The Definitive Guide to a Student Boat Party

It may feel like the depths of winter, but before you know it the days will be getting longer and everyone will start thinking of summer. For London students, the event of the season has to a boat party and if you follow our plan to get yours organised, you can look forward to the ultimate rave on the waves!

Why book a STUDENT boat party?

A Thames boat party brings together all the elements you need to ensure a successful night. Not only do you have a crowd that all arrive at the same time ready to enjoy the evening (which any party organiser who has twiddled their thumbs waiting for their late guests to arrive will understand is a blessing), you get the most amazing setting. London at night is spectacular. With many of the key buildings along the river’s edge, you sail past some amazing architecture –the Tower of London, Somerset house, the London Eye, Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre. The buildings are cleverly lit and fill the sky with an array of colours that are reflected in the Thames. It is quite magical! Of course, you may have to remind people to get up on deck – with fantastic music, a buzzing bar and a wicked dance floor, it can be hard to draw people’s attention to the view!

What boat?

We have lots of different boats, all of which have their own individual benefits. We can show you around or talk to you about the possible options and make sure you have thought of everything. All of our boats have excellent music systems, large party areas, bars and male and female toilets.

One thing to always keep in mind is that the capacity on deck is inevitably going to be less that the capacity of the entire boat. As you pass under Tower Bridge, or if you want to have fireworks – remember that everybody is going to want to be up on top. If you are not sure about numbers at this point then just let us know your rough estimate. We can accommodate from 20 people to 375.

Picked one? You will need to put down a deposit to secure the booking. We will give you our terms and conditions to read, which has full details of our cancellation policies.

When to book

The earlier the better. Thames Leisure can organise last minute trips, but if you give yourself plenty of time then you can recruit more attendees. You are a student, you know how long it can take to get people to part with their cash and commit to something. With lots of time, you can build momentum and enthusiasm for the party of the year!

To theme or not to theme?

Lots of cruisers pick a theme for their event – James Bond (think casinos and martinis), Carnaval (think Samba and Caipirinhas) or Movie legends (think Casablanca and Champagne cocktails). If you do want to the theme your event, we can help you with decorations on the boat.

What to wear

Whatever you wear on a normal night out is fine for a boat party, but it is worth taking something warm as it standing up on deck can be a bit chilly late in the evening. We have cloakrooms on our boats, so you won’t have to carry your winter jacket around with you all evening.

Rock the boat – what kind of music?

Gone are the days when Dave’s Disco was drafted in to keep cruisers on the dance floor with a blast of 80’s pop. Nowadays boats have live bands playing anything from samba to tango to pop. Top DJ’s spin out hip hop or house tunes or, if you prefer, you can bring your own mp3 player and just plug it into the boat’s sound system. We can also host your own D.J for a small surcharge.

On some boats, we can even provide music in different rooms – a selling point for the pop vs house partygoers.

Cruising and boozing – what drinks to serve up?

A classy trip requires an elegant drink! Champagne always goes down well, but we always recommend our cocktail masters who, with a little bit of mixology magic, can provide raspberry mojitos, chocolate martinis and cosmopolitans within moments of your guest’s arrival. We are also happy to look at drinks promotions with you.

Bars have credit card facilities, so there is no need to worry about the bar bill as guests can pay their own way!

Do remember if the water is rough it can make you feel a bit wobbly. We don’t normally get cases of sea-sickness, despite what drunken revellers may say the next day, and there has not been a case of ‘man overboard’ yet, but it’s worth reminding guests to go easy on the booze.

Food – do we have to provide it?

There are no rules to say you have to lay on a spread, but if you wanted to then let us know and we will give you a quote. Our caterer will provide anything from canapés to sit down dinners. We even do a great line of late-night bacon butties!

If you would like to rent a boat in London for a student boat party then book now at or call us on 020 7623 1805.

By Guy Wimpory

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