FAQ! Questions we get asked quite frequently. (And the answers)
Q. Can I charter a vessel on the Thames at any time of year?
A. Absolutely yes! Autumn clay-shoots, Christmas parties, New Year cruises, Summer BBQ cruises and more – Thames Leisure sail all year round. All our Thames river cruisers have heating onboard and for static events, we can also arrange deck heaters and awnings.
Q. Are your boats suitable for all ages?
A. Our events are tailored individually to your specific requirements, including the choice of vessel. All our river cruisers are fully child-friendly and we will advise on ships such as the historic Sailing Barge Will which certainly welcomes children but requires a bit more supervision and preparation. Unfortunately, we cannot accept school proms or birthdays under 18 years old on any of our vessels.
Security will always be present on our Dutch Master vessel, guests are advised to carry ID in the event of being checked upon arrival. Should there be any guests at all under the age of 18, absolutely no alcohol will be served.
Q. Are your boats suitable for disabled persons?
A. As our events are aboard historic ships the vessels do not all have disabled facilities, however, we will do everything we can to follow current legislation and endeavour to maximise access wherever possible.
Q. What should I wear?
A. As the occasion demands – dress can be as formal or as relaxed, as you choose. However, flat-soled shoes are always a good idea aboard ships. We cannot allow stiletto heels on Thames Sailing Barges and River Cruisers as they may damage the deck. Wrap up warm in winter and bring extra layers even in summer as it can get sometimes cold on deck.
Q. Are there good kitchen facilities?
A. The interiors are spacious and most of our vessels have fully functioning galleys (Boatspeak for kitchens!). Our sales team will direct you to the right vessel for the right kind of catering for your group. Take a look at our delicious menus here.
Q. Will I be seasick on my Thames cruise?
A. It’s very unlikely! Over our history in the business, you would be the first!
Q. Do I have to cruise on the Thames or can we be stationary?
A. You can be stationary (or static as we like to call it) though there are some limitations. For many there are some good reasons to remain still rather than cruise, having an ‘open boat’ event for example that your guests can come to at any time. Our static events will always take place in a suitable dock or marina on the Thames. We’d be happy to advise.
Q. I want to do something special on my Thames cruise. Any ideas?
A. Lots! It depends on your group profile a little but all sorts of entertainment are possible from casinos to entertainers to full-on shows. Clay pigeon shooting from William B or SB Will are perennial favourites, constantly amazing our guests that it is even possible and delivering highly memorable experiences. Something else, available to only a few charter boats on the Thames (two of which belong to us) is the option for Tower Bridge to open up for you as you cruise through it. Amazing and unforgettable.
Q. How quickly can you give me a quote for my event?
A, Within about 90 seconds usually! Our new Instant Quote Calculator works on our website and is designed to give you a very accurate quote for 99% of all our possible Thames events instantly. As quick as you can select the few options we require from you to define a price, it can produce the price whilst giving you all the info you need to make your decision. If you like what you can see, with the push of a button you can request us to check the price and a date to formalise things. If you want something more complicated or unusual our sales team can respond to you very quickly – usually the same working day or at latest, the next.
Q. I don’t know what boat will work best for my Thames cruise – help!
A. Our sales team can advise immediately on this or you can use our Instant Quote Calculator online which will present your best options depending primarily on your numbers of guests. Generally, it is size and catering requirements that determine which boat is best.