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PLA Videos

Recreational Users

For guidance and advice to assist you in navigating the tidal Thames for the first time, or even if you're a regular visitor.


Thames Vision – Goals

A Thames Vision focused flight along the Thames from the mouth to West. It takes in the sights of the port, inland freight, passenger travel, environment, sport, recreation, culture and community, taking in the goals for their future growth set out in the Thames Vision. For more information visit: www.pla.co.uk/ThamesVision

The Many Faces of the Thames Today

The Thames. An iconic river enjoyed by millions of people every year. Riverside World Heritage sites and major sporting events draw visitors. Thousands of ships a year call at terminals, bringing essential goods and carrying exports overseas. A thriving environment. A place to live. A route to work. Somewhere to watch and marvel at heritage or get hands on with foreshore archaeology. A river overseen by the PLA as Custodians of the Tidal Thames. Our latest film captures the essence of the Thames today – and we hope it might encourage you to come and have a look too.

What’s in the Thames

The tidal Thames is a vibrant habitat for wildlife, home to 125 species of fish, hundreds of seals and 300,000 overwintering birds every year. Find out more about what’s in the river and the work we do to look after it, including habitat management, driftwood collection, Thames Barrier navigation and our partnership work with organisations including the Environment Agency, RPSB and Thames21.

What’s in the Thames - Highlights

A brief introduction to what’s in the tidal Thames and the work we do to look after its environment. The river is home to 125 species of fish, hundreds of seals and 300,000 overwintering birds every year. In 92 seconds we cover this and our work including habitat management, driftwood collection, Thames Barrier navigation and much more.

Highlights 2014, how we create value and looking ahead to the Thames Vision

From our 2014 Stakeholder Forum, a film looking at the highlights of 2014 on the Thames (and for the PLA), plus how the work we do creates value for society and looking ahead to shaping a Vision for the development of the tidal Thames over the next 20 years.

Cruise Ship Viking Star - Thames

Cruise ship Viking Star passing through the Thames Barrier en-route to Bergen, after her maiden call on the Thames - 13 May 2015.

Marco Polo arriving at Tilbury

Cruise ship, Marco Polo arriving at London International Cruise Terminal, which hosts more than 60 cruise ship calls a year. Marco Polo guided to and from her berth by PLA pilots, with vessel movement overseen from port control. April 2015

Behind the Scenes at the Boat Race with the PLA

The PLA plays a key role behind the scenes at one of the Thames biggest races of the year: the University Boat Race. Our work includes clearing the course of driftwood, laying moorings for stake boats and overseeing the river closure at race time. Deputy harbour master, Ryan Hall and marine services manager, Danny Marsh show you behind the scenes as we started preparations for the 2015 Boat Race.

What the Thames Means to Me

The 95 miles of tidal Thames is at the heart of life for many millions of people. As we kick off a new project to develop a Vision for the future of the river, we asked a range of people what the river means to them.

Busiest Night of the Year

New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year on the Thames for passenger boats, with many people getting afloat for a great view of the fireworks. The Port of London Authority co-ordinates river operations for the event, with two launches on the river closing it to traffic between Westminster Bridge and Charing Cross Bridge between 2340 on 31 December 2013 until 0020 on 1 January 2014. VTS Officers at our Thames Barrier Navigation Centre oversee the operation – this is their story of the night.