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City Cruises

Things to do, Walks and tours Victoria Embankment
3 out of 5 stars
(21user reviews)
City Cruises
Venue says Showboat Dinner Cruise Offer from £69: https://www.citycruises.com/london-thames-experiences/showboat-dinner-cruise/

Time Out says

City cruises operate on a hop-on, hop-off basis and run from Westminster, Waterloo, Tower and Greenwich Piers with commentary along the way. All the departure points are convenient for the city's various sights, with Greenwich Pier ideal for the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory. The River Red Rover ticket allows unlimited one-day cruising, there's also the Rail and River Rover ticket allowing unlimited one-day travel by river and on the DLR and single or return tickets are available for shorter journeys.

In addition, there are a variety of speciality cruises including Lunch and Tea cruises; the first, an hour-and-45-minute trip which includes a two-course lunch, the second a 1.5-hour afternoon meander down the Thames with tea, cakes, scones and sandwiches. Later on, the Riverlights and Sundowner cruises allow you to admire the city's skyline from the comfort of the river, while enjoying live music and complimentary sparkling wine and canapés.

Or, for something even more extravagant, try the Thames Jazz cruise, a three-hour trip down the river accompanied by a swing and latin jazz band. As well the entertainment, there's a three-course meal, and you'll be welcomed aboard with a free glass of fizz. And if that's not enough, try the Showboat cruise, a three-and-a-half hour voyage along the river, which includes a four-course dinner, live show tunes, a free half bottle of wine per passenger and –if you feel so inclined – dancing.

City Cruises says
City Cruises has a different view of London! Whether you step on board for a sightseeing cruise or even an afternoon tea, lunch or dinner, watch London pass you by with its beautiful riverside landmarks while you enjoy a glass of bubbly. Whatever your idea of fun is, do it on board an award-winning trip with us.

Our sightseeing cruises depart every 40 minutes, every day of the week, all year round including New Year's Eve and Christmas Day. City Cruises gives you the freedom to explore the many sights of the River Thames from piers near popular attractions: Westminster, London Eye, Tower of London and Greenwich pier from morning till early evening. A sightseeing cruise is the most picturesque way to travel between London landmarks. Make a quick hop between piers with a single ticket, or take in a round tour with a our all day River pass and make the most of our informative and entertaining live commentary.
All our boats can be privately charted for corporate events, birthday parties and weddings.

City Cruises offers dining with the best views in town by day and night. Enjoy a Lunch or Afternoon Tea cruises, Evening cruise with bubbly, canapés and live music or the London Showboat dinner cruise with live entertainment. All year along we run seasonal and themed cruises, celebrate Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or rock the river on a Elvis cruise.

It's time to explore the river like you have never done before.

Posted:

Details

Address: Westminster Pier
Victoria Embankment
London
SW1A 2JH
Transport: Tube: Westminster
Price: Single tickets from £10.75, Return tickets from £16; Hop-on Hop-off Adult ticket (16+): £19.50, Child ticket (5-15): £12.75
Contact:
Opening hours: 10am-6pm daily
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Users say (21)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:8
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|21
1 person listening
tastemaker

A group of us had a dinner cruise on a pleasant winter evening. The view of the Thames at night is wonderful as always but the quality of the dinner cruise itself could not rival the view. 


We were boarded first as we were a large group and the organisation was good. Upon entering the dining area, I was surprised to see that our starters were already laid out on the tables. This immediately made it feel like a canteen style service. The atmosphere was far from luxurious. Food overall tasted average/ just ok; the main course portion was huge. Each person had a whole chicken breast with all  trimmings filling the whole of the plate. The chicken was a bit dry in my opinion.


I was looking forward to a live band entertainment prior to the cruise; I was disappointed to see that the entertainment was a lady singing karaoke style with the media player. She was a good singer and did try her best to entertain/ be interactive with the diners. 


