London by night: Evening Thames River Cruise

Evening Thames River Cruise gives you a whole different perspective on London, as some of the famous buildings and attractions light up.

We boarded our river boat on Westminster Pier just as Big Ben struck 6:30pm. On board it was warm and we saluted the cold, dimming February night outside with a glass of champagne. A live band played easy-listening music while we sampled canapes and admired the changing sights and lights of London as the boat floated along the Thames.

London’s iconic river snakes through the city’s heart and an evening cruise gives you a whole different perspective on London, as some of the famous buildings and attractions light up.

London Millennium Bridge by night
London Millennium Bridge by night (c) pixabay/Kaleem-1989

Thames Evening River Cruise is not a sightseeing cruise in the guided-tour sense of the word. There is no guide telling you to look left or right and explaining what you are seeing.

You simply enjoy the live band playing the classics; once you have finished your complimentary glass of bubbly you can buy more drinks from the bar and the staff regularly appear with sandwiches and canapes. And London just happens to pass by through your window.

The boat starts by heading south, passing The Houses of Parliament, before turning around and sailing north-east towards Canary Wharf, passing under a series of bridges and giving you a fantastic view of The London Eye, The Globe Theatre, HMS Belfast, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

As we sailed towards the lights of Canary Wharf, we turned around for a second chance to see the landmarks and had another series of exceptional photo opportunities.

London City, Canary Wharf
London City, Canary Wharf (c) pixabay/WikiImages

On arriving back at Westminster Pier, Big Ben struck 8.30pm. By now we were warmed up, fed, refreshed, ears full of music, eyes full of lights, heads full of wonderful memories.


Our cruise was curtesy of Last Minute. While the Evening Thames Cruise for Two with Bubbly and Canapes is no longer available on their website, you may consider the following tours we found on Viator: