June 22, 2015
City gets ready to welcome two new MBNA Thames Clippers vessels
MBNA Thames Clippers has announced the names of two new vessels joining its fleet of 12 high speed catamarans operating across London. Launching in September 2015, Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper will provide additional capacity across the Thames river network. The new boats are the first new additions to the popular fleet since 2008.
An investment of £6.5 million by MBNA Thames Clippers, the new boats will be among the most technically advanced inland river and harbour fast ferries in the world. Featuring a new hull design that reduces resistance, the vessels have been developed with ground breaking engineering allowing them to operate in the unique strong tidal conditions of the River Thames whilst minimalising power.
Sean Collins chief executive officer, MBNA Thames Clippers comments:
“The arrival of Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper later this year to the MBNA Thames Clippers fleet is not only a major milestone for our business, but also for the London transport network. London is in its infancy compared to other cities in the world when it comes to commuting and travelling by river and we are excited to be leading the way in making more of the River Thames as a key part of the Capital’s infrastructure.”
The MBNA Thames Clippers river bus operation carried over 3.8 million passengers in 2014, avoiding the traffic and congestion in key locations such as Blackfriars, Embankment, Canary Wharf and London Bridge.
Both Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper began construction six months ago in Hobart, Australia. Built by Incat Tasmania, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high speed river craft, the two 35 metre passenger vessels are entering the final stages of development before they make the over 10,000 mile journey to London.
Designed by Sydney based company ‘One2Three Naval Architects’, the new boats will each seat 150 passengers and offer London’s commuters and visitors a comfortable, relaxed and highly efficient way to get from A to B and to take in the Capital.
The boats will be launched onto water for the first time in early July 2015 in Hobart, Australia, and conduct their first water trials in mid-July. They will then depart from Down Under on a heavy lift ship for delivery to London. The journey will take between four to six weeks with the boats arriving in Tilbury on the River Thames mid-August 2015. A program of crew training and trials will commence in Hobart and be completed upon arrival in the UK, ahead of their official launch in September 2015.
To name the new boats, earlier this year MBNA Thames Clippers in conjunction with Emirates Airline held a competition to vote for fitting titles for the world-class vessels. From over 10,000 entries, two lucky winners were selected. The prize winners are currently enjoying their trips to Hobart for a sneak preview of the boats they have named.
For further details visit www.thamesclippers.com.
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 the 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 16 years on numbers have significantly risen to over 3.8 million passengers in 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, soon to be 15. 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.