From Monday 11 September to Thursday 14 September MBNA Thames Clippers will be bringing its 220-capacity vessel to Gravesend to offer journeys direct into central London.

For the free trial, there will be one sailing in the morning at 7.15am and one in the evening departing from Embankment at 5.40pm.

The service will pick up at the town’s pontoon and have drop off points at Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, Blackfriars and Embankment.

MBNA Thames Clippers service from Gravesend to Embankment will take about 1 hour and 10 minutes, with the journey to Canary Wharf just 48 minutes and in return for the free journey the River Bus company is asking that customers fill in a questionnaire on their experiences and the sort of service they would like to see if it were to become permanent. This will help MBNA Thames Clippers determine demand for the service.

Cabinet Member for Business Development, Cllr Samir Jassal, said: “It’s really great that the service is coming down to Gravesend. MBNA Thames Clippers will offer many benefits that the train direct into London cannot. The vessel has on-board facilities such as an outdoor seated deck, toilets, a coffee bar and access to daily newspapers. There’s a lot happening in the Gravesend part of the River Thames and it’s our ambition that we can do more in the future. If this trial is a success then we’d love to be able to work with MBNA Thames Clippers to offer this service continually.”

Sean Collins, chief executive officer, MBNA Thames Clippers said: “We are committed to growing the river bus network in London and further east throughout the port. We want as many commuters as possible to realise the huge benefits in terms of speed, comfort and frequency of travelling by river in London. We are optimistic about the volume of customers opting to trial the new service and hope to soon be able to offer Gravesend even greater transport links permanently.”

Ebbsfleet Garden City has been looking at future Clipper services as the area develops.