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WHAT IS IT?
The London Cable Car, officially known as 'The Emirates Air Line sponsored by Emirates Airline', is a cable-car which crosses the River Thames in East London, between The Royal Docks near Canning Town and the Greenwich Peninsula. The Royal Docks Terminal, on the north side, is close to the Excel Centre. The Greenwich Peninsula Terminal, on the south side, is close to the O2 Arena.
The cars leave each terminal every few seconds. Journey time is 5 minutes, but between 10am and 3pm this is extended to ten minutes so that visitors can have more time to appreciate the view! Each car can seat up to ten people and two bicycles, and boarding is monitored by staff.
The cable car opens at 7am Monday-Friday, 8am Saturday and 9am Sunday. It closes at 8pm during the winter months (October to March) and at 9pm during the Summer Months (April to September). During events at the Excel Centre and the O2 Arena service may continue until later in the evening.
NOTE - The service may be suspended if there are strong winds, or if there is a threat of thunder and lightning in the immediate area. Service status information can be obtained from the Transport for London website
WHAT DOES IT COST?
The Emirates Air-Line is NOT part of the Transport for London ticketing scheme, so separate fares must be paid - Travelcards are NOT valid.
However, anyone holding a valid paper Travelcard, Oyster Travelcard, a London Boroughs Freedom Pass, or using Oyster Pay-as-you-go, gets a discount of 25% off the fares below. Because of the Emirates sponsorship, the tickets are known as 'Boarding Passes'!
A single trip costs £4.30 (£3.20 discount) for an adult, £2.20 (£1.60 discount) for a child aged 5-15 years, children under 5 go free.
A return trip costs £8.60 (£6.40 discount) for an adult, £4.40 (£3.20 discount) for a child aged 5-15 years .
It is also possible to buy a '360' trip which enables you to stay on and go back to the original terminus; this costs the same price as a return trip. This may not be sold at busy times.
There is also a frequent "flyers" pass available at £16 for 10 "flights".
All travellers must buy a Boarding Pass at the ticket window, or from the machines; except for Oyster Pay-as-you-go users with sufficient credit who may go straight to the entrance barrier. Pay-as-you-go can be topped up at the Terminals if necessary. Pay-as-you go can also be added to a child-rate Oyster Card.
BOOKING TICKETS IN ADVANCE:
You can book tickets in advance online at: https://emiratesairline.theo2.co.uk/e...
To book groups of more than 10 tickets call 020 8464 4466 or email Emiratesairline.customerservices @theo2.co.uk
GETTING TO ROYAL DOCKS TERMINAL (north side)
The closest station is Royal Victoria, on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), which is about 200 metres away. Trains depart from Tower Gateway every few minutes; look for a train heading to 'Beckton'. If travelling from the Bank terminus of the DLR take any train and change to a 'Beckton' train at Shadwell, Limehouse or Westferry. Alternatively, West Silvertown DLR station on the Woolwich Arsenal Branch is only slightly further away, and avoids the need to change trains. Its elevated trackway permits fine views of the cable car and the dock, and a short walk along the dockside path takes you past the wakeboard centre and the Crystal.
From Central London it is also possible to use the Jubilee Line and change at Canning Town. On arrival, the DLR platforms are on the upper level, directly above the Underground platforms. Take the next train to Beckton and alight at Royal Victoria, one stop.
It is also possible to walk from Canning Town Station; the walk takes about ten minutes and is signposted. The walk is not particularly scenic.
Both Royal Victoria Dock and Canning Town are in Travelcard Zone 3.
The closest bus route is the 474, use the Charrington Steps stop. Numerous buses serve Canning Town Bus Station, including the 115 from Aldgate.
GETTING TO GREENWICH PENINSULA TERMINAL (south side)
The closest station is North Greenwich Underground Station, about 400 metres away, which is served by the Jubilee Line. A number of bus routes also serve North Greenwich Station, including the 188 from Central London (Russell Square, Holborn, Aldwych, Waterloo).
North Greenwich is on the boundary of Travecard Zones 2 and 3. Holders of a Zones 1&2 Travelcard do not need to pay an add-on or excess fare to travel to North Greenwich.
Greenwich Peninsula also has a pier, served by the Thames Clipper riverboat service up to every 20 minutes.
Note that Greenwich Peninsula is some distance from Greenwich Town Centre, which is where the Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Observatory, Meridian Line and Park are located. Buses 129 and 188 run between North Greenwich Station and Greenwich Town Centre every few minutes. Alternatively take the Jubilee Line one stop to Canary Wharf and change to the DLR to travel to Cutty Sark. It is also posible to walk along the Riverside Path; this will take around 30 minutes and will give you good views across to the Isle of Dogs and the towers of Canary Wharf.
WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO SEE AND DO IN THE AREA?
Depending upon the time of your visit and the show schedules at the nearby venues, the area around the terminals may be a hive of activity or a haven of peace and quiet. The Terminals are close to the ExCel Arena and the O2 Arena and a visit to either of these venues could include a trip on the Emirates Air-Line. There are plenty of shops, cafés and restuarants around the ExCel and O2 Arenas if you want to get someting to eat or drink.
On the North side the historic Royal Victoria Dock offers pleasant waterfront walking. A short circular route can take in the dock perimeter and the Royal Victoria Dock footbridge, whose elevated vantage point offers fine views of Canary Wharf, the City, the Crystal, the O2, the Olympic Park, The Thames Barrier and the runway at London City Airport. The flight path means aircraft arrive or depart directly overhead, passing over the bridge at a height of only a few hundred feet. Royal Victoria Dock is also home to London's largest group of preserved historic dock cranes, granted Grade II listed status in 2007, and the historic Steamship SS Robin, which will join the HMS Belfast and Cutty Sark as London's third historic ship when it opens to the public sometime in 2014 (for more information visit www.ssrobin.org). Walking slightly further afield you can gain access to the Greenway, a public footpath that meanders its way to the Olympic Park and all points West.
For spectacle Royal Victoria Dock hosts the annual London Boat Show, the London Triathalon, the Great London Swim, and is home to London's only wakeboard facility. A short walk in the direction of the airport takes you to Royal Albert Dock, home to the Regatta Centre and the annual Dragonboat races, as well as the host airfield for the Red Bull AirRace, should they return to London.
London's newest public park, situated on the Thames adjacent to the Thames Barrier. It's home to a nice cafe in the pavilion, and the 'Green Dock' gardens. Open until dusk every day.
Now open next to the Royal Docks Terminal is 'The Crystal', which describes itself as 'the world's largest exhibition focused on urban sustainabiity'. Also home to a fine cafe, The exhibition is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am - 5pm; closed Sunday & Monday, free entry.
As already mentioned above, Greenwich and its attractions are a short bus ride from the Greenwich Peninsula Terminal (buses 129 & 188 from North Greenwich Station) or a 30-minute walk along the Riverside Path.
The Thames Barrier is close by and can be reached by bus or by walking along the River. The Thames Barrier Visitor Centre (open Thursday-Sunday 10.30am-5pm, small admssion charge) is on the south side of the River and tells the story of the Barrier and explains how it works. It can be reached by bus 161 or 472 from North Greenwich Station (alight at the Woolwich Road/Charlton Way stop) or walk along the Riverside Path (about 30 minutes). On the North Side, the attractive Thames Barrier Park has been created within a former dock. This can be reached by bus 474 (alight at Pontoon Dock Station) or by DLR from Royal Victoria, changing at Canning Town.
Westfield Stratford City
Stratford and the huge Westfield Shopping Complex are a 15-minute train ride from the Royal Docks Terminal. DLR from Royal Victoria (depending on the time of day, you may need to change at Canning Town); a ride through to Stratford International will give a brief glimpse of the Olympic Park after leaving Stratford - sit on the left side of the train for the best view.
Canary Wharf & Museum of London Docklands
Canary Wharf is noted for its modern skyscrapers, but also has green open spaces and open areas by the water. It also has a number of shops, bars and restaurants, and the Museum of London Docklands, which tells the story of this richly historic and fascinating part of London (open daily 10am-6pm, small admission charge). Take the DLR from Royal Victoria to West India or Canary Wharf, change at Poplar; or one stop on the Jubilee Line from North Greenwich.
Firepower Museum, Woolwich Arsenal
Woolwich Arsenal, place of manufacture of armaments since the time of Henry VIII, has now been opened up to the public; many of the heistoric buildings have been retained and adapted for new purposes. The Royal Artillery Museum, now known as Firepower! is situated within the Arsenal Complex (open Tuesday-Saturday, 10.30am - 6pm; closed Sunday & Monday). DLR from Royal Victoria to Woolwich Arsenal, change at Canning Town; or buses 161, 472 from North Greenwich Station, alight at Woolwich Arsenal Station.
Something a bit different - how about Eltham Palace, a medieval building that was once the childhood home of King Henry VIII, then given a thoroughly eccentric Art Deco makeover by the Courtauld Family in the 1930s. Fabulous Gardens too. Not open every day - in Winter open Sundays only - so check website (link below) if planning to visit. Bus 132 from North Greenwich Station to Eltham, alight at the Eltham Church / Well Hall Road stop and walk along Court Yard to the Palace.