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Thames RIB Experience

Attractions, Sightseeing Victoria Embankment
5 out of 5 stars
(24user reviews)
Thames Rib Experience
Paul Harrison
Paul Harrison

Time Out says

Forget the river buses. If you want some excitement on the Thames – the kind that 007 himself would encourage – step aboard the RIB. This ‘rigid inflatable boat’ will have you hurtling up and down the river in no time with 740 horse power behind you and ‘V8’ twin turbo thrust. No, we don’t know what that means either, but we do know that the RIB can do speeds of up to 30 knots (roughly 35 mph). It’s a pure adrenaline experience.

Journeys range from 20-minute blasts to a full 75 minutes. The former either takes you from Tower Milenium Pier past The Shard, Tower of London and HMS Belfast or from The O2 Arena past the Thames Flood Barrier and Greenwich. The longest trip includes the lot. It truly is the quickest, most thrilling way to travel the Thames.

Life jackets and waterproof clothing is provided, and all ages are welcome, but there is have a minimum weight requirement of three stones (15kg).



Address: Embankment Pier
Victoria Embankment
Transport: Tube: Embankment
Price: £36, £22 under-15s, £410 private charter
Opening hours: Departures on the hour and half-hour daily; booking essential
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Users say (24)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:19
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
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If you've never done a rib experience, you really should try it, in fact, it really is something which everyone has got to try at least once. There's little like the experience of travelling at speed so close to the water. So adding London into the equation with fleeting glimpses of the famous sights while hurtling down the river at breakneck speed and you have a very special experience. Don't take gran though.erience. Don't take gran though!


I took my Mum on this RIB ride as a 50th Birthday present, and I think we laughed from start to finish! So exhilarating, feeling the wind in your face as you whizz past some of London's landmarks.. from Westminster and the Houses of Parliament, under Tower Bridge, to the O2 and the Thames Barrier!

The guides/captain's are really knowledgeable and interesting and the tour is a fantastically unusual way to explore London by water.

Sit tight and buckle up.. its going to be a bumpy ride! :-)


I went on the Thames Rib Experience as part of my company work away day and it was great!!
I would definitely recommend this activity for both big groups (up to 12) and for more intimate parties. Either way, you are guaranteed to be laughing and having bundles of fun amongst like minded people. The pre-speed tour is informative and, even as a born and bred Londoner, is the perfect memory jogger. 

Ideally the RIB would have gone faster and the ride would have lasted longer but that's just a testament as to how enjoyable it was! 


A friend bought me tickets for this Thames RIB trip as a moving home gift and it is one of the best gifts I have ever received. Its so much fun!!

You get a bit of a tour in the central area of London when the journey first commences as there are rules about speed in that section of the river and I actually really enjoyed this part of the trip too but once you are out of the speed restricted zone the fun really starts. Careering around at high speed past the glorious sites of London is breath taking and its not that pricey to have a go. Highly recommended London fun!


High-speed fun and an informed and funny tour made for a brilliant experience!

I had seen the Thame's ribs booming up and down the river for years but it was only as I looked for something to do for my birthday with my sister that I really looked into the who's, what's and where's of the experience. We met at the Embankment Pier and were greeted by a lovely guy who proceeded to give us our safety briefing. I was pleasantly surprised that aside from the mandatory life jackets, they also provide heavy-duty hooded waterproof jackets to protect you from the wet and the cold. You can also take bags on board with you because, other than if it rains, there is actually little to no drenching from the river itself.

We went for the 75-minute tour, that begins by heading West just up past Parliament, then east all the way down through the Thames Barrier and back to our departure point. When you are in Central London territory, they are not allowed to go too fast but this is miles from your mind as they fill this time with a very witty-come-dad-joke-fueled tour commentary of the city's history and the story behind many of London's finest monuments and sights. Some standout favourites included:

1) Waterloo Bridge is the only London bridge to have been fully constructed by women and I imagine by no means a coincidence, the only bridge to have ever been completed on time and under budget. It is because of this that it is nicknamed the 'Ladie's Bridge'

2) 'If the lions drink, London will sink' - green lion head moorings scale the river's embankments and apparently if the river's level ever reaches them, the city will indeed by severely flooded

3) The sculptor behind Blackfriar's Bridge birds believed the bridge marked the meeting place of salt water from the sea and fresh water from more inland. As such, seagulls and cormorants face the sea whilst herons and geese face inland.

