Bodies of water are frequent metaphors in poetry, due to their unfathomable depths, unknowable sprawl, and unattainable porpoises. Glide into an enigma with today's Groupon: for $8, you get one adult ticket for a 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise (a $16 value) at Padelford Riverboats. USA Today named Padelford Riverboats one of the 10 great places you won't forget in the Twin Cities.
The sightseeing cruise departs from Padelford Landing on Harriet Island and plows through the Mississippi River’s muddy little swells and swell little muddies. Sights along the way include the arches of the St. Paul High Bridge, Pike Island, Fort Snelling, the mouth of the Minnesota River, and the Mississippi River. Historical narrative complements the realistic vessels that make up Padelford’s USCG-licensed fleet. Padelford operates three different riverboats: the sternwheeler Jonathan Padelford, the sidewheeler Anson Northrup, and the Betsy Northrup party barge, which is either tug-propelled or coupled with Anson to increase passenger capacity and initiate a riverboat-to-submarine conversion sequence for underwater dives.
Founded in 1969 by Captain William D. Bowell, Sr., Padelford Riverboats is kept afloat by friendly mariners skilled in the art of avoiding river snags, sandbars, and sunken aircraft carriers. Watercraft jockeys have the option of viewing river vistas from air-conditioned decks or open-air areas while partaking in the boons of a full bar, hot dogs, and popcorn. The sightseeing cruise runs two times a day (noon and 2 p.m.) seven days a week from June through August.
An “adult ticket” fits the age bracket of 13-years-old to 64-years-old.
USA Today names Padelford Riverboats one of the 10 great places you won't forget in the Twin Cities. Disney Family.com names it an Editors' Pick, and 10best names it one of the best things to do in St. Paul:
- If trudging through museums and historic sites is not your idea of a great St. Paul vacation, hop aboard one of the riverboats of the Padelford Packet Boat Company. These beautiful boats offer sightseeing tours, sunset dinner and picnic lunch cruises, and educational river trips. Take in summer fireworks, fall foliage, city skylines, and the beauty of the mighty Mississippi River atop a Minnesota riverboat. Oh, and the food is great, too! – 10best
In 1969, the founder of Padelford Riverboats, Captain William D. Bowell, Sr., launched the Jonathan Padelford steamwheeler into the Mississippi, hoping to bring visitors to the riverfront for leisurely jaunts. After more than 30 years of expanding his fleet and ferrying passengers along the historic waterways, he handed the reigs over to his daughters and nephew. Today, the family operates five boats equipped with dance areas, bars, sun decks, and the nostalgia that William hoped to keep alive. With the Twin Cities' skyline and the rugged, green banks of the river as the backdrop, US Coast Guard–licensed vessels float passengers past sights such as Pig's Eye Cave, Fort Snelling, and Pike Island. Some cruises also include dinner or fireworks, and special holiday cruises are also available.
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