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.
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.
Gwyn Hughes joined the board as non-executive director in 2009. He brought with him a wealth of experience from his own consultancy, Pinpoint Communications, and from many years sitting on the board of P&O Cruises.