I love getting to play tourist in Edmonton. With my parents visiting this month we got to do just that, rediscovering Edmonton through their eyes. I’ve never been on the Edmonton Riverboat cruise. When I saw that it was taking passengers again, I was excited to try it out and pre-purchased tickets for all of us online. We showed up 10 minutes early for the 8 pm tour and lucked in with a table towards the front. The boat stayed docked until 9 pm. This gave us plenty of time to take photos, explore the boat, and grab drinks.
Exploring The Boat
It did not take me long to wander around the inside of the boat. The bathrooms are located just inside on the top deck and are decorated with wallpaper designed from the boat’s blueprints. Edson lights in mason jars light up the stairs down into the bottom level. Here they had the buffet set up for anyone whose ticket included food. The wallpaper there is from an old map of Edmonton. I really enjoyed how they incorporated the history of the boat and local area into the decor. The windows inside were a bit foggy so we did not spend much time down here. If you are looking for the bar, it is topside at the back near the paddlewheels. I cannot comment on its selection, as my drink of choice is water. I did see people walking around with bottles of wine, so I’m assuming you can buy them. The snack selection is limited to small bags of chips.
Once they brought up the gangway at 9 pm, the boat started its journey. Right away, we got a great view of Canada Place, the Fairmont McDonald, the Funicular, and the Low-Level Bridge. The sun had just started to set so the sky was still bright with hints of red. As we floated by, we enthusiastically waved back to all the people walking by on the bridge and sitting on the shore. As we came around the bend, the new Walterdale Bridge came into sight. At this point, the sunset had created warm tones across the sky and we were all trying to capture it with our cameras. Even with everyone standing up, there was just the right amount of people on our trip that every camera got their shot. Shortly after we passed under the Walterdale Bridge, the boat turned around and headed back. We also got to see some interesting wildlife. There was a pelican was travelling alongside the boat for a bit. Later, when we docked, two beavers swam up the river beside the landing.
Would I go again?
Yes! Travelling along the river is exciting! I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience and recommend it to any local or tourist as a must-do Edmonton activity. For 15$ each, we saw some of Edmonton’s most photogenic buildings from the river framed by the sunset. The only thing I would have liked is information displayed on how the boat works and a little history on Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River.
Cost: 15$ each (with no buffet)
Trip Duration: 1 hour to board, 1-hour cruise, 30 mins to dock.
Bathrooms: Many stalls for both men and women
Topside Forward: Tables and chairs for relaxing
Topside Stern (back): Bar & paddlewheels
Lower Deck: Buffett
Tips: Show up just before boarding with pre-purchased tickets to get your preferred table. Boarding takes an hour and docking can take a while so there is no need to rush to the back of the boat as it docks. Relax and enjoy good conversations with friends and the views.
Have you taken a tour on the Edmonton Riverboat yet? What was your favourite part? Comment below or tweet at me here.
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