Big Bus Tours
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|Parent||Exponet Private Equity (85%)
Merlin Entertainments (15%)
|Commenced operation||June 1991|
|Service area||Abu Dhabi, Budapest, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Muscat, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, Vienna, Washington, D.C.|
|Service type||Open top bus operator|
Big Bus Tours (formerly The Big Bus Company), is an operator of open top bus sightseeing tours founded in London in 1991. The company operates in 20 cities of 11 countries with more than 150 buses around the world. The United States is the country with the largest number of cities with Big Bus Tours service. Typically, Big Bus Tours use open top double-decker buses in burgundy and cream-coloured livery.
The Big Bus Company first started operating in London, England in June 1991 with four buses by the Maybury family. It later expanded to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Philadelphia, and so on.
In May 2007, the Abu Dhabi company the Al Fahim Group purchased a 30% shareholding. Big Bus Tours was formed in May 2011 when The Big Bus Company of London merged with the Les Cars Rouges Company of Paris.
Overview of operation
Buses travel near major landmarks around the town or city it tours. Pre-recorded or live commentary about the landscape is provided through small headphones worn by each passenger. Users may leave the bus and board again without limit (hop-on, hop-off) at special bus stops on a circular route. In large cities, buses go on more than one route. In some cities (such as Hong Kong) some variants of the ride include travelling by boat.
Operations by country
- The Big Bus Sydney
- The Big Bus Wien
- The Big Bus Hong Kong
On 15 December 2008, The Big Bus Hong Kong was established. With the largest fleet of open-top buses in the city, it serves 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.
- The Big Bus Shanghai
- The Big Bus Paris
- The Big Bus Budapest
- The Big Bus Rome
- The Big Bus Muscat
- The Big Bus Istanbul
In 2002, The Big Bus Tours Dubai was established. The buses used are traditional open-top double-decker buses. The tour visits numerous sights throughout the Emirate; including the Wafi Mall, Dubai Creek, Creekside Park, Dubai Museum, The Old Souq, 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 the Burj Khalifa.
- The Big Bus Tours London
The 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.
Originally, the fleet was built up with 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.
- The Big Bus Chicago
- The Big Bus Las Vegas
- The Big Bus Los Angeles
- The Big Bus Miami
- The Big Bus New York
- The Big Bus Philadelphia
- The Big Bus San Francisco
- The Big Bus Washington, D.C.
- Companies House extract company no 1360202 The Big Bus Company Limited
- "Sightseeing Bus | Hop-on Hop-off Bus | Big Bus Tours". eng.bigbustours.com. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Big Bus Tours International | About Us". Retrieved 31 October 2016.
- Al Fahim Group acquires 30 per cent equity interest in the Big Bus Company ameinfo.com 29 May 2007
- Al Fahim Group buys 30% stake in Big Bus Company Gulf News 29 May 2007
- "Big Bus Tours wants investors on board | The National". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Private equity firms line up for 400m ticket to Big Bus Tours City A.M. 12 January 2015
- Double decker deal for Exponet Private Equity as group snap sup Big Bus Tours City A.M. 25 February 2015
- Merlin eyes Big Bus Tours takeover following £24.6 million state deal The Daily Telegraph 25 February 2016
- "Hop-on, Hop-off Bus | City Bus Tours | Big Bus Tours". eng.bigbustours.com. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- WebsiteBuilder, 1&1. "OPEN TOP BUS TOURS - HONG KONG EXTRAS3". www.hongkongextras.com. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
- Big Bus Tours (The Big Bus Company, London, England) The Open Top Bus Site
- London Stops List Big Bus Tours April 2012
- Map Big Bus Tours February 2013
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