Small Boats for Hire in London

Search and book one of our 57 small private boats for hire

Top Small Boats in London

If you live in a city with a river as large as the Thames running through it, it would be a real shame to never hire a small boat for a quick cruise. London is home to a wide variety of boat venues on the Thames that are available for things such as general boating or enjoying dinner and drinks while taking a jaunt up and down the river. Knowing when and how to hire a small private boat for a Thames river cruise can be a bit tricky, so let us help you find the one that suits your needs! Check out small boats for hire in London today!

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Small Boats Hire Guide

So you’ve decided to start looking around for a small boat for hire in London? There are a few things to keep in mind before you book to ensure that you get the best possible service for your money:

  • Passenger limit – As you can imagine, most small private boats on the Thames have a strict passenger limit. This is usually between 20 and 35 guests per session, so plan accordingly.
  • Cruise purpose – There are a variety of services offered by boat venues in London, so you should pick one based on the goal of your cruise. If you just want to enjoy the view, then ensure you book a boat that can accommodate passengers on deck in comfort. A dinner cruise? Ensure that it has dining facilities on board! A boat party? Make sure to check the boat's party rules before you book. And if you are planning a Christmas party cruise, check the available dates at least a few months in advance.  

Now that you’ve officially decided that yes, hiring a small private boat on the Thames is the way to go, let us have a look at the price. These vary based on services offered onboard as well as the purpose of the cruise, but there are some general baselines to keep in mind:

  • If you’re looking to hire a small private boat on the Thames for a cruise, you’re going to be looking at a roughly £2000 minimum spend (where you pay nothing to hire the boat itself but agree to spend a set amount on food and drinks during the event) or an approximate £1200 hire fee with food and drinks added on separately would be the case at a typical restaurant or bar!
  • If, instead, your interest leans more towards sharing a good meal and drinks on the water (rather than cruising up and down the Thames), you’ll often find more flexible pricing options. Flat hire fees typically range around £500, minimum spend remains at around £2000, and per-person pricing is typically around £35 per head.

Small Boats in London FAQ

How many people can fit inside small boats for hire in London?

Small boats in London offer spaces big enough for even up to 450 people (so maybe they’re not so small after all). But the average space for attendees starts at roughly 20 and ends at 200. 

How to know what boat is the best to book? 

Most of all, make sure you have enough space for everyone who will attend your event. 

How small is your small boat supposed to be? 

We reckon you’d like to invite somewhere under 100 people, but remember that venues list the amount of space they have whether sitting or standing. You can always have too much space, but if you don’t have enough, that will be a problem!

What types of events can I host inside small boats in London?

Small boats are a great space to host a variety of events, including:

-Corporate events

-Birthday parties

-Company outings



-A dinner party with friends

-Or even a unique book club meeting (or any other meeting) if that’s your jam!

How to book small boats in London affordably?

Many people are surprised to find that the best small boats in London can be booked affordably. Most of these venues are owned by individuals and not large companies, so they're often more flexible with their pricing and willing to work with you on making an event that will fit within your budget. If you're looking for a great place to host a small gathering on a boat in London, then check out our tips for booking one:

  • Consider hiring someone who specialises in managing events at small boat venues in London; this person will know what has worked well in the past and can help guide you through planning yours. Although hiring someone might be an expense in itself, it might just save you paying huge fees if you were doing it by yourself instead.
  • Serving alcohol and other beverages? You probably are, in that case you might want to consider a BYOB option which is sure to cut some costs. Bring your own alcohol and drinks and pay a fraction of the final price. 
  • Negotiate! There’s no better option for cutting costs than negotiating with the host of the venue. Depending on the time of year, week or for how long you’d like to book the boat, the host might just go down on the price!

Guests Reviews of Small Boats on Tagvenue

Lauren Thomas-Clowes
Booked Whole Venue at Coin Laundry
I absolutely LOVE this place. We were looking online for a wedding venue and came across Coin Laundry because it was a really affordable option for us to get married in London. We went to have a look around and test out the food, and we instantly loved it! We tried the Sunday roast with some other sides on the menu and a couple of cocktails – everything was incredible. Also we loved the style and atmosphere of the venue – it has a super relaxed, casual vibe, and very cool understated décor without feeling boring. We went back on a few separate occasions before the wedding to try more food / drinks and look at the venue again and every single time we went there, everything was perfect – venue, atmosphere, food, staff and service all 10/10! Zac, Robbie and Jake were all so helpful right from the beginning of the booking/planning process, and on the day we met the manager Sonny and his team who were brilliant and made everything run so smoothly! The venue was set up beautifully, exactly how we had hoped, they listened to all our requests and we didn’t have to do anything ourselves which was great and took away the stress on the day. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a nicer team to look after us on the day, everyone was so attentive and friendly! So many of our guests commented on how amazing all of the food was too (we had starters, mains and an evening buffet). It was all slightly non-traditional and way more interesting than the usual wedding meals you get, so we were really happy. So impressed that they managed to get 70ish people served and cleared so quickly too! After the meal, everything was cleared away so quickly on the ground floor whilst we had all moved downstairs into the basement for the first dance. The staff changed over for the evening and Billy and the bar team were all so lovely too and kept things running perfectly. They were so patient with us at the end too, when they were trying to clear up and go home at the end of the night, with lots of very drunk guests who were not moving out particularly quickly! The whole team at Coin Laundry were fantastic and worked so hard – we are so grateful to you all, thank you so much for an amazing day! We will definitely be back in the future (although just for food & drinks, hopefully I won’t be getting married again anytime soon!)
Sarah Traynor
Booked The Lounge at Floaty McFloat Face
Elizabeth decorated the boat beautifully for my friends surprise 30th birthday, it was perfect for 11 of us with a great sound system and Elizabeth was on call for all questions (when we didn't know how to open the roof!!). we would certianly recommend to any one wanting an intimate event with a difference! Thanks again!
Bianca Chouls
Booked Whole Barge at The Dirty Gary
The boat is cute / cost, would be a lovely place to stay overnight. However the hosts are not helpful at all and I would recommend at all costs staying away from hiring this venue.
Sophia Jackson
Booked The Lounge at Floaty McFloat Face
I can't thank Eli and Katie enough for the incredible experience we had this Saturday. From the moment I made contact I almost felt like the deal was too good to be true as it was everything we wanted and a very good price for the 5 hour time slot and we were even allowed to arrive early to set up However, it really was that good! When we arrived to set up, Katie had already decorated and the boat looked utterly magical, she then proceeded to help with all the food and drinks, which is definitely not part of the deal, yet was so kind and helpful -especially since I am 6 months pregnant. She also came back to the boat and glittered us all up with her amazing facepaint skills. Again not part of the deal and totally our of the kindness of her heart. She was absolutely amazing and made everyone look fantastic. We had so much fun and the bride loved every second. It was totally unique, private and was perfect for the humid yet showery weather. It was the absolute highlight of the Hen party, I am already trying to think of another event we could hire it for. Thank you both for making Glastonbecca such a special, stress-free and fun party!!
Booked The Lounge at Floaty McFloat Face
Everything was literally amazing! I hired this place for my boyfriends birthday and it was great. I loved every moment, it was a very special and unforgettable birthday for him. The help from Elizabeth and Lorraine was fantastic!!! Quick responses, they were very helpful. I would definitely recommend!
Booked Vessel Cabin/Bar at Alfred Le Roy
Great afternoon in an unusual setting. We brought our own food onto the boat which worked well. The cocktails were delicious and the service was always with a friendly smile. Definitely recommend.

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