The River Thames has played a crucial role throughout London’s history, but while it may no longer be at the epicentre of the city’s trade and industry, it continues to carry an enduring attraction for both locals and visitors alike. Iconic landmarks such as The Palace of Westminster continue to stand imposingly on the river banks, making it a popular vantage point from which to observe the city.
There are a huge number of tour companies offering river cruises along the Thames. And one of the most atmospheric times to embark on such a trip is during the evening, when the entire city changes character in both look and feel. If you fancy adding dinner into the mix, then you have the perfect package for a great night in this magical city. Check out our pick of Thames dinner cruises below.
From £65 per person
London is home to a thriving jazz scene, and if you fancy listening to some funky jazz but don’t want to be cooped up inside a smoky bar then this 4-hour tour could be just the ticket. Your evening will start with a complimentary glass of champagne aboard your boat, and after setting sail you’ll sit down to a delicious 3-course dinner. As you eat, a high quality jazz band will launch into the first part of their set. You can also peer out of the windows at famous London landmarks including Canary Wharf. Be sure to make room for dessert before the band returns for the second half of their set. The music will continue until you dock at around 11pm to conclude your trip.
£50 per person
Aboard your stylish Bateaux boat you’ll be welcomed by the vessel’s friendly captains before having a chance to settle in and order some refreshments if you wish. As the 3-piece Jazz band strikes up, your delicious Sunday supper will be served in earnest, prepared by award-winning chefs and cooked on-board using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, with menus changing regularly. The jazz will continue as you eat, continuing into the cruise so you can enjoy the magnificent views out of the boat’s large windows as you listen to the melodic tunes.
From £20 per person
Kick back and enjoy a soothing cruise along the legendary River Thames on this 30-minute evening sightseeing trip that passes through the famous town of Oxford. Hop aboard your boat as dusk approaches and head out onto the tranquil waters with your friendly and knowledgeable local guide. Sip a glass of Prosecco, beer, wine or a soft drink and gaze out over Oxford’s beautiful Christchurch Meadows. As you navigate the waters, drifting gently past the university boat houses, your guide will regale you with tales of the city’s rich heritage.
From £75 per person
Located just west of London on the banks of the River Thames, Windsor is one of the UK’s most historically important towns. This cruise gives you a taste of its rich heritage from the vantage point of the equally historic river. The tour is held over 2.5 hours and sees you sail through the Royal Borough past sights including Windsor Castle, Windsor Racecourse, and Eton College. During the trip you’ll savour a 5-course dinner against the backdrop of soothing music played through the boat’s speaker system. Alcoholic drinks including champagne, wine, beers, and spirits are also available to purchase at you own expense. While you dine, you can view Windsor’s twinkling lights as darkness falls, and soak up the romantic atmosphere.
From £80 per person
Enjoy a 3-and-a-quarter-hour dinner cruise on the River Thames that includes a 4-course meal, a live cabaret performance and a chance to dance the night away. During the trip you’ll cruise past some of London’s illuminated landmarks and monuments including the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf, travelling as far as the Thames Barrier before heading back again. You’ll be welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine before sampling a cocktail and sitting down to you sumptuous dinner. After dinner, the live entertainment kicks in, courtesy of a cabaret singer performing tunes from West End Shows both past and present.