The 5 Best Thames River Dinner Cruises [2022 Reviews]

While you are in London enjoy a sightseeing and dinner cruise on the Thames River

London is certainly a hot spot for tourists and locals alike, as it has just about everything you could want or need. The Thames river and surrounding areas are particularly popular, with beautiful views of the water, bridges, and more.

Dinner cruise tours have quickly grown in popularity, offering a relaxing way to enjoy a delicious meal with an elegant twist. If you’re looking for a great restaurant, may as well take it up a notch and enjoy one of these selections!

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to do the “hard” part for you, bringing you the top Thames River dinner cruises in London!

Best Dinner Cruises on the Thames River

 Thames River Luxury Dinner Cruise w/ Live MusicLondon Thames River Sunset Dinner CruiseRiver Thames Evening Cruise with Bubbly and Canapés

Best Evening Cruise

Best Dinner Cruise

Best Budget Cruise

editors choice
 London: River Thames Luxury Dinner Cruise with Live Music London Thames River Dinner Cruise London: River Thames Evening Cruise with Bubbly and Canapés
Departure:Victoria Embankment PierVictoria Embankment PierTower Millennium Pier
Start:7:15 PM 6:30 PM6:30 PM
Duration:2.5 to 3 hours2 hours, 45 minutes2 hours
Includes:River cruise 3 or 5 course dinner, depending on option, welcome drink, wine, mineral water, live bandFive-course à la carte menu, live entertainment, wine throughout dinner, prosecco, beer and soft drinks Canapes, river cruise, 1 glass of sparkling wine or 1 soft drink on arrival

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Thames River Dinner Cruises For 2022

  1. Best Evening Cruise: River Thames Luxury Dinner Cruise with Live Music
  2. Best Dinner Cruise: London Thames River Dinner Cruise
  3. Best Budget Cruise: London: River Thames Evening Cruise with Bubbly and Canapés
  4. Best Value Cruise: London: River Thames Dinner Cruise
  5. Best Lunch Cruise: Thames River Sightseeing Cruise with Afternoon Tea

Thames River Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise Reviews

1. Best Evening Cruise: River Thames Luxury Dinner Cruise with Live Music

 London: River Thames Luxury Dinner Cruise with Live Music

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
  • Departure: Victoria Embankment Pier
  • Departure Time: 7:15 PM
  • Includes: River cruise on Thames, 3-course (Gold) or 5-course (Platinum) dinner, depending on option selected, welcome drink (Platinum option only), half a bottle of wine (Gold option) or free-flowing wine (Platinum option), mineral water, live band on board

Who doesn’t love dining or drinking in the midst of some good live music? You’ll get all that and more with the London: River Thames Luxury Dinner Cruise with Live Music! You get to choose between either a 3-course or 5-course of an array of mouth-watering dishes, with some of the best views of the city!

Lasting around 3 hours, it’s one of the longer tours on our guide. This makes it a great date night activity, or for going out with friends as well! We don’t really recommend it for younger children, however, as the overall theme really is a bit more designed for adults.

Start by boarding the Pleasure Boat at Embankment Pier, which is aptly named considering you’re about to have a ton of fun onboard! Start off by cruising along the famous river, taking in incredible sights from some of the most legendary landmarks!

The Houses of Parliament, the massive London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and more! This also is a great way to check out places to further explore later on, once you’re not on the cruise! There are 2 different choices: Gold or Platinum.

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The Gold option includes half a bottle of wine, and a 3-course menu, while the Platinum option includes a welcome drink to sip on while you wait to board the boat, “limitless” wine, and a 5-course menu.

As you listen to amazing live music, you’ll enjoy plates such as: Courgette, green olive, and basil tart, roast chicken, pea a la Francaise, tortellini, potato Devonshire crab tortellini, cherry tomato compote, and an array of mouth-watering desserts!