Overall, it was a fun night, however, this definitely caters more towards tourists. If you decide to give this a go, ensure you get a window table so you could enjoy the view more. The boat itself does not have a glass roof.

tastemaker

Courtesy of the.@timeoutlondon

I went on the Showboat Cruise Dinner Cruise the other night.

The perception is that such cruises are suited for a romantic night out but unfortunately I have to disagree. Because you are on a moving boat, the layout of the tables and chairs are quite simple so you think that you are actually sitting in Wagamama with those ridiculous long tables where you have to sit in front your partner.

However, ... if you are looking for a bash party, this is your choice. You will be less concerned if the restaurant or the food are posh - they are not! but you will definetely enjoy drinks, music, dancing floor, upper deck fresh air escapes and unbelievably stunning views of London landscapes from the river. The lighting of the Thames-side buildings is really amazing and you just can't get enough admiring one spectacular landscape after another- you pass the London eye, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, O2, The Shard, Canary Wharf and much more.

You will have 4 course meal of reasonable quality and taste which I personally didn't mind as it was more about the atmosphere. Ticket also includes a glass of fizz and a half-bottle of wine. You can buy more, of course.

So, get your company together to wine, dine and dance for 3 hours on this great dinner cruise on the Thames!

Tastemaker

I love a good river cruise and a 3 hour one with wine, food and city lights sounded perfect.

The food was only so so but the cruise itself was great. Unfortunately a group of hospitality students put a damper on the evening. It was a shame that there was not some kind of security to sort out issues like that.

The staff were friendly although I felt they didn’t pay a lot of attention other than just putting the plates on the table.

The top deck and views are very romantic and the dancing and live music was good fun. Overall I thought the value was good and what a way to see the city I love so much! Things are what you make them, so enjoy!

Tastemaker

I love travelling by boat on the Thames. A night cruise with a four courses dinner sounded like a fab night. We were welcomed with a glass of bubbles and the starters were already waiting for us at the tables. Since it was seafood starter and I had no idea how long it had been there for, I was a bit worried. The salmon pate and prawns, served with lovely rolls, was very tasty and probably the best dish of the night. The tomato soup that followed was OK, but unremarkable. But the main was almost complete let down. The staff was nice enough to serve me vegetarian option although I hadn’t prebooked it. The artichoke, spinach, and mushroom lasagne sounded great on the paper. Reality was a car crash. It was hard to eat it from a soup bowl for the start. The pasta was overcooked and the whole thing was just sloppy and didn’t taste right. The site of cooked beans, carrot, and courgettes was very plain, yet satisfying.

The amount of alcohol was generous, half a bottle of wine per head. We were not offered any water throughout the night and when I asked for tap, the waiter strangely shook his head as if he wasn’t sure I could get it.

The chocolate cake I got for dessert was tasty. Crumbly on the outside and runny on the inside. It was topped with fresh strawberries. However, I’m still not sure if they ran out of the truffle cakes or what happened in the kitchen that night as there’s no chocolate cake even on the vegetarian menu and the only thing I said I can’t eat was the chicken.

Last but not least, for £80 price tag, I would love to have my own tea bag and brew it myself. Here, we had a bunch of waiters running around with thermos serving low quality cuppa.

The entertainer for the night had a good voice and managed to get many people on the dance floor. She sang a nice selection of pop anthems to West End musicals.  

I enjoyed the experience, but with the starting price of £80pp I feel it’s a bit overpriced. I think there’s a room for improvement in terms of food and service.

