through some of the iconic London sights you will see on your relaxing cruise along the Thames.

Family on and evening cruise

Sightseeing Cruises from Westminster Pier

Situated on the north bank of the Thames, the district of Westminster Pier is one of London's most vibrant and iconic, being just a stone's throw from the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

Travel Times From Westminster Pier

Westminster Pier – Tower Pier
40 minutes (single)
80 minutes (return)

Westminster Pier - Greenwich Pier
70 minutes (single)
180 minutes (Return)

What Sights Will You See From Westminster Pier?

The Houses of Parliament

Built in 1801, The Houses of Parliament are one of the city's most iconic and historical buildings to date. With its towering Gothic spires, it stands like a fortress on the River Thames, an essential part of British heritage, just teeming with history and monumental importance.

Big Ben

Set right beside the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben is one of London's most recognisable symbols and truly a sight and sound to behold. Chiming every 15 minutes, its iconic chimes can be heard up to 5 miles away!

Family on river cruise in front of big ben

Westminster Abbey

Opening in 1269, Westminster Abbey has been the setting of countless iconic events. Teeming with Royal prestige and Gothic charm, Westminster Abbey has played host to some of Britain’s most historical moments to date. If you’d like to take a peek for yourself and stand in its historic hallowed halls, you can visit the renowned Westminster Abbey with our London attraction and Overnight Stay Experience for 2.

Buckingham Palace

As the official residence of the UK’s monarch, Buckingham Palace is the centre stage of British heritage. Steeped in tradition and decorum, this iconic building is set against beautifully landscaped gardens and is well known for its Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Trafalgar Square

London's ultimate social hotspot! Dominated by Nelson's Column and guarded by majestic lion statues, Trafalgar Square is more than a public space, it's a bustling arena of artists, activists, and public celebrations.

London Eye River Cruises

Located on the South Bank of the River Thames, here you will sail past iconic attractions like the National Theatre, and the Royal Festival Hall. With some of London’s most scenic views, it’s also just a short walk away from Westminster Bridge, leading to the historic Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

Travel Times From London Eye Pier

London Eye Pier – Tower Pier
40 minutes (single)
80 minutes (return)

London Eye Pier - Greenwich Pier
70 minutes (single)
180 minutes (Return)

London eye cruise

What Sights Will You See on a London Eye River Cruise?

The London Eye

Imagine floating above the River Thames in a futuristic bubble, sipping champagne as London unfolds beneath you. With tickets to ride the London Eye and London river cruise, you’ll be spoilt for choice as you see London’s panoramic views from each unique perspective.

The National Theatre

From Shakespearean classics to cutting-edge contemporary works, the National Theatre is where stories come to life, capturing the imagination of audiences young and old.

Sightseeing Cruises From Tower Pier

Tower Pier is located in one of London's most historically rich and vibrant areas. As you sail along the River Thames you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the famous Tower of London and the symbolic Tower Bridge, this pier is a gateway to a blend of the capital's historical and modern worlds.

Travel Times From Tower Pier

Tower Pier – Westminster Pier / London Eye Pier

40 minutes (single)

80 minutes (return)

Tower Pier – Greenwich Pier

30 minutes (single)
80 minutes (return)

View london city sunset

What Sights Will You See From Tower Pier?

Tower Bridge

Built from 1886 - 1894, Tower Bridge is one of London's most famous landmarks. With its twin Gothic towers and panoramic glass walkway, this historic drawbridge is not just a pretty facade, but a working bridge that still opens to allow large vessels to pass through. One of many notable sights in London, you won’t want to miss this on your sightseeing tour. If you’d like to take a more thrilling approach to see London’s sights, why not take a ride on The Thames Rocket Speedboat, for a whirlwind tour of London’s most famous landmarks?

HMS Belfast

Since its retirement in 1963, this iconic Royal Navy cruiser has become a floating museum, offering an immersive glimpse into naval history and life at sea during the 20th century. Here you can walk all nine of its famed decks, and watch as history is brought to life.

Hms belfast

The Shard

Opening its doors in 2013, The Shard is a more modern and futuristic addition to London’s iconic skyline. While seeing this majestic marvel from a riverboat is incredibly awe-inspiring, the panoramic view from the 72nd floor is quite the spectacle. So whether you’re enjoying a cheeky tipple in it’s iconic sky lounge or swimming in its rooftop infinity pool, you’ll be steeped in the finest luxury that only London can offer.

You can enjoy these breathtaking scenes with our View From the Shard & dinner at Marco Pierre Whites Shard experience gift voucher, and find out all of The Shard’s glamorous features as we walk through each of its lavish floors in our Ultimate Guide to Experiencing The Shard.

St Paul's Cathedral

Dating back to the 18th century, St. Paul's Cathedral seamlessly blends majestic architecture with sacred tradition. This timeless masterpiece of engineering serves as a cornerstone of British history and an unmistakable feature of London's skyline.

River Cruises From Greenwich Pier

Located on the southern bank of the River Thames, Greenwich Pier is a place where time takes on a whole new meaning. Your Thames sightseeing cruise will float you through the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), a place where history, science, and riverside charm come together in abundance. Here, you're just a short walk away from the Royal Observatory, the famous Cutty Sark and the bustling streets of Greenwich Market.

Travel Times From Greenwich Pier

Westminster Pier/London Eye Pier - Greenwich Pier
70 minutes (single)
180 minutes (Return)

Greenwich Pier - Tower Pier

30 minutes (single)
80 minutes (return)

Man and lady having afternoon tea on thames cruise

What Sights Will You See From Greenwich Pier?

Cutty Sark

After eight round trips to China, the Cutty Sark retired from its tea trading duties in 1878. Moored on the banks of the River Thames, this iconic 19th-century ship offers a fascinating journey into maritime history. Visitors can explore the decks, learn about the tea trade it was involved in, and even walk beneath its copper-clad hull.

National Maritime Museum

Housed in elegant walls of grand architecture, it’s the largest maritime museum in the world. Here, you can journey across the seven seas as legends of the sea come to life.

Royal Observatory

Home to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and an impressive collection of antique telescopes, the Royal Observatory is a haven for astrologers and sky-gazers alike. A place where time stands still even as it sets the pace for the rest of the world. Here, you can quite literally straddle the Prime Meridian Line with one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the west.

Group of friends on an evening cruise

If you want to get an eyeful of London's top landmarks without exhausting your legs, there’s no better way to see them all than from the comfy seats of a London river cruise. With a variety of cruise experiences on offer and convenient travel times between piers, our Thames sightseeing cruises are an adventure you won't want to miss.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by options, take a look at our London Thames River Cruise Guide, and let us welcome you on board the sightseeing cruise for you, as you journey through one of the world's greatest cities.

London Sights River Cruise

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