Thames Clippers have announced the names of the two state-of-the-art vessels which will be joining its existing Thames fleet.
Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper will supplement the existing 12 high speed catamarans operating across London from September.
MBNA Thames Clippers, based in Greenwich, has made a £6.5million investment in the new boats which will be among the most technically advanced fast ferries in the world with a new hull design allowing them to operate more efficiently in the strong tidal conditions of the Thames.
CEO Sean Collins said: “The arrival of Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper is not only a major milestone for our business, but also for the London transport network. London is in its infancy compared to other cities in the world when it comes to commuting and travelling by river 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.”
Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper began construction six months ago in Hobart, Australia. Built by Incat Tasmania, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high speed river craft, the two 35 metre 150-passenger vessels are entering the final stages of development before they make the over 10,000 mile journey to London.
The boats will be launched onto water for the first time in early July 2015 in Hobart, and conduct their first water trials in mid-July.
They will then depart from Down Under on a heavy lift ship for delivery to London. The journey will take between four to six weeks with the boats arriving in Tilbury mid-August.
The names were chosen by two winners of a competition that attracted 10,000 entries.
Robert Connelly, from Solihull, and Mary Baldwin, from Worthing, were flown to Tasmania as part of their prize.
Ms Baldwin chose Neptune after the mythological Roman god of water while Mr Connelly's Galaxy was inspired by… a chocolate bar.
Ms Baldwin said: “My father was in the Navy and it remained with me from when I was a child, so for me that was the obvious choice. I travel up to go around the city and I have used the Clippers, so I will make an effort and go and sit on my boat.”