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Frequently Asked Questions



Routes, Times, Tickets and Booking

Which piers do you stop at?

Please see our route map.

At what times do the boats leave?

What are the journey times?

How often do the boats run?

This varies depending on the time of day and route. There is usually between a 20 and 40 minute frequency. Please see our timetable.

Do you run on Bank Holidays?

We run a Sunday service on Bank Holiday Mondays.

Do you run all year round?

We run every day of the year apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Our Festive timetable for travel over the Christmas period is added to this page in December.

How much do journeys cost?

A full list of our fares can be found here.

Can I use Oyster?

Yes, you can touch in and touch out with contactless payment cards or Oyster to pay as you go on our services.

Our card readers are situated by the boarding ramps at our piers, please touch in when instructed to board.

A member of our staff must see you touch in. 

The card readers support auto top-up. We do not have top up facilities at our piers.

Paying with your contactless payment card or your Oyster card does not apply to your daily maximum fare cap.

Please see the Oyster section further down this page for more information. 

Are your fares included in travelcards?

No, but London Underground Travelcard holders get 1/3 off Standard fares.

If you have a monthly, weekly or annual Travelcard (either paper or on your Oyster Card) you can also receive 1/3 off Standard fares, this will apply automatically if the Travelcard is loaded on to the Oyster Card.

Passengers with paper Travelcards will need to purchase their tickets via self-service machine, online, app or ticket office.

Can I buy tickets on the day?

Yes, tickets can be bought at the pier before travel.

Can I pay using cash?

You can only pay using cash at piers with ticket offices. This means that certain piers like Woolwich, Masthouse Terrace, Greenland, Blackfriars, Millbank, and our RB6 piers are completely cashless.

We recommend that you download our ticketing app for free and activate tickets as you board. Or pay using Oyster or contactless to pay as you go.

How do I buy a season ticket?

You must buy a season ticket before you travel. Weekly and monthly season tickets can be purchased with our ticketing app, available to download for free at www.thamesclippers.com/app. The ticket will be valid from the day of purchase and you just need to activate it as you board.

Weekly, monthly, as well as annual season tickets, can also be purchased at our ticket offices, season tickets will start from the day of purchase. Find out more.

What discounts do you offer?

50% off to Freedom Pass holders, 50% off for 60+ Oyster card holders, 50% off for children, 1/3 off for Travelcard holders. Please see here to check if the discount is valid on your ticket type. Note that there are no discounts on River Bus Express for events at The O2.

What’s a Freedom Pass?

Do carers travel for free?

Carers receive a 50% discount when travelling with a Freedom Pass holder.

Do police officers travel for free?

Yes, police officers travel for free with MBNA Thames Clippers.

Can I change the date or time of my ticket?

Can you email a copy of my tickets?

Yes, all tickets booked through our website are emailed.

I can’t print my ticket. Can I get on without it?

Passengers need to have a printed copy of their tickets for boarding.

Residential Move In Offers

From time to time MBNA Thames Clippers work with developers along the river on move in offers. These offers may differ depending upon the location and developer. These vouchers are non-transferrable and MBNA Thames Clippers may remove these offers at their discretion. Please note we no longer accept KPMG Thames Clippers vouchers. 

Do you have a group rate?

Yes, group bookings of 10 or more receive a discount. Please email [email protected] or call 0207 001 2201 for more information.

How do I get the tickets I book on the website?

All tickets bought on our website are emailed to you. 

Can I cancel my booking and get a refund?

Yes, but we require 72 hours’ notice before travel in order to arrange a refund.

What are the Conditions of Carriage and refund policy?

Click here to view the MBNA Thames Clippers refund policy and Conditions of Carriage 


On Board MBNA Thames Clippers

Is the service affected by the weather?

We run in all conditions apart from extreme fog.

Are the boats covered? Do you have an open section?

All of our Clippers are covered and have inside seating. Most boats also have an open deck area.

How much time should I leave to get to the pier?

We can’t predict passenger numbers, but recommend that you arrive 10 minutes before boarding and allow more time if you’re buying tickets at the pier.

What will the queues for the boat be like on the day?

