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How to use London's transport: the boats

Use our step-by-step guide for beginners on how to use London's Thames Clippers boats

How to use London transport: using the Thames clippers boats

London can seem scary and so can London’s transport. If you have never used the boat, here is a useful guide explaining how to use it.

The Thames Clipper boats are an ideal way to travel around London on the River Thames, because you get to see the cities iconic sights and the boats also offer more space than the tubes.

Step 1: To go on a Thames Clipper, you must have a ticket or a card to tap in and out with. You can use your contactless card, an Oyster card or you can purchase a ticket for your boat trip. If you are buying a ticket, it is advisable to book or buy online, so you get a cheaper fare. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets at the piers, either from the ticket office or from a ticket machine. If you want more information on ticket prices, click here.

Step 2: At the pier, there will be display boards that show where you should stand to board the boat and what time it will arrive. Make sure you are waiting for the correct boat, because not all of them stop at every pier, if you aren’t certain which boat to board, ask a member of staff.

Step 3: Once your boat is ready to board, a member of staff will ask you to move forward and either scan your card or show your ticket. Do not scan your card before you are asked to do so, because a member of staff needs to see that you have scanned it.

Step 4: Once you have boarded the boat, make your way into the vessel and find a seat. Alternatively, you can stand at the back of the boat to see the sights on the river. On board, there is a bar with food and drinks, should you wish for some refreshments and there is also a toilet.

Step 5: All stops are announced before the boat docks, so that you know when to get off and a member of staff will tell you whether to depart from the front or the back of the boat. You can find all routes and where the boats stop here.

Step 6: Once the boat is safely docked, a member of staff will then allow passengers off the boat. If you used your card to access the boat, remember to tap out again (so you aren’t charged an incorrect fare).

Fun fact: You will see many famous London bridges on your boat ride, such as London Bridge and Tower Bridge. If you watch out, you will also see the remains, some large red pedestals, of the original Blackfriars Rail Bridge, which is in between Blackfriars Road and Rail Bridges. The original was built in 1864 and demolished in 1985.