London river bus services on the Thames

Travelling by river is a great way to get around London. You'll beat the traffic and enjoy fantastic views of London along the way.
An image of Thames Clippers' Galaxy river boat approaching Tower Bridge, taken from river level.
Thames Clippers Galaxy. Image courtesy of Thames Clippers.
  • Thames Clippers operate frequent river bus routes. 

  • Oyster cards and Visitor Oyster cards are accepted on Thames Clippers services.

  • Fares vary according to river zones and discounts; prices start from free for children under five, up to £19.90 for an adult River Roamer ticket. 

  • All London piers are accessible except for Cadogan Pier and London Bridge City Pier. 

Thames Clippers services resume on Monday 15 June with enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures in place. For more information, visit the Thames Clippers website.

Browse the traveller information below for the Thames river bus services, popular with commuters and visitors to London.

Get on board a River Thames bus service for a fast, frequent mode of transport. Most boats have refreshments. You can see London's famous landmarks from the water. Unlike river tours, they generally do not offer a commentary, but you can download the visitor app in:flow for free, and transform your smartphone into a useful and interesting audioguide. This service, along with the fast and efficient links to major London locations along the Thames, makes river buses a great choice for commuters and visitors alike.

River buses are great value and serve five different routes with destinations between Putney and Royal Woolwich Arsenal. Work out where to travel with the Thames Clippers river bus route map.

River bus stops

Thames Clippers operate the river bus routes. Popular stops along the Thames include:

The Woolwich Ferry is a free service between Woolwich and North Woolwich. Visit the Transport for London website for more information.

An image taken from river level as Thames Clippers' Cyclone river boat passes under the Millennium Bridge, with St Paul's Cathedral in the background. 

Thames river bus tickets and timetables

You can buy a ticket from a ticket office seller or machine on the pier before boarding the boat. Travelcard holders can get a one third discount on most riverboat routes.

Pay-as-you-go Oyster cards are accepted on Thames Clippers and give you a discount on most single journeys. You can also pay for your journey with pay-as-you-go Visitor Oyster card credit. Simply tap your card on the yellow disc on the pier before you board and again when you get off. Contactless payment cards are also accepted: customers are charged the same pay-as-you-go fare as using an Oyster card. Please note, pay-as-you-go capping does not apply when using Oyster or Visitor Oyster card to pay for river travel.

If you plan to use the river bus service for several journeys, it could be cheaper to buy a one-day River Roamer ticket (hop-on hop-off day ticket).

For more information, see the TfL website.

How much does the river bus cost? 

Fares on Thames Clippers vary according to the river zones you need to travel through and which discounts, if any, apply to you. Prices range from free for children aged five or under, up to £19.90 for an adult paying at the pier for a River Roamer ticket. Read the full list of fares for Thames Clippers.

Accessibility information

All London's piers are wheelchair accessible, except for Cadogan Pier (which has steps to access) and London Bridge City Pier (which has very steep access at low tide). All river buses have step free access, and newer river craft have wheelchair spaces. You should check with individual service operators about the level of accessibility on their boats.

Staff are always on hand to offer help with boarding and disembarking from river craft. However, it is advisable for people with mobility impairments who are travelling as a group to provide advance notice to the operator concerned, to ensure a smooth journey.

For further information, check the Transport for London website.

River cruises and tours

If you're interested in river trips more suited for tourists, we have separate pages on Thames river cruises, speedboat tours and dinner cruises, which all have commentary on board.