Simplon - The Passenger Ship Website - www.simplonpc.co.uk

Simplon Home - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Simplon facebook - Recent Updates - Search Simplon - Copyright Information - Contact Simplon
This website has no connection with any shipping company, cruise line, boat operator or other commercial organisation - There are no postcards for sale on this website




Woods Silver Fleet
Woods River Cruises
 
This page is devoted to the Thames excursion boat operators Woods River Cruises, marketed as the Silver Fleet, who run high quality charter services and bookable lunch services on their two beautifully fitted-out vessels. This is one a of series of Simplon Postcards pages devoted to River Thames Excursion Boats. This page is not connected with the Silver Fleet - for information on cruises or charters see:- www.silverfleet.co.uk

The company was formed in 1947 and is still run by the Woods family. An early boat was the Viking III owned by Alan Woods (Snr) and Mrs LD Woods (later operating as Woods Launches) on Tower to Westminster services. She remained in the fleet until 1965. In 1956 the Teddington joined the fleet. She was built by J.Bolson of Poole in 1946 and had previously run for J.Battie. She was kept until 1960. In 1961 Woods Launches acquired a half share of W.T.Metcalf who ran Viking M (ex-Viking I) and Lady Leigh II from Tower Pier to Greenwich and Westminster. In the same year Dolphin was acquired and a partnership was formed with Coakley's Launches who were running Dauntless (1942) and Alouette (1927). St Patrick (1910) was added to the Metcalf fleet in 1963. The impressive new Silver Marlin (the first of the 'Silver' boats) was delivered from the Thames Launch Works in 1966. She was a modern enclosed boat with toilets, galley, bar etc for use on private charters or normal service work. In 1970, the Metcalf part of the business was split between Woods and Coakley. A second new boat, Silver Dolphin, was delivered in 1971. She had enclosed upper and lower decks and Silver Marlin receives an enclosed upper deck at the same time. Silver Dolphin was the remain with the fleet until 2009. In 1972 Minden Rose was acquired from Thompson's. She had been built as a German torpedo recovery vessel in 1942. Woods Launches became Woods (River Services) Ltd in 1975. An order was placed for a much larger and more luxurious charter vessel, the Silver Barracuda, which was delivered in 1977. The company also bought the ex-Gosport ferry Vita to assist on the Westminster-Tower services. After a thorough refit she entered service in 1976.

1977 Woods Fleet:- Minden Rose, Silver Barracuda (1977), Silver Dolphin (1971), Silver Marlin (1966), Vita (1959)

At the end of 1978, Coakley's Launches were acquired jointly with Thames Pleasure Craft, bringing two further ex-Gosport ferries, Ferry Belle and Varos, into the fleet. A new company Pearltarn Ltd was formed, jointly with Thames Pleasure Craft, to operate the Ferry Belle and Varos. In 1984 Woods River services took over the Ferry Princess, another ex-Gosport Ferry. Another joint company, Thames Guided Tours, was formed to run new vessels Sir Thomas More and Sir Richard Grenville  delivered 1982 and 1983.



1984 Woods Fleet:- Minden Rose, Silver Barracuda (1977), Silver Dolphin (1971), Silver Marlin (1966), Sir Richard Grenville (1983), Sir Thomas More (1982), Vita (1959)


By 1985 Minden Rose had been replaced by Ferry Princess. Woods were running services from Westminster to Tower Pier, from Tower Pier to Greenwich and (jointly with Catamaran Cruisers) from Charing Cross to Greenwich. Silver Barracuda was used on charter trips and occasional public lunch cruises. The Charing Cross services ceased in 1988. Ferry Princess and Sir Thomas More were sold, the latter to Thames Television who ran her on private functions from Teddington. She later became the William B of Thames Leisure. Silver Marlin was sold for service on Loch Lomond in 1991. Sir Richard Grenville was renamed Silver Bonito in 1993 and the company gave up their share of the Westminster, Tower and Greenwich services. Vita was sold. Silver Bonito was chartered to Evan Evans Tours for circular sightseeing tours. The impressive Silver Sturgeon joined the charter fleet in 1997, the largest vessel of this type on the Thames.

1997 Woods Fleet:- Silver Barracuda (1977), Silver Bonito(1983),  Silver Dolphin (1971), Silver Sturgeon (1997)


Silver Bonito later (c.2001) ran circular tours from the London Eye, and was sold to them in 2008. Silver Dolphin  was leased to Turk Launches until 2010.


