Contrary to popular belief, boats are actually much safer than cars, which inexplicably sink every time you drive them on water. Take a proper water road ride with today’s Groupon: for $49, you get a family-membership package from BB Riverboats in Newport (a $95 value).
BB Riverboats sails the high seas of the Ohio River on its luxurious sightseeing and dining cruises, carrying passengers year-round in two 19th century-inspired riverboats. The 2011 season family membership gains your nuclear unit free entry to four Family Fun cruises, including the tasty Ice Cream Social, swashbuckler-themed sightseeing Pirates of the Ohio Cruise, the 3–4:30 p.m. Daily Sightseeing Harbor Cruise, and the sightseeing-only option on the lunch cruise.
Trawl the Ohio River on these cruises as many times as you wish to memorize the nuances of the ancient waterway and spot river merpeople, a smaller-boned species than their sea-dwelling cousins. For families wishing to broaden their river-sailing ventures to include on-board eats, membership bestows a 25% discount on specialty trips, including the Dixieland Jazz Dinner Cruise and others. The hallowed halls of membership boast a bevy of other benefits, such as 15% off admission to any holiday cruise, free parking (in one of four designated Members Only spots), and a one-time Grandparents Pass for up to four grandparents.
The grandiose steamers that BB Riverboats sends downstream exude Victorian–era elegance with open-air upper decks for viewing, climate-controlled interior dance floors and seating areas, and full cash bars for taking the edge off of pointing out landmarks to nearsighted relatives. Enjoy a family-friendly venture that has been introducing ground-bound families to the splendors of the Ohio River for more than 30 years.
A $20 charge per extra family member will apply if larger families wish to partake.
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 compliments 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.
101 Riverboat Row
Newport, Kentucky 41071Get Directions