Thames Clippers have the longest boat routes on the Thames -- all the way from Putney to North Greenwich (The O2). That's a 15-mile stretch that takes you through the whole of central London.
Technically the boats are aimed at commuters rather than tourists. They are very fast, stop at a lot of places, and don't have as many outside seats as some of the other London boats, but it's still a very enjoyable way to travel up and down the river.
They stop everywhere from at Chelsea, London Eye, Embankment (for Trafalgar Square), Blackfriars (for Temple), Bankside (for Tate Modern and the Globe), London Bridge (for The Shard), Tower Millennium (for the Tower of London and Tower Bridge), Canary Wharf, Greenwich (for the Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory) and North Greenwich (for The O2).
Unfortunately there is no one boat that goes the entire way -- if you want to enjoy the entire route then you have to change boats when you reach the Embankment or London Eye. But don't let that put you off -- you can almost treat it like the tube: buying a day pass and using it to go from Westminster, to The City, and up to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
Another good thing about this boat is that you can use an Oyster card, Visitor Oyster card and contactless card on it. They have those yellow readers on the pier (the exact same ones they have at train stations), so you just tap down like normal. You can buy a Visitor Oyster Card online before you go. You can also combine them with a London Pass, to save you even more money.
Craig has been on this boat himself, and has written a big review including lots of photos of what you can see out the window. (You might like to read his previous review about it as well.) Feel free to ask him a question about the Thames Clipper.
There are plenty of other boats that go up and down the Thames, if you don't fancy this one. The two best ones are run by City Cruises TRS River Cruises. Craig has written reviews of those ones as well: City Cruises review and TRS River Cruise review. The big advantage with those two, over the Thames Clipper, is that they have lots more outside seats and they usually provide a bit of amusing commentary onboard as well.
If you fancy something a bit more exciting (eg: more terrifying), then how about riding on a speed boat instead? Thames Rockets run speed boats up the river which will really get your heart pumping.
Guest – “May I ask if I buy a return ticket to Greenwich, can I get on and off the boat along the way stopping to visit other places? Thanks”
Admin – “Not if you buy a ticket between two piers, no.But you can buy a day pass instead (slightly more expensive). You can use that as a hop-on, hop-off ticket all day, and get on and off wherever you like”
If you enjoy boat trips in London then you might like these other London events…
TRS river cruise, from Big Ben to Greenwich – Every daySpend a leisurely afternoon on a TRS river cruise from Big Ben to Greenwich, and see some of the sights along the river.
Boat trip down the Thames, with City Cruises – Every dayCity Cruises offer one-way, return or all-day boat trips between Westminster and Greenwich, stopping off at Tower Bridge.
London Duck Tours’ amphibious adventure – Every dayEnjoy an amazing amphibious adventure by both land and sea, with one of London Duck Tours sightseeing boats.
Roar down the Thames in a speeding boat! – Every dayA London RIB Voyage is something you won't forget, you'll be speeding down the river underneath the capital's bridges.
Dinner cruise on the river, with Bateaux London – Every dayBateaux London offers you great cuisine and live entertainment onboard the boat, as it sails serenely down the Thames.
Jason’s Trip, from Little Venice to Camden – 1st April to 5th November 2017Jason's Trip runs a beautiful painted 100-year old canal boat down the Regent's Canal, from Little Venice to Camden Lock.
Hire a Boris Bike… and cycle around London – Every dayIf weaving your way in and out of the busy traffic on a hire bike sounds like fun, then how about hiring a "Boris Bike"?
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