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Emirates Air Line, London

Emirates Air Line is a cable car service crossing the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. Transport for London (Tfl) operates the service as a form of transport across the River Thames but also promoted as a London attraction ‘offering views of the city from a unique perspective’. The cable car route became part of the London Tube map in June 2012 with the sponsoring company’s name (Emirates) and cable car service logo (red cartouche with the 'Tfl' roundel) shown on the map.

Access to the Emirates Air Line's Greenwich and the Royal Docks terminals as well as boarding the cable car is step-free and therefore accessible for most wheelchairs and mobility scooters. You can also bring strollers and pushchairs but must fold them completely flat before boarding. Due to restricted space in the cable car, passengers should limit their baggage to bags and rucksacks. With the exceptions of guide dogs, you must carry animals such as pet dogs at all times and some animals not permitted into the cable car.

Emirates Air Line by Karen Roe


The cable car line stretches 1 km (0.6 miles) across the River Thames at heights above 90 metres (300 feet). Each car can accommodate a maximum of 10 passengers and a typical crossing on a single journey takes 10 minutes. During peak hours (7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday-Friday), the crossing time reduces to 5 minutes by increasing the speed of travel. After 7 p.m., the cars travel at a slightly slower speed taking 12-13 minutes to cross each way.

Emirates Air Line Greenwich terminal by Sludge G

See & Do

You can enjoy great views of London while crossing the River Thames on the Emirates Air Line. There are fantastic views of East London including the unique dome of the O2 Arena, London 2012 Olympic Park, the Thames Barrier and the Royal Docks. You can also get incredible views of the historical buildings at Maritime Greenwich. Further away is London’s financial and business district of Canary Wharf with its towering skyscrapers. You can enjoy the ride even more after 7 p.m. when London comes alive at night with bright lights. The audio and visual display in the cable car complements the ride and tells about the sites seen.

Boarding the cable car by Karen Roe

Next to Emirates Air Line’s Greenwich terminal is the Emirates Aviation Experience, which tells the story of the aviation industry with interactive exhibits and flights simulators. Exhibits include the replica of a cockpit and economy seats of an Airbus A380. You can also see the inner workings of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 jet engine. There is an interactive touch screen where you can learn how weight, drag, thrust and lift affect flight in a wind tunnel. There is a screening telling about the fascinating journey of how luggage passes through the baggage handling system at Dubai Airport. The highlights are the two Airbus A380 and two Boeing B777 flight simulators - select a destination and pilot the plane from take-off to landing.

Visiting Emirates Air Line

The cable car service starts at 7 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. on Sundays. The service closes at 9 p.m. in summer and earlier at 8 p.m. in winter. You can purchase tickets at either end of the Emirates Air Line terminal or you can use your prepaid Oyster Card, which is 25% cheaper than paying cash for the tickets. You can even book a private cabin for up to 10 passengers for a continuous (non-stop) journey from one terminal and back for £88.

The nearest London Underground station to the Emirates Air Line terminal on Greenwich Peninsula is the nearby North Greenwich Station serving the Jubilee Line. London’s red buses travelling on several routes also stop near the station. North Greenwich Pier is also located nearby and serves riverboats under the London River Services. On the Royal Dock side of the cable car terminal, Royal Victoria Station is the nearest and serves the Dockland Light Railway (DLR).

Emirates Air Line on the Map

Greenwich Peninsula (western terminal) and Royal Docks (eastern terminal), London, UK

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