SNOW HILL – Seats are filling quickly on Snow Hill’s new riverboat.
The Black-Eyed Susan, the Town of Snow Hill’s riverboat, hosted its first guests in mid-August. In the weeks since, the boat has stayed busy with between one and three trips a week.
“The boat handles very well,” said Jim Washington, the riverboat’s operator. “It’s a nice little cruise.”
Since its inaugural cruise last month, the Black-Eyed Susan has been going out on the Pocomoke River between one and three times a week. Though the boat seats 150 people, Washington said cruises have been reduced to 75 passengers to allow for more freedom of movement.
A variety of 2.5-hour cruises are offered. Tickets for the boat’s cocktail cruise are $35 while tickets for the dinner cruise cost $65 for adults and $20 for children. Passengers can also take lunch cruises or set up private charters.
“The happy hour cruises seem to be a lot of fun,” said Washington, who makes a point to mingle with passengers throughout the voyage. “I’m kind of able to speak with everybody which is nice.”
He says the boat has attracted a mix of tourists and locals so far. Feedback has been positive, particularly regarding the food, he said.
“They love our food,” said Washington, who also operates a catering business. “We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on our dinner cruise. “
He acknowledged that there had been some minor snafus, such as difficulty finding certain light switches, but that overall things were running smoothly.
“There’s a little learning curve,” he said. “The boat seems to be in good running order.”
The boat is staffed by a captain, two mates, three servers, two bartenders and Washington and his daughter. Captains capable of steering the boat up and down the river are busy, and Washington said cruises were currently limited by their availability. He’s adding more dates, however, as soon as he confirms he’s got a captain lined up. Those interested can get cruise tickets online at bes-snowhill.com.
Though most cruises currently on the calendar are booked, Washington said trips were being added in November and that the boat would offer Christmas parties in December. The boat will come out of the water to get cleaned up for the coming season after Christmas and is expected to resume cruises in the spring.
“Right now we plan to resume May 1,” Washington said.
He added that next season the boat would likely operate four days a week and continue to host private parties.