The Adrenaline Junkie and the Speedboat: The Story of London RIB Voyages

Published by Thames Rockets 4225 days ago

Dark winter days are just about perfect for snuggling for story time, preferably behind a roaring log fire in a blanket the size of two double duvets. And so, to aid you in the quest for this dreamlike state we have created... the story of London RIB Voyages.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin. The initial idea for London RIB Voyages came about through owner Charlie's love of speedboats and the great outdoors. He couldn't get enough of the adrenaline of soaring along the river at dizzying speeds, and he wanted to share that buzz and excitement with his fellow Londoners. Charlie realised that the Thames was missing a trick, why did all sightseeing by river have to be dreary and dull, governed by microphoned minimum wage workers with repetitive stories and no personality? He thought it was about time someone injected some fun into these trips, so he created the spine-tingling adventure that is a tour of London on our RIB boats. And speedboat sightseeing was born on the Thames. 

Convincing the Port of London Authority and the Maritime Coastal Agency that this really was a good idea was no small matter. They saw the charm of London RIB Voyages, but seemed a little apprehensive for some bizarre reason! But, with a little determination and some good old fashioned stubbornness we managed to persuade them to let us begin our Thames adventures. Success! RIBs on the Thames! London RIB Voyages set sail for the very first time in 2006, when owner Charlie Matheson had but one boat to his name. During the first four years a fair few RIB boats joined the fleet, and in the last two years we've seen the addition of a very sophisticated Chelsea Flyer to our clan, perfect for high speed river transfers. The team has grown from a handful of enthusiasts to 30+ handpicked crew dedicated to making every experience as breath-taking as the last.

As London RIB Voyages grew more and more people fell in love with the excitement of this brand new way to see London. The combination of speed and our brilliant comedian guides proved such a hit that our voyages started to receive accolades and awards. London's TimeOut Magazine gave us five stars and Visit London were swift to follow with their gold attraction award in 2008. We started doing acceptance speeches, we became famous.

Now that we're famous we spend a lot of our time zooming up the Thames with pop stars and politicians on board, but when we're not doing that we still love nothing more than bringing guests aboard for their first (or second, or third) experience of London at speed.

And we lived happily ever after.

Like this blog?

You’ll love these trips!

Adult from




Proudly ranked as London's No1 Outdoor Activity