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City Cruises Unveils New RiverLiner

City Cruises Media Release

The Third-Generation RiverLiner

Click on image to enlarge
 Click on image to enlarge

City Cruises, London's award-winning rivertour business, has unveiled details of its next generation leisure and tourism vessel.  The 600 passenger RiverLiner will be the largest in scheduled service on the River Thames when it arrives in Spring 2012. 

The design builds on the company's 25 years experience operating passenger boat services in London and is the third generation of the successful RiverLiner concept which has transformed sightseeing on the River Thames.  

Scheduled to come into operation for the 2012 Olympics, it will be the first large passenger vessel  in the United Kingdom to be built under new safety regulations which were introduced last year by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.   

The third-generation RiverLiner (codenamed 3GR) will enable City Cruises to expand its popular Central London route, which links the three World Heritage Sites of Westminster, the Tower of London and historic Maritime Greenwich. This currently attracts about 2m passengers a year.

Designed and built in Croatia, the 3GR is part of a £4million fleet upgrade programme which signals the company's commitment to the  long-term growth of the passenger business on the River Thames.

With its unique design and elegant interior, this next generation RiverLiner will have an enclosed, fully air-conditioned main deck built for customer comfort with seating at tables which can be used both for sightseeing, dining and entertainment cruises. Uninterrupted panoramic views will be possible as a result of the increased window capacity around the saloon and swivel seating.  The open top deck will offer passengers the opportunity to see the sights and attractions on the river and experience the light and air of London's largest open space

Passengers will be able to buy light snacks and refreshments from the stylish bar located across the rear of the saloon while enjoying the sights through the rear windows - making this the first RiverLiner to offer 360-degree all round views from the saloon.  A second smaller bar on the top deck will sell cold refreshments.  

The 3GR will offer full access to the mobility impaired with level entry on to the vessel, accessible toilets and a wheelchair lift to the upper deck. An induction loop system will also be in place to assist the hard of hearing.

Passengers can expect a smoother, more stable and quieter ride as a result of the advanced catamaran design, which has been developed and tested using the latest computer simulations and tank-testing - another first for the 3GR.

Click on image to enlarge
 Click on image to enlarge

A number of green features have been incorporated into the design.  The vessel will feature solar panels, which will continuously recharge the batteries, vacuum flush toilets, which only use one-third of the water required by traditional systems, onboard recycling facilities and energy efficient diesel engines.

"The London 2012 Olympic Games are providing a catalyst for expansion and enabled the company to commit to the development of the new vessel, which will allow us to deliver an inspiring experience on the River Thames for our passengers," commented Gary Beckwith, Chairman of City Cruises. 

City Cruises currently operates all-year sightseeing, lunch and dinner cruises, special events and charters as well as the Restaurant Ship Hispaniola, which is permanently moored on Victoria Embankment, opposite the EDF Energy London Eye.

3GR Fact Sheet

  • 37m length overall x 14.5m beam.
  • 3 decks; lower deck, enclosed main saloon deck and upper open-air deck.
  • A capacity of up to 600 passengerswith a large open-top deck.
  • Air conditioned saloon with swivel seating at tables.
  • Fixed seating on the top deck.
  • A bar located across the rear of the saloon, in front of the rear windows that span the width of the vessel.
  • A cold refreshments bar on the top deck.
  • The main toilets are located on the lower deck, freeing up space in the saloon.
  • Wheelchair-accessible toilets in the saloon with baby changing facilities.
  • A cloakroom with storage for folded buggies.
  • Dance floor in the saloon.
  • The saloon ceiling will have varying heights and sophisticated mood lighting options to create a more intimate ambience.
  • A high specification audio visual system. 
  • WiFi and Internet access points in the saloon.
  • Catamaran design of steel construction with an aluminum superstructure.
  • Designed and built in Croatia by Brodarski and Tehnomont respectively.

City Cruises Fact Sheet

  • City Cruises was established in 1936 and bought by Gary and Rita Beckwith in 1988.  Gary and Rita Beckwith have owned businesses on the River Thames since 1977.
  • City Cruises has a fleet of 15 boats, including five RiverLiners, four of which were built to operate the service to the Millennium Dome in 2000.
  • City Cruises operates sightseeing cruises.
  • City Cruises employs about 150 people.
  • City Cruises carries close to 2 million passengers a year. 
  • City Cruises generates sales of £10 million a year. 
  • City Cruises has won many awards:
    • 1997 Docklands Business Award - Investing in the future.
    • 1999 London Tourism Awards - Green Award for Tourism.
    • Nine times winner of the Group Travel Awards - Best Inland Canal and Riverboat Operator between 1999 and 2010.
    • 2001 and 2003 London Tourism Awards - Sightseeing Tour of the Year.
    • 2002 InnerCity 100.
    • 2004 Essex and East London Business Awards - Business of the Year.
    • 2009/2010 Coutts Prize for Family Business - Best UK Family Business, London Region.
    • 2011 UKinbound Awards - Transport Provider of the Year.

For further information & pictures: 

Sara Tauxe, Azure PR, Tel: 0208 395 5615 or Ken Welsby, City Cruises, Tel: 020 77 400 400 (Mobile: 07939 475197)