Published: Wednesday 1st of December 2010
A trip to London would not be complete without a river cruise along the Thames and at this time of year, it's a great way to see the city as it sparkles ahead of Christmas.
Heading out in the early evening is a good idea so you can see the lights slowly come on as day turns to night and the capital comes alive.
While many of the most elaborate Christmas light displays are centred around London's shopping areas, you will still be able to enjoy seeing attractions such as the London Eye lit up ahead of the festive season.
The trees lining the path towards the landmark will be decked out with glistening fairy lights and you can expect many of London's famous bridges to be decorated with festive displays.
Some of the river liners that run daily tours down the Thames will even be offering mulled wine onboard, so you can warm up and enjoy the season of goodwill - as well as the London attractions you will pass along the way.
But regardless of what time of year you are visiting the capital, a Thames River cruise is certainly one of the things to do in London that should be near the top of your list.
During the day, there are numerous sightseeing tours that will take you past some of the city's most famous landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral.
An experienced guide will be able to tell you stories about some of events that have taken place along the river - as well as giving you an extensive history of the many buildings you will pass along the way.
London's skyline is full of iconic landmarks and there really is no better way to get a sense of the city's heritage than by travelling along the Thames - after all, the river has been central to its development.
From modern areas such as Canary Wharf to the stately buildings of County Hall, you will be able to see a wide range of London attractions without having to worry about tackling the traffic or the crowds.
Of course, Thames River cruises to do not just take place during the day - there are also numerous options if you want to see the city by night.
If you are having a romantic weekend away then you may want to splash out for one of the dinner and dance trips.
Here you can look forward to sitting down to a delicious four-course meal while watching the dazzling skyline roll by outside the window.
To get you in the right mood, a singer performing songs from some of the best-loved West End musicals will be onboard to provide entertainment and a bar will be open all night to ensure you have suitable refreshments.
Lasting for three and a half hours, the cruise will allow you plenty of time to relax and unwind before you have to return to shore - and you will get to see numerous London attractions as they are illuminated for the evening.
And if you're lucky enough to be visiting the city later this year, then you may want to take advantage of one of the Christmas dinner cruises or New Year's Eve parties on the river, which are sure to give you a night to remember.
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