A deal has been struck which could see the numbers of people crossing the Thames by boat increase dramatically.

Thames Clippers, the most popular river bus service, has linked up with credit card folk MBNA on an initial three year deal.

The new look for the fleet was unveiled at the London Eye Pier on the South Bank on Wednesday.

The deal will see an extra vessel on the river from 2015, taking the fleet to 14, as well as improved ticketing, easier ways to pay and an enhanced on board experience.

Thames Clippers started 15 years ago with one boat and transported 21,000 passengers in its first year.

By the end of this year, annual passenger numbers are expected to be 3.6million.

The new partnership will also contribute towards meeting the Mayor of London’s River Action Plan to double the number of passengers using the Thames by 2020.

MBNA’s commercial and customer experience executive, Michael Donald said: “The new MBNA Thames Clippers relationship injects valuable and essential private investment into London’s infrastructure, making life easier for commuters and visitors to get around the Capital.”

Go to thamesclippers.com and mbna.co.uk