The hideously overpriced canal boat service (link removed, dead link) taking people from Limehouse to nearish to the Olympic Park seems to have finally bowed the inevitability of their reportedly near-empty boats…

…a few days after revamping their website, they have today finally slashed their prices.

Also, the VIP option with a solitary glass of champagne has vanished, although you can enquire about a corporate service instead.


Ticket Olympic Paralympic
VIP Tickets £95 £45
Adult £45 £25
Child £35 £15



Ticket Olympic Paralympic
Adult Return £20 £20
Child Return £10 £10
Adult Single £15 £15
Child Single £5 £5

Normally I want companies to succeed at their ventures, especially when the idea of a relaxing canal trip is so alluring. However, this company took the proverbial with their frankly, rip-off prices and I can’t help but crow a little as they finally accept that prices have to come down to something more sensible.

In fact, I would almost so far as to say that £20 for two 40 minute trips on the canal is quite a good idea, and as I used the Victoria Gate on my visit to the park, might have taken a trip for the novelty – if only they hadn’t tried to gouge people’s pockets first.

I still think being expected to arrive 40 minutes before a pre-booked trip is stupid though.


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  1. Kevin says:

    Interesting and yes now I might actually try it for the novelty. Especially after seeing your photos coming into Victoria Park entrance I thought it’d be nice to do something different for one of the three days I’ll be on the Olympic Park and come in that way.

    I’m in London for a week for the Paralympics. Only thing is of course is that I’d need to get to Limehouse or Tottenham from Euston in the first place to catch the water chariot. And as the transport links have been perfectly good all the rest of the time theres little reason to use them. If everything had collapsed they would have been raking it in.

  2. Bob says:

    As someone who lives by the marina at Limehouse I have to say that the noise of these river taxis hooting their horns from 06:20 till after 23:00 has been unbearable.
    The sooner the company goes bankrupt the better.

  3. Emily says:

    Where to start with the water chariots. They are an embarressment of a company. I know this because I have been involved with the company for the last two weeks.
    I was told there would be over a 1000 people walking through their doors every day; this was quite the opposite. It was dead and had no atmosphere what so ever. This however was not down to the hopspitalty staff or the caterers, it was simply to do with the poor organisation skills of the directors board.
    The directors of the business are incredibly unprofessional and damn right rude. They have refused to pay any hospitialy staff for their hard work, and have purposly laid people off so don’t have to pay out the money. This is definatly the worst company I have ever worked for, and I really hope they get whats coming to them after the grief they have caused me.
    So i would not recommend this service in slightest to anyone, and i do hope that every single one of their boats sink.

    • Brenda says:

      After reading Emily’s comment there is no way I would use this service – power to the people Emily

    • Sonja says:

      Hi- would any of those commenting here who’ve been affected be willing to speak to the BBC about their experience?

  4. Peter Hills says:

    We used their service on Friday 10th August from Tottenham Hale to Victoria Gate. Only we never made the Olympic stadium – there was a barrier across the canal and we were ‘dumped’ on the towpath and told a shuttle bus would be along. No, the buses were for officials. We had a 2 mile walk to the nearest public gate! Outrageous. The whole point of using them was to get within 75 metres of the stadium and then return a night. We got home via the Javalin.

  5. Susan Shimbel says:

    I actually find people who wish a business to fail absolutely disgusting. This is peoples livelihoods that you are talking about. Some of these people have families to feed so to wish them bankruptcy is absolutely outrageous!

    Yes they have cut their prices – yes they have realised they were overcharging, so stop criticising. They are not harming anyone with their business. Times are very difficult and with the short amount of time they had I think they have done fantastically well!

    When working in hospitality you have no idea of the struggle and planning/organisation that goes in to running a business. Yes it is not right that you have not been paid – but neither have the Directors! This I know for a fact. I also know for a fact that msot of them work 18-20 hour days.

    So lets just let them get on with it!

    If you live at Limehouse surely you will be used to the noise of boats etc as it comes with the territory of living in a Marina!

    • IanVisits says:

      I presume you read the bit where I said I normally want new ventures to succeed? However, there is a limit – and if a company is ripping people off, then I can’t really see how that can be defended.

      You are basically saying we should support companies, no matter how nasty or corrupt they are, because to do otherwise is “absolutely disgusting”.

      I think you might be in a minority in holding such views though.

    • Brenda says:

      No sympathy there then, sounds like you have shares in this rip off company. .

    • Rob C says:


      Yes, but normally there are no boat movements, so no horns etc, during the hours of darkness.

