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The Susquehanna River Boat Story

Image of the paddles at the rear of the Pride of the SusquehannaThe Pride of Susquehanna was built in 1988 with the vision from a Harrisburg businessman, Mike Trephan, and the Harrisburg Area Riverboat Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to attract tourism to Harrisburg as well as residents to enjoy the city and breathtaking views of the Susquehanna River. Throughout the season, you cannot miss the sight of the timeless red and white striped boat floating on the Susquehanna.

The Pride is one of the only six remaining riverboats left with an authentic paddlewheel in the United States. The paddlewheel is used for propulsion and steering. The Pride resides on City Island and has never left except the flood in 1996. She is truly incredible, and we are honored to have such a unique vessel in our city’s capital!

The Pride’s production was funded by our local residents and businesses. The riverboat was designed by Joseph Phelen and was constructed by local industry. The Pride is a “replica” of the riverboats from the late 1800s. Her interior is beautiful, polished brass work, the bar has copper interior with brass tacks and a beautiful stained-glass ceiling. The doors are from the RMS Queen Mary, which is a retired ocean liner from 1934. Although it was believed by the people, that the Pride would surely sink prior to her first launch, we are happy to announce this is our 33rd season and still sailing strong!

The Pride of Susquehanna, in 2016, celebrated their one-millionth passenger, which is an iconic piece of history for the area, and are striving towards their next millionth passenger. She supports City Island and the surrounding Harrisburg area by attracting business.

As the sunset dances across the water and the radiant lights begin to illuminate the city and the famous Walnut Street bridge, you will be able to enjoy the magical ambiance on our cruises such as, Murder Mystery, Maryland Blue Crab Feast, and hearing the catchy rhythm and blues filling the air while drinking with fellow coworkers during Happy Hour on Thursday Jazz Nights!

The Harrisburg Area Riverboat Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headed by a Board of community leaders whose mission is to increase tourism, facilitate economic development, and provide education on the history and ecology of the Susquehanna River and our region. 

Committed to providing education, the Harrisburg Area Riverboat Society also operates the Susquehanna River School, a floating educational tour that teaches children, adults, and seniors about the history, ecology, and environment of the Susquehanna River and our region. 

Profits from all cruises fund our community service projects for seniors, children, military veterans, and more. So, when you “Ride the Pride,” you keep this historical monument afloat and serve our community!