We really appreciated that the staff welcomes guests to take their time, even after docked, to stay and have some drinks.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Best Dinner Cruise: London Thames River Sunset Dinner Cruise

London Thames River Dinner Cruise

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Departure: Victoria Embankment Pier
  • Departure Time: 6:30 PM
  • Includes: Five-course à la carte menu, live entertainment, wine throughout dinner, prosecco, beer and soft drinks

This next cruise is very similar to the one we just covered, and is perfect for small groups or couples. The London Thames River Dinner Cruise is also around 3 hours long, consisting of a couple different dinner options that you’re sure to love.

If you’re looking for a way to see some of the top sights of the city without walking around, this is a great option.

Make sure before anything else, you select the dinner option you want. The Premier Dinner option includes wine and mineral water (however, beer and other alcoholic beverages are extra, regardless of the option you select).

Meet at the Embankment Pier and walk down the ramp to check in and board your elegant Scandinavian cruiser boat for the evening. The staff will welcome you and bring you to your table, where you’ll be able to take in amazing views of the river and the surrounding sights.

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The furniture is beautiful, complete with a dining area, large outer deck for prime viewing, and a glass room which offers great views with protection from the climate even if the weather isn’t ideal. Keep in mind that the menu does change frequently.

With live entertainment, you’ll love watching as you cruise along the river while the sun sets. The relaxed atmosphere combined with the great service and tasty food really makes for a fantastic time.

You’ll see the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Tate Modern, London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and even head under the notorious Tower Bridge.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Other Experiences You May Enjoy:


3. Best Budget Cruise: River Thames Evening Cruise with Bubbly and Canapés

 London: River Thames Evening Cruise with Bubbly and Canapés

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Departure: Tower Millennium Pier, Lower Thames St
  • Departure Time: 6:30 PM
  • Includes: Canapes, river cruise, 1 glass of sparkling wine or 1 soft drink on arrival

Are you looking for a slightly shorter cruise or maybe one that offers a vibe that’s perfect for socializing with others? If so, check out the London: River Thames Evening Cruise with Bubbly and Canapes.

This is a sunset cruise where you’ll enjoy the beautiful river in both the daytime and nighttime while you listen to smooth jazz and pop while enjoying some sparkling wine and canapes.

From the title alone, you can probably guess that this cruise isn’t ideal for younger children. However, if you have teenagers they’ll probably enjoy the canapes and live music while hanging out on board!

London really is a beautiful city with a fascinating history and architecture to match, so you’re in for a real treat! We found the boat to be very clean, with friendly, well-organized staff who did a great job.

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They’ll get you all sorted as the sun starts going down and the lights turn on. Enjoy a refreshing glass of sparkling wine and an array of different canapes as you enjoy the view. They really do offer a nice amount and options of canapes for the price.

You’ll see the usual suspects, like the London Eye, Tower of London, Canary Wharf skyscrapers, Tower Bridge, and much more. The background music consists of a calm jazz and chill-out pop from live performers, which really suits the environment perfectly.

If you’re looking to spend a couple of hours at night before dinner or just want to see some of the most popular attractions from a different perspective, this is a wonderful option.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience



4. Best Value Cruise: London River Thames Dinner Cruise

 London: River Thames Dinner Cruise

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Westminster Pier
  • Departure Time: 7:45 PM
  • Includes: Dinner and dance boat cruise, 1 glass of sparkling wine per person on arrival, 4-course dinner with tea and coffee

This one is yet another 3-hour dinner cruise that is one of the crowd favorites. The London: River Thames Dinner Cruise is a bit different than most others in that you’ll have live performances and music, but this one includes live cabaret performances!

One thing is for sure – you won’t be short on entertainment! Meet at Westminster Pier to board the boat. We found that the staff and service were incredible right from the beginning.

There’s someone waiting to greet you as you board and will help direct you to make sure everyone knows where they’re going and is taken care of.

As you arrive, you’ll be served a glass of sparkling wine to enjoy before eating dinner. Once you settle at your table, you’ll be served a 4-course meal.

We found each course to be well-timed so you never feel overwhelmed nor waiting around for the next to arrive. The food itself was delicious and looked pretty, too!

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After eating dinner, you’ll be offered either a tea or coffee to sip while you enjoy the live singer who sings tunes from West End shows! Dancing is also encouraged, and is definitely likely as the performers really are great at what they do!

