The Waterbuses are converted historic traditional narrow canal boats with basic passenger seating. They are fully enclosed, with large windows throughout the cabin that slide open.

Tickets are available to book online online. Walk-up customers are able to buy tickets on board for any remaining seats. All walk-up seats are extremely limited subject to remaining availability. We invite passengers with pre-booked tickets to board first and then allow any walk up customers to board. We accept credit or debit cards for payment of all tickets sold on board. Sorry no cash taken. Booked tickets can be scanned directly from your phone or device, or checked in with your booking reference number. Our online ticketing accepts all major cards including American Express, Diners Club, Visa, V Pay, MasterCard and Maestro (On board we are currently unable to accept American Express or Diners Club).

Departure time - please arrive 15-20 minutes before your scheduled departure time to ensure prompt boarding and departure. Guests not at at the boat 15 minutes before departure time may not be boarded. We invite passengers with pre-booked tickets to board first, then allow walk up customers to board for any remaining seats. Boats will not wait for late guests. Please ensure you arrive at the correct departure point, your tickets are only valid on the correct direction service as booked.

Missed your booked departure? No refunds will be given for missed departures. You must be at the boat to board at least 15 minutes before the departure time. We strongly recommend arriving 15-20 minutes before your departure time. We will accept your tickets on following same day services as a goodwill gesture, for the same route (subject to any remaining seat availability) however you will have to join our walk up customer queue.

ZOO EXPRESS services also offer through tickets to CAMDEN or LITTLE VENICE however, these will have a short wait at the Zoo and do not have a commentary guide.

Passenger numbers - each of our boats has a maximum number of passengers that we can legally carry. We cannot carry more than the specified number of passengers at any time. In busy periods, walk-up customers may have to wait for a following service. We strongly recommend booking online to avoid long waits or disappointment.

Our busiest departure point is Little Venice with highest demand for 11:00 ; 12:15; and 13:45 services. Camden Lock is also extremely busy at our West Yard boat wharf, so we recommend arriving at least 15-20 minutes in advance of your departure time.

Groups - of 25 or more can be pre booked in advance onto weekday (Monday to Thursday) scheduled services at a discount rate. Bookings can be made by telephone or email, at least 7 days beforehand. Friday to Sunday standard prices apply.

Boarding - is one person at a time, we suggest stepping down backwards using the rails provided. Children must not be carried down.

Please have you QR code, or booking confirmation handy to show and be scanned or checked in.

Children - passengers under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Children 3 years old or under travel free of charge and must be accompanied by 1x adult per infant.

Pets or other animals -are not permitted on board.

Guide or assistance dogs are permitted - access into the boat is by step ladder type steps with a narrow entrance way. Small assistance dogs can be carried down but it maybe unsafe or inaccessible for larger dogs, we'll always do our best to accommodate registered guide and assistance dogs wherever possible. 

Accessibility restrictions - all of our fleet are historic vessels and have around five steep steps down into the boats with handrails each side. The safest way is to step down backwards. Wheelchairs may be carried if folded, but cannot access the boats unfolded. Passengers cannot be carried down steps in wheelchairs.

Please do contact us in advance if you would like advice on any possibilities.

Bags - in the interest of public safety and security the skipper or crew may request that bags and luggage are opened for inspection before boarding. Small suitcases can usually be carried but we unable to store large luggage.

Property - please ensure you look after your possessions while on board and take them with you when you leave. We accept no responsibility for lost, stolen or damage to items. Please contact us if you have lost anything, and we’ll do our best to look for it. Our crew return left items to our office, where they are held for a month before being disposed of or donated to charity. Unattended or left bags or other property may be removed or destroyed by the Police or security services if it poses a potential risk to public safety.

Pushchairs, strollers or child buggies - we can only carry these if they are small, lightweight and fold flat. They will be stored on the roof of the boat.

Bicycles, large pushchairs, strollers, prams or large wheeled toys - cannot be taken. Small folding pushchairs/ strollers may be stowed outside on the roof (space permitting)

No smoking or vaping - at any time (by law)

Alcohol - is not permitted on board.

Drugs - we have a zero tolerance to use or possession of illegal drugs on board. The Police and/ or security services will be notified immediately. Offenders may be detained or may be asked to leave the vessel.

Music and video players, mobile phones and other devices - please be considerate of other passengers, we do not permit playing of devices that disturb other guests.

Food and drink - we do not currently sell refreshments on board. You are welcome to enjoy your own non-alcoholic drinks on board and bring your own snacks with you. There are currently no tables for food so only hand held items can be eaten. Please consider other passengers and please take any waste with you when you leave, or use the bins provided.

Toilets - are located close-by at both departure points.

Litter - please consider the environment and use the bins provided. It is illegal to throw litter overboard.

Timings - all given timings are approximate. Trips may take more or less depending on various factors such as other canal traffic, weather conditions, water levels, waits at tunnels etc. Peak time trips at weekends tend to take longer than midweek trips.

ZSL London Zoo additional terms & conditions:

Admission times:

Permission must be obtained for all filming and photography for commercial purposes

  • Children under 16 will not be admitted without an adult

  • We do not allow re-entry to the zoo

  • No dogs are allowed on Zoo premises

  • Bicycles are not allowed on Zoo premises

  • Rollerskates, rollerblades, skateboards are not allowed on Zoo premises. Children's scooters are permitted as long as they are supervised by an adult

  • Heelys roller shoes must not be used as skates, but may be worn as shoes

All trips into London Zoo by Waterbus will require purchase of of Zoo admission ticket (included in the fare to the Zoo). We offer ZSL Zoo members the option to buy a waterbus only fare if showing a valid membership card Weare not able to accept London Pass or any other vouchers/ discount codes etc.

All Waterbus trips out of London Zoo are only for Zoo visitors departing after a visit. As boats depart from inside the Zoo, you do have to pay for Zoo admission to get access to the waterbus stop.

Forces beyond our control - we may have to cancel or limit services in any cases where the authorities (not limited to but including Police or Emergency Services, Maritime & Coastguard Agency; Canal & River Trust; Environment Agency; Local government authority or council) restrict or close the waterway navigation. In these circumstances we will offer a full refund for tickets but will not accept claims for any inconvenience or consequential losses as a result. This also applies in situations where in the opinion of the Skipper it is unsafe to operate, this may be due to extreme weather conditions, outside interference including mechanical failure, vandalism or damage to a vessel. We will email to communicate any cancellation and refund as soon as we possibly can, using the email address provided by the customer at the time of booking. Any card payment refunds, may take 3-5 working days to process, and will include all booking fees paid.

Captains discretion - persons who in the reasonable opinion of the Captain may cause disturbance or endanger themselves, the crew or other passengers may be refused permission to board, or asked to leave the vessel.

Need to contact us: please send an email to: [email protected] as this is often the quickest way to get a response, especially at weekends.