In Australian university culture, any student event involving a night-time river journey is affectionately termed a “booze cruise”. The English way, however, promised to be much more refined, as the Study Abroad office organised a boat cruise along the Thames as an opportunity for us newly-enrolled associate students to get to know each other.
With the Study Abroad staff ensuring our social dignity remained intact, and our QMSU officers along for the trip, we set off from Tower Millennium Pier and settled aboard the ferry with a buffet dinner, bar and dance floor that slowly filled up once the DJ made up for starting off with Fergie’s London Bridge.
Tower Bridge, not London Bridge: far more exciting than the song
All music choice controversies aside, the first hour of the cruise had us spoiled with a front-row riverseat introduction to some of London’s most recognised landmarks. Having casually strolled past the Tower of London on our way to the pier, we were then treated to a unique perspective of Shakespeare’s Globe, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Somerset House, Southbank Centre (alongside the National Theatre and British Film Institute) and the brilliantly night-lit Houses of Parliament, before cruising back eastwards towards Canary Wharf and the O2.
Riverseat view: London’s Houses of Parliament at night
I’m willing to publicly admit that one of the night’s highlights for me was reviving some of my best moves from 2004, when the DJ pumped out Usher’s Yeah! (I think my dignity’s still intact). Whether the night was about busting a move or soaking in the scene, we wandered back up past the Tower of London with new friends, new stories and a plan of all of the world class historic and cultural spaces we can explore in the coming months!