Riverfront Canal Cruises

Enjoy a Canal Cruise Along the Kanawha Canal in Downtown Richmond

Looking for fun and unique things to do in downtown Richmond? Try a trip along RVA's waterfront.

The boat tours travel along downtown Richmond's historic Canal Walk and review centuries of Richmond’s history, from Powhatan’s Chiefdom to the first commercially successful electric streetcar in the world, all while traveling in authentically styled, flat-bottomed boats. Travelers can see the unique Triple Crossing railroad, tobacco warehouses that have been converted into trendy lofts, the Virginia Capital Trail, the Low Line gardens and James River wildlife.

Riverfront Canal Cruises in Richmond

Hourly Historic Tours

Our 40-minute historic tours are open to the public and tickets are available online in advance and day-of at our ticket kiosk

The 40-minute, historically narrated tours of the James River and Kanawha Canal operate throughout the season, seven days a week from May through September, and with varying hours in April, October and November.

Tours depart on the hour from the Canal’s Turning Basin at 139 Virginia Street, in Downtown Richmond, Virginia.

Boats can accommodate up to 28 passengers and are handicap accessible.

Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis at the Turning Basin’s ticket kiosk and online 24 hours in advance by clicking the “Buy Tickets” button at the top of this page. Even when it appears that tickets may be sold out online, we do still keep a number of walk-up tickets available at the kiosk for each historic tour.

Hours of Operation

May-September

  • Monday - Friday from 12:00 – 7:00PM (Tours leave hourly and the last boat leaves at 7:00PM)
  • Saturday from 11:00AM – 8:00PM (Tours leave hourly and the last boat leaves at 8:00PM)
  • Sunday from 11:00AM – 7:00PM (Tours leave hourly and the last boat leaves at 7:00PM)

Rates

  • Adults: $12
  • Children (5 - 12 years old): $8
  • Children 4 and under: FREE
  • Seniors (65 years and up): $8

Discounts

  • $1 off historic tour tickets to all teachers, first responders, healthcare workers and military personnel who show a valid work I.D. at the ticket kiosk.
Riverfront Canal Cruises in Richmond

Private Charters

Our Private Charters offer flexibility, customization and are the perfect outing for field trips, celebrations and intimate gatherings.

Canal cruise private charters are available as one- or two-hour private boat tours that are a favorite for family reunions, celebrating birthdays, engagements, corporate retreats, business groups, churches, clubs and so many more group outings. Private charters may be scheduled for any day and time during the season, but must be reserved a minimum of two weeks in advance.

Customers may choose for their cruise to be historically narrated, or they can choose to forgo the historic narration and take in the sights while listening to light music over a provided speaker or simply conversing with their fellow guests. The boats can be outfitted with tables of various sizes that can accommodate light refreshments or a more formal, catered meal (catering is not provided by Riverfront Canal Cruises).

Pricing and Guidelines

Your chartered boat(s) may be set up in one of the following (3) configurations:

  • Dining style has tables and chairs, seating a maximum of 20 passengers.
  • Cocktail style has chairs, benches and a small table, seating a maximum of 22 passengers.
  • Excursion style has chairs and benches, seating a maximum of 25 passengers.

Rates

  • $150 per boat / per hour
  • $130 per boat / per hour for seniors and non-profits/educational groups

The 32-foot-long boats are covered with a canopy to protect riders from the weather, but we recommend that all passengers check the weather the day of and dress accordingly. The boats are handicapped accessible and can accommodate up to two wheelchairs.

Charters may be scheduled for any day and time during the boating season, are dependent on weather conditions and are scheduled on an individual basis, subject to availability.

Please book charters a minimum of two weeks in advance. Once scheduled, cruises can be canceled up to 7 days in advance without penalty. All reservations must be made online at the "Buy Tickets" button above.

You may hire your own caterer or bring your own food and beverages on your private charter. Riverfront Canal Cruises requires compliance with all applicable Virginia ABC laws and regulations for all private charters that bring alcohol. Unless you have hired a caterer to provide alcoholic beverages, this is likely to include obtaining your own banquet license. Information about the laws and the banquet license application are available on the Virginia ABC website. We do not hire caterers, serve or set up food and beverage service for private charters. We do, however, set up the tables and chairs/benches on the boats in advance of your charter.

To make your reservation online now, please click on “Buy Tickets” above.

Questions? Email canal@venturerichmond.com or call our ticket kiosk at 804-649-2800.

5 Reasons to Schedule a Riverfront Canal Cruise Charter

Directions to Riverfront Canal Cruises

Address: 139 Virginia St, Richmond, VA 23219 (Turning Basin)

Google Maps Link

Parking Garage & Lot Locations Near Canal Cruises

All of these locations are pay-to-park

  • East Cary and Virginia Street parking deck (fronting Virginia St)
  • Surface parking lot along the Flood Wall between Virginia Street and 12th Street
  • 14th and East Cary Street parking deck
  • 12th and Canal Street parking deck
  • Omni/James Center parking deck (underground, limited space) at 12th and East Cary Streets
  • 15th and East Cary Street surface lots
Visit Riverfront Canal Cruises on Facebook

360° Virtual Field Trip Video

Riverfront Canal Cruises has released a new 360° video featuring a virtual canal boat tour with a historic narrative. The narration touches on the SOLs for Virginia Studies and U.S. History to 1865, assisting 4th and 5th graders as they complete the school year in a fun way!

Find more info about the 360° video here!