Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

New Craft for London Thames Commuters Recalls Memories of Dublin Liffey Service

22nd October 2016
Underway in the Pool of London, Thames river-bus Meteor Clipper with RMS St. Helena alongside HMS Belfast. The Royal Mail Ship, RMS St. Helena as reported on Afloat in June made an historic first ever visit to the UK capital. She was due to be decommissioned from routine South Africa-St. Helena route this summer, following construction of the South Atlantic island’s first airport. The airport however has not opened due to aviation safety concerns which has led to extension of RMS service. Underway in the Pool of London, Thames river-bus Meteor Clipper with RMS St. Helena alongside HMS Belfast. The Royal Mail Ship, RMS St. Helena as reported on Afloat in June made an historic first ever visit to the UK capital. She was due to be decommissioned from routine South Africa-St. Helena route this summer, following construction of the South Atlantic island’s first airport. The airport however has not opened due to aviation safety concerns which has led to extension of RMS service. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#CityRiverFerry – Last night’s Late Late Show’s competition for a holiday in the UK capital is where visitors can take in the sights of the famous River Thames, which is to benefit with new larger passenger craft in summer 2017, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The order for a pair of 170 passenger craft represents the largest fast passenger ferries contracted from a UK shipyard in over 25 years. Confirmation of the order was recently announced by shuttle river-bus operator, MBNA Thames Clippers. By the end of this year, they are to carry over four million commuters and tourists alike on Old Father Thames through central London.

MBNA Thames Clippers, have placed the £6.3m order for the 35m high-speed craft with an Isle of Wight yard. They will add 14% in capacity to the network and increase frequency. The newbuilds follow a pair of 150 passenger catamarans dating only to 2015. The fleet currently totals 15 craft, which includes Meteor Clipper pictured above (when captured from under London Bridge). 

Asides the busy commuter routes, MBNA Thames Clipper also serve the O2 Arena (former Millennium Dome) downriver in the north Greenwich area, by making before and after event trips.

This service echoes that of a Dublin operation during the mid-1990’s, where Liffey Line had a shuttle river-bus linking City Quay (near Tara DART Station) downriver to the Point Theatre at the North Wall. This is also where round-trips where made from the city-centre to serve patrons of the theatre. The venue would latter become the The O2 currently is now named the 3Arena. 

The craft used was formerly from the Shannon, in which I recall plying the Liffey with advertising hoardings sponsored by Guinness. At the time this bought fresh memories of the stout tankers, The Lady Patricia and Miranda Guinness that had only been disposed a few years previously.

Afloat on another posting will be examining in more detail other operations on the Liffey. This will feature both past and present 'excursion' only operator, Dublin Discovered Boat Tours. 

Leave a comment

Who is Your Irish Sailor of 2016?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Clubs

DBSC
National Yacht Club

Featured Associations

Irish Sailing Association
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

vdlr sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
Tom MacSweeney - This Island Nation
RTE Seascapes
BSB sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating