The Thames will be filled with an illuminated flotilla of 150 decorated boats, including the Queen’s own barge, Gloriana, as part of the Thames Festival later this year.

Concept image (c) Thames Festival / Illuminated River

The flotilla will be part of a one-night only event which will synchronise the movements of the boats with Illuminated River, the scheme that lights up the river bridges across the Thames each night.

Comprised of 150 boats adorned with glistening white lights, the procession will travel at dusk from Chelsea to Tower Bridge, with the aim of creating a ribbon of light reflected across the water. The Reflections flotilla will include Gloriana, the Queen’s Rowbarge, which was made for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee; and all participating crews are raising funds for the RNLI, to support the construction of a new lifeboat station at Waterloo Bridge.

The flotilla event takes place on the evening of Saturday 24th September, with the exact departure times to be confirmed closer to the date. Sunset is at 7pm, so likely to be around that time though to give the boats time to get to Tower Bridge.

To help the flotilla, the Thames Barrier will also be closed on the same evening to keep the river level steady.

For people turning up to watch, good news as there are hardly any disruptions on the London Underground on that Saturday evening, and none in Central London, so getting there and back won’t be a problem.

The bridges, lit up by Illuminated River, will be threaded with tones of platinum and purple in a synchronized flow of subtly moving LED lights across nine central London Thames bridges, from Lambeth to London Bridge. The display will be unveiled at sunset on the Saturday evening and will run until 2am on Sunday 25 September.

The Illuminated River is a long-term artwork that lights up the Thames bridges between London and Lambeth bridges each evening.


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