One of the nicest ways to while away an afternoon is sitting on the top deck of a sightseeing boat. And one of the nicest sightseeing boats in London is the TRS River Cruise from Westminster Bridge to Greenwich Pier.
The hour-long trip will take you from the shadow of Big Ben, past Cleopatra's Needle, the Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, St. Paul's, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge (where you can get off, if you wish), then past the skyscrapers at Canary Wharf before pulling into Greenwich Pier, right next-door to the famous Cutty Sark clipper ship.
Some of the boats offer a live guide onboard (using the same old jokes he's been using for years... but hey, at least they're funny jokes, so we don't mind!), plus a bar downstairs for a cup of tea. You might need that hot cup of tea if you sit in the open-air seats, because the river can get quite windy even on a sunny day.
Craig has been on the TRS boat a few times, and it's one of his favourite things to do in London. There are several boat companies in London, but this is definitely his favourite. The big advantage that TRS has over the more popular City Cruise river cruise next-door is that they're less crowded. There don't seem to be as many tourists on these ones, so you're much more likely to get a decent seat.
Before you make a decision you might like to read up on the other boat companies in London. City Cruises operate their boats on the same route as TRS, using the same prices, but they have far bigger boats and carry more passengers. Thames Clippers offer a much more extensive route, but they style themselves as a 'bus route on water', so they don't have as many open-air seats onboard. You can see what Craig thought of each by reading his City Cruises review and Thames Clipper review.
Guest – “Thanks for your answer. I think in your FAQ entry is not clear you can disembark at Catharine's in the route Westminster-Greenwich, because there is another route Greenwich-St. Catharine's.”
Admin – “We're not the boat company. We're just giving details about their service. That link is to their own website. But we have actually done the Westminster to Greenwich trip ourselves, and it definitely stopped at Tower Bridge (St. Katherine's pier). You can read our review here: londondrum.com/blog/?b=242”
Craig’s review – “There's definitely something wrong with the sun today. It's so bright and white it's sucked all the colours from the sky. People are fanning the air with whatever they've got: hats, hands, bags and magazines, but I've decided I'm going on the top deck of a boat for a better breeze. It looks like everybody has had the same idea because the pier is packed out with fifty… continued”
Boat trip down the Thames, with City Cruises – Every day – City Cruises offer one-way, return or all-day boat trips between Westminster and Greenwich, stopping off at Tower Bridge.
Roar down the Thames in a speeding boat! – Every day – A trip on a Thames Rocket is something you'll never forget, speeding down the river underneath the London's bridges.
Thames Clippers, from Putney to Greenwich – Every day – Thames Clippers offer one-way, return or all-day trips along a 15-mile stretch of the river between Putney and Greenwich.
Dinner cruise on the river, with Bateaux London – Every day – Bateaux London offers you great cuisine and live entertainment onboard the boat, as it sails serenely down the Thames.
The Original Tour — Open-top sightseeing bus – Every day – The Original Tour is one of London's most popular sightseeing buses, and it's also a great way to travel around the capital.
London Bus Tour — open-top sightseeing bus – Every day – This traditional open-top bus tour will take in all the best landmarks and attractions, with a free river cruise and guided walk.
Ghost Bus Tour, around London’s dark past – Every day – The Ghost Bus Tour will take you on a journey through London's gruesome past, and into the dark heart of the capital.
Look for more sightseeing boat trips during December
If you enjoy TRS River Cruise then you might like to visit City Cruises (you can walk there in less than 1 min), Jason’s Trip (catch the train from Westminster to Warwick Avenue), Thames Rockets (you can walk it in 6 mins) and Thames Clippers (you can walk it in 6 mins)
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans