Victory for Thames-side communities as Oceandiva party-boat plans scrapped


Plans for a 1,500 capacity party boat to operate on the Thames have been scrapped following community campaigns, objections and operational difficulties.

Events company Smart Group, who own Oceandiva, has stated that they will “not be able to bring this long-awaited project to fruition”, blaming “regulatory challenges and infrastructural inadequacies”.

The 86-meter vessel was original planned to be operational in late 2022, but only arrived in London in May 2023 and subsequently suffered a series of setbacks.

A licensing application was submitted by Smart Group to Newham Council, where the boat was to be moored. The application received nearly 1,000 objections from residents and businesses along the Thames.

In June 2023, Oceandiva crashed while carrying out test maneuvers causing damage to the £25m vessel.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Rachel Bentley, who has campaigned on behalf of residents against Oceandiva, said it was “the wrong boat for the wrong river”.

Commenting, Deputy Leader of the Southwark Liberal Democrats and member for North Bermondsey Cllr Rachel Bentley said:

“This news is a huge victory for Thames-side residents and businesses. I want to credit the tireless campaign from community organisations, local businesses and from Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon. A vessel the size of a football pitch is completely unsuitable for a narrow urban river. Residents of Shad Thames were rightly concerned about 1,500 rowdy party-goers disembarking into their historic neighbourhoods all day and night.

“Seeing Oceandiva sail away from London is a great reminder that community campaigns and residents’ objections can make a difference.”