Aside from the educational commentary was of course the speed. Once clear of Tower Bridge, the engines were revved for, at times, terrifying gripping-on-for-dear-life moments as we drove into the river's swells at high speed, causing the boat to be almost entirely leaning on one side as we zoomed past the skyline. This continued, unpredictably, all the way up through the Thames Barrier and, supported by the James Bond theme song as our backing track, was exactly the kind of exciting rush I was expecting.

In summary, an adrenaline-fueled and educational sight-seeing extravaganza and one I would not hesitate to recommend!


I decided to take my 74 year old father as my plus one when I won tickets for this boat ride. It sells itself as a need for speed type of boat ride so I assumed it would be v fast right from the start but its not so youve been warned. This doesnt matter, the tour was really informative and fun. When you get past Tower Hill the speed revs up and you go hurtling along and slap the waters. You also feel you could touch the water when you zoom past Canary Wharf. The James Bond theme is VERY loose but if you are just up for a small thrill seeking session and knowledge about the City this is definitely for you and although pricey I think its worth it. Small tip, the pictures they take of you are reasonable at £5 so I think its a nice reasonable souvenir. :D ps My 74 year old father survived and loved it :) 


I’ve always loved the Thames and will be taking part in a team rowing challenge soon on that great river (eight and a half miles from Westminster to Greenwich), but this was something I’d always wanted to try. Part pleasure cruise, part history tour, part thrill ride, the RIB Experience has it all. The guides were friendly and informative. We all donned our life jackets and off we went. The speed frustratingly only comes in bursts, but when it does, it feels great to be cutting a swathe through the waters of this historic waterway. And, if you enjoy London history, seeing the riverside landmarks from the water gives them new meaning. I began to wish I could travel to work this way every day (as indeed a few lucky souls still do). I took an extended tour package, so I could be on the water for a longer period. Well worth it. It may seem a bit expensive at the outset but I felt it was money well spent and would like to do it again at some point.

I loved my trip.  We went as a birthday treat and were not disappointed.    You get to see the sights of London as well as having a high powered speeding race along the Thames to the sound of James Bond music.  You start to believe you are super spies!  You do get used to the speed so much so you are disappointed when it doesn't go faster.  It doesn't go fast for that long as there are restrictions on the Thames but long enough for my kids to feel a bit queasy by the time we finished.  It got a massive thumbs up from us but probably a once in a decade trip.  Try it out you will love it ( if you like water, boats, speed,James Bond and London)! 

Gespannt fanden wir uns zum vereinbarten Termin am Victoria Embankment Pier ein. Das Team war superfreundlich, es gab wetterfeste Jacken, automatische Schwimmwesten und eine Sicherheitsunterweisung.

Dann stiegen wir ins Boot und es ging los. Es gab ausführliche Beschreibungen und diverse Anekdoten zu den markanten Gebäuden an der Themse, an denen die Fahrt noch mit normalem Tempo erst flussabwärts und dann flussaufwärts vorbei führte. In den letzten 20 Minuten der 50-minütigen Tour war dann Action angesagt. Der Bootsführer jagte das offensichtlich PS-starke Boot über das Wasser mit kurvenreichen Manövern und James Bond Filmmusik dazu. Das war wirklich unbeschreiblich und eine 5-Sterne Erfahrung, an die wir uns gerne erinnern. Bei einem London Besuch sollte man auf diese Tour nicht verzichten.

Excellent experience! We chartered a boat for a team building event and I cannot recommend it enough.  It has a great mixture of information on London and pure fun - hurtling down the river to the theme tune of James Bond! I have already planned to take my boyfriend back!

I was bought this for my birthday and paid for my husband to come with me.  We did the Thames Flood Barrier trip and when booking I thought it was a bit expensive but actually having done the trip think it was certainly worth the money.  Our guide and driver Michael and Mark were friendly and very informative about the sites on the trip and were very cheery.  Having been on other river "cruises" this was by far the best and when they crank up the speed it is certainly good fun.  We had a lovely day weather wise and certainly left with big smiles on our faces.  I would do it again and recommend it - unless you have a tendency to sea sickness in which case I certainly wouldn't recommend it.  I would advise you to check what time you should be there before the scheduled time of the trip.  I was told 1.45 for a 2pm trip but was being chased by phone and email at just after 1.30pm to find out where we were and were the last people there so maybe should have been told an earlier time.  All in all though a great experience.

We were bought an indoor sky diving experience as a wedding gift but never got round to using it so I upgraded our voucher to do this trip instead for my hubby's birthday.

We were offered jackets but as it was a warm day, declined them. We didn't get wet although it was a little chilly once we were out in the open. Life vests are a must and nice to see the staff checking that they were tight enough. 