Contact: www.silverfleet.co.uk
 
Ships on this Page:-
Silver Barracuda - built: 1977
Silver Bonito - 1993-2008 - ex-Sir Richard Grenville
Silver Dolphin - 1971-2009
Silver Marlin - built: 1966
Silver Sturgeon - built: 1997
Sir Richard Grenville - 1983-1993 - later Silver Bonito
 
Thames Passenger Boat Pages:-
River Thames Excursion Boats - Thames Header Page - Full List of Companies
Catamaran Cruisers
City Cruises
Crown River Cruises
Thames Clippers
 
Thames Passenger Boat Cruise Pages:-
River Thames - Harwich-Southend-Tilbury-Tower Pier - on Waverley
River Thames - Gravesend-Chelsea - on Princess Pocahontas
River Thames - Greenwich-Tower Pier - with Catamaran Cruisers
River Thames - Greenwich-Tower Pier - with City Cruises
River Thames - Tower Pier-Westminster - with City Cruises
 
Associated Pages:-
www.silverfleet.co.uk - company website
UK Excursion Ships
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Simplon Postcards - Home Page
 
References:-
Royal River Highway: Written by Frank L. Dix - published David & Charles 1984
Trip Out Guides - Written and published by G.P.Hamer - various editions from 1977 to 2005 consulted
Trip Out Guides are available from Geoffrey Hamer, PO Box 485, Southall, UB1 9BH
 
Search This Website:-

powered by FreeFind  
 
 
 
 
Woods River Cruises



Silver Marlin
(Woods River Cruises: 1966-1992)


The new Silver Marlin (the first of the 'Silver' boats) was delivered from the Thames Launch Works in 1966. She was a modern enclosed boat with toilets, galley, bar etc for use on private charters or normal service work. In 1992 she sailed to Loch Lomond where she has since worked for Sweeney's Cruises.


Silver Marlin in service with Sweeney's Cruises on Loch Lomond.
Early Sweeney's Brochure Download for Silver Marlin (1MB PDF)
SILVER MARLIN - Sweeney's Cruises - Loch Lomond - www.simplonpc.co.uk






Sir Richard Grenville (Woods River Cruises: 1983-1993)
Silver Bonito (Woods River Cruises: 1993-2008)



Sir Richard Grenville was built for jointly owned Thames Guided Tours in 1983, joining the similar Sir Thomas More. Later passing to Woods, she was renamed Silver Bonito and later ran circular Thames cruises in connection with the London Eye. She is now both owned and operated by London Eye.
 
 
Silver Bonito at the London Eye
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 21st September 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 7th April 2005.
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st March 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th May 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 21st September 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 21st September 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 21st September 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 21st September 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 21st September 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle,9th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 15th September 2007
 
 
Silver Bonito and cruise ship Deutschland
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 15th September 2007
 
 
Silver Bonito and cruise ship Deutschland
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 15th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30h September 2007
 
 
Silver Bonito and cruise ship Bremen
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30h September 2007
 
 
Silver Bonito and cruise ship Bremen
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30h September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30h September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30h September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2008
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2008






Silver Barracuda (built: 1977)
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st March 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 9th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 9th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2008
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2008
 
 
 
Scan: Ben @ www.riverthames.co.nr
 
 
Silver Barracuda on the right.
Other vessels (L-R): Naticia, Symphony (old) and Golden Salamander.
Scan: www.riverthames.co.nr






Silver Dolphin (built: 1971)
 
Silver Dolphin was built for Woods River Cruises in 1971 by Impala Marine. She is 71 feet long and carries up to 200 passengers depending upon internal configuration. Silver Dolphin remains in service with Woods River Cruises in 2007.

 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 20th January 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st March 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th May 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th May 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17h July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 25th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 25th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 25th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th October 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2008
 
 
Photo: Ben: www.riverthames.co.nr






Silver Sturgeon (built: 1997)
 
Silver Sturgeon was completely refitted for the 2007 season and has the most stylish interior of any river cruise boat that I have been on. Images are available on the Company website:- www.silverfleet.co.uk. In addition to her charter sailings in 2007, Silver Sturgeon ran a series of monthly Laurent-Perrier Lunch Cruises from the Savoy Pier. For an inclusive price, guests received a champagne reception and superb three course meal including wine. I took one of these cruises in the summer, and whilst not cheap, the quality and service were spectacularly good, and overall it was very good value.  
 
 
Photo: © Ben: www.riverthames.co.nr
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st March 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 31st March 2006
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 13th April 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 11th May 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 11th May 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 11th May 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 18th September 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th October 2007
 
 
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th October 2007
 
 
 
 
 
 
River Thames Header Page
UK Excursion Ships - Ferry Postcards - Cruise Ship Postcards - Ocean Liner Postcards
Top of Page - Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates - Simplon Postcards - Home Page
 
 
    





Free Web Counter
Times viewed since 12/05/2007: