The Fleet Uncovered: Part 1 – Dutch Master

We often use this blog to talk about events and news from our little oasis on the Thames but forget to focus on our fleet! Importantly, it’s not only why we are here but it lies at the core of what we do. We are very proud of our boats and so in the next series of blog articles we are going to look at them in a bit more detail than our simple listings page on thamesleisure.co.uk allows.

Today we are going to put Dutch Master, our flagship, in the hot seat! Where is she from? What do we use her for? Why we love her? Not to get too sentimental of course, but now is the time to give a little credit to the boats that make us at Thames Leisure who we are on the river. Behind the scenes, front of house and a few little secrets to share – here we go…

What is Dutch Master?

OK, so for the newbies here Dutch Master is our largest Party Boat vessel, a floating extravaganza for all manner of waterborne clubs, river raves and extraordinary live spectacles and events that move through the heart of London. We run our own in house events and work with some of London’s top party promoters like Pukka Up and Unleash to make many different events come alive on the river.

Facts and Figures

Time to get a bit geeky with some facts and figures to get your head around…

Name Of Ship: Dutch Master

Length Overall: 37.7m

Gross Tonnage: 323 tons

Capacity: 375 guests

Year of Build: 1961

Name of Builder: Ruhrorter Schiffswerft

Country of Build: Germany

In ‘Simple Terms’

We are proud to say that Dutch Master is still one the largest passenger vessels on the Thames with a licence for up to 375 guests. Her striking high lines are reminiscent of a sea going ship making her a recognisable feature on a river dominated with single decked more common river cruisers. Over her commanding three decks, Dutch Master brings a self-assured German confidence to the capital, where her name runs off the tongues of London’s clubbers, familiar with her formidable reputation. Music over two floors, two fully stocked bars and two out-door viewing decks Dutch Master really has a lot to offer.

History

Dutch Master’s shape may not be common-place in London, but in Rotterdam it is! She was one of many similar vessels that worked for Spido a boat operator in Holland that runs excursions and passenger travel from Rotterdam’s waterways to the surrounding areas. Built under the name Prinseplaat in 1961 she spent the best part of forty years in this role before joining the Thames Leisure fleet in 2000, a millennium addition to the Thames to make larger river events possible. Re-named Dutch Master in honour of her history, she was repainted in the Thames Leisure livery and redesigned for her new role in the UK where she has since gained admiration and adoration from those who sail (or should we say party!) on her.

Features

Room to Dance: What is fantastic about Dutch Master is the space! Commonly, space on a boat is at a premium. You think of a boat and you think storage, small cabins and everything neatly fitted in to maximise space. Dutch Master is an anomaly! Originally built as a ferry for 450 people, her lower legal capacity and her rebuild in the UK has left her guests three decks of outdoor and indoor space for up to 375 people. From her high position in the river, light streams in from the vast windows that line the main and upper saloon – this is no small or pokey boat!

Customisable: As an event space this works perfectly because it is so customisable! We’ve had everything form live streamed football games on flat screens, to music award ceremonies and multi-level music events. With our Pirate Radio events this involves DJ’s over two floors, live music outside and free roaming street performers.

Food and Drink: We have two large bars on the lower and middle deck as well as the option of an outside bottled beer bar for those guests that want a drink while they cruise. All our bars are reasonably priced because we want Dutch Master to be a party space not a Gentlemen’s Club! For other events we have had food stalls and BBQs. Or, we’ll happily provide party bags with a tasty Smoke Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagel give party goers an easy option. We really are at your command – creating bespoke events is what we do best!

Facilities: Yes, boring, but let’s admit important! There is a cloakroom area, large male and female toilets and a lighting rig to really get things cooking on the dance floor. We will provide qualified event staff and security to make sure your event goes as smoothly as possible. From the initial telephone call until you step off Dutch Master at the end of the night we are here to help, please just ask!

In ‘The Future’

Dutch Master got her new lick of paint in the new company colours last year and is looking smarter than ever. We have recently rebuilt the ladies toilet and refurbished all the washroom facilities to not only look better but also to accommodate more people. With this project completed we have just moved onto the second phase of refurbishment by expanding the lower saloon bar to get waiting times for drinks to an all time low. The upper bar is getting a face lift too – more space and less queuing is our ultimate goal if we want Dutch Master to be even better than she already is!

We are also working towards upgrading our sound system and lighting rig so Dutch Master’s dance floor will not only be the best on the river, but can confidently say we’re one of the best in the whole of London. It’s really exciting times and once we’ve got this together we are going to launch the system with a free party that will blow your mind! If you are interesting please email us now to register your name for the upcoming free event and you’ll be the first to know of any details as they emerge.

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