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The London Eye - Cruise review of our vacation on the HAL Oosterdam

The London Eye, our ride and the pictures we took during our cruise ship vacation aboard the Oosterdam

Our ride on the London Eye, a 400 foot plus high very slowly rotating Ferris wheel was one of the high points of our vacation.  The wheel completes a revolution every 30 minutes. It doesn't stop for loading and un-loading passengers. Not a problem since it rotates so slowly. You get on and off of the capsule while it continues it's endless journey round and round.

Cantilevered over the Thames, it's the biggest observation wheel in the world. It towers 135 meters over the river and weighs 2,100 tonnes. It is taller than the Big Ben clock-tower and taller than St. Paul's Cathedral.

It has 32 capsules that each hold 25 people with comfort. Plenty of room to walk around and see the view from every direction.

On a clear day, you can see a 25-mile panoramic view.

It was built to celebrate the Millennium by giving Londoners and visitors a view of the metropolis that had never before been seen. It was designed by a husband and wife team, Julia Barfield and David Marks in partnership with British Airways. Must be why they call it a "flight" instead of a "ride".

We were told that over 12 million people have ridden in the observation wheel so far. Originally it was only supposed to be up for five years, but it has been such a success that it is now going to be permanent. It more than paid for itself in the first year of operation.

Near the end of the ride the a loudspeaker announces that your picture will be taken and you will be able to purchase it after your ride ends. Be aware that the camera is outside of the capsule and in order to be seen in the photo you must face toward the center of the wheel and stand near the Plexiglas wall. There is quite a significant delay from the time of the announcement till the photo is actually taken so be patient.

When we first spotted it we were not planning on taking a ride, but after getting up close we could not resist. We are very glad we decided to take the trip, it was quite an experience, and fun to see where we had been and where we were still planning on going from a birds eye view.

If you take pictures, don't do what I did. I left my camera on "auto focus". Now that I've read the photography tips in one of the brochures, I know I should have been on manual focus at infinity.

london eye observation platform
It's certainly eye catching from a distance.
The London Eye - a picture taken from edge-on
As viewed from a bridge over the river Thames, this shot shows how it hangs over the edge of the river.
Picture of the line of people waiting to get on the Eye taken from the top of the eye
In the lower center of this picture is the line of people waiting to ride the eye. Although it looks a bit long, it only takes about a half hour to make it through.


picture of some of the London Eye's machinery
I thought the machinery involved was interesting so I took a photo of course.
A view of the central hub of the wheel.
A view of the central hub of the wheel.
Nifty up-looking photo of one of the maintenance spiral stairways
I shot this photo up through one of the spiral staircases used for maintenance.
picture of the Hungerford bridge taken from the London Eye
The bridge shown is the Hungerford bridge, which leads into the large building, the Charing Cross Station.
The building on the far right is the ministry of defense. Behind the building to the left of the ministry of defense is the Foreign Office and directly above that is Buckingham Palace.
The building on the far right is the ministry of defense. Behind the building to the left of the ministry of defense is the Foreign Office and directly above that is Buckingham Palace.
photo of a railroad bridge in London
This is a railroad bridge with a pedestrian bridge alongside it.
picture big ben london
Bottom left corner is Big Ben, although it is the Bell inside that is named Big Ben, not the tower itself.
London Eye Ferris Wheel - pictures
The capsule next to ours as we reached the top of the wheel.
airial shot of the Westminster bridge
Here is a shot of Westminster bridge.


picture of the Shell Center building from the eye
This building is the Shell Center.
picture of the inside of one of the pods of the London Eye
Picture of Kathy and others taken from inside the capsule.
photo of the London Eye