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Posted: 21 Aug 2014

Thames Clippers introduce new partnership with MBNA

The three year investment with MBNA will provide a range of new benefits for Londoners  including:

  • Increased capacity with additional river fleet

  • Innovative and easier ways for customers to pay

  • An enhanced on-board experience


Thames Clippers, the fastest and most frequent fleet on the River Thames, today announced a new relationship with MBNA, a leading UK credit card provider. The investment - with an initial three year term - was unveiled at a ceremony outside County Hall on London’s Southbank.

The MBNA investment will deliver Londoners a range of benefits including the launch of a new boat in early 2015. The new venture will invest in improved ticketing, greater versatility, innovative and easier ways to pay, as well as enhancements to the on-board experience. 

The announcement comes as Thames Clippers celebrates its 15th anniversary operating on the river. Started as a one-boat operation in 1999 carrying 21,000 passengers in its first year, the service now operates a fleet of 13 vessels. Passenger numbers have grown exponentially to 3.3 million in 2013 and are projected to reach 3.6million by the end of 2014. Since launch a total of 28.5m passengers have travelled with Thames Clippers.

Michael Donald, Commercial and Customer Experience Executive of MBNA said: “MBNA is making life easier for our customers, partners and the communities in which we operate.  The new MBNA Thames Clippers relationship injects valuable and essential private investment into London’s infrastructure, making life easier for commuters and visitors to get around the Capital.”

Sean Collins, Co-founder and CEO of Thames Clippers said: “In our fifteenth year of serving London’s commuters and visitors I’m delighted we have a new organisation on board. The relationship with MBNA will help Thames Clippers expand our service by growing our fleet and ensure we contribute to the Mayor’s ambitious passenger growth targets for the Thames.”

Paul Samuels, Executive Vice President Global Partnerships AEG Europe who supported the deal, added; “Thames Clippers is a service that has become an important part of the way people in London travel and has made visiting The O2 an even more customer-friendly experience.  When we began speaking with MBNA we were excited about the ideas and ambition they had and knew they were the naming rights people we wanted to work with.  I’m confident that between us we’ll continue to grow Thames Clippers on the fantastic achievements so far.”

The Mayor and Transport for London in their River Action Plan of 2013, committed to doubling passenger journeys on the Thames to 12 million a year by 2020.  The investment by MBNA into the Thames Clippers service will give a significant boost to achieving this aim.

The relationship deal between Thames Clippers and MBNA was negotiated by AEG Global Partnerships, part of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, majority owner of the Thames Clippers service and The O2.  



For more information please contact:

Thames Clippers:

Stephanie Moses, Communications Manager

[email protected]   


Mark Elliot, Director of Corporate Affairs

[email protected]


About MBNA Thames Clippers

MBNA Thames Clippers is the leading River Bus service on the River Thames running a 20 minute frequency between key London piers including North Greenwich for The O2, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Tower, London Bridge, Embankment and London Eye for Waterloo, as well as several residential piers. In April 2013 the company won a five-year contract to run a River Bus service from Putney to Blackfriars which allows the boats to now additionally stop at Putney, Wandsworth Riverside, Chelsea Harbour and Cadogan Pier, a total of 19 piers across the capital.

Co-founded in 1999 by Sean Collins (CEO) and Alan Woods (former Chairman), the company began with one boat servicing 80 passengers a day between Greenland and Savoy piers. Now 15 years on numbers have significantly risen to over 3million a year and are forecast to reach 3.6million by the end of 2014.

In 2006 AEG, owners and operators of The O2, acquired the majority stake in the company and since then the fleet has substantially grown to 13 vessels. River Bus Express for The O2 is an additional fast direct service between London Eye, London Bridge and Canary Wharf to The O2 at North Greenwich on arena event nights.

For more info visit the website or follow @ThamesClippers

About MBNA Limited

MBNA Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. Based in Chester, MBNA supports a range of community projects. MBNA is also the principal partner of Premiership Rugby side, Sale Sharks, and Conference football team Chester FC.

For more information, visit the company’s website at