The Thames Circular Cruise, due to launch in April, sees a £250,000 revamp of vessel Eleanor Rose.
Operating seven times a day from Tower Pier, the 45-minute cruise with live commentary
New addition RIB BlueLightning is identical to existing the 315 horsepower BlueThunder and will begin this summer for a seven day a week operation, up to four times a day.
City Cruises is also increasing the running of it lunch and afternoon cruise from three days a week to five, while its Show Boat evening dining cruise is also going up from five to seven days a week. The company said the increases were being brought in to cater to demand and will begin in April
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Here are most (yet not quite all) of the W.E White & Sons (Later A.White) fleet over the years. What a wonderful and wide range of classic tugs the company operated with its simple yet memorable large white “W” on a black funnel .
Snow White (now Purbeck John)
She has gone through quite a transformation over the past 5 years or so.
EXPRESS is due to enter service with S.Walsh with craft in bow creek on Monday 13th January
She sat outside Pipers Wharf at Greenwich in this sorry state in 2006
On the 21st April 2010 she was taken into drydock and refitted with a 200bhp Volvo Penta engine, new portholes and a pusher stem
Seen below on trials shortly after coming out of drydock
In December 2013 she was drydocked again, this time to be fitted with a wheelhouse
By the end of December 2013 the S.Walsh livery could be seen
After the Recruit was hit last December by a ship in dense fog , her fate looked bleak. However GPS Marine bought her from Thameside Services at Gravesend and she was towed to Chatham (seen below). In December 2013 she was finally lifted ashore at Chatham Docks and it would appear she is being put back into service! Great news.
Recruit and Mersina arriving in April 2013
Photo: F. Ruler
And how she could look when returned to service (name will most likely be changed to a GPS prefix)
The JANET JAMES has recently been purchased from Portsmouth by CPBS Marine Services and is due to be renamed MAD DOG following the ‘Dog’ prefix in the fleet.
In May 1972 a new company Thames Arrow Express was setup to run a service from Tower Pier to Greenwich using two Hydrofoils. The vessels arrived from Sicily named FRECCIA DI REGGIO and FRECCIA DEL VESUVIO. The service failed after just a few months and the vessels were laid up and eventually leased to Red Funnel in the Solent until late 1973. The vessels then returned to SNAV until they were withdrawn from service in 1994.
A video clip of the vessels leaving Tower Pier can be seen here http://www.britishpathe.com/video/londons-bridges
Around 1980 the Thames saw the introduction of the Boeing 929 Jetfoil – 27.4m in length and 9.5 wide , powered by a Detroit diesel Allison gas turbines rated at 3700bhp each with a top speed of 46knots and cruising speed of 43 knots. The retractable foil could be done underway at up to around 5knots.
The seventh Jetfoil 929 built and the first to enter service on the Thames with P&O was named FLYING PRINCESS and built in Washington in 1976. On June 1st 1977 the London to Zeebrugge started ,although the trial was stopped in September 1978. P&O were to introduce two newer 929-115′s and in Feb 1980 started the London to Ostende service. Three round trips were carried out per day but sadly after only sevon months the service ceased and P&O put the 929′s on the market. Both still operate in Hong Kong.