The cruise was a bit too long for my liking. But I imagine for someone who has never been to London or on a summer night it is just right.

tastemaker

This is a fun way to spend three hours but it comes at a price that perhaps is too steep. what do you get? A three hour cruise up and down the Thames; a four course meal; a singer and option to dance. What was it like? The cruise, apart from a twenty minute stop midway, was as you'd imagine - fabulous sights of London especially at nighttime. The boat was pleasant enough but a seat should have been repaired and was left unused and perhaps each  table should have been covered entirely rather than just a non-slip mat for each place setting. The hors d'hoevre was, for me, the best of the four courses with a fish theme of pate, prawns and smoked salmon accompanied by a fresh seeded roll. All good so far. Tomato soup followed which didn't have much taste and another roll was offered. The main course was a huge portion of unexciting chicken with a small amount of sauce, a very good potato and cheese croquette and fresh vegetables. The chicken let the dish down. The dessert was a round of chocolate mousse with a red coulis. Perfectly pleasant. The live singing was a nice accompaniment to dinner and Amanda managed to get people dancing especially the hospitality students who drank too much, some of whom came to people in our group to take the leftover wine! A higher age-range might be one to consider. The drinks were plentiful with a good choice for non-drinkers. We had a window table which was wonderful.What was the cost? A table by the window would cost around £85 and those further from the window, £80. It's a lot to pay if you have some gripes. But having said all that, I had a great evening, danced, socialised, saw our beautiful city and went home full.

tastemaker

A fancy three hour cruise taking in the highlights of the River Thames with a liver performer, dinner and half a bottle of wine. Sounds lush. 


I thought the food was ok. I didnt expect 5 star gourmet as I was on the boat so I was pleasantly surprised. The prawns (3 of them) were quite fresh. I didnt get a soup as I was too busy on the top deck taking pictures. I am sure I could have requested one if I really wanted it. The mains were huge. The chicken I got probably could have done 4 normal portions for me. I didnt have room for the dessert which apparently was the best bit. 


One highlight for me was the exchange of drinks. As I dont drink for once I was pleasantly surprised it wasnt a 1 for 1 swap from alcohol to soft drink. you can have up to 4 soft drinks during the night which is plenty. 


Toilets were clean too. 


I did think this night was a bit tacky actually but It was good fun and i was prepared for the usual abba classics on the dancefloor which was fun as my pals and I boogied. 


I think they could really improve with laying tablecloths, a tea light on the tables and then instead of a lone singer, get a quartet to serenade during the meal. Might stop those pesky kids coming..... 

tastemaker

*Reviewing City Cruise's Showboat Dinner Cruise*

While the setting is absolutely wonderful - a cruise allowing you to see the some of the most beautiful views in London all lit up - and while the idea has potential, unfortunately the cruise itself was quite underwhelming. The three-hour cruise with City Cruises starts at Westminster pier and takes you under Tower Bridge, in front of the Shard, to the O2, to Greenwich and Canary Wharf with a three-course meal and - we were told - live performances. 


While there was a live performer with a stunning voice, unfortunately she was left to entertain the whole room on her own, asking for birthdays, anniversaries and the like in a format that would have probably entertained a group of pensioners more than your average Londoner. The vibe was also ruined by a group of teenagers who got quite drunk, stole wine from our friends a couple of times, and were sick on the deck, also asking the singer to sing with them in a karaoke we didn't really ask for.

The food - apart from a lovely dessert mousse - was basic and, I'm afraid, not quite fresh. When we walked in a salmon cheesecake had been waiting for us with a side of salmon and shrimp that did not look very appetising for quite a while. The main course - chicken supreme - was dry. Although the set-up included drinks, these were often cold and delivered to the wrong table by the staff more than once. 

In short, although the setting is stunning, the set-up needs some jazzing up, and the food a lot of improvement. Definitely not worth the hefty price tag, starting at £80 and going up for window seats.

tastemaker

*This review is specifically for City Cruise's Showboat Dinner Cruise*


Without wanting to beat about the bush, this cruise was massively disappointing. The description on the City Cruise website implies you are about to embark on a fantastic and unforgettable adventure down the River Thames compete with a sumptuous 4-course meal and stellar entertainment, when in reality the experience is dated and a little cringe. 


