AP NEWS

London Jet Boat trip to Lake Havasu offers different perspective

October 26, 2018 GMT

LAUGHLIN — Cruise the Colorado all the way to Lake Havasu for beautiful scenery, an entertaining ride and some international culture on the London Jet Boat.

Laughlin River Tours owners Trevor and Brea Chiodini offer the Jet Boat ride at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday, with pickups from the docks at the Edgewater Casino Resort and Harrah’s Laughlin.

The Chiodinis have owned London Bridge Jet Boat Tours for the past two years, but have offered several other cruises under Laughlin River Tours since 2014.

The couple are Bullhead City residents and their business is an influential driver for tourism in the Tri-state. Laughlin River Tours won the 2017 Tourism Community Achievement Award, and is a CAA finalist again this year for the Entrepreneur Award. It also was voted Best Tour Company in the 2017 and 2018 Mohave Daily News Best Of readers’ polls, among other area awards.

The tours are popular because of the high-quality experience guests receive.

Trevor Chiodini or Capt. Jamie Gustafson drives the boat, depending on the day. The captain shares a little history of the area along the way and makes it a fun trip for all, even inviting guests to the control panel to take in the boat and scenic views from the captain’s chair.

The jet boat cruises along at a cool 42 mph, but there are a few no-wake zones where the captain cuts the engine and the guests get to stretch their legs, walk about the boat and take pictures.

Passengers cruise through three different states — Arizona, Nevada, and California — during the ride. It is quite a different experience than driving along the highway, which makes it a fun trip for tourists as well as locals.

Topock Gorge is one of the most beautiful parts of the cruise. Volcanic rock formations line both sides of the 17-mile gorge, and the captain will draw attention to well-known formations, such as the “Dragon’s Eye,” along the way. Ancient Native American petroglyphs and wildlife also can be spotted on the trip.

Once the boat makes its way through the gorge, it soon arrives in Lake Havasu. The feature of the cruise, the London Bridge, is just ahead.

The story of the bridge that once made its home in London but traveled piece by piece to its current site in Lake Havasu is quite remarkable.

Developer Robert McCulloch purchased the bridge in 1968 and the first load of blocks arrived later that year. The project was completed in 1970 and dedicated in 1971. The captain fills in more of the history of the bridge’s journey as the boat docks.

Passengers enjoy a two-hour layover in Havasu for lunch or a walk across the bridge to explore the English Village and Visitor Center on the other side.

The Visitor Center is a great place to learn the full back-story of the bridge, with an informative video playing on repeat, and numerous photos, blueprints and trinkets on display. It also has a gift shop with shirts, postcards, jewelry and small pieces of granite from the bridge so visitors can take a piece of it home.

Outside the Visitor Center is a fountain with four lion statues that is reminiscent of those at Trafalgar Square in London. There also is an old red telephone booth, a bell that tolls at the top of the hour, like Big Ben within the Great Clock Tower in London, and the entrance gate is from Witley Court in Worcestershire, England. There is an assortment of shops that complete the English Village.

Back on the other side of the bridge, where the Jet Boat docks, is the Island Mall with a variety of shops, eateries and art galleries to browse through and kill some time.

The return trip is a relaxing sail after lunch. The captain saves a few tidbits of information about the gorge, petroglyphs and area flora and fauna to share for the ride back.

The cruise takes a total of six hours, with the boat returning to Laughlin by 4 p.m.

To make a reservation or for more information, go to laughlinrivertours.com or call 702-298-1047.