Earlier this year I purchased a Groupon for a riverboat tour on the Gateway Clipper. For anyone not from the area, the Gateway Clipper is a fleet of five riverboats, offering everything from sightseeing cruises, to special occasion dinners, to even wedding receptions. The only other time I had been on a Gateway Clipper boat was my freshman year of college; a special cruise was part of the freshman orientation activities.
While most major cities have at least one river, Pittsburgh actually has three. The city is home to the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela rivers. The Allegheny River joins with the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River at the “Point” of Point State Park in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a result of “all of these rivers,” the city (and its surrounding areas) is also home to an extremely large number of bridges. In fact, it actually has the most bridges in the world, beating out even Venice, Italy if you can imagine.
The Groupon was good for either a one hour sightseeing cruise or a lollipop cruise (I still don’t know what that is but I’m guessing something child related). We opted for the former. Unfortunately, I had been putting off using the Groupon thinking it would be better to use it on a nice autumn day. Well, the Groupon expired at the end of this month which also proved to be the busiest month ever for me. So the one day we were able to go turned out to be one of the most miserable looking days ever. Thankfully it only ever lightly rained so I was able to go out on deck to take some pictures but the weather was incredibly cool and being out on the open water, well, it felt even colder.
Aguide does provide live commentary during the cruise for what you’re looking at; the history of the many different bridges we passed by was interesting, the large amount of time spent on the Steelers, not so much (Pittsburgh, you should do more than always boast about a football team, have your other achievements equally shine). And then there was the time where the guide was asking if anyone knew about what famous historical event was taking place in a particular year (1920-United States presidential election) and someone responded with “World War II.” Yeah…
If you’re from out of town a Gateway Clipper cruise is a great introduction to the city as being out on the water always offers a visually unique and memorable perspective.
Cruises run year-round, check the website for the most up-to-date schedules.
Embarkation & debarkation is at Station Square.