Looking for things to do in London that involve sightseeing and thrill seeking? If so, the City Cruises London ThamesJet experience should be at the top of your list.
Mr. Sunny and I had the chance to take this speed boat tour on the River Thames, and we both feel it 100% ROCKED! And we have the video to prove it!
When we received an invitation to enjoy the City Cruises London ThamesJet experience, I grabbed my GoPro HERO and screamed ‘Game on, yo!’
Since the weather has been getting warmer in London and the hours of sunshine are even longer, I miss my childhood life of playing on Florida beaches and cruising on boats even more. However, in Florida it’s not possible to take a speed boat cruise while passing the world’s most famous landmarks and monuments.
Seeing porpoises, manatees and gators while whizzing around the Intercoastal Waterway in Daytona is fun, but the City Cruises London ThamesJet experience is historically EPIC.
Here’s how it works…
You can schedule your tickets in advance on the City Cruises ThamesJet. Mr. Sunny and I enjoyed the ThamesRush experience, which is 50 minutes and costs £35 per person. With our printed tickets in hand, we arrived 15 minutes before our scheduled speed boat tour at Westminster Pier.
We received our waterproof coats and life jackets and then had a quick safety lesson.
Our biggest dilemma prior to leaving the dock was how to manage filming the experience. Since I have a GoPro Accessories Kit, we weren’t sure if mounting the GoPro to the front of the jet speed boat would be easier. Or, perhaps we should just test our skills and shoot manually on the trip ourselves.
We opted for the true challenge, based on Mr. Sunny’s prior expertise as a camera and sound man for NBC News. However, since I am the boss of the blog, we agreed I would have the main responsibility for filming the thrill seeking experience.
Although I was armed with the wrist band and prepared to throw on the head strap mount, all of the footage was caught using the monopod stick.
The City Cruises London ThamesJet Voyage:
The City Cruises ThamesJet journey involves leaving Westminster Pier and heading West for a slow pass by Parliament and Big Ben on the right. The speed boat curves around and begins heading East by The London Eye. Since there’s a speed limit in this stretch of the River Thames, the cruise is leisurely.
You pass under tons of London’s bridges and by The Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London, and other historic landmarks. I actually shot the pictures below with my iPhone5 in my right hand while filming with the GoPro in my left hand.
Then the speed boat approaches Canary Wharf. And THIS is where it gets mental!
When you watch the video, I am the one filming until this point. A pre-recorded announcement advises passengers to hold on to the handle rails, because you are about to launch in to the choppy water at high speeds. I lasted all of 30 seconds. While hanging on with one hand for my dear life, I managed to get the GoPro on the monopod to Mr. Sunny with my other shaking hand.
Feeling like I was right in the middle of an episode of Miami Vice, I thought the speed boat was going to flip. Meanwhile, my husband, the international camerman who has shot footage in countless war zones, felt this assignment was a hell of a lot easier than others he has faced.
While the speed boat thrashed around and the Mission Impossible theme song blared through the boat’s speakers, I thought my life as a blogger (and life period) was meeting its demise.
Obviously, we survived. And, if I had the chance to do it again, I’d run right to the dock to suit up. It was phenomenal. So here’s what you should do…
Advice for the City Cruises London ThamesJet Experience:
– You won’t get nearly as wet as you anticipate. However, I did put all my electronic devices in a plastic bag under my coat just in case. The tote bag with GoPro accessories nearly flew off the speed boat because I set it by my feet when we started. When we hit high speeds, I ended up clutching it between my legs.
– Bring something to tie your hair back if it’s long enough to blow around in a breeze. You’ll need both hands during the ride, so don’t count on one to hold your hair.
– Don’t drink the night before your City Cruises London ThamesJet trip. This is not the place to cure a hangover.
– Travel light. Although they have a lockbox on the dock to store everyone’s belongings while they ride, I wouldn’t bring much to the Westminster Pier.
Words can only capture so much. If you really want to see how thrilling the City Cruises London ThamesJet speed boat experience can be, watch here…
For up to date Twitter fun, you can follow both City Cruises and ThamesJet. City Cruises London also has a fantastic Instagram account that teases you with all the images you can see on their adventures. Of course, they’re on Facebook too.
For a sightseeing boat trip that’s a bit more leisurely, you can read about our River Red Rover experience on City Cruises London. We’ve also had the chance to have dinner on the RS Hispaniola with City Cruises London too. All of my experiences with this company have been brilliant. If you’re visiting or live in London, City Cruises London offers tons of exciting adventures for sun and fun.
Sunny friends, how would you have approached filming this epic opportunity? Would you take the GoPro challenge and film yourself or mount the camera on the boat and enjoy the sights hands free?
Here’s what I used:
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