The leading tour boat operator on the Thames

City Cruises plc is the leading operator of passenger services on the River Thames, carrying in excess of 2 million passengers annually on our extensive sightseeing, entertainment and charter services.

Now based at Cherry Garden Pier, a romantic-sounding location in south-east London that was once a part of London's huge commercial docks, we operate twelve revenue-earning passenger-carrying boats, along with a small fleet of support vessels and barges.

The key to our development has been consolidation of ownership in a traditionally fragmented industry. On the river's major sightseeing route between Westminster and the Tower, for example, every boat was owned independently until 1992-94, when the interests of all the other operators were acquired and brought together under the City Cruises umbrella.

In 2002 the company acquired The Yard Arm Club Ltd. and, along with it, the Restaurant Ship Hispaniola to add a static vessel to the fleet and a top-class central London restaurant and events venue to the product portfolio.

All of our directors have many years' experience in marine tourism.

City Cruises bought Blue Line Cruises in April 2014. City Cruises Poole, operating as Blue Line Cruises, is the Poole arm of City Cruises, the leading operator of sightseeing services on the River Thames.

The Solent Scene, Dorset's premier vessel, sails from Poole Quay during the winter, connecting with Swanage in the spring and summer.  We offer cruises around Europe’s largest natural harbour, tours of a dramatic coastline, special events and more.

You can book online, ring our Reservations Team on 020 77 400 400 or pick up a ticket from the harbour kiosk.

Our story begins two decades ago...

Although City Cruises Plc did not actually come into being until 1996, the company can trace its roots back twenty years earlier when Gary and Rita Beckwith, Chairman and CEO respectively, acquired a fuel barge with which to supply the various boat operators on the River Thames in London. It was, however, a further nine years before they entered the passenger-carrying business when they acquired their first sightseeing vessel, The King, in 1985.

Gary and Rita are both very active in the London tourism scene, being member's of London and Partners and associate members of UKInbound, the Group Travel Organiser's Association (GTOA) and the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), among others. Gary and Rita both sit on and, in some case, chair various committees.


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  • Be sure to book online for the cheapest possible ticket price!
  • Passengers travelling in electric wheelchairs, please call +44 (0) 20 77 400 400 to confirm sailing times of the larger M2 vessel
  • Although we ask you to select a travel time when booking, if you miss the boat you can still travel on another tour on that day
  • Please check the last boats times so you don't get stranded!
  • Please remember to print your tickets. Tickets presented on a mobile phone might not be accepted.
  • Don't forget to check all our latest deals online!
  • Guests should be ready to board 15 minutes before the departure time
  • All tickets must be booked prior to departure
  • Please remember to check which pier your cruise departs from
  • When booking a Cruise + Attraction package, if you miss your selected boat you can still travel on another tour that day