Richmond Canal Cruise Named Nation’s Saddest Boat Ride, Ever

‘Ever,’ Magazine Says

The Richmond Canal Cruise, a 40-minute informative tour of the city’s canal system and nearby walking areas, was named the saddest of its kind in the nation today by American Boat Cruiser magazine.

The honor, which carries with it a $2,500 fine, recognized the cruise’s depressing top speed of 3 miles per hour, its heartbreaking views of an electrical station, and its near soul-crushing passage under an aluminum plant – an aluminum plant, for Christ’s sake.

The tour also includes a brief glimpse of the Virginia Holocaust Museum, the magazine noted.

“From cities like New York and Chicago with their fantastic river boat rides showcasing their breathtaking skylines, we wanted to honor Richmond’s own boat cruise for being nothing like that,” said Majorie Todd, editor of American Boat Cruiser. “And did you know that, while on the ride, the tour guides inform passengers that the city’s canal system was designed by George Washington to connect the the eastern part of the river to the west for trade purposes? How could anyone torture people like that?”

The magazine offered several tips for improving Richmond’s Canal Cruise, including turning the three boats into artificial reefs, or just making the whole thing a shoot-the-chutes amusement ride.


15 thoughts on “Richmond Canal Cruise Named Nation’s Saddest Boat Ride, Ever

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  1. The brilliant leaders of the city ( for the last 40 yrs ) tore up the bed of the Kanawa Canal and put a toll road in its place. It is lost and gone forever. It is now the Down Town Expressway.

  2. So, I love this take on the canal boat rides. You do have to use huge amounts of imagination to see the significance of the canal as presented by the city, however, I do see huge potential. So what’s missing?

    Part of the boat ride is within the flood wall and part outside the flood wall. The potential lies outside the flood wall. One side of the canal has the elevated train tracks with the other side have ground level train tracks as well as a portion of the city’s sewer control system (I think a large concrete stormwater containment tank). In addition, at the end of the canal is a rather unique cantilevered train bridge over the canal and the canal lock used to enter the James River (also non functioning).

    So, where’s the potential? Build restaurants, bars and shops on either side of the canal over and under the train tracks, create boat tie ups along the edge of the canal, get the cantilevered train bridge working as well as the canal lock and allow boats to enter this portion of the canal system. The tour boats act as taxis and take visitors in and out of the lock as well as along the James to other locations like Rocketts Landing just southeast of the canal. Additional river front properties between the canal and Rocketts could be developed giving the city a rather unique riverfront attraction/experience. I’m thinking Downtown Disney / Universal CityWalk experience a la Richmond Riverfront.

    By the way, Richmond City Council and surrounding areas…You do know we do have a river flowing right through the city with literally NO attractions on it, other than historical ones…

    I’m sure all these ideas are engineering nightmares and expensive, however, it would be a rather cool complex… Your thoughts?

  3. Never understood why the tour went beyond the turning basin … should stay beneath the Basin and Tredegar.

  4. Ridiculous. The boats are supposed to go slow. They do not go by the electric substation nor under the plant. And Washington did design it..Did the writer even take the ride? Try it- you will like it.

  5. I’ve been on it, and it is good, but it could be so much better. In fact, it could be so much better that it breaks my heart. There’s so much natural potential. Have you ever been on San Antonio’s? Or Oklahoma City’s?

  6. I’ve never been on it. But this article is so funny, now I HAVE to go on it so I can experience the soul-crushing passage under an aluminum plant

  7. I really don’t understand why you are knocking the Canal Cruises. The cruise is by far one of the most interesting things to do in Richmond. Especially since you can take booze on the cruise…in a plastic cup.

  8. I have to admit – I was a bit taken back by the short distance of the trip and at seeing Richmond from this “angle”. Sure it’s not all that as far as the big cities go but it does educate those on board as to the significance of Richmond to our founding fathers. Also note, people are left off at an ideal spot for happy hour and dinner once the journey ends.

  9. We live in a River City. Why can’t our river be a gorgeous attraction with a fabulous river-walk, complete with restaurants, shops, bistros, etc.? Just look at San Antonio. It’s really is a waste and a shame.

  10. Lets face it richmond is Lazy! you go to any other city of its size and they have so much more to offer. They strive to keep their cities clean and actually attract people into the city. Ours… well why would anyone want to stay and visit, 95, 64, the airport all those areas that introduce people to richmond who are passing through, its a dump, dirty. The sky line from 95 going north is beauitful, but once you get there, its quickly forgotten. We have nothing that attracts people, visitors as well as Richmonders. If other cities are able to fund things why cant we….Lazy…

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