In my head, and for the price tag, I was imagining more of a restaurant vibe: dim lighting, table cloths, maybe a faux-candle here and there. Instead we were guided into a canteen setup and seated under the harshest of spotlights to find our fish starters already waiting for us...maybe the worst kind of starter to find lying there waiting. And to be honest it continued to go down hill from there. The food was airplane standard; the energy was non-existent (though props to Amanda the singer who was perhaps the only one trying to get any form of ambience going) and the lighting was so bright you couldn't see out of the windows for the 'stunning views' anyhow.


Then the school children onboard managed to turn the whole thing into a karaoke-cum-school disco. After having repeatedly sweeped unattended tables for dregs of wine, they were drunk and disorderly. One apparently even managed to throw up on the above deck.


The saving grace was perhaps this outdoor upstairs deck that in the end we retreated to to enjoy some of the views in peace. It felt like a very very long 3 hours.


On a more positive note, I think with a few small changes this could be improved massively. Speed the boat up a little and reduce the time; start earlier; encourage people to mingle over their welcome fizz on the upstairs deck from the get go so people know it's there; wait for people to sit down before serving the food; jazz the boat up a bit so it feels more like a restaurant worthy of the cost (dim the lights, use table cloths, maybe add a faux candle for that warm glowy feel); reduce the number of courses to maybe 2 and make them better with perhaps an additional supplement if you want to add a starter/dessert; give the singer a live band to really get the energy going; put in place an age limit. 


I think with these you'd have a much improved product but as it stands, it's not something I'd ever want to try again or recommend. Sorry. 

Tastemaker

I went on a 3-hour dinner showboat cruise with City Cruises. The actual cruise aspect of this is lovely - three hours on the river (although we stopped for at least half an hour for no apparent reason). We got to see some fab sights throughout London at night. We also had a window seat, which was really lovely. 


The starter - a salmon mousse with prawns, tasted nice, and came with a mini roll. The next course - soup - was absolutely fine. The main course was probably the weakest - chicken supreme (dry chicken), with potato (very nice) and veg (nice). The dessert was a sort of chocolate mousse cake, which, again, was nice. 


The red wine was a cabernet sauvignon, and it was nice. It was great that drinks came included in the price. We also got a glass of prosecco on arrival. 


There was a singer called Amanda who sang some show tunes. I really liked her voice, but it would've been nice if she had sung for a bit longer! One of the students (mentioned below) on the cruise was allowed to sing a song. If I wanted to hear karaoke, I would've gone to a karaoke bar. 


I definitely think there should be an age limit to go on the dinner showboat cruise - probably of 21 and over. There were a group of 'hospitality students' on our cruise, who certainly still have a lot of learning to do. In between smoking weed on the deck, and stealing my friends' glasses of wine twice, one of them also found the time to vomit on the deck. Grim. 


There was also a disco at the end, which a lot of people enjoyed, and it was great to go out on the deck and see the sights of London. 


If there was a half star button, I would've given this 3 and a half. The food was very dated (salmon mousse, chicken supreme), and it wouldn't take much to spruce the place up - some table cloths, new chairs, and an age limit on people attending. 


Would I do it again? Yes, but not for £85 a head. 

Tastemaker

I booked this when I had family in town who had difficulty exploring London on foot. It's a decent way to see the sights from the comfort of your seat, and the tour guide is really knowledgable and manages just about the right amount of 'banter'. I would advise arriving way ahead of your booking time if you want a seat on the upper deck, we arrived 15 minutes early and just missed out - you don't want to feel short changed on a sunny day.


I was lucky enough to win tickets to two events in association with City cruises, Timeout and Three! I watched screenings of "Stranger Things" one night and "Narcos" a couple of weeks after that! 


City Cruise cruises are always very good and I had always wanted to go to one of the film screenings that they have had in the past so I was very happy. 


Such a lovely way to see London in a completely different perspective and to fall in love with it all over again! We were taken up the river under all of the incredible bridges from Tower pier and right to the London Eye, where we moored and settled to watch our shows on a big blow up screen. The seats were not very forgiving on the top deck and after an hour of each episode (there were 2 on each night), I was very much uncomfortable - so a film would have been quite the marathon! I recommend taking some cushions if you were going to go to a film event. 


