Visitors who want to experience all the beauty and offerings from Cape Fear River need to look no further than those offered by Cape Fear Riverboats. The company offers daily tours March through October, weather permitting and their boats board from their docks on South Water Street near Dock Street. Captain Carl Marshburn, owner of Cape Fear Riverboats, is one of the people who make Wilmington a special place to live. He remains a kind and generous supporter of the city and its less fortunate citizens. His son, Darren, currently manages the day to day business for Cape Fear Riverboats.

Cape Fear Riverboats has three vessels. The Captain J.N. Maffitt has been a Wilmington staple for over 24 years and can accommodate 49 passengers. Her sister Jacob’s Run can accommodate as many as 49 guests at a time — and the newest addition to the Cape Fear Riverfront — the new Henrietta 2019. The new Henrietta is certified to carry 115 passengers and has a climate control dining room of 84 seats. Captain Carl Marshburn and his son, Darren, cruised the new Henrietta from Alabama to the Wilmington riverfront. All are great boats for enjoying the full Cape Fear River experience for sightseeing and private charters.

Cape Fear River Sightseeing Tours

Experience the Cape Fear Riverboat by taking a black river nature cruise or $12 historical sightseeing tours (daily). All tours are narrated by the captain and are one to four hours long. Be sure to bring a camera as there are endless opportunities for memorable photos!

A boat cruise on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC is a wonderful way to spend the day.

$12 Historical Sightseeing Tours (daily)

Historical sightseeing cruises are an hour long and are a great way to learn about the area. You’ll hear about the adventures, misfortunes, and accomplishments of the unique cast of characters that have, since Giovanni da Verrazzano first surveyed the area nearly 500 years ago, created the city we love today. You also will see the ports from a unique view and witness the massive size of modern day container ships as they load and unload.

Black River Nature Cruises

Black River Nature tours begin in May, are four hours long, and feature an expert on local wildlife, natural history, and cultural heritage. This nature tour takes guests 15 miles up the Cape Fear River to the wilds of the Black River, one of the cleanest waterways in the state. Nature enthusiasts and photographers alike will enjoy the slow-moving, amber-colored waters, framed by spectacular swamp forests highlighted with seasonal wildflowers and old-growth cypress trees.

2019 Black River Nature Cruise Dates: August, 14, 28, September 11th, 25th, October 9th, 23rd, 30th.

Guests are welcome to bring their own food, drinks, and alcoholic beverages on the boats to enjoy during the sightseeing tours. Bring a cooler or purchase food, beer or wine at Wilmington’s only floating restaurant located at “The Barge” — Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill.  Afterwards, be sure to grab a scoop or two from Lazy Jack’s Ice Cream Shack right on the Riverwalk. 

Private Charters, Weddings & Rehearsal Dinners

Book a private charter aboard The Henrietta

Book a private charter aboard The Henrietta

Host a reunion, shower, wedding, or rehearsal dinner while cruising along downtown on their newest boat in the fleet, The Henrietta. Many groups strategically plan private charters around sunset.  The new Henrietta is certified to carry 115 passengers and has a climate control dining room of 84 seats.

When hosting a private charter, hosts can choose from three options for food and beverage service: catered dinner with your choice of caterer, bring along your own food and drinks, or order food and drinks from the restaurant that resides on “The Barge”.

The Henrietta offers a top deck for outside viewing and an air conditioned bottom deck complete with tables, seating, and a full bar. The boat is also handicap accessible and features several bathrooms. A private event on the Henrietta offers the perfect mix of functionality, class, and fun.

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