Unfortunately, we are unable to predict passenger numbers as these depend on so many things, such as how the underground is running, the weather and if there are arena events on at The O2.

Is there food and drink on the boat? Can I take my own?

Please only buy your hot and cold drinks, snacks and refreshments from the kiosk on board. 

Are dogs allowed?

Dogs are allowed on board. Please make sure they are on a lead. 

Are bicycles allowed?

We can generally accommodate up to 10 bicycles on a first come, first served basis. We are unable to reserve spaces. There’s no extra charge for taking a bicycle on board.

Are MBNA Thames Clippers wheelchair accessible?

All clippers are fully wheelchair accessible and all piers are wheelchair accessible apart from Cadogan Pier, Wandsworth Riverside Quarter Pier and London Bridge City Pier.

Please note mobility scooter users must join our MBNA Thames Clippers Mobility Scooter Recognition Scheme in advance of travel.

For more information about accessibility please click here

Do you have a lost property department?

Yes. Please contact us on 0207 001 2200.

Can I take luggage on board?

You may bring luggage on board provided it does not obstruct access to safety equipment, gangways, stairs and passageways and is not placed on seats. 

You may not bring on board any item that is more than 2 metres long, hazardous or inflammable substances

As per our conditions of carriage, we reserve the right to refuse permission for you to take any item on to a vessel.

Do children need to be accompanied by an adult?

Children up to the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Using Oyster or Contactless to Pay as You Go

Can I use my Oyster card to pay for MBNA Thames Clippers travel?

Yes, you can touch in and out with Oyster to pay as you go to travel on all MBNA Thames Clippers services.

Touch in when instructed to board and remember to touch out to avoid paying an incorrect fare. The Oyster card must hold pay as you go credit and have sufficient pay as you go credit prior to boarding. You will save money on the Standard fare by paying with Oyster pay as you go. See our prices page for details.

Please note that our staff must see you touch in. Also, Oyster functionality is based on single trips only; if you are making a return trip then you must disembark and touch out before completing the return leg of your journey or the system will register your trip as 2 incomplete singles and you may be charged two ‘maximum fares’ instead. The Oyster pay as you go will not calculate the fare for hop-on, hop-off travel. The River Roamer ticket is best for all day travel, this is available to purchase online, at ticket offices and on the app.

Can I use my contactless payment card to pay for MBNA Thames Clippers river travel?

Yes, you can touch in and out with your contactless payment card to pay as you go on our services. This fare is the same as an adult Oyster fare. 

How can I use my contactless payment card to pay as you go?

Touch in when instructed to board and remember to touch out to avoid paying an incorrect fare. Please note that our staff must see you touch in.

Ensure you touch in and touch out with the same contactless payment card on the same device. If you touch in with your card and touch out with your mobile, you will be charged an incorrect fare. Note that this applies even if both card and device are linked to the same card number.

The fare charged is the same as the Adult Oyster fare, and if you are valid for discounted travel, such as Child or Travelcard discount, this will not be applied with using a contactless card to pay as you go.

You can only pay for one person using one contactless payment card.

Please be aware of card clash.

What do you do when you change services?

When making an interchange, so for instance, when travelling from Doubletree Docklands to Greenwich, you will need to touch in and out.

For the journey mentioned above, you would touch in as you board the Doubletree Docklands ferry and touch out when you reach Canary Wharf pier. You would then touch in again to board the RB1 from Canary Wharf and touch out again at Greenwich pier. This will calculate as one single journey. 

Are fares included in the daily cap, like the TfL network?

River Bus journeys do not apply to customers daily maximum fare cap. Oyster pay as you go will not calculate the fare for hop-on, hop-off travel. Our River Roamer ticket is best for all day travel, this is available to purchase online at pier ticket offices and on their phone app. 

How do I know if I have been charged the correct fare on my Oyster card?

Our Oyster card readers are programmed to charge you the correct fare based on the zones you have travelled within. Should you wish to check if you have been charged a correct fare you can download a journey history from the TfL website or call the TfL helpline on 0343 222 1234.

You need to wait 24 hours before you can see your statement. You can only see this via the TfL website. Please note that you need to register your Oyster card to view your history online. If your Oyster card is unregistered please contact TfL for a journey history statement.

