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As summer fades and the clocks change, the evenings begin to creep noticeably earlier and earlier and we become bedecked with long coats and woollen scarves. Here at Topsail we look forward to the Autumn and Christmas Season. With the bracing fresh air comes clear, crisp skies and the excitement of Bonfire Night Fireworks, Halloween, Christmas and what always feels like an enormous amount of Birthday celebrations. Cosy nights and hot drinks are order of the day. The Seasons changing is one of the joys of the British climate – while we may lament the summer’s end, forget not the beauty of autumn and the thrill of winter.
This is no truer than on the Thames. With the summer festivals and fair weather sailing over, Topsailors are gearing up for one of our highlights of the year: Christmas on the Thames. Sailing Barge Will is currently moored on the river by Tower Bridge ready and Captain, Tom Cook, is busy stoking the fire and making her shipshape for the Office Parties and Family Celebrations that fill the festive season.
Think of the hot scent of mulled wine in the air, warm and cosy evening meals in Sailing Barge Will’s wooden saloon and the glittering majesty of London’s sites on a clear dark night. Topsail and Sailing Barge Will can take your festive celebrations far beyond the local pub and into family and company folklore. And, if your mind’s not already begun plotting a party, our Sailing Barge will also stop the traffic and open Tower Bridge exclusively for your guests to marvel at!
Usefully, we have a new virtual tour where you can take a snoop round our Barge’s nooks and crannies before you commit! If you’re still unsure we’ll happily organise a viewing in person where a member of Topsail will take you round and show you the historic delights of one of the most special vessels on the river this Christmas.
While on the topic of Christmas parties, we must mention that our partners, Thames Leisure, also have an amazing array of Christmas Packages on their River Cruisers: William B, Dutch Master and Tideway. There is even an extraordinary deal on the charter of Tideway from £490 per four hour boat hire. Between us, we feel that we have really done our best this year offering a wide range of cruises to suit your Christmas Party needs. An evening on the Thames is really different so take your winter event out into the night sky!
By Guy Wimpory email@example.com
It’s all kicking off tomorrow, folks! There are celebrations happening right across the country with London and the River Thames being the focal point for some big parties.
The Olympic torch is making its way across London as we speak and at 7.30am tomorrow morning, it will be setting sail down the Thames on the Royal Barge made famous by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Reaching Tower Bridge at lunchtime the torch is then being transported under cover from City Hall to the Olympic Stadium for the grand finale of the Opening Ceremony.
Rehearsals have been underway all week with stunt men dropping onto Tower Bridge from helicopters, acrobats abseiling down city hall and various other wondrous performances all building up to this momentous occasion.
With four London 2012 venues bordering the Thames; Excel London, the O2 Arena, Greenwich Park and Woolwich Arsenal, why not organise a cruise to experience for yourself the buzz in London. A party on one of our Thames Cruisers creates the perfect riverside backdrop for cocktail parties, summer BBQ’s and much, much more.
If your cruise is in the evening, the Dazzle show will be taking place on Tower Bridge right through the Olympic period and we can offer front row seats for this spectacular illumination. You could even lift the bridge with our Tower Bridge 2012 package!
With the Olympics just a couple of weeks away there’s a buzz of excitement building in the Topsail office as we finalise our packages for summer cruises during the games.
Are you looking to transport guests down river towards the Village? We have options for an early breakfast cruise a lunch buffet or an evening BBQ on a number of our vessels.
Even if you weren’t one of the lucky ones to bag yourself a ticket to the 2012 games you can still soak up the atmosphere by cruising through central London taking in some of the key Olympic sites such as Greenwich or the O2.
We will also shortly be launching our Tower Bridge 2012 cruise on board the William B. Offering a unique opportunity to combine a guided tour of the towers and walkway with a sunset cruise and the Tower Bridge Dazzle show.
Become part of London 2012; a year that will go down in history.
With the Olympic Games 2012 just one month away, the Olympic rings have just been lowered into position on Tower Bridge.
The giant aluminium rings were installed on the 17th June but it is only today on the 27th June that they have been lowered into position so that they can be seen up and down the river.
From the 27th July when the games begin, a number of bridges on the Thames will also be lit up in a stunning display of colour during the evenings, and the enormous mobile Olympic rings seen earlier this year will return to the river.
“Glorious Tower Bridge is recognised the world over and, adorned with the famous Olympic rings, is the perfect choice to showcase what London has to offer this summer,” says Boris Johnson.
