Cruises & Boat Tours
Sailboat cruise (Dannielle Hayes photo)
Paddlewheeler steamboats played a big role in British Columbia's history, transporting 19th-century Gold Rush booty hunters, fur traders, and settlers.
Today, you can still enjoy a paddlewheeler cruise along the Fraser River from New Westminster.
Departing from the waterfront Westminster Quay, Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours offers daytime, dinner, and themed cruises that last between three and seven hours. 2009 marks the company's 20th year in business.
The company's wooden paddlewheeler, the M.V. Native, was built in 1985, replicating the original sternwheel steamboats of the 1800s. It takes up to 100 passengers.
Some popular destinations include Fort Langley (the crew on this tour sport period costumes) and Pitt Lake (where guests observe native pictographs inscribed on cliffs). Guides also point out local industrial developments, like forestry mills, and wildlife along the riverbanks.
Next to where the M.V. Native docks, visit the Samson V Maritime Museum to learn more about the history of paddlewheelers in New Westminster.
The Samson V is a sternwheel snag boat that patrolled the Fraser River from 1937 to 1980, clearing away logs and other debris. It is the last remaining original Fraser River paddlewheeler. Tour the restored cabins and engine room, view historical photos, and learn about famous riverboat captains from museum guides.
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