Even the greatest Olympics enthusiast must have niggling worries about transport tribulations in London during the Games. When the starting pistol goes off, Mo Farah & Co are unlikely to wait for any unlucky ticket holders who are stuck underground or in a snarl-up… But if you’re willing to splash the cash to ensure a smooth journey and an as-close-to-guaranteed arrival time as possible, then a VIP Water Taxi to the Olympic Park should be right up your Strasse – or should that be Fluss?
Charter a return trip any time, 24 hours a day, from a central London pier, where you and up to 11 of your guests will be picked up by a speedy RIB (NB: this is the only part of the river journey where you might get wet if it rains, as the boat is open to the elements). Soon after, guests disembark to board a Water Taxi (an enclosed RIB – pictured) to Limehouse Marina Pontoon (a five- to 10-minute journey). The final part of the voyage, from the gateway at Limehouse to the Olympic Park, is aboard a rather stately looking Water Chariot, undercover or en plein air, as guests decide. From Swan Wharf Olympic water entrance, where guests are dropped off, it’s a mere 70m walk to the stadium via the Victoria entrance, with instant access – yes, that means no queuing. Depending on which pier you want to be collected from, the whole journey is expected to take about an hour.
While the object of the exercise is to deliver guests to the Olympic Park on time, there’s as much emphasis on making sure they arrive on form. An on-board champagne-and-canapé-touting steward/stewardess will ensure guests are comfortable and relaxed, and there will be musical entertainment at Swan Wharf. VIP hospitality enclosures and complete privacy are promised throughout.
So, at what price comes stress-free but exciting travel with great river views? From £1,800 per boat, return. It might sound a lot, but if you split it 12 ways and think of the peace of mind it secures, it seems much more reasonable, at £150 each. It’s a shame you can’t hail one, really.