      In praise of WC though, they have paid their boat staff.

    • Emily says:

      As it happens my mum owns her own business and thanks to water chariots not paying invoices, she may also be on the verge of bankruptcy. I am well aware of the difficulties of running businesses but my mum would NEVER not pay creditors, even to the detriment of herself and her family. It is called having morals.

  6. Cuddles says:

    Actually,there is no praise for WC as they have not paid my wages as boat staff, despite promises and an ever moving gaol posts so I am trying to take it further. Hope to hear if anyone else hasn’t been paid.

  7. Susan Shimbel says:

    It is your subjective opinion that WC are ripping people off. If people are willing to pay it then surely there is no harm being done? They are not forcing anyone to use the service.

    Secondly, the way the limehouse residents have behaved has been awful so to complain about a bit of noise is slightly hypocritical don’t you think?

    Lastly, WC are a start up business and like a lot of small businesses are at the bottom of the ‘food chain’ shall we say. They are not intentionally withholding money i am sure. They might not have the money themselves until after the venture is finished.

    • IanVisits says:

      Considering that you are posting on my blog from a Leeds regional IP address and an email address that belongs to the University of Leeds, can you explain why you are so “informed” about this London based organisation?

  8. Susan Shimbel says:

    Is someone from Leeds not allowed to be informed about ventures in the South?

    • IanVisits says:

      Informed to a degree which seems to require either very close involvement with the company, or be based in the areas affected. To be so informed when so far away seems barely credible.

  9. cuddles says:

    WC directors are all a bunch a cardboard cutouts, still haven’t had my wages nor have other people !

  10. Susan Shimbel says:

    Barely credible I must be. I don’t understand all the moaning though. As mentioned no one is forcing people to use WC so let them get on with it! Maybe Ian will have time to write another whinging blog then!

    • IanVisits says:

      I don’t understand why you wont explain how you have such inside knowledge of the company operations when based in Leeds, and making comments about the service which are not in any news report you can find online.

  11. Heisenberg says:

    I am a WC staff and I haven’t been paid either.

    • cuddles says:

      All the boats are still there though, people need to get together to try to get this sorted.

  12. SallyAnne Brown says:

    just to let you know they are not operating now, website has massive notice on it and 2012 people were not aware – have to say, i’m not surprised if they have been ripping people off and not paying staff, disgusting people, it doesnt cost that much to operate!

  13. Andreas Tauer says:

    I am glad I came across this website, since I almost booked tickets two days ago. When someone is not paying staff they are in deep trouble. It is such a shame at the same time, since I think that given a different approach, this could have been a successfull business concept opening up the wonderful canals to more people.

  14. Mandy Durdle says:

    I also booked with Water Chariots – their VIP experience for the Paralympics for £45 and then their prices were reduced – no e-tickets and no response to any e-mails or letters or phone calls. Let’s hope my bank can get my money back for me

  15. The Tower Bridge Fox says:

    The Water Chariots were a Great Idea the canal really is the best way to arrived at the Olympic park,
    I walked from the Islington tunnel along the regents canal through the stunning Victoria park for a couple of my visits
    And it was absolutely glorious, best way to arrive!!!!!

    I didn’t get round to using the water chariot due to the prize , but I also became concerned just before the games when I saw that nothing had been done at all to make the approach to the Olympic park
    In-between the mills island heritage site and Olympic park attractive, no flags no banners. They needed to but hording up along derelict parts of the canal side to brighten the approach up , after all the money was spent on the Olympic park
    parts of the water chariot route were left looking shabby

    This isn’t conducive to charging a high price

    The javelin station was also undressed and profoundly depressing way to leave after a sensational visit to the Olympic park,

    I would recommend a walk along the canal over this any day

    It seems London 2012 cut costs and left to much to legacy ,with places just outside the Olympic park paying the price

    I’m sorry to hear the water chariot service is no longer running

    It’s a great route to walk though from lime house its short walk to the canary wharf dock where you can get Thames clipper to the London eye

    If they had sold tickets to the Olympic park from the London eye we would certainly still have a service.

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "The Olympic Water Chariots slash their prices"
  1. […] the rounds with the Olympic milkman.Remember those rip-off Olympic water chariots? They’ve dramatically cut their prices, presumably because no one was willing to pay the minimum fair of £45 for a short boat ride.The […]

  2. […] the side of the canal, an Olympic “water chariot” service looks very quiet too. (It has slashed its prices, presumably because people did not fancy paying up to £95 for a short boat trip.) At […]

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