It’s definitely a very light-hearted experience, and is even more enjoyable watching some of the most iconic London attractions lit up from the river!

If you’re more into just gazing out at the sights, we suggest heading up to the top deck of the boat! Here, it’s a bit more secluded, quiet, and ideal for taking photos or simply staring in awe at these beautiful landmarks.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


5. Best Lunch Cruise: Thames River Sightseeing Cruise with Afternoon Tea

Thames River Sightseeing Cruise with Afternoon Tea

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Departure: Tower Pier, London
  • Departure Time: 3:30 PM
  • Includes: Cruise, afternoon tea – selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones

Are you on the hunt for a cruise that’s shorter and easier to fit into a busy schedule? Perhaps you’re looking for a cruise that’s just scheduled in the daytime? If that sounds like you, then we highly recommend booking the Thames River Sightseeing Cruise with Afternoon Tea.

Lasting 1.5 hours, it’s a fabulous way to incorporate extra sightseeing and relaxation in-between other adventures throughout the day! What is more British than enjoying a luxurious time sipping on tea, delicious cakes, while viewing some of the most important London landmarks?

Meet up at the Tower Pier located in central London to board your elegant boat and get ready for your cruise! We all know that London’s weather can be a bit unpredictable, so head into the cozy indoor saloon where you’ll get full panoramas of the shoreline!

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The walls are all made of a sturdy glass so you get stunning views without the wind or rain!

You’ll first head by the (supposedly haunted) Tower of London, which has a pretty interesting history of its own. Next, you’ll see the fantastic Shard building which is hard to miss, as it’s almost 100 stories and made of glass!

Shakespeare’s legendary Globe Theatre comes next, followed by the London Eye, South Bank entertainers, Houses of Parliament, and more.

While you check out the sights, enjoy some tea, an array of freshly-baked cakes, scones, and sandwiches.

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat a tasty lunch, we highly recommend just boarding this cruise instead! You’ll spend the same amount of time you would at a restaurant, with a lot more to offer!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


London Travel Guide

best thames river sightseeing cuise

Planning Guide For Your London Trip

If you’re planning a trip to London anytime soon, be sure to add one of the best Stonehenge tours from London to your itinerary. But which ones are the best? We’ve reviewed the top 5 Stonehenge tours and provided you with a guide for visiting both Stonehenge and London.

Most likely, your day trip to Stonehenge from London will be a small part of your vacation to this historic English city. Here, we offer a guide to visiting London, from the airport you will be arriving at to other attractions you may want to visit and even the weather.

Let’s help you make the most of your vacation to London!

Airports & Entry

There are five airports that service London, England. If you are traveling abroad, you will most likely be arriving at London Heathrow. For shorter flights departing European airports, should you be heading to London from a previous vacation spot, you may fly into one of these smaller London airports:

  • London City
  • London Gatwick
  • London Luton
  • London Stansted

To enter the United Kingdom, UK, you will need a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for your entire stay and can’t expire before your expected departure.

Planning Tips

Visiting London is unlike visiting any other city on earth. Because of this, you will want to keep some things in mind when planning and packing. We list our top 5 tips for visiting London below. Do you have additional tips to suggest? We’d love for you to comment them below!

Tip #1: Bring Your Walking Shoes

Much of your travel around the city will be walking. Even when you head out of town for a day tour, such as those to Stonehenge, most of the tours require quite a bit of walking. It’s best to be relaxed wearing athletic shoes instead of wearing more fashionable shoes that can make the necessary walking uncomfortable.

Tip #2: Bring a Converter or Transformer

Your electric and electronic devices made for use in the US will not work in the UK without a converter or transformer. A converter is made to use with electronics such as your phone or tablet and a transformer with electric devices such as a hairdryer. The US runs on 120 V and the UK on 240. This means that using your US devices without a voltage converter or transformer in the UK may damage them.

Tip #3: Start Planning Your Trip Early

London receives millions of tourists each year. This means that you will most likely have to book tours well in advance. You should also book your accommodations and reservations in restaurants as soon as possible. This is especially true for tickets to theater events and shows.