Definitely a fun way of seeing the sights without spending an hour travelling slowly up the Thames. Not sure we got the most informative guide as he did point things out but didn't seem that enthusiastic. 

Once we'd cleared the river police, the skipper let the throttle go. We had 2 young boys on ours and whilst I assume that's as fast they go, hubby did say 'shame we didn't go faster!' We bounced around, went 45 degrees onto our side and really enjoyed it. 

Not sure we could justify the cost to do it again but for those who don't enjoy 'boring' trips, worth the money to have a good giggle. 

I bought this trip as a birthday present for my boyfriend (we are 23 and 24) and we both absolutely loved it! It was a fantastic experience from start to finish. When I first rang up to book the time and date, the member of staff I spoke to, Emma, was lovely and genuine and very helpful. I spoke to her again the day before to confirm our trip and was again impressed with her attention to detail. The trip itself was fabulous - a whistlestop tour of the monuments and buildings along the banks of the Thames, complete with sometimes terrible jokes (!), followed by a complete adrenaline rush when they opened up the throttle! A truly memorable experience that I would recommend to anyone - my boyfriend and I left with smiles plastered to our faces!

Not impressed by the customer service. Staff are rude and unhelpful, this appears to go right up to the manager. Would not recommend at all, other speed-boats on the river seem to be much better run.

Brought as a present for my Dads 70th birthday. I had to join him to! I am 46. What a trip. Great commentary from start to finish. Interesting,factual and funny. But the best part is once you go under tower bridge and the engines are wound up. Wow, what a buzz. Great control and the speed is amazing. No feeling of sickness as it skids over the waves. Will defiantly do this again. There were some youngsters on the boat, about 7 ish and they loved it also. Thanks to all concerned for a great trip.

I took my 8 year old grandson today - what an experience. We both loved it, he was singing the James Bond music all afternoon. Exhilarating experience that he wants to repeat as soon as possible. Thanks to all the members of the group who helped make it a memorable half term.

We had booked the experience for my son's 10th birthday and have to say it was an amazing experience. The trip was fantastic and exciting and also took in some amazing sights, such Big Ben, London Eye and Canary Wharf. The tour guide Michael was excellent and really made the trip with his quirky facts and info on key landmarks along the Thames. I would say it is a must if you are visiting London and looking for something a little different.

Was given a voucher for the Thames Flood Barrier trip for my birthday - awesome present. Apart from having to rearrange trip due to lack of passengers, this was a an amazing experience. You get a real adrenaline rush swerving left and right, bouncing down the river. Totally different sightseeing trip. And they played 'Happy Birthday' on the way back. If you get the chance you have to do this - I would love to do it again. Brilliant - thanks.

This was one of the best things I have done in London and I highly recommend it. The whit of the tour guide makes the 12 knot zone (between bridges at the beginning) very funny , they have an interesting twist on the usual historical facts of London via the Thames. You soon hurtle (a la James Bond themed music) to Tower Bridge, after which the high speed (35 knots) excitement kicks in. Through a mixture of laughing, screaming and heart pounding, fun music is played to build the suspense. The 'skipper' as he became fondly known as, quickly turned the boat at hair raising angles to really get those tummies moving. My 9 year old could not contain his excitement and me and my husband loved it. It cheered us all up no end. I also have to add from start to finish the company was so helpful and efficient, they even warned us about the London bike ride on the day we went. Truely excellent and so refreshing to find such a fantastic experience. Thank you RIB.

From beginning to end, we were thoroughly impressed by Thames Rib Experience. As a client event we booked one Rib taking 12, a mixture of staff and clients so Health and Safety a priority, no need to worry it was all catered for with Insurance documents and waterproofs provided if necessary!! We booked the James Bond experience and had the music playing and a quiz to test our knowledge with a cocktail shaker as a prize! Down to the O2 arena at high speeds when allowed, it certainly was a thrilling ride! Our clients loved it and so did we, thanks to all of the team for their hard work and to the pilots who certainly know their stuff. Well worth doing we thoroughly recommend it and have photos to prove it!

We turned up at 17.55 for a 18.00 ride. They had already left and that was the end of the discussion. I will not be using them, recommending them or booking again - ever. Save your money and go with another operator that can tell the time! Terrible customer service.

Awesome! Great Customer service, they even stayed on the phone to dhelp me find a parking spot! I thought this was an awesome ride as well, I was late and they even came back to pick me up! very cool! in the winter make sure you wear a good pair of ear muffs or something :) Loved it all the way. thanks guys!

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