Astronomical additions are being made to MBNA Thames Clippers as it adds two new boats to the fleet.

Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper will take to the water later this year making it the biggest commercial passenger fleet operating solely in English waters.

The two new 170-seater passenger boats cost £6.3million and will allow the company, founded in 1999, to reach an expected 38.5 million passengers journeys along the River Thames by the end of 2017.

Headquartered at Trinity Buoy Wharf, it already added two boats in late 2015, meaning it has increased its capacity by 30% in two years.

MBNA strategy and innovation executive James Poole said the company was going from “strength to strength” and helping deliver “more and more good stuff to travellers on the river.”

Both fast ferries were constructed by Wight Shipyard Co at East Cowes and have seen the creation of 75 new jobs across the Isle of Wight and London.

The two MBNA Thames Clippers boats being built in the yard on the Isle of Wight

Mercury Clipper will be launched onto the water at East Cowes in June for endurance trials before making the journey to London for the official launch. Jupiter Clipper will follow shortly afterwards.

More than 1,000 schoolchildren entered a competition to name the boats and 11-year-old Lennon from Scotland was crowned winner. He and his family will attend the official naming ceremony in London this summer.

MBNA Thames Clippers CEO Sean Collins said: “The arrival of Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper this summer to the fleet is not only a major milestone for our business, but also for the London transport network.

“Our commitment to enhancing the London river transport network is moving at a considerable pace and we are excited to be leading the way in making more of the River Thames as a key part of the capital’s infrastructure.”

WIN

Passengers who use the clipper service this summer will be able to brush up on their photography skills in a series of sunset workshops with two of the city’s top Instagrammers.

Nigel Story (@Levanterman) will be on board the 8.34pm service from Westminster on Tuesday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 23.

While Neil Andrews (@mumhad1ofthose) will join the 8.54pm service from Westminster on Tuesday, Nay 30 and Tuesday, June 6.

During the #SailingAtSunset series they will give amateur photographers their top tips on capturing the city’s landmarks as the sun goes down.

The workshops cost the price of a single journey, from £6.30 for an adult and £3.15 for a child (aged 5 to 15 years) when using contactless or Oyster to pay as you go.

Those who can’t make the sailings can share shots of sunset on the river using #SailingAtSunset and tagging @ThamesClippers for a chance to win a free month MBNA Thames Clippers pass and a journey on the Emirates Air Line.

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