Edmonton

Return of the Queen: Renovated riverboat ready to cruise the North Saskatchewan

The Edmonton Queen is back and she is ready to rule the North Saskatchewan River once again. The riverboat, now dubbed The Edmonton Riverboat, began cruising Friday after three years of inactivity

Boat now known as The Edmonton Riverboat will operate every day until September

The Edmonton Riverboat, formerly known as the Edmonton Queen, is ready to cruise the North Saskatchewan once again. (CBC)

The Edmonton Queen is back and she is ready to rule the North Saskatchewan River once again. 

The riverboat, now dubbed The Edmonton Riverboat, began cruising Friday after two summers of inactivity. The boat has been renovated with new flooring, updated bars and washrooms and some new decor. Weather and water level permitting, the boat will cruise every day. 

"When people come on the boat they can expect to have a great cruise down the river," said Erica Lloyd, the events manager for the riverboat. "Obviously, we are at the mercy of the water levels but we hope to cruise every day from now until September."

The 25-year-old riverboat was purchased by Jay Esterer in 2016 for more than $550,000. Esterer had difficulty securing approval from Transport Canada and the City of Edmonton but this spring obtained permits to operate for the next two summers.

"It's been a great project and a wonderful adventure," said Esterer. "It's forced me to reconcile my aversion to permits and dealing with governments."

The river cruises, which kick off this weekend, last between 60 and 90 minutes.

Lloyd said riding on the riverboat gives guests a one-of-a-kind view. "It gives you great insight into the city, of the river valley — a perspective that you really don't get anywhere else." 

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