An unforgettable speedboat experience on the River Thames (by Robert)

posted in: Blog, London | 42

Preparing for a Rib Boat experienceRobert, who’s 10, writes:

My family and I have seen London from high up, a tour bus and from simply walking around, but I had never seen London like I did a few weeks ago.  Dad and I saw the wonderful city on a boat and it was brilliant.

The Canary Wharf Experience wasn’t just a tour; that was only the beginning. The boat ride was actually split into three sections: the informative tour, the adventurous ride and the relaxing trip.

1.The tour

After putting life jackets on and climbing into a small boat called a rib boat, that could fit 12 people, we set off on our journey. The tour guide who was standing at the back by the driver was extremely good and funny. Whenever we passed a building, he would explain in detail what that structure was. He told lots of jokes during the trip and nearly all of them were funny. When we passed a scene from a James Bond movie the 007 theme tune came on.

One of the great things about the ride was that whatever you missed on the first trip going away, would be on your side for the way back. That means you didn’t miss anything. And I mean anything! We could see every landmark from Buckingham Palace to the London Eye and we had the most amazing view of the Houses of Parliament. Then when we passed Tower Bridge we had…

The Tower of London, as seen on a Rib Boat Tour on the Thames,
We saw the Tower of London!

2.The ride

We were peacefully gliding along when the tour guide said “Now we’re going to go a bit faster.”

And by a bit, he meant a lot.

Soon enough we travelling at 40 miles per hour with the wind blowing in our faces when the boat tilted on its side and we were so close to the water. Then it did the same on the other side and we were really high up. Nobody was suspecting this and I got a real shock when the boat turned vertically.

This happened again and again on top of the speed, plus near the end the boat was lifting off the water and with a splash, it then came back down again.

This is not something for the faint hearted, as it is like a rollercoaster or fast ride at a fun fair. During all the commotion Walking on Sunshine was played which made it even more lively. Then the boat became slower and we started the…

Going fast on a rib boat on the River Thames!
I loved it when we went fast

3.The time to relax

The final part of the boat ride was a nice peaceful trip where you looked at all the beautiful scenery while listening to Skyfall. This was a really nice way to end.

Robert on a rib boat on the River Thames
It was all such great fun!

Overall, the Thames Rib/Canary Wharf experience was great and I could do it again and again, It would be a brilliant, special birthday present for someone. Unlike other tours it had so much to it and I think you should definitely try it out. But just remember not to pull the red chain or it’s a £70 fine and bring a towel just in case for afterwards, as you get quite wet.

Disclosure: Brian and Robert tried out the Unforgettable Canary Wharf Experience For Two In London as part of a Tinggly Experience. Tinggly offers different travel experiences from around the world (in over 80 countries) offering a gift voucher to anyone who wants to take part. There are three different options, Essential for €69, Premium for €99, and Ultimate for €249. The hundreds of experiences range from a two-day Chitwan Jungle Safari experience in Nepal, to creating your original perfume in Grasse, France or a thrilling experience with Aston Martin across the United Kingdom. Visit their website for more!


More by Robert on London:

The Monument to the Great Fire of London

A backstage tour at the National Theatre


Wander Mum

42 Responses

  1. Ting at My Travel Monkey

    What a great way to see all the sights from the Thames. That’s a great tip to bring a towel – I wouldn’t have thought you’d get so wet! I think my favourite part would be the adventure ride too.

  2. Cathy (MummyTravels)

    This sounds so much fun! I’ve seen the RIB boats zip past but have only done the more sedate ones myself (so far) – I’d love to try it one day though. And the gift vouchers sound really intriguing too, I love the unusual range of options.


    I hadn’t expected you to say it went so fast! Sounds incredible. I might wait a bit before taking my two on this. I suspect they might pull the red chain, and I don’t fancy the fine….I might sneak a ride myself, though!

  4. Mums do travel

    This sounds like a brilliant tour! You’ve written about it really well Robert and give a great impression of what it feels like to be on the boat.

  5. Liz Burton

    Ahh we’ve done this trip a couple of years ago! I absolutely loved it zipping along feeling like James Bond. I love how you get to see London from a different perspective too.

  6. Marta

    This sounds like so much fun! My son loves everything speed: cars, trains…. He’ll love to know boats can be fast too, I don’t think he ever thought of that!

  7. Lesley

    It sounds like a great way to explore from a different angle. I love that it sped up quickly and added a bit of adventure 🙂

  8. Koen B

    This looks like fun! Seeing those must-see places in London from on the water, and using one of these small boats for it, yesss. On the list for my next visit to London. The smile on your sons face is the best commercial these guys could ever have expected. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Gemma

    Ah wow my eldest 2 children would love this and not a bad price either. Definitely on our list of things to do next time we visit London!

  10. Jen

    Woah. My boys will LOVE this. I am going to do it with them the next time we are in the capital. What a super things to do.

  11. Charly Dove

    Oh this sounds and looks like so much fun! I lived in London for 20 years before moving to Surrey and I’ve still not been down the Thames by boat! Must have a look into it really 🙂

  12. Tori Gabriel

    This sounds awesome and I really love the unique view point, Robert. What a great idea. A family blog where everyone writes a bit. Awesome!

  13. Wander Mum

    What a brilliant idea and a great, well written post. It looks so much fun! I’d love to give it a whirl. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

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