Is it possible to upload my season ticket on my Oyster card?

Unfortunately no, there is no functionality to link a season ticket to a pay as you go Oyster card.  However, you can purchase a weekly or monthly season ticket via our mobile ticketing app.

What happens if I don’t have enough money on my Oyster card? How much money do I need?

If you do not have sufficient credit on your pay as you go Oyster card you will need to use another method of payment or top up your Oyster card. 

You will need the minimum balance for the zone in which you touch in. If you start your journey in the East or West Zone you need to have a minimum balance of £3.90 on your pay as you go Oyster card. If you start your journey in Central zone you need to have a minimum balance of £6.30.

How many people can pay with one Oyster card?

Only one Oyster card can be used per person per journey. That means if you are travelling in a group, each person will have to use a separate Oyster card, or find another way to pay for their journey.

Does auto top-up work on the river Oyster card readers?

Yes it will, make sure to set up auto top up on the TfL website We recommend that you have at least a £10 limit set on this.

Can I buy an Oyster card or top-up my Oyster card at the pier?

No. You can purchase an Oyster card from a tube station, a Visitor Information Centre, shop or order online/over the phone. Oyster cards can only be topped up at the tube station, some shops, online, ticket stops or at Visitor Information Centres.

See here to find your nearest top-up point.

The Oyster validators at the piers will support auto top-up. We therefore recommend this option - please ensure you have at least a £10 limit set on this to ensure you never have trouble using your Oyster card.

Can I touch out at the tube/DLR station?

No, you can’t.  We do not interact with any TfL services: London Underground, London Overground, DLR.

Can I receive discounts with my Oyster card?

Can a Child’s Oyster card be used on touch in/out Oyster card reader and still get 50% discount?

Providing card is a Child Zip Card or Child visitor Zip Card they will receive 50% off the fare. Note that the card must hold sufficient credit to travel.

My Travelcard is linked to my Oyster card. Will I receive 1/3 off when I touch in and out?

Yes, if you have a weekly, monthly or annual Travelcard you get 1/3 off the Standard fare.

I want to use my pay as you go Oyster card to pay for a single journey on the boat. I also have a paper Travelcard – can I still get a 1/3 off when touching in/out with my Oyster card?

The discount will not be applied this way. To receive 1/3 off Travelcard discount when you have a paper Travelcard, purchase a Travelcard discounted ticket using the mobile app, from the ticket office or self-service machine at piers.

Do Freedom Pass holders get 50% off when using Oyster PAYG?

Freedom Pass holders cannot touch in or out with Oyster card readers. However, they can receive 50% off the Oyster fare by purchasing online, with the mobile app, at the self-service machine or at the ticket office.

Topping up online

If you have topped up online, the credit will be ready to upload to your Oyster card in 30 minutes or less. There is no longer a need to nominate a station or pier when you add credit or Travelcard products to your Oyster card online; simply touch in on the yellow reader within four days of purchase. Our piers are included in this. 


Going to The O2

Can I use your service to get back from The O2 after an event?

Yes, for details please click here.

Do I have to pre-book the River Bus Express service?

No, tickets can be purchased on the day, but we recommend pre-booking as the Eastbound service occasionally sells out.

It says there’s no River Bus Express service on the website. Have you sold out?

Tickets go on sale one month in advance. Very occasionally we do not run services for certain events at The O2, such as matinée performances.

What time do your services leave after an event at The O2?

Fifteen to twenty minutes after the event finishes. 

If I miss my River Bus Express sailing can I get the next one?

Yes, you can travel on the next sailing that has space available.

I want to go to The O2, but not at the River Bus Express times. What do I do?

Our scheduled service runs to The O2 every 20 minutes throughout the day.

I want to see a performance at indigO2, what do I do?

You can travel on the River Bus Express service if you are going to an event at indigO2 that fits with the timings of an event at the arena, otherwise you can travel on our RB1 service instead. 

Do you run to the ExCeL?

The nearest stop to the ExCeL London is Canary Wharf, which is roughly a 10 minute drive away. Alternatively, you can take the DLR from Canary Wharf to Custom House, or you can travel to North Greenwich Pier and take the Emirates Air Line cable car to the ExCeL.