Some years ago, I was traveling with boat on the Thames east, I believe from Embankment to Greenwich. I believe this was on a regular TfL-boat, but I may have either accidentally gotten on the wrong boat (unlikely, or remember incorrectly)

On the upper deck, I found a man giving a "guided tour" of London as seen from the river. He spoke plenty about the buildings we could see, and told us varied information, from things like which celebrity lived where to what architects had drawn which house.

I'd like to re-take the same tour, but as far as I'm aware, this isn't normally organized by TfL, so I'm not sure where to look.

I missed the beginning of his talk, since he was already on at Embankment, but from what I did gather, he belonged to some sort of history society, and him giving the talk he did was a part of some kind of graduation ceremony. He collected donations at the end when we disembarked.

Any idea of what I was hearing, and/or where/when I can do it again?

The closest thing I've been able to find myself, it the sightseeing tours from London Eye but since those are paid, I assume they don't collect donations towards the end; nor do they end in Greenwich, making me think that's not what I was on.

  • TfL doesn't actually run any river services, they are run by MBNA Thames Clipper on a different fare structure, and they are very reluctant to be subsumed into TfL. TfL maintains a list of tour services here: tfl.gov.uk/modes/river/about-river-tours
    – Calchas
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 22:16
  • @Calchas Thanks, it's through that list I've managed to find the London Eye tour, but that one doesn't seem right to me, and neither does any of the others listed under sightseeing.
    – user50849
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 8:02

2 Answers 2


As others have said TFL do not operate any river boat services in London. MBNA Thames clippers operate regular scheduled services which can be paid for using the oyster/contactless system but are outside of the TFL fare structure (so any caps don't apply). MBNA do offer an app using your phone's GPS explaining the sites along the river: https://www.thamesclippers.com/visitorapp it time of writing it is free to use but currently iPhone only. The app will also not work unless you have some headphones for your device.

Otherwise there are numerous boat tours which are aimed at sightseeing, one list of these is at: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/river/about-river-tours#on-this-page-1 (thanks to @Calchas in the comments for this link)


I have taken the tour myself earlier this year or possibly last year, but not a lot longer than that.

So I am sure I also embarked on https://www.google.de/maps/place/Embankment+Pier/@51.5064323,-0.1239947,17.25z/data=!4m14!1m6!3m5!1s0x48760520cd5b5eb5:0xa26abf514d902a7!2sBuckingham+Palace!8m2!3d51.501364!4d-0.14189!3m6!1s0x487604c91cc3decb:0x7ed2cc59c37c8df6!6m1!1v8!8m2!3d51.5072884!4d-0.1211661.

It was kind of a "regular" ferryboat.

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