“With just a month to go, we are making our final preparations and want to ensure each and every person in the capital gets a flavour of the celebrations and feels part of the games.”
From the end of July the lowering of the Olympic rings will form the climax of the Dazzle Illumination; a nightly light show at Tower Bridge during the games. Why not book a dinner cruise with Topsail and Thames Leisure to ensure front row seats for this spectacular event.
It was probably the wettest day of 2012 so far but in true Brit style the torrential rain did nothing to deter the crowds and excitement building around the Thames for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. More than one million rain soaked spectators gathered along the river as 1000 vessels made the record breaking journey between Battersea and Tower Bridge to celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s reign.
Topsail and Thames Leisure had the mammoth task of organising not one, but eight separate events on our vessels which were moored up in the Avenue of Sail near the finish line. The static moorings offered our passengers an unrivalled and unique position to watch the Queen and her pageant sail by.
It was one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river with rowing boats, historic boats, working boats and pleasure boats of all shapes and sizes coming together, beautifully decorated and turned out in their finest rigs for this magnificent day.
The pageant’s jewel in the crown was the Royal Barge – Spirit of Chartwell – which drew huge cheers. Onboard was the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The spectacular Tower Bridge raised as the royal barge approached… and heavy rain returned to the London skies.
The energy and enthusiasm on the day was fantastic with families spanning generations waving and cheering the Queen by. With 10 musical barges adding to the atmosphere, the rain was almost forgotten. The overwhelming general consensus is that it was an amazing and unforgettable day – the Pageant was without a doubt, the highlight of the weekend celebrations.
“We all had a really fantastic time. You had lovely staff on board, the food was great, and the whole event was something we will all remember for the rest of our lives” – Katie, onboard Tideway
Floating on the Thames beneath London’s spectacularly magical firework display, Topsail saw 2012 in with style! Happy to be out on the river with Hospitality Line and Pukka Up to party the night away, Topsail and Thames Leisure can happily reflect on the end of one landmark year at the beginning of another! “Its going to be a privilege to be working on the Thames in 2012”, enthuses Topsail MD, Mark Tower, “with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant and the London 2012 Olympic Games coming up, and our new partnership with Thames Leisure, I couldn’t be more excited about the year ahead.”
Loaded with mulled wine, our River Cruisers and Thames Sailing Barges are busy out on the river working hard to lull the nation’s capital into the festive spirit and bring the season to light! Whether cruising in the brisk winter sun or opening a floodlit Tower Bridge against the backdrop of the city’s sparkling reflections at night, Topsail is proud to be in the midst of another successful and memorable Christmas on the river.
An historic day! Topsail Events together with its catering operation RFAD have moved into a major new venture with a merger that has taken the Thames by surprise. Topsail has joined forces with major river cruise boat operator Thames Leisure. New vessels Dutch Master, William B and Tideway. With new routes, new piers and bigger capacities we can do all that we used to do with Topsail’s innovative ideas and dedication to good service on a bigger scale, over a wider area with Private Parties and Corporate Events on the Thames. And yes, Tower Bridge will still open just for you!
Our boss, Captain Tower, remained unconvincingly unmoved saying he would rather have one of his Christmas Parties on Sailing Barge Will or a river boat up through Central London. Topsail’s own Sarah and Jess on the other hand were last seen in Will’s barge boat rowing towards this Superyacht Aviva…!
Meanwhile, Topsail continues to do what it does best: providing the most unique and memorable Thames experience available. Another happy customer was blown away by our special Clay Pigeon Shooting aboard a Thames Sailing Barge. “It was faultlessly organised with great fun, great food and great staff. The instructors were hugely entertaining and I have already recommended your company to an office manager friend of mine who is looking to do something special. Again, thank you to everyone involved in making our company away day one of the best yet!” (Michelle Green, TradingPartners)
Last week Topsail launched Forman and Field on the River with a hugely successful press event clay shooting on the Thames. The event was attended by a number of leading figures from sports marketing, international travel and boating media sectors and will be featured in next month’s Spectator Scoff Magazine. The article will coincide with the launch of our first ticketed Thames cruises for the public that will be available for individual sale through next year.
The partnership with Forman and Field brings the finest British foods together with Topsail’s exceptional waterborne hospitality in a celebration of the best of British, – something that Topsail are proud to be promoting throughout the 2012 Olympics.