Valley Gem Sightseeing Tour

There’s no better way to enjoy a Saturday in Marietta than to kick back and float by the world on the Valley Gem Sternwheeler. I took their ninety minute sightseeing tour last weekend and had a terrific experience.

The tour begins on the Muskingum River in Marietta and heads up the Ohio River before turning and heading back down.

The narration doesn’t last the entire time. Instead, the Captain talks for the first 15 or 20 minutes, providing some tidbits about local history and landmarks along the way.

This house has been owned by the same family for twelve generations.

We learned about how NASA once built equipment in Steubenville and moved it downriver by barge. We even got a great view of this old railroad bridge I told you about once.

We saw lots of kayaks, barges and speedboats and even spotted a Bald Eagle.

We also got a good look at Buckley Island which was once home to a prolific potato farm. Prior to that it was an amusement park built by the Buckeye and Eureka Pipeline Company. It’s now gone back to nature and it’s hard to imagine that it could accommodate the masses of people who were once drawn here.

It’s now part of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. We saw kayakers hanging out there.

It’s a peaceful and picturesque ride. It’s a little like going back in time to a slower pace of life when paddle boats ruled the river.

Captain Jason told us about how he and his family built this boat in 1989. He is one of the youngest people to earn his pilots license when he was just 18 years old. It’s very much a family business and I felt like they took good care to keep everyone happy and safe.

For ten bucks you can add a box lunch to your ticket. It was quite good but you can also buy light refreshments at their concessions stand.

They do a number of tours including some longer history tours and celebratory dinner cruises for holidays. You can even book it for weddings and parties.

Want to book a tour or learn more? Click here to visit their website.