Our ships on the River Thames

Our two smaller ships will be of a similar design to the Adventure Galley but compact enough to be able to sail and row them along the Thames in London.

They will be built alongside the new Adventure Galley, somewhere downstream of Greenwich. Like their sister ship, they will be square-rigged wooden vessels, with two banks of oars.

Once complete, they will be moored at Greenwich Pier. Conditions permitting, they will travel along the Thames twice a day – downstream as far as Tower Bridge and upstream as far as the Thames Barrier (or possibly beyond on occasion), a distance of around 12 miles.

The planned routes of our ships – embarking from Greenwich Pier at the bottom of the loop and travelling upstream to Tower Bridge and downstream to the Thames Barrier – on occasion even beyond

What to expect on a half-day experience

On each ship, there will be space for up to 60 people, as well as the professional crew of around 10. You will be able to take a full role in the operation of the ship.

This includes:

  • Operating the square rig sails and ‘going aloft’ (with a harness)
  • Furling and unfurling the sails
  • Pulling the oars
  • Deck work, including rope operation, rope coiling
  • Learning maritime knots

While there will be spaces for people who just want to sit and watch, for the most part you will be expected to act as a full member of the crew. That’s a lot of fun in itself, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn traditional maritime skills. We also aim to hold regular galley races between the two ships.

Each ship will have a full complement of cannon (firing blanks only, of course). The plan will be to have regular ‘tattoos’ – sailing and rowing displays, complete with mock combats.  

How to get involved

Our ships will be the first major vessels to be built on the Thames for over 100 years, and we will be reviving the historic arts of building, rigging and equipping major wooden sailing ships.

You can find out more about that, and about the history of the Thames dockyards in our Learning section

There will be numerous opportunities for participation in the creation of the ships, either as long-term apprenticeships, or at special courses and open days. The sites will also be open to the public for viewing.

Once launched, as well as the many opportunities to join the crew, there will be various shore-based events, from guided tours and open days through to hiring one of our ships for your own event.

So that we can keep you up to date with what’s happening, please join our mailing list now