Apart from that though, it was a fabulous evening, downstairs was all themed to each show with fantastic decorations and props and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful - providing blankets when it got a bit chillier in the evening. 


The snacks and drinks were also reasonably priced too- so that helped with the uncomfortable chairs!

Tastemaker

A perfect and unusual way to see the amazing sights of London. Definitely beats traipsing around the streets with sore feet. You'll be able to see all the major sights from the boat cruise so don't forget your camera. Plus you can hop on and hop off at whichever dock you like - very handy indeed. Another bonus is that you can use your oyster card too, so no need to buy tickets beforehand.

Tastemaker

What a fantastic way to explore the city. Even if you are a tourist or a city worker. It's a great way to travel on the Thames. The staff are veg friendly and you can use your Oyster card! The service is regular and there are great views of the city from the river Thames and cross lots of Londons iconic bridges! Top tip Don't forget your selfie stick

Tastemaker

City Cruise is an open top hop-on-hop-off river cruise service on the river Thames.


There’s more to it than just a simple cruise along the river, however. It’s a great way of seeing much of London in one fell swoop. 


If you’re visiting London for a short period and keen to take in as much of London as you can, the river is the best way to do that. So many of London’s popular attraction is close to the river. You have the bonus of onboard commentary of all the sights along the river too. It's informative and insightful with a sprinkle of humour added to boot.


It's runs from Westminster all the way to Greenwich. Every pier is conveniently located close to some of London’s biggest attraction including Big Ben, Tower of London and Cutty Sark in Greenwich.


City Cruises also run speciality cruises too. This means not only can you cruise along the river to get from A to B, but you make a luxurious experience out of it. These speciality cruises serve afternoon tea and lunch. You’ll have to look up their website to find out more details. 


The best time to cruise the river is the summer. You’ll be grateful for the breeze in the height of summer. But avoid going in the winter. It will be freezing and worse case scenario, London fog’s could descend at any time to ruin your view. 


It’s the most enjoyable way of getting around London and offers a different point-of-view of all London’s popular landmarks. Just see my pics below. It’s the perfect experience for the whole family.

Tastemaker

No better or faster way to see all the Iconic London landmarks in one sitting, there is even champagne on board to assist anyone suffering from seasickness (like me).


I took my friend for her 26th birthday to a showboat cruise with live singing, and it was a really special evening. I wasn't sure how much I liked the food, and they came around quite quickly with cocktails that were kind of pushed on us. But the staff in general were really friendly, and the singer did a great job :) It was lovely to see London at night and the boat had an open top so you had the opportunity to go up and take pictures on the upper deck with completely unrestricted views. Going under Tower Bridge in the open air is an amazing experience - everyone should do it!!


As part my touristic weekend we went to the river cruise.

It's nice to see all the beautiful monuments from the river.


It was pretty relaxing.

Tastemaker

If you are tourist with limited time to spend in London, City Cruises is a good choice in order to see (quite close) many London's monuments on a boat. It is too touristic, I know, but even if you are a Londoner you would really enjoy seeing all the usual buildings along Thames from a distance, while being on Thames :) Try the 24hour ticket that allows you to hop-on/hop off as much as you like. You can take tickets from Tower Bridge Pier, go to Greenwich, spend some time to Greenwich park, Prime Meridian etc and return back towards the opposite direction to see the most popular monuments like the Shard, Westminster, London Eye etc. `


We went on the river Thames cruise. it was relly fantastic. The commentary was informative and funny. We enjoyed the cruise as well as had a good laugh. Brilliant. We will definitely do it again


l can imagine the gentle slap of water as we glide along the great River Thames in a ladylike way, the hip smacking comes later after enjoying an excellent dinner and listening to the show tunes. l love musicals and would be unable to resist dancing to the music most of which l will probably know extremely well and should my legs hold out on me, thats what l would do. Thats what l conjure up in my minds eye after reading your description,so thankyou for the brief respite.