The Big Bus Company

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The Big Bus Company
BigBus.svg
Big Bus Company 10-5-07.jpg
Founded June 1991
Headquarters London
Service type Open-top sightseeing tours
Destinations London, Vienna, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Istanbul, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, Las Vegas, Budapest, Paris, New York, Sydney, San Francisco & Muscat
Operator Maybury family 70%
Al Fahim Group 30%
Website www.bigbustours.com
Big Bus company kiosk and bus queue at Speakers' Corner, London

Big Bus Tours[1] is a London based open top double-decker bus sightseeing company, with burgundy and cream-coloured buses. It is a family-owned company, founded by Richard, Eleanor and Desmond Maybury.

It commenced operating in London in June 1991 with four buses and as of 2012 operated over 150 buses worldwide. It later expanded to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Philadelphia.

In May 2007 Abu Dhabi company Al Fahim Group purchased a 30% stake in The Big Bus Company.[2][3]

Operations[edit]

Dennis Condor

Big Bus Tours London[edit]

Big Bus Tours London operates three routes with stops at these tourist destinations: Madame Tussauds, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Westminster Bridge, London Eye, Covent Garden, St Paul's Cathedral, London Bridge, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Harrods, Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens.[4][5]

The company runs hop-on, hop-off bus tours of London, with one 24-hour ticket valid for unlimited journeys on the route. Buses offer recorded commentaries in several languages which can be listened to with headphones.

Fleet[edit]

Originally the fleet was built up with second hand former route service double deckers that were converted to open top for a second life. AEC Routemasters, Daimler Fleetlines, Leyland Atlanteans and Leyland Titans were all used during the 1990s. These were replaced by 3-axle Dennis Condors, Leyland Olympians and MCW Metrobuses purchased from Hong Kong. The depot is in Wimbledon.

In 2008 a fleet of 10 East Lancs Visionaire-bodied Volvo B9TLs. These were followed by 26 Optare Visionaire-bodied Volvo B9TLs and 3-axle Ankais.

Big Bus Tours Dubai[edit]

In 2002 Big Bus Tours Dubai was established and takes place on a traditional open-top double-decker bus. The tour visits sights including Wafi Mall, Dubai Creek and Creekside Park, Dubai Museum, The Old Souk, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, Heritage & Diving Village, Dubai Gold Souk, Deira City Centre, Jumeirah Mosque, Souq Madinat Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, the Palm Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.[citation needed]

Big Bus Tours Hong Kong[edit]

On 15 December 2008 Big Bus Hong Kong was established. With the largest fleet of open-top buses in the city,[citation needed] serving three sightseeing routes: Hong Kong Island (Red Tour), Kowloon (Blue Tour) and Stanley (Green Tour). The tour offers a wide range of packages which include free travel on the Peak Tram, entry to the Sky Terrace on Victoria Peak, a traditional Sampan ride, and a Star Ferry harbour tour.

Big Bus Tours Shanghai[edit]

In April 2010 Big Bus Shanghai was established. it operates a fleet of eight Ankais.[6]

Trivia[edit]

Big Bus London has featured in many TV shows including So Graham Norton, The Big Breakfast Show and BBC TV's Facing the Music with David Grant and Carrie Grant (series nominated for the Royal Television Award), Outnumbered show on BBC starring comedian Hugh Dennis. Other celebrities who became Big Bus Tour Guides for television and film projects include Shane Ritchie, Lorraine Kelly, Lauren Booth and Jerry Springer. In addition Jenny Platt who plays barmaid Violet Wilson in ITV's Coronation Street was once a Tour Guide with the company as was actress Georgina Sutcliffe who married actor Sean Bean in London on February 19, 2008.[citation needed]

The Company appeared with its Guide Manager, Miles Tredinnick, on BBC1 Television's Don't Get Done, Get Dom, presented by Dominic Littlewood, in December 2006.[citation needed]

Ant and Dec filmed their opening credits to ITV's Britain's Got Talent from the top of a Big Bus driving along London streets in June 2007.[citation needed]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]