♥ Happy 30th Anniversary! ♥
A treasured fixture to the Royal City is celebrating it’s 30th Birthday this Sunday. Congratulations to Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours, plus the amazing team who runs the company, for hitting such an admirable milestone! If you haven’t taken this famous downstream tour yet, you’re surely missing out.
Considered an essential BC attraction, the Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tour proceeds aboard the M.V. Native, an authentic 100-passenger flagship paddlewheeler boat. This magnificent relic is a complete replica of the types of transportation vessels used along the Fraser from 1863 to 1921. They were used by everyone: from fur traders or gold rush miners, to family passengers and pioneers, alike! For a majority of BC’s early history, vital connections between the province’s communities and other groups were facilitated along the waterway—thus, making the history of the stream rich and chock-full of fascinating tales.
Husband and wife, Doug and Helga Leaney, fortunately understood the value of said river. Starting with their first commercial boat in 1989 (The Inlet Cruiser), they conducted their initial cruises as an efficient and lovable duo. Now, 30 years later, with two new boats (the M.V. Native & the smaller, M.V. Beta Star) and additional team members, their company still keeps that same sense of authenticity, congeniality and intimacy. At first, the Leaney’s focused mainly on showing passengers the scenic beauty of the Lower Mainland. But with meticulous research and a genuine interest in our nation’s past, Helga set out to read and become an expert of the few books that actually spoke about the Fraser River’s history. And from there on, the esteemed historical tours began.
Today, the Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tour runs like a well-oiled machine; each member of the family-owned business does his or her job with unparalleled levels of confidence and ease. After 30 years, it’s safe to say that they have their routine down pat! So join in on the celebration and take a cruise along the mighty Fraser via their dock at the New Westminster Quay. Listen to live narrations of the province’s history, while also encountering some of the aquatic wildlife that our beautiful BC has to offer. You’re likely to spot some sort of animal—whether it be a wild salmon, seals, a bald eagle or a blue heron.
However, if that’s not your pace, there are more adventures to choose from: Branch out with trips to Fort Langley, Pitt Lake, or to the historic fishing village of Steveston. The company is constantly innovating what types of tours they offer, as well as hosting various short lunch cruises and “Pub-Night” trips on Friday and Saturday evenings. Additionally, the boat also welcomes larger private groups for special events such as weddings, receptions, or special corporate events.
Regardless of what innovative things the company is up to, the Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tour is a major source of pride for the beloved city of New West. Congratulations to the company and the team that runs it; we’re so grateful for everything you do for the community. Wish the group a “Happy Birthday” by taking a riverboat tour the next time you’re in the area!
Jocelyn works as a Tourism Ambassador for Tourism New West. She’s an aspiring journalist with a passion for sharing the eclectic stories of different peoples, places and cultures.