After 7 years! (Yes it really has been that long..) the Chevening has finally been rebuilt and launched by new owners Thames Cruises under the new name of River Princess.
Thames Cruises bought Chevening from Catamaran Cruisers in 2008 and after a brief spell moored at Westminster (photo below) she was moved up river to Eel Pie Island.
Photo: Ian Boyle 2008
By 2009 Chevening had her wheelhouse cut off and her stair casing removed and she stayed like this until 2013 when her rebuild started to take shape.
Just as we were all starting to wonder if she would ever be completed… she returns to the water once more under the new name of River Princess. This seems to follow the pattern of other vessels in the fleet such as Royal Princess and Thames Princess (although not Viscountess and Old London of course)
Photo by Christian
Chevening was built in 1974 for Thomas Hugan for Greenwich Pleasurecraft , however by 1984 passed to Catamaran Cruisers who operated the vessel until the company ceased trading in 2007. Thames Cruises purchased her in 2008.
Although the current passenger numbers and specs for River Princess are not known, she was licensed for 250 passengers and 4 crew in 2007. I can only assume she has the same engine which is a Volvo TMD 102A fitted in 1997.
Having worked on this boat myself, I always found her a pleasure to be onboard. The boat handled very well and the open top deck at the time made her great for summer sightseeing. It is certainly promising news to see a boat that was greatly missed over the past 7 years returning to the tideway once more.