Did you know that there is a cable car in London? Normally cable cars are a transport method used to get up mountains quickly, but of course there are no mountains in London! Take a closer look at a London Underground map and there it is, the little stripy red line connecting Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks across the River Thames, and yep it happens to be run by my favourite airline, Emirates!
Cable Car At The O2
I finally ticked this off my UK bucket list before I went to a concert at the O2 Arena…the Greenwich Peninsula station is literally a 5 minute walk from the venue entrance. The Emirates Air Line opened in 2012, stretches 1103 metres and has a highest point of 295ft.
Now there’s not exactly much to see, just like when I climbed up the roof of the O2, a lot of the area that surrounds it, is in the process of being developed. It’s just a fun little round trip to make! On the Royal Docks side of the river, I was shocked to discover a cable wakeboard park (just like WakeDock in Dublin)! There was even an old boat that was converted into a bar with an outdoor deck seating area. On a hot day, I bet this area would be an awesome place to hang out! The Sunborn Yacht Hotel is also located next to the ExCel Exhibition Centre, giving you the chance to spend a night on a luxury yacht at an affordable price!
I started the journey from the Greenwich Peninsula, on this ‘leg’, a short video played as we crossed the river, pointing out various landmarks (such as the Thames Barrier) and gave information about the area. The journey takes around 10 minutes. I was also impressed that even though there was a little bit of a queue, the 10 seater cars weren’t being stuffed to full capacity, no one seemed to mind waiting a little longer to get a ‘private’ car. One way me and my sister had the pod to ourselves, this was nice as we could take photos and talk. On the return journey, we were put in with a family of 3, this was slightly more awkward, the cars are fairly small and I felt like I had to whisper!
I used my pay as you go Oyster Card, each single trip cost £3.40, slightly cheaper than the regular cash price of £4.50. There are touch pads on the ticket machines for Oyster holders, just like on the Underground, so it means you get to skip the line for tickets, yay! For a round trip PLUS an inflight guide and entrance to the Emirates Aviation Experience, Oyster holders are charged £8.40 and the regular price is £10.70, these need to be bought from the ticket machines or the ticket office though. (You can also use debit cards that have the touch technology, which have the same fees as an Oyster Card).
I didn’t check out the Emirates Aviation Experience BUT I did get to pose with an Airbus A380 engine that sits out the front, those things really are huge! There’s also a free photo booth at the Greenwich station. You are superimposed into pictures of Emirates flight destinations around the world, the photos are then sent to an email address to be saved or printed from your own device/computer.
The Emirates cable car is weather permitting, it shuts during high winds and lightening storms. Announcements for closures are made over the loud speaker at London Underground stations too.
Nearest tube station: North Greenwich
For more information visit: Emirates Air Line
Opening hours: 7am Monday to Friday | 8am Saturdays |9am Sundays
10pm Sunday to Thursday (9pm in Winter) | 11pm Fridays & Saturdays
I recommend combining the Emirates Cable Car with a trip to the O2 Arena. For example, before a show at the O2 (although lines may be longer for the cable car), the Up At The O2 climb, dinner at one of the restaurants in the O2, a film at Cineworld or there’s now a bowling alley, jump park and there’ll often be pop up exhibitions. Otherwise I have simply used it as a way of ‘jumping lines’ on the London Underground network! The Jubilee Line will get you around London further and quicker than the Docklands Light Railway (DLR)…although the DLR is pretty cool because the trains have no drivers so it’s kinda creepy standing at the front of the train!
Have you been in the Emirates cable car in London?! You can read this post to find other unusual things to do in London!
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