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South Williamsport, PA
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Hiawatha River Cruises Back In Business

Hiawatha River Cruises Back In Business
The Hiawatha makes it grand return to the Susquehanna for the 2020 season. (Photo courtesy of River Valley Transit.)

For almost 40 years, the Hiawatha Riverboat has been plying the local waters of the Susquehanna River from its home at Susquehanna State Park in the city’s west end. The pleasure cruises of this fine craft were in doubt for a while this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Hiawatha officials from River Valley

For almost 40 years, the Hiawatha Riverboat has been plying the local waters of the Susquehanna River from its home at Susquehanna State Park in the city’s west end. The pleasure cruises of this fine craft were in doubt for a while this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Hiawatha officials from River Valley Transit are proud to report that the Hiawatha is back in business as of this last weekend.

Their way of doing things, of course, has been changed because of the new realities of COVID.

The changes customers will likely notice each of the Cruises will include: The passenger capacity has been reduced, and tables will be assigned for event cruises. Due to COVID-19, the Hiawatha will operate much like any restaurant in Pennsylvania where tables will be 6 feet apart, and no more than groups of 4 people may be seated together. Facial coverings must be worn by passengers when boarding and departing cruises and when moving about the enclosed lower deck. Food and beverage service will only be offered by the waitstaff, and social distancing guidelines will be enforced. Hand sanitizing stations will be available, and high touch areas will be cleaned frequently.

“Overall, there will not be much of a difference than any other site you visit this summer, and we are making sure everyone is safe; our primary focus is on our visitors.” said Todd Wright.

Cruises on the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat resumed on Friday, July 3, 2020.

The daytime cruises will operate twice daily Wednesday through Friday at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., and weekend cruises times will be 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m.

Special Event Cruises include Wing Night, Dinner Cruise, Craft Beer, and Wine Cruises and Concert Cruises. There will also be a Floating Classroom series during July, August, and September.

Upcoming Concert Cruises will feature Leo & Kg with Family Tradition on July 11th, Campfire Bacon on July 27th, and Mums the Word on August 8th. All Concert Cruises are strictly 21 years and older, no one under 21 may be admitted.

Yard’s Brewery will be featured on the Craft Beer Cruise on July 16th.

Wing Night Cruises feature a beautiful 2-hour cruise on the Susquehanna River with delicious fried wings from the Nippenose Tavern, your choice of 4 sauces, and drink specials! Ticket includes one dozen wings and a 2-hour cruise. Additional wings are available for purchase to enjoy during the cruise or take home. Wing Night Cruises are $20 per person.

While the scenic boat tours normally begin during Memorial Day weekend, the timing of this year’s launch sets the tone for the rest of the summer. “We are excited to announce that the sailing season officially started this past weekend,” Todd Wright, Hiawatha Operations Manager, told Webb Weekly. Online ticket sales for all of the cruises can be purchased at http://www.rideHiawatha.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the administrative office, 1500 West Third Street, Williamsport, PA.

The Hiawatha may be rented for private events such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, anniversaries, business meetings, or any event. There is a full-service beverage service aboard, and the boat can accommodate caterers as well as bands, DJs, and entertainers. The main cabin is climate controlled and can be heated or cooled to make the cruise comfortable any time of the year.

Daily Hiawatha river tours are $10 for adults, $6 for children (3-12), and $9 for seniors (60+).

For more information on the Hiawatha season, specialty cruises, departure times, prices, and private charter rental, call River Valley Transit at 570.326.2500 or visit http://www.rideHiawatha.com for details.

River Valley Transit’s Trolley Tours also started last week, and they will proceed until August 29.

The Williamsport Trolley Tour is a delightful hour and a half ride through Williamsport’s areas of interest, featuring Millionaire’s Row. See the impressive mansions built by the lumber barons of days gone by and learn the rich history of the lumber capital of the world! Other highlights of the tour include Memorial Park, where the first Little League Baseball game was played, and the nearby Original Little League Field, scenic Brandon Park designed by New York City’s Central park planners, and the trolley will stop at the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat dock.

Tickets available at the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum. Museum open hours; Friday and Saturdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Trolley Tour ticket purchase includes FREE admission to Peter Herdic Transportation Museum. All trips are subject to availability. Trolley tours are $5 for adults, $3 for kids (3-12), and $4 for seniors (60+).

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