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River Thames Shipping Since 2000: Passenger Ships, Ferries, Heritage Shipping and More

River Thames Shipping Since 2000: Passenger Ships, Ferries, Heritage Shipping and More
Malcolm Batten
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Take a look at the River Thames in East London now and you would think that it is commercially dead. Where once the banks of the river were lined with riverside wharves, these have been replaced by or converted to luxury apartments. The mighty London Docks, including the 'Royals', once the largest expanse of enclosed dockland in the world, had all closed by 1983 and have since been redeveloped as Docklands, with a financial centre, London City Airport, the University of East London, houses, shopping and other amenities.

But the commercial life of the river didn't die - it just moved downriver. Tilbury Docks were adapted to handle the new pattern of container ships and Roll-on, Roll-off ferries. New terminals were built with easy access to the M25 and Dartford Tunnel (and later the Queen Elizabeth II bridge).

However, some ships still come up to London and Tower Bridge is still raised at times for visiting cruise ships and warships on courtesy visits. At Woolwich, fast commuter ferries to London cross paths with the traditional Woolwich Free Ferry, while a passenger ferry still links Gravesend with Tilbury. Heritage craft, including the traditional Thames barges, can still be seen at times on the river.

This book features passenger craft such as cruise ships, ferries and heritage shipping that have worked on the Thames since 2000, and is a companion volume to the author's book on cargo shipping.
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