LONDON — London's new cable car will be taking visitors to the river – but presumably will not drop them in the water.

The ski lift-like system began soaring over the River Thames on Thursday, offering a bird's-eye view of the London landscape and catering to the tourists expected for the Olympics.

The cable car makes the half-mile (1 kilometer) crossing between Greenwich and the Royal Docks, a few miles (kilometers) downstream from city-center landmarks such as Parliament and the London Eye Ferris wheel.

The ride will give visitors views of Olympic Park, the Canary Wharf financial center and the Thames Barrier, massive structures in the river that keep London from flooding.

It is called the Emirates Air Line, after the air carrier invested 36 million pounds ($56 million) as part of a 10-year sponsorship deal.

Adult fares for a one-way crossing range from 3.20 pounds to 4.30 pounds ($5 to $6.66).

The Olympic Games take place July 27-Aug. 12.

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Online: http://www.emiratesairline.co.uk/

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  • Boris Johnson, Mayor of London poses for the photographers inside a Transport for London's gondola lift cable car in London, Thursday, June 28, 2012. The cable car will make the half-mile (one kilometer) crossing between Greenwich and the Royal Docks, across the River Thames, allowing visitors to take in the views of Olympic Park, the Canary Wharf financial center and the Thames Barrier. Each of the 34 cars holds 10 people and looks like the gondolas that ferry skiers up the mountains in the Swiss Alps. Travelers can go one way or round-trip, with a one-way ticket costing 3.20 pounds (5 US dollars). (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

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  • Backdropped by Canary Wharf financial District, the O2 is seen from a Transport for London's gondola lift cable car crossing he River Thames in London, Thursday, June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

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    (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)