On Wednesday 24th June I took part in a London RIB Voyage. Beginning at the Millennium Pier, located right beneath the London Eye, the voyage took us on an hour-long adventure down the Thames, towards Canary Wharf and back again.
Approaching the pier, with a picturesque view of the London Eye and surrounding iconic attractions across the Thames, I had no idea what to expect from this London RIB Voyage. One thing that was for certain was that the views were great! Arriving at the RIB Voyage boarding gate, I was approached by the friendly and helpful staff who checked me in and got me suited and booted for the ride with a thick coat and life jacket. Arriving 15 minutes before the sail, it gave me time to prepare myself for the unknown!
Once the boat was prepared and the passengers (including myself) were ready, we embarked the boat with a friendly hand from the tour guide. Soon we were all seated and ready to set sail. The tour guide gave us a description of what’s involved during the voyage and with music at the ready, we set sail.
The beginning of the voyage allowed us to let loose to the music and take in some of London’s top attractions. Passing under a series of famous bridges including Tower Bridge and Millennium Bridge at a relaxed pace, we had photo opportunities from every angle. The tour guide checked in to see if we were all okay and enjoying ourselves, before increasing the speed.
Entering a more secluded area of the Thames, away from any larger incoming boats, the driver began to zig-zag through the waves, splashing and spraying us as the boat tipped towards the water for an added adrenaline rush. The boat bounced along the waves creating a thrill – the 35 knot speed made it feel like a temporary face lift! The boat gradually slowed down, allowing us to attempt to fix our hair after the wrath of the G-forces, to and wave at curious pedestrians.
The guided tour began once we’d stopped giggling (some of us, even shrieking) from all the adrenaline. Now travelling back up the Thames towards Southbank, one of the first attractions explained was the Monument of the Great Fire of London. The tour guide told us some interesting facts and even included a little quiz! Further up the Thames we approached Cleopatra’s Needle and were given a brief history of the attraction, including how the Sphinx’ on either side of the needle are in fact the wrong way round! Other sites along the Thames included The Shard and the Oxo Tower and finished with Big Ben and Houses of Parliament – again with interesting and comical facts about these famous attractions.
The London RIB Voyage was thrilling but exhilarating and entirely worth the £42 for the hour-long adventure. Offering a year-round service, it is suited to anyone looking for a speedy (literally) mini-tour of some of London’s top attractions, whilst engaging in an adrenaline inducing experience. Overall, this experience changed my personal perspective of London by showcasing its historical beauty and culture in a stimulating and unique way.