FAQ

We have listed below a collection of frequently asked questions that we receive, along with their relevant answers. We hope they provide sufficient information to any queries you may have.

Q: What vessels do you operate?

A: We operate a selection of modern and spacious vessels. In terms of style, they range from traditional to a more contemporary feel - to ensure whatever the event, we have the right option. The boats vary in size, holding a capacity of between 2 and 500 guests and they all have indoor and outdoor spaces; making them a perfect all-year round venue for a wide range of events.

This includes:

Corporate

  • Summer party
  • Christmas party
  • Conference function
  • Social gathering
  • Meeting 
  • Networking event
  • Team building
  • Product launch
  • Award ceremony
  • Company anniversary
  • Transfer

Personal

  • Wedding reception
  • Birthday party
  • Anniversary
  • Religious ceremony
  • Engagement party
  • Proposal
  • Student event

The vessels are subjected to an annual inspection in order to be awarded a passenger carrying certificate.

Q: Why choose a river venue?

A: A cruise along the River Thames offers a completely unique way to host and enjoy an event. With London’s iconic skyline as the backdrop, your guests will be treated to a function to remember. 

The ever-changing panoramic views are both breathtaking and offer fantastic photo opportunities. For those who have travelled from outside London, this is also a superb way to view the famous capital.

This is an event that your guests won’t want to miss out on.

Q: Why choose us over other boat companies?

A: We offer a high quality, five-star service. Our experienced and dedicated Project Management team work closely alongside you every step of the way, from when you first make the enquiry to the big day.

We pride ourselves on our ability to offer a completely bespoke service that ticks all of your specific requirements and not only meets your expectations, but exceeds them.

At West End on the Thames we don’t just create events, we create experiences.

Q: Can we have our wedding ceremony on the boat?

A: We can arrange for a blessing on board but it will not be legally binding. We do however have partnerships with ceremony venues located near the piers which ties in perfectly with a reception on the vessel.

Q: Will the boat move or is it stationed?

A: We can offer either, or both (see question below), although we do recommend a moving vessel, as you get to experience the Thames fully that way. However, the choice is up to you!

Q: Can we request extra pier stops, or moorings during the event?

A: To create a more flexible schedule, we can add further pick/drop offs, or extended moored periods.

This is particular popular with our corporate market who have guests/staff arriving at different times. If you require further information on this, please speak with a member of our sales team and they will be happy to help.

Q: What pier does will the vessel embark and disembark from?

A: There are a number of piers that you can choose to embark and disembark from along the River Thames.

The pier you embark from will be the pier you also disembark from, unless you specify otherwise.

Available piers:

  • Westminster Pier
  • Waterloo Pier
  • Embankment Pier
  • Tower Pier
  • Festival Pier
  • Putney Pier
  • St Katherine’s Pier
  • Canary Wharf Pier
  • Greenwich Pier
  • North Greenwich Pier
  • London Eye Pier
  • Cadogan Pier
  • Bankside Pier

Please note that we cannot book a pier until an event is confirmed, as there is a fee to secure the slot with the pier masters.

All piers are subject to availability as the River Thames is a very busy waterway. Therefore, the earlier you book the more chance you have of securing your preferred choice.

Q: What route will the boat take?

A: The route the vessel takes will be dependent on the tide on that particular day, but our captain will always try to cover as much of the river as possible, so that you get to see all the famous landmarks!

Q: What are your health and safety procedures?

A: We take the health and safety of everyone on board our vessels extremely seriously. As such, we have a rigorous protocol in place:

  • Vessels have annual inspections to ensure they meet government guidelines
  • A risk assessment is carried out before every event
  • First aiders are always on board at any event
  • Life jackets and emergency exits. A safety announcement before the event will give exact details on the location of these
  • Full vessel clean and sanitisation carried out before every event
  • All of the kitchens follow the food safety guidelines
  • Highly trained and experienced crew
  • Safety advice given to all clients in their booking form

Q: What happens if there is bad weather?

A: Our experienced team regularly checks weather reports in the run up to all of our events and are able to tweak the itinerary to reflect this at very short notice.

The spacious interior has plenty of seating and standing room, so the event can continue unhindered whatever the weather. It is also temperature controlled and will be kept warm at all times, while we provide umbrellas and blankets for those who wish to remain outdoors.

Large panoramic windows ensure guests can enjoy the spectacular views of London’s skyline while staying warm and dry.

Q: What if I, or one of my guests, has seasickness?

A: This is a highly rare occurrence, as the River Thames is relatively calm and our vessels are large (usually this occurs on smaller boats).

However, if someone does have seasickness, our experienced crew will do all they can to help the individual. In emergency cases we can stop the vessel and allow them to disembark.

Q: Are children allowed on the boats?

A: Yes. There are no age restrictions on who can come on board, but anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

We can also provide on board security should it be required.

Q: Do you provide catering?

A: Yes. We know that catering is an important part of any successful function and we provide a wide range of options to ensure all tastes are covered.

  • Canapés
  • Grazing station
  • Bowl food
  • Street food
  • Two course seated buffet
  • Barbecue
  • Three course seated dinner

This is delivered and served in a professional manner, which can be as formal or informal as you require.

Please note that all catering has to be booked in advance. We also cater for all dietary requirements, including specifics - such as Halal, Kosher etc.

Q: Can we provide our own catering?

A: If you wish to bring your own catering there is a surcharge fee of £160 (Exc VAT) for groups of less than 60 guests, or £3.00 per person (Exc VAT) for groups of more than 60 guests. We can only permit cold food to be brought on board; our catering team, for health and safety reasons, must supply any hot food.

Q: Can we purchase drinks in advance?

A: There are a variety of bar options available for your function. For example, we can add any of the following to your pre-event package:

  • Reception drink – served by our team to your guests upon arrival
  • Drink tokens – these will be handed out by our event team to your guests as they board. Each token can be used at the bar to redeem a drink
  • Unlimited drinks – this can be personalised to cover just soft drinks, just alcoholic drinks, or both.

Alternatively, you can set up a bar tab when you arrive at the venue with your West End on the Thames event manager.

Q: Can we come on-board early to set up?

A: Our experienced and dedicated team will take care of everything in the set up so that you don’t need to. We work closely alongside you in the planning and organisation stage to make sure we have met all your specific requirements.

However, if you do wish to be present during set up then we may need to book another pier stop and this could incur an additional charge. You can also send items to our office prior to the event, but this may also incur further charges.

Q: What entertainment and decorations options are there?

A: The vessels are incredibly versatile and can be tailored to suit the purpose of your event. There are many ways to personalise your function, such as:

Decoration:

  • Outdoor or indoor furniture
  • Personalised branding options
  • Themes throughout the vessel
  • Flowers
  • Lighting
  • Boat flag

Entertainment:

  • Live bands/artists
  • DJs
  • Casino tables
  • Tour guide
  • Photo booth
  • Magician
  • Karaoke
  • Projector/or plasma screens

Q: Can we smoke or vape on board?

A: Yes, but please make sure this is limited to the outdoor decks only. Dispensers are provided for disposing of cigarettes.

Need more information?

If you have any further queries, which are not listed above, please contact our team on 020 7345 5321 or via email at sales@westendonthethames.com

Some of our clients...

020 7345 5321