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Claire Ridley climbs on board the MV Erasmus, the first dedicated private-hire vessel from City Cruises.
My love affair with our great capital city started as a child when my parents used to regularly take my brother and me for days out in London, and it has never faltered. So, I jumped at the chance of setting sail down the Thames on this new, 38-metre alternative wedding venue that can cater for up to 300 passengers.
Spread across three decks, the venue has space a-plenty for all the key elements of a wedding, with the larger, lower one ideal for a wedding breakfast for 126 guests, and the middle deck accommodating up to 300 loved ones for dancing and an evening buffet. The smaller deck at the rear is the perfect spot for Insta-worthy wedding photographs.
As I boarded and was handed a glass of champagne (all events hosted here include a glass of sparkling wine), I headed straight outside to capture an uninterrupted view of the London Eye, closely followed by Tower Bridge as we set sail. This is my favourite bridge and, to my amazement, the trip had been perfectly timed to see this incredible landmark open. As dusk settled, I headed inside to enjoy canapés prepared by the Erasmus kitchen team on the lower deck, which features large panoramic windows and comfortable, booth-style seating. It's from here I watched as the boat glided down to Greenwich Pier, marvelling at the iconic sights along this famous waterway. I pictured this opening party as a wedding, one filled with romance, laughter and fun that I would definitely want an invite to. The state-of-the-art sound and lighting system created a lively party atmosphere, and the experienced private hire team left no detail in the service unturned. It's worth noting that this vessel is heated, making it ideal for winter weddings and not just summer celebrations, and those who suffer from sea legs needn't worry as the boat doesn't travel at great speed.
To book, call 020 7 740 0411 or visit www.citycruises.com