Speedboat ride recreates a famous James Bond chase scene, writes Rebecca Barry Hill.
In the James Bond film The World is Not Enough, Pierce Brosnan hurtles on to the River Thames from a great height, flips several times through the air, nosedives underwater, barrels straight through a busy restaurant and, after firing a few torpedoes, launches headlong on to land.
So you can imagine our trepidation when the speedboat guide mentions we're about to the recreate Bond's famous chase scene.
We're on-board a red RIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) and are not feeling particularly Bondish.
Even though it's a hot day we're all rugged up in thick, padded lifejackets, which hint at the speeds at which we're about to travel.
But there is a touch of theatre about the day. Our guide is also a stand-up comedian. Turns out it's a prerequisite for getting the job.
The speedboat experience is relatively new in London, having started in 2007, but it has already has captured the imagination of local media.
Britain's Sunday Times named it as one of the best 50 things to do in the city.
There are different options to choose from, including one for the kids and another that takes passengers on an 80-minute ride to the Thames Barrier, the world's largest moveable flood barrier.
Occasionally, the London RIB Voyagers also ferry musicians - in typical rock-star style - from the West End to Greenwich when they're performing at the O2 Arena. Kings of Leon would have been glad of the speed when they were late to get to their own gig.
Our guide is Ben and despite initial suspicions that he might break out cheesy one-liners, he had most of us giggling even before the driver held down the throttle.
From Waterloo Millenium Pier we gently coast along the Thames, taking in some of London's most historic landmarks: M16, the Houses of Parliament, Cleopatra's Needle, Somerset House, St Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London, with Ben cracking jokes along the way.
After Tower Bridge there's a quiet moment when we realise we're past the point of no return.
Even Ben has stopped talking as we seem to have run out of landmarks.
Sure enough, our driver revs the engine and our boat rears up, the G-force pushing us back in our seats until we're surging along at 35 knots, lurching violently side to side and spinning into our own wake.
For some reason I find it hilarious and can't stop laughing.
Fortunately we don't speed headlong into the river banks - and I'm pretty sure Brosnan doesn't scream like a hysterical child - but as we weave and spin I'm starting to get my Bond on.
Somehow we manage to avoid getting wet from the constant jets of spray.
(When we disembark we discover that one of the 12 passengers on-board did get a soaking.)
Despite my brain trying its best to shut out negative thoughts such as "any moment now we're going to flip", it's a novel and exhilarating way to see London.
Next time, I'll dress like a Bond girl.
Getting there: Cathay Pacific offers daily flights from Auckland to London via Hong Kong. For fare details and bookings check
What to do: The London RIB Experience departs hourly from the London Eye Pier, seven days a week. All equipment and protective clothing is provided. Prices start at 32.50 ($67) for adults and 19.50 ($40) for children and tickets can be booked online. See www.londonribvoyages.com
Further information: See www.visitbritain.co.nz for more about visiting Britain.
Rebecca Barry Hill became a Bond girl courtesy of Cathay Pacific and Visit Britain.