Riverfront Canal Cruises

NOTICE:

Due to a staffing shortage Riverfront Canal Cruises will no longer offer public, regularly-scheduled, hourly historic tours this 2021 season.

However, customers may still reserve private charter tours, up to two weeks in advance by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" button above.

Riverfront Canal Cruises and Venture Richmond look forward to welcoming you back for regularly-scheduled hourly historic tours in April 2022.

Private Charters

Customers may choose for their cruise to be historically narrated. These tours of the James River and Kanawha Canal along the historic Canal Walk 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. 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.

Customers 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 boat mates. The boats can be outfitted with tables of various sizes that can accommodate light refreshments or a more formal catered meal.

Pricing and Guidelines

Your chartered boat(s) may be set up in one of three 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.

Prices:

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

Employee and passenger safety is our primary concern. Our safety guidelines are based on recommendations by the CDC, VDH and local authorities. If any group member shows symptoms of Covid-19, that person should not attend. Venture Richmond reserves the right to make adjustments to the Riverfront Canal Cruise schedule for the safety of both our patrons and our staff. Boat surfaces will be sanitized and thoroughly cleaned between charters and hand sanitizer is available for use.

  • 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.
  • For the safety of patrons and staff during these uncertain times, private charters are limited to 25 passengers per boat (at this time).
  • 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. To book your private charter now, click on “Buy Tickets” at the top of this webpage.
  • 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 their website.
  • We do not hire caterers or serve or set up food or beverage service for private charters. We do, however, set up the tables and chairs/benches on the boats in advance of your charter.

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

Maps Address: 139 Virginia St, Richmond, VA 23219

Google Maps Link

From the south

Take I-95N to Richmond. Exit onto the Downtown Expressway (I-195). Take the Canal Street to Route 60 exit. Turn right onto 10th Street, then right on East Cary Street. Continue on East Cary Street to Virginia Street (just before 14th Street). Turn right onto Virginia Street. Continue straight over Canal Street and, in a half block, the Turning Basin will be on your left.

From the north

Take I-95S to Richmond. Take Exit 74B (Franklin Street). Go straight through the light at the end of the ramp. At the next light, East Main Street, take a right. Then turn left at 14th Street (first light). At the second light, turn right onto Canal Street. Take an immediate left at Virginia Street (no street sign). The Turning Basin is just one block down under the bridge on Virginia Street.

From the east

Take I-64W toward Richmond. Take Exit 190, 5th Street/Downtown. Follow 5th Street to East Cary Street and turn left. Continue on East Cary Street to Virginia Street (just before 14th Street). Turn right onto Virginia Street. Continue straight over Canal Street and, in a half block, the Turning Basin will be on your left.

From the west

Take I-64E toward Richmond. Exit onto the Downtown Expressway (I-195). After the toll booth, take the 7th and 9th Street exit. Take a left onto 9th Street. Take a right on East Cary Street and continue to Virginia Street (just before 14th Street). Turn right onto Virginia Street and go straight. Continue straight over Canal Street and, in a half block, the Turning Basin will be on your left.

Parking Garage & Lot Locations Near Canal Cruises

  • 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

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!
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