Boat tours are a luxurious way to relax and see the sights, unlike boarding dolphins equipped with saddles, which usually results in whiplash and water-filled lungs. Cruise the blue in comfort with today's Groupon: for $7, you get a one-hour sightseeing cruise or Good Ship Lollipop cruise from Gateway Clipper Fleet (up to a $13.50 value for adults; up to a $9.50 value for children).
The captains of the Gateway Clipper Fleet deftly navigate the three rivers of Pittsburgh, conveying passengers from stunning view to stunning view and regaling them with tales from the city's history. Board one of the fleet's quaint 19th-century-style riverboats at Station Square to embark on either the sightseeing cruise or the Good Ship Lollipop cruise. Tour-goers do the limbo as they pass beneath the Liberty, Fort Pitt, and Smith Street bridges and snap photos of The Steel City’s architecture, fetchingly framed by the blue waters of the Monongahela and verdant Appalachian mountainsides. Sightseers drink in the Allegheny County Courthouse's gothic façade, used for exterior shots in the film The Silence of the Lambs, and check their teeth for spinach in the reflective silver glass covering the spire-topped PPG building. On the Good Ship Lollipop cruise, Lolli the Clown entertains tots while parents listen to the tour guide point out historically significant sites.
Gateway Clipper Fleet
More than 50 years ago, Mr. John E. Connelly set his sights on cleaning up Pittsburgh's polluted three rivers and returning them to their former glory as the Steel City's heart and soul. As then-treasurer of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, John was in a prime position to complete his ambition. With the belief that he could get the public engaged and committed to a cleanup, he decided to give the local people access to the rivers via boat tours, knowing the city's characteristic architecture as viewed from the rivers would engender a genuine appreciation for the region's waterways and environment.
After getting his nephew, Captain Jack Goessling, on board, John purchased a 100-passenger fishing boat they would christen the Gateway Clipper, which would later launch from Monongahela Wharf for the first of its many pleasure cruises. Today, with Gateway Clipper Fleet, his dream of engaging locals and visitors in the city's history and waterways thrives with a fleet that has grown to five boats capable of accommodating 2,500 guests. Through the years, the fleet has ferried more than 25 million passengers, treating them to dinner cruises, sightseeing tours, and entertainment jaunts along the clean, blue waters of Pittsburgh's three rivers.