Bodies of water are frequent metaphors in poetry due to their unfathomable depths, unknowable sprawl, and unattainable porpoises. Set sail into the enigma with this Groupon: for $49, you get a family membership package to BB Riverboats in Newport (a $95 value). This Groupon is valid for up to four family members; extra family members can join for an additional $20 per person.
BB Riverboats' fleet of Victorian-style riverboats chauffeurs guests on sightseeing tours of the Ohio River while captains narrate local history. Family membership allows families unlimited access to recurrent sightseeing tours, including the daily Harbor Sightseeing cruise from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the Trauth Dairy Ice Cream Social, during which guests receive complimentary Trauth Dairy ice-cream sandwiches to devour or flaunt before envious passengers on passing boats. The 90-minute Pirates of the Ohio cruise delights children with interactive games and a complimentary pirate hat, eye patch, and treasure map.
Members can also join in the fleet's lunch cruise for a sightseeing-only version. Families get a one-time guest pass for up to four grandparents, a complimentary photo, and four designated parking spots for cars or eco-friendly elephant-powered rickshaws. Members also receive 25% off dining cruises and 15% off holiday cruises.
BB Riverboats began with a deceptive motto and a fleet of zero. In 1977, Ben Bernstein opened a restaurant in a converted steamboat, whose motto was “The Romance of Riverboat Dining.” Intended as tongue-in-cheek, the motto instead confused customers, who arrived hoping for a scenic cruise down the Ohio River. To placate his clientele, Ben Bernstein went into business with riverboat industry veteran Betty Blake, and BB Riverboats—named for their shared initials—was born.
Now run by Bernstein’s son, BB Riverboats has increased its fleet to three vessels, including the Belle of Cincinnati, a riverboat outfitted with Victorian details and two climate-controlled decks. On daily cruises down the Ohio, historical narration complements the scenery, while passengers play swashbuckling games and learn to read treasure maps on family-friendly pirate cruises. On the company’s dining cruises, visitors drink in the scenery while noshing on a Hawaiian buffet spread or sampling award-winning wines from StoneBrook Winery. Additionally, holiday cruises honor occasions from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving.