A shiny new addition to the MBNA Thames Clippers fleet has started her maiden journey to Tower Hamlets.

Mercury Clipper set off from the Isle of Wight on Wednesday, June 21 for a 200 nautical mile journey to the capital.

Six members of crew – with over 80 years of combined experience between them – will carry out the 12 hour journey, at an average speed of 20 knots.

Travelling along the English coast, the boat will sail past landmarks including Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, Brighton Pier and the White Cliffs of Dover to its home at Trinity Buoy Wharf in Docklands.

Safety checks were carried out ahead of Mercury’s voyage and she will undergo further testing in London before she makes her first passenger journey at the end of June.

She is the first of two new boats that will enter service for the company this summer with Jupiter Clipper due to join her by early August.

The two new 172 capacity passenger boats, costing £6.3 million, will be used on RB6 route which runs from Putney to Canary Wharf during the week and carries 1,300 passengers a day.

They were built at the Wight Shipyard Co Ltd on the Isle of Wight with MBNA Thames Clippers setting the record for the largest fast ferry order for a UK ship yard in over 20 years with non-government backed funding.

They took 10 months to build, creating over 75 new jobs across the Isle of Wight and London, and will add 14% capacity to the MBNA Thames Clippers network- making it the largest fast commercial passenger fleet operating solely in English waters.

Co-founder and CEO of MBNA Thames Clippers Sean Collins said: “It’s fantastic that we were able to build these ultra-high specification catamarans here in the UK.

“This build marks a significant investment in MBNA Thames Clippers and London’s river network and I’m proud of it enabling investment in our team too.”

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