Tip #4: Always Bring an Umbrella

It doesn’t matter what time of year you’re visiting London, quick showers and rainstorms are always a possibility. It’s best to bring an umbrella with you as purchasing one at a convenient location in the city will most likely cost much more. A collapsible umbrella that is easy to carry with you is ideal.

Tip #5: Start Budgeting in Advance

London is quite an expensive city to visit but it’s worth it. Be sure you have budgeted for your flight and accommodations as well as your daily meals. You should have plenty of British pounds, the local currency, on hand as taxis and some stores may not take debit or credit cards. Also, keep in mind that the farther out your trip is planned, the better deals you will get, especially on accommodations.

Restaurants & Eating Out

There are several Dishoom restaurants located around the city. These restaurants serve high quality and delicious Indian food within a modern atmosphere. London is one of the best places to enjoy Indian food outside of India. These restaurants often have a wait but the wait is well worth it.

Not only will you want to experience the delicious Indian food, it also wouldn’t be a trip to London without an afternoon tea. There are plenty of places around town to enjoy your tea, but afternoon tea at The Savoy Hotel, London is something not to be missed. Sketch is another afternoon tea hotspot offering a unique experience.

If you’re looking for a meal with a great view, you’ll want to make reservations at the Duck & Waffle. However, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the most popular meal in London, fish and chips, at many local hotspots.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Nightlife in London can be anything you’d like it to be. There are nighttime tours of the city and surrounding areas for something a little more low-key, or you can head to a nightclub or one of the many music venues to turn up the entertainment dial.

From standup comedy and dramatic theater to the trendy clubs of the West End and even the casinos that can be found around town, nightlife in London is perfect for everyone.

Getting Around

As mentioned, visiting London requires a lot of walking. However, you can also choose to ride the subway, board a boat, or even hop on a bus or take a taxi. You may find the subway also referred to as “the underground” or “the tube.”

The cost of transportation by any of these methods will be determined by your destination’s distance from central London. The city and surrounding areas are divided into zones that determine distance and cost. If you’re going to be visiting for at least a few days, you may want to invest in a daily or weekly Travelcard pass.

Accommodations

There are many choices in accommodations when visiting London. You may find a great Airbnb location, and you can also find everything from a small hostel to a five-star, luxury hotel. The accommodations you choose should be determined by your budget, but also by the type of experience you’re looking for. An Airbnb can instantly make you feel like a local.

A hostel can provide plenty of opportunities to meet other tourists and learn more about attractions and eateries. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, the Camden Enterprise Hotel or even the Dorset City London can provide it.

Weather

The average low temperatures during the winter months are in the mid-40s Fahrenheit or around 7°C. These mild winter temperatures make London an ideal vacation spot for the holidays. July, London’s hottest month of the year, usually doesn’t reach the 70s Fahrenheit, or above 18⁰ Celsius.

Even with mild temperatures during the summer, it can feel quite humid and you may run into a short shower or two. Once again, always have an umbrella handy.

Attractions

A vacation to London necessitates a visit to Buckingham Palace. Other attractions include the Coca-Cola London Eye, the Ferris wheel easily seen in every London skyline, as well as historical landmarks such as Kensington Palace, the London Tower, or the Churchill War Rooms.

While in London, be sure to visit one of the many museums and art galleries that can be found in nearly every area of the city. Parks, waterfronts, and bridges provide great photo ops and can provide a beautiful place to rest and take in the local sights.

If you want to see a castle, the Windsor Castle is a don’t miss! This 1000 year old castle has been home to 39 monarchs and currently the Queen spends many weekends there. To fully appreciate the splendor, be sure to take a guided tour of Windsor Castle.

The History, Beauty, in the Cotswolds and Oxford

When planning your vacation to London, be sure to plan for a day trip to the Cortswods  while there. The best guided tour from London to Oxford and the Cotswords will allow you to experience the English countryside.

However, that doesn’t mean you can skip on visiting the many museums and art galleries, enjoying some of the best food available, and taking time to appreciate the beautiful mix of modern style and historical sites that London provides.

Enjoy your trip to London!

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The Luxury Dinner Cruise with Live Music is our Editors Choice for the best Thames River dinner cruise

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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