The River Thames – London’s great year round venue

As our Christmas sales period continues and our Christmas cruise calendar becomes busier and busier, we are also busy imagining our next round of events after Christmas. If only we could sit back and put our feet up after the Christmas rush of parties on the boats, and head off to sunny shores for months on end before we get busy again!

Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn: different river moods, different events

We all know London never sleeps; it is equally true that the River Thames never sleeps either. The Thames is one of the world’s great rivers, crossed by bridges carrying hundreds of thousands of people every day. Barges carrying cargo chunter up and down year round – and the occasional Giant Rubber Duck or floating Bed and Breakfast house too of course. Our four river boats and their hardy crews also have little time to put their feet up. The reason for that? The Thames , when experienced on board comfortable, expertly captained river boats is always a wonder to behold.

Winter: warmer on the water than you’d think

Winter simply mean London lights up even more and sparkles in the special clear-air that the cold brings. When you are enjoying that from the warmth of our boats’ lounges and saloons what’s the problem? Or get out on deck with a warm hat and scarf and maybe a hot drink (or warming tot of something nautical!)  to give you some central heating. Because Christmas takes over December, we think of the Winter months on the river as January and February really. Our most popular events in these months include Thames cruises with delicious seated dinners or hot fork buffets, or bowl food; our ever-popular Clay-Pigeon shooting cruises combined with sumptuous lunches and Tower Bridge opening; and our oldest and grandest river boat, Sailing Barge Will, really comes into her own, firing up her log burning stove to create the kind of ambience you expect of a traditional and exclusive dining or drinking club…just wonderful.

Spring: blooming lovely!

A special light infuses the Thames in spring, as the silvery waters seem to shimmer with extra enthusiasm as they refract and reflect the stronger sunshine starting to warm the commuters hurrying across its bridges. The sense of awakening after the dark months does mean we get busier still on the river. Our summer boat parties start booking up apace – BBQ cruises, sightseeing boat trips, networking events, more Clay Shooting cruises – and more people start embracing the river in these months too. There’s no need to wait for high-summer. Although only a relatively thin strip streaking through London, the air above the Thames is cleaner, it smells fresher. Casting off and away from the concrete to put a bit of water between yourself and the land is rewarding and refreshing, and there are many companies who book staff events on the Thames regularly for this time of year. It’s a great opportunity to revitalise office  staff emerging from long Winter days, somehow helping along the optimism we all feel when Spring comes. Spring into Summer is one of our busiest times for corporate events: networking, team-building, entertaining, and always rewarding.

Summer: Sun and….any excuse there is!

Along with Christmas, this is when things get really crazy on the river for us. In the office we now know there really is no let up at all until the end of the year! We have four boats on our fleet usually moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge on the City’s doorstep when they are not cruising up and down. Come high summer they are rarely resting up at HQ – instead our four captains are more likely to be waving at each other as they pass (like ships in the night) on the river, carrying hundreds of happy guests celebrating birthday parties and company outings of all descriptions, revelling in the sights of London. This seems a good time to mention the ‘sightseeing bit’. London has we believe the very best cityscape from the river of any city in the world. If you want to see Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, ‘The Shard’, the ‘Gherkin’, Old Billingsgate, Chelsea Bridge, Canary Wharf, The Emirates Cable Car, The O2, Fulham Palace, Somerset House, Embankment arts quarter, the OXO Tower, Battersea Power Station, Cutty Sark, the Houses of Parliament and lots more – then you can do so all at once on a Thames Cruise!

Autumn: A bit more summer please!

Are our summers getting longer?  Well, that’s debatable at best but certainly our ‘summer’ events: the BBQs, dinner cruises, party nights and the like, carry on apace right up until and into October at least. Being on the river in London really is a year round possibility and plenty of people realise that. Of course Christmas is perhaps the next big ‘burst’ of  events but meanwhile we still take many hundreds of happy guests up and down the river, earning us great praise along the way.

The fifth season: Xmas

For us in the business of events on the river, this really is an extra season all of its own. Christmas parties on the river Thames are more popular than ever. There is no doubt that the Thames itself has improved itself in many ways over the years, benefiting from cleaner waters and better infrastructure with more piers, not to mention more sights such as The Shard and other captivating developments. I mention these improvements as Christmas seems to be the time when the most people seem to tell us how amazing the river is, and that it’s come as a bit of a surprise to them. Certainly, strange though it seems, the River Thames is still in some ways a ‘hidden gem’, hidden in plain sight, one of the most beguiling and ever-changing, ever-improving, parts of London.

So, whatever time of year – get on the river with us for your next event and never look back!

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