Business

I took a ride on an Uber Boat down the River Thames in London. It was much more fun than an Uber taxi and I got to see lots of landmarks.

Uber Boat coming towards Battersea platform
The Uber Boat approaching Battersea platform.

  • Uber Boat by Thames Clippers drops passengers off at 23 piers along the River Thames in London.
  • Passengers can grab drinks and snacks onboard, and spot famous London landmarks.
  • The boat arrived 20 minutes late, and the trip was meant to last 40 minutes but took an hour.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Uber Boat is a river bus service on the River Thames in London, England.

Uber Boat coming towards Battersea platform
Uber Boat approaching Battersea platform.

I’m always taking Uber taxis and wondered what it would be like to take an Uber Boat for a change.

Traveling down the Thames on an Uber Boat
Traveling down the River Thames.

I thought the price was reasonable for my journey from Battersea in southwest London to Canary Wharf in east London.

Screenshot of boat prices on Uber app
Screenshot of boat prices on Uber app.

Passengers can also pay at a ticket office or tap a machine with their credit card. The different payment options caused some confusion among boarding passengers. This added to the journey time.

Ticket station at Canary Wharf
Traveling down the Thames on an Uber Boat.

The timetable showed that the Uber Boat would arrive at 3:15.p.m. After it was 15 minutes late, passengers waiting on the platform began asking each other when it was due to arrive.

People waiting on boat platform
Passengers waiting for Uber Boat on the platform at Battersea.

After 20 minutes of standing on the bobbing platform, the boat rocked up.

Uber Boat coming towards Battersea platform
Uber Boat approaching Battersea platform.

Uber Boat’s interior is modern and spacious. The leather seats were comfortable and there was lots of light in the cabin. It felt like I was sitting on a first-class train.

A look inside the Uber Boat
Comfortable seating.

The seating area at the back wasn’t as nice as the inside, but the views and blast of fresh air made it worth it.

Seats at the back of the boat
The outside seating area.

There was also a cafe onboard, where passengers could buy drinks and snacks. The barista brought hot drinks to people’s seats.

Cafe in the Uber Boat
Refreshments being served.

There was a range of drinks available to buy, including prosecco, wine, beer, and soft drinks.

Picture of drinks served at the cafe
The range of drinks in the cafe.

I bought a beer for the ride!

Reporter holds up a beer to the camera
One of many onboard drink options.

There were lots of other Uber Boats passing by on the River Thames. Uber and Thames Clipper said on their website they have a fleet of 20 boats.

An Uber Boat passing by on the river
Passing a fellow Uber Boat.

Each boat stops at 23 piers along the River Thames, starting at Putney pier in southwest London and ending at Woolwich pier in the southeast.

Uber Boat driving past London Eye
A view of the London Eye and other landmarks.

The best part of the trip was spotting some of city’s famous landmarks, including the London Eye, which you can’t properly see in a taxi.

View of the London Eye
A view of the London Eye from the back of the boat.

I sat on the back bench of the boat – a tourist hotspot – and enjoyed looking back on the river.

Selfie of reporter Kate Duffy holding a beer at the back of the boat
Traveling down the Thames on an Uber Boat.

Every now and then, I got sprayed with water from the engines. It’s not the type of transport to travel on when it’s wet and windy.

View of the river from seats at the back of the boat
Water spraying around the boat.

It was quite difficult to walk off the boat because of the water bobbing the platform. This, coupled with passengers’ confusion about tickets, meant there were long waiting times at each stop.

Lines of passengers leaving the boat
Passengers coming onboard.

For the remainder of the trip, I sat inside the boat.

Selfie of reporter inside Uber Boat
The inside seating area.

Although I was inside, I still had a great view of the sights because of the boat’s tall windows.

High windows inside Uber Boat
The boat passing London landmarks.

The windows, which are tinted on the outside, didn’t stop me from taking clear photos behind the glass either.

Uber Boat passing by on the river
City views.

Uber Boat’s website says it takes 26 minutes to get from my starting point, Battersea, to London Bridge City. Canary Wharf is two stops along from London Bridge City so it should have taken an extra 10 minutes to get to my destination.

View out the back of the boat
End of the journey.

The journey took an hour in total. This was because of the waiting times between each stop.

Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf.

A taxi back to where I started in Battersea took 15 minutes less but was almost double the price of the Uber Boat.

Screenshot of Uber taxi ride back to Battersea
Screenshot of Uber taxi ride back to Battersea.

Overall, I would much prefer to travel with Uber Boat than Uber taxis because of the comfort and sightseeing. But I can’t rely on the boat’s unreliable timetable and long waiting times.

Traveling in an Uber taxi
Traveling home in an Uber taxi.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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