The Thames Cable Car in Greenwich, is a cable car system that crosses the River Thames in London, connecting the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. It was opened in 2012 and is operated by Transport for London. This post contains everything you need to know about riding the London cable car.
About the Cable Car in Greenwich
The Thames cable car is also known as the IFS Cloud Cable Car or the Emirates Cable Car. It consists of 36 cabins, with only 34 in use at any one time. Each of these cabins can accommodate up to 8 passengers, but during off peak times it’s easy to get a cabin to yourself.
The cable car operates from early morning until late at night, with a typical journey lasting around 10 minutes. One of the highlights of the Thames Cable Car is the stunning views it offers of London’s skyline. This includes views of popular landmarks like the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf.
I took the Thames Cable Car on a Sunday in April and it was quiet enough for me to have my own cabin. All the photographs in this post were taken on my journey on the cable car.
Views from the Cable Car in Greenwich
The cable car in Greenwich is 1 kilometre long. Its highest observation point is 90 metres above the river Thames, giving breathtaking views of the city. Some of the sites you can see from the cable car include:
- The Thames Barrier
- London City Airport
- The Gherkin
- Maritime Greenwich
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
- The O2
Please note: The cable cars are not recommended if you have a fear of heights.
Where Does the Cable Car go From Greenwich?
The cable car goes back and forth between two points:
- Emirates Royal Docks, Royal Victoria Dock, 27 Western Gateway, on the north side of the river.
- Emirates Greenwich Peninsula, Edmund Halley Way, on the south side of the river.
The map below shows the route of the cable car over the Thames.
Do You Have to Book the Thames Cable Car?
It is not necessary to book the cable car. You can just turn up and use either your Oyster card or bank card on the reader, just as you would on the bus or tube. I also found there was no difference in price whether you booked in advance or paid on the day.
How Much Does it Cost to Cross the Thames by Cable Car?
When you arrive you can either use your bank card or Oyster card at the ticket barrier, or buy tickets at the ticket office. The ticket prices are shown in the table below.
|Rate||One Way||Round Trip|
|Child (aged 5-15)||£3||£6|
|Child under 5 (with fare paying adult)||Free||Free|
|Family ticket (maximum 2 adults and 3 children)||N/A||£30|
How Long Do the Greenwich Cable Cars Take?
A single trip takes around 10 minutes, and a return trip takes 20 minutes. The cable cars arrive every 30 seconds, so you usually don’t have to wait long for a cabin to arrive.
How Many People Can Fit in an Emirates Cable Car?
You can get between 6-8 people inside each cabin. The photographs below show the size of the cabins and what they look like inside.
How to Get to the Thames Cable Car
The Thames Cable Car, is easily accessible via public transport. If you are boarding from the Greenwich side, you should travel to North Greenwich tube station, on the Jubilee line. From there, the route to the cable cars is clearly signposted.
Alternatively, if you are boarding from the north side of the river, the nearest station is Royal Victoria on the Docklands Light Railway. From there it is only a 2 minute walk to the cable cars.
The opening times for the Thames cable car are listed below. Please note that operating times are affected by weather conditions such as strong winds, and lightning.
|Monday to Thursday||07:00-21:00|
|Sunday and bank holidays||09:00-21:00|
Tip: For the night flight experience come after 7pm to see the sunset and the city lights.
Other Things to do in Greenwich
If you are visiting Greenwich, there are many other things to do after the cable car ride. Below I have listed some popular attractions you might like to visit.
- The O2 arena is next to the cable cars on the north Greenwich side. As well as being a music venue, it has bars, restaurants and shops, as well as indoor trampolining, bowling, and mini-golf.
- National Maritime Museum
- The historic sailing ship, Cutty Sark
Other Things to do Near the River Thames
If you are looking for other activities around the river Thames in central London, check out some of my other articles below. I recommend taking a boat journey either on the Thames Clipper or the river cruise.
- Is the Thames River Cruise worth it?
- Mudlarking Experience on the River Thames
- Walk the Thames Path from Putney to Battersea
- Walk the Thames Path from Hammersmith to Putney
- Visit Bermondsey Beach on the River Thames
This Post was About the Thames Cable Car in Greenwich
Thank you for reading my post about the Cable Car in Greenwich. The Emirates Air Line cable car in Greenwich provides a unique experience for both tourists and locals, offering great views of London. The nearest transport options are either North Greenwich underground station on the Greenwich side of the river, or Royal Victoria DLR near the Royal Docks terminal.