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Emirates Air Line Cable Cars

Bridges, ferry boats, railways, the Tube and even a pedestrian tunnel have been used to get across the River Thames in London, but the latest public transport link is the Emirates Air Line Cable Car.

Many pods in silhouette
Click Photos for Slideshow © AboutBritain.com

Sky view
© AboutBritain.com

This newly constructed cable car ride doubles up as a popular visitor attraction, offering great views of London during the 0.6 mile (one-kilometre) journey.

Passengers ride across the River Thames in glass-windowed pods.

The cable car pods soar high above the River Thames at a height of 40 metres (160 feet) and take about five minutes to make the crossing. 

It can carry an estimated 2,500 passengers per hour in a a far more efficient and eco-friendly way than an equivalent 50 buses.

The cable car offers a unique view of the London Docklands, Canary Wharf, the Olympic Park and the centre of London as it carries seated passengers in comfortable gondolas.

The Emirates Air Line connects two important visitor facilities: the O2 Arena, Europe's largest entertainment centre on the Greenwich Peninsula and the ExCel Centre, Europe's largest conference centre, at the Royal Docks.

The O2
The O2 © AboutBritain.com

The Whole Ride
The Whole Ride © AboutBritain.com

Construction of the Thames Cable Car

The Emirates Air Line opened in June 2012 just in time to provide an essential mode of transport for visitors heading for the Olympic Park during the London 2012 Olympics.

The Top of the Ride
The Top of the Ride © AboutBritain.com

The estimated cost of £35 million mushroomed to £60 million and was sponsored by the Dubai-based Emirates Airline who then renamed the project the Emirates Air Line.

London Docklands
London Docklands © AboutBritain.com

Further references to the airline, which may linger long after the initial 10-year sponsorship deal, include the rides being called "flights", tickets are "boarding passes" and the staff uniform closely resembles that of an airline flight attendant.

View Down the River
View Down the River © AboutBritain.com

Commuters, locals and visitors can pay for the ride using a prepaid Oyster card, if they have one, which is also a convenient cost-efficient way to pay for bus, tram, riverboat, rail and underground Tube journeys in London.

Taking a Ride on the Emirates Air Line

The Air Line terminal on the South side of the river is at Greenwich, near the underground station at North Greenwich, close to the O2 Arena.

The Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier © AboutBritain.com

The terminal on the North bank of the Thames, the Royal Docks Terminal, is close to the Docklands Light Railway station at Royal Victoria, near the ExCel Centre.

Visitors simply wanting a cable car experience and views of the Thames can do a return journey, or it can be used to get from one side of the river to the other.

A Pod
A Pod © AboutBritain.com
View from Greenwich Terminal
View from Greenwich Terminal © AboutBritain.com

As with the London Eye, passengers must board the slow moving pods which carry 10 people.

Standing is not permitted and retractable seats allow passengers to travel with pushchairs and bicycles.

Pod in silhouette
Pod in silhouette © AboutBritain.com

The ride is silent and smooth apart from slight bumps as it passes the mechanism approaching the terminal.

Two pods against a blue sky
Two pods against a blue sky © AboutBritain.com

Passengers will find fares are much cheaper than the London Eye, but the ride is considerably shorter.

View of The Crystal
View of The Crystal © AboutBritain.com

A free inflight map is provided to help visitors identify landmarks including Canary Wharf, O2, London City Airport, Olympic Park and the Gherkin building. In the distance, St Paul's Cathedral, the Shard and Wembley Stadium may be seen.

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The Southern Terminal is next to the O2 arena on the Greenwich Peninsula:

Emirates Greenwich Peninsula
Emirates Cable Car Terminal,
Edmund Halley Way,
SE10 0FR

Nearest Underground Station: North Greenwich

The Northern Terminal in Docklands is next to the Royal Victoria Docklands Light Railway station:

Emirates Royal Docks
Emirates Air Line
27 Western Gateway
E16 4FA

Nearest Station: Royal Victoria DLR

Emirates Air Line Cable Cars Postcode for SatNav: SE10 0FR



Emirates Cable Car Terminal (Greenwich)
Edmund Halley Way
SE10 0FR

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