Galaxy Clipper on Thames - with Neptune Clipper being unloaded behind


Two new high-speed catamarans have been launched on the Thames joining the13-strong MBNA Thames Clipper fleet.

The vessels  – Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper – were craned on to the river from the deck of a ship which had made the 15,000 mile journey from Australia where they were built at a cost of £6.5 million.

The 150-passenger, 35 metre boats are the first to be added to the river bus service in seven years and will be used primarily on the Blackfriars to Putney route  which has seen a 40% increase in passenger journeys in the last 12 months.

Sean Collins, CEO and Co-founder of the company  MBNA Thames Clippers said:“Just over a year ago MBNA Thames Clippers announced that we would add one new boat to the fleet to bring more commuting options to those travelling around London. Today I am very happy to declare we have in fact doubled on that promise with two new boats. 

“I’m the third generation of my family to work on the River Thames and it is with immense pride that I now see the river fulfilling its potential for the first time for passengers, like it did in its heyday for freight, as the essential thoroughfare in London. The new boats will treble the river transport capacity between Putney in west London and central London at peak times.”

Richard Tracey, Mayor's River Ambassador and Assembly Member for Wandsworth, said: “This is a major step for river transport and a real boost for the service along the western reaches to Putney. Next step – all day services to the west."

The introduction of the new fleet and further development of services will see the creation of an initial 16 new jobs at MBNA Thames Clippers.

Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper are the most technically advanced and energy efficient river and harbour fast ferries in the world. They have a top speed of 30 knots and were built in Tasmania. They have been specially designed to cope with condition on the Thames – with low supersruture allowing them pass under Lpondon’s bridges and a draft of just over 1 metre.

The vessels have Scania Marine 625Kw diesel engines and  Rolls-Royce Kamewa waterjets rather than propellers because of shallow water upstream. On the bridge is a state-of-the-art touch screen control centre (above left).

Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: “These fabulous, top-of-the-range vessels will make it even easier for Londoners and visitors to our city to get from A to B by boat. The delivery of these stunning new Clippers show that it’s full steam ahead for travel on the Thames.”

Watch video of the launch here.


Story dated October 20th 2015