Thames Rib Experience makes every effort to ensure our “Experience” is accessible to as many passengers as possible. This accessibility statement has been produced to give you the information you need to make an informed choice about any access requirements you or your fellow passengers may have before you decide to book with us. However all passengers must be aware that the nature of our Trips includes passage along the river Thames at different speeds and with varying river/weather conditions and all passengers must be aware of and be able to react to any accompanying motion of the vessel. HOLD ON TIGHT!

Where Maritime regulations take precedence, including any legal responsibilities of the Master of the Vessel, we reserve the right at all times to refuse any passengers to participate on one of our trips for reasons relating to the health and safety of all passengers, crew and vessels.

Weight and Age limits. We have a minimum weight policy of fifteen kilograms ( 15kg ) All passengers aged under 16 must be accompanied by an Adult aged 18 or over.

Physical Disability, Mobility Issues

Passengers with a disability who require physical assistance must be accompanied by at least one helper who is aged 18 or over who must be able to provide the passenger with a disability with any requisite assistance in the event of emergency or evacuation procedure.

Helpers must be able to assist disabled guests with loading and offloading (including their transfer from wheelchairs); communicate any safety restrictions and messages, and assist with any emergency or evacuation procedures, which may involve the lifting and transfer of the disabled passenger from the vessel.

If you use a wheelchair you may travel with us providing you can get into and out of the vessel either unaccompanied or with the assistance of your helper. You must be able to sit unaided in an upright position, have full control of your head and upper body and be able to grip the rails securely with both hands; you must also be able to brace yourself with your legs and feet.

Arrival and check in

We offer an accessible check in service for those special needs and disabled people who wish to travel with us and are accompanied on arrival by their designated helper. For safety reasons, guests with disabilities are required to have at least one helper over the age of 18 accompany them onto the vessel.

For passengers with special needs, your accompanying helper must be able to take full responsibility to explain the importance of safety on one of our trips which includes the need to follow any instructions given by crew or staff, explain that they cannot ordinarily get off the vessel once the trip is underway, not to stand up or leave their seat during the trip and refrain from any activity that may put themselves or any other passenger and crew in danger. For those passengers who do not understand the concept of queuing, have difficulties with social interaction, have a limited capacity to follow instructions or to understand others’ emotional feelings or expressions, or who may become agitated or distressed whilst on their trip, please call us to discuss trip options.

All passengers will be provided with a fully self inflating adjustable life jacket. This must be worn at all times during the trip and must not be removed.

Guide and Assistance dogs

You can’t bring a Guide or Assistance dog onboard one of our vessels with you. However Guide and Assistance dogs, are allowed on the Pier prior to your embarkation and may remain in the vicinity of the Pier with one of your helpers whilst you are on a trip.

Embarkation and Boarding

We have designed our vessels to provide easy embarkation with integrated boarding platforms on the front of all vessels. This provides an uneven single step on and off the vessel onto our secure gated berth system. A crew member is positioned at this point to provide a single step on and off the vessel where the passenger has access to a handrail. Once on the boarding platform at the front of the vessel the passenger using the grip rails provided, descends four steps onto the level floor of the vessel. The seating is arranged in 3 rows of double seats with a central flat isle approx 55cm wide. Due to the nature of the vessels it is not possible to take wheelchairs or mobility scooters on to the vessels at this point.

Any passenger who has a physical disability must be transferred and lifted by their designated helper(s) from the Pier to their seat. Each double seat has grab rails at the front and sides and a cushioned headrest. In the interests of everyone’s safety, our crew members will leave all lifting of a passenger with a physical disability in the capable hands of their helper. At the end of the trip the reverse disembarkation procedure  takes place. Once again the passengers helper(s) must be able to physically lift the passenger off the boat and onto the Pier.

Visual Impairment

Assistance/guide dogs are not allowed on the vessels. However your designated helper can assist a passenger who is visually impaired onto the vessels and during the trip. Onboard our crew provide a guided commentary of the sites using microphones through a PA system. We will endeavor to provide a descriptive guided approach to passengers you are visually impaired which, combined with the vessel passing across a variety of water conditions at different speeds, provides a kinesthetic sensory experience which all can enjoy.

Pier Access

All our piers are wheelchair accessible. All our standard trips operate from London River Services Piers and are provided by Transport for London.  Access to these piers is by ramp and have access without steps, stairs or elevators. At certain tide heights, the ramp to the Pier may be steeper than usual. You can contact us to arrange a trip when the tidal height allows for a less steep gradient onto the Piers.

Medical Conditions and Pregnancy

Again with your health and safety in mind we do not allow passengers to travel with us with any of the following conditions:

  • pregnant women
  • people with existing back complaints/ heart complaints
  • Passengers must advise Thames RIB Experience before booking of any medical conditions or disabilities that any passenger(s) are suffering from or have ever suffered from prior to booking, particularly dizzy spells, epilepsy, back/bone conditions and diabetes (this is not an exhaustive list).

Finding us

Public Transport
By river, Thames Clippers provide step free access to our Piers and provide a daily service along the river from departure points both East and West. It’s an ideal way to arrive at our Kiosk.

By Tube
The nearest accessible Underground station is Westminster with step free trains and elevators to street level.  Use the exit for Thames Riverside. From there Embankment Pier is along a wide level river side pavement approx 400 meters to the Pier ramp. There are no streets to cross, simply follow the riverside pavement.

Disabled Car Parking spaces can be found along the Embankment close to our Pier.

Booking

We strongly recommend calling us to book your trips with us and to discuss your access requirements.

For safety reasons, the number of disabled people permitted on our vessels at any one time may be limited. Therefore when you book with us you may be asked to divide your party into smaller groups, and travel at different times or on different vessels dependent on the availability of trip times and vessels available on the day you wish to travel with us. A designated helper must be a named person over the age of 18 whose details have been supplied to us at the time of booking.

We hope the above information helps you to better understand your access requirements to undertake one of our trips. Feel free to talk to our customer services team for further assistance.

Thames RIB Experience will not accept any liability for personal injury, or injury to others and passengers participate entirely at their own risk.