The Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat cruise in Williamsport is a relaxing, hour-long sightseeing excursion up and down the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
Operating on the Susquehanna River since 1991, this simulated paddlewheel riverboat is the perfect way to leisurely explore the scenery along the river.
The Hiawatha is named in honor of an Iroquois chief named Hiawatha, and is modeled after another paddlewheel riverboat of the same name that was destroyed during the spring ice thaw on the Susquehanna in 1914.
Cruising on the Hiawatha: When, Where and How Much
The Hiawatha riverboat excursions run May through October.
During June, July, and August, the Hiawatha sails Wednesday through Sunday.
In May, September, and October, the Hiawatha runs sightseeing cruises on Saturdays and Sundays only.
Excursions depart from Susquehanna State Park, located right off of Route 220 in Williamsport.
If navigating by GPS, use 2205 Hiawatha Blvd, Williamsport, PA 17701 as the address to find the boat launch at the park.
There is plenty of free parking right next to the the boat launch, along with a small snack shop (the Hiawatha House) and restrooms.
As of the summer of 2022, prices to cruise on the Hiawatha are as follows: Children (3-12): $8.00, Adults (13-59): $12.00, Seniors (60+): $11.00.
Enjoying the Cruise on the Hiawatha
Cruising the Susquehanna River on the Hiawatha is a very smooth experience, almost as if you are gliding up and down the river.
This is in sharp contrast to cruising on the open water, like say the Lady Kate boat tour at Presque Isle State Park, which can get quite bumpy as you sail out over Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.
The lower deck of the Hiawatha is enclosed (and air conditioned), and you’ll also find a snack bar and the on-board restrooms down here.
The upper-deck is open-air, and on this beautiful day most people chose to sit up here.
There are no assigned seats, and you can wander around the boat and check out all the different vantage points, which is exactly what my daughter and I did.
The captain was even kind enough to allow my daughter to take the wheel for a minute or so.
The Hiawatha cruises in one direction for 30 minutes, turns around, and comes back to the boat launch, passing numerous other boaters out enjoying the waters of the Susquehanna River.
Cruising the Susquehanna River on the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat is a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend part of an afternoon in Williamsport!
Everyone we interacted with was friendly, the cost to cruise seemed very reasonable, and the excursion itself was interesting and quite scenic.
For complete details on the Hiawatha’s operating hours and specialty cruises, check out their OFFICIAL WEBSITE.
Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland in Union County is a zoo that specializes in exotic reptiles and amphibians from around the world!
Montgomery Pike Scenic Overlook is a gorgeous roadside overlook and picnic spot near Williamsport.
The Taber Museum in Williamsport tells the story of how people have lived and worked in Lycoming County from prehistoric times to the present day!
Exploring the Abandoned Alvira Bunkers in Union County shares the backstory behind 149 dome-shaped concrete bunkers that once housed explosives for the US military, now gradually being reclaimed by nature on State Game Lands 252 near Williamsport.
The Piper Aviation Museum in nearby Lock Haven honors the legacy of the Piper Aircraft Corporation, which designed and manufactured aircraft in Clinton County, PA between 1937 and 1984.
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