Guide To Fun On The Water In Philadelphia
You can hang out on the waters of the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers year round, but with the temperature rising, why not go now?
Spend your time on a boat or kayak, or fishing off a pier. You can spend a day “quacking” from the city streets to the river’s waters on a duck boat, or you can spend an elegant night on the water with a gourmet dinner and dancing under the stars. Here is a guide to some water fun on the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. -Tim Jimenez, KYW Newsradio
Ride the Ducks
These amphibious vehicles take you on a 70-minute land and water adventure through the streets of Philadelphia’s historic district and then on the waters of the Delaware. You can experience Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell, The National Constitution Center, The Betsey Ross House, South Street and more on your duck boat. When in the water, you’ll get a look at the Battleship New Jersey, Penn’s Landing, and the Adventure Aquarium and see some amazing views of the city skyline. Your captain will share a bit of the history behind some of the great historic landmarks while leading you in a singing “YMCA” down the city streets.
Spirit of Philadelphia
The Spirit of Philadelphia is great for a group or a romantic night for two under the stars. The ship, which can hold up to 500 people, has three climate-controlled interior decks and a large outdoor patio deck. It leaves from Penn’s Landing and travels down the Delaware River as far north as the Ben Franklin Bridge and as far south at the old Navy Yard, and it also floats under the Walt Whitman Bridge. There are lunch cruises Monday through Saturday, brunch cruises on Sunday and dinner cruises seven days a week. During select Friday and Saturday nights, you can dance the night away under the stars on a moonlight cruise.
Tim Jimenez Talks To Jodie Milkman, VP with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
The Philadelphia Belle
The Philly Belle is a 19th century-esque riverboat that cruises down the modern day Delaware River. It’s the largest vessel of its type on the East Coast and can handle groups ranging in size from 20 to 1,000. You can buy a cruise and dine package, or a cruise-only deal with a la carte food and drinks. Featured cruises include historical sightseeing, moonlight, and lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Entertainment is a guarantee aboard the Belle, which hosts performers from the city’s performing arts schools, as well as local musicians, singers, and big bands.
River Link Ferry
The River Link Ferry is a convenient way to get to and from a concert at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden. It is a 12-minute ride (express service is available up to two hours before outdoor concerts), and service ends a half hour after the end of the concert. 2011 regular hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are departures from Philadelphia every hour beginning at 10 a.m., and from Camden every hour on the half-hour starting at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are available at the Penn’s Landing ferry terminal or at the Wiggins Park ferry terminal in Camden.
Paddle Penn’s Landing
Paddle Penn’s landing is back for the third straight year. The Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation host the “urban kayaking” experience at the Penn’s Landing Marina.
Schuylkill Banks River Tours include three boat tours of the Schuylkill and four instructional and guided kayak tours. For more information on the tours below, go to www.schuylkillbanks.org
Secrets of the Schuylkill Tour
This one-hour guided tour delves into the past, present and future of the Schuylkill River. It travels north to the Fairmount Water Works and Boathouse Row, and as far south as Bartram’s Garden.
Adults: $25, Children 12 and Under: $15
Boat to Bartram’s Garden
Set off from Center City and cruise the Schuylkill River to Bartram’s Garden, America’s oldest botanic garden. The tour involves a 10 minute walk up Bartram’s Meadow to reach the Garden, and you will also take a tour of Bartram House.
Adults: $30, Children 12 and Under: $20
The tour runs on Sundays, June 12 and 19; July 17 and 31; September 18; October 2 and 16. All tours start at 1 p.m.
This two-hour sunset river tour includes light fare, a cash bar, and of course, the sounds of live jazz music.
The cruise runs on Saturdays, July 16 and September 10, at 7 p.m.
Adults 21 and over only, $80
Guided Kayak Tours
This professionally-guided tour departs from the Walnut Street Dock. It includes 30 minutes of instruction, followed by an hour of kayaking on the river.
Tim Jimenez talks to Danielle Gray with the Schuylkill River Development Corporation
Moonlight Kayak Tour
Enjoy the Schuylkill River by moonlight on this romantic tour. It includes a half-hour of instruction, followed by an hour on the river.
Saturdays: June 25, July 16, August 13, September 10. All tours start at 7:30 p.m.
Kayak and Dine
What better reward after a kayak workout on the Schuylkill than a BBQ dinner? This tour begins with a half-hour of instruction, followed by an hour on the river and then dinner, which is BYOB.
Saturdays: July 23, August 6. Both tours start at 4 p.m.
Advanced Paddle to Bartram’s Garden
This tour offers advanced kayakers the chance to show off their skills during a four-hour paddle from the Walnut St. Dock to Bartram’s Garden. It includes a boxed lunch and the tour of the historic garden.
Sunday, July 31, at 11 a.m.
General Info on Kayaking, Boating, Fishing:
According to Danielle Gray of the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, the best place to set off on your kayak or boat is from the Walnut St. Dock. Gray says the most popular spots to fish are on the Schuylkill near Locust Street, from the fishing pier near Race Street, and from a new section called the Grays Ferry Crescent, between 34th and Wharton. You can also learn more and gain experience with The Philadelphia Canoe Club. They’re located at 4900 Ridge Avenue.
Also, before you head out on the Schuylkill, visit www.Phillyrivercast.org, where you’ll find a forecast of the water conditions that day.