River Discovery Tours
River Discovery Tours
Explore the Susquehanna aboard the Chief Uncas!
A new boat tour season is here! The Chief Uncas is setting sail from the Zimmerman Center for SNHA’s River Discovery Tour Season. Built in 1912 for beer tycoon Adolphus Busch, this electric-powered launch cruised Otsego Lake, the headwaters of the Susquehanna, for over a century. Today she cruises the Susquehanna 400 miles downstream as the flagship for SNHA’s River Discovery Tours!
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Tours depart from the Zimmerman Center June through mid-October. See below to see our tour offerings this season aboard our historic vessel!
Boarding the Chief Uncas
Currently, to board the Chief Uncas passengers must navigate a staircase of 3 metal grated stairs with handrail to reach the height of the boat’s entrance. Then passengers must navigate the 3 step ladder into the boat with assistance of handrails. A crew member is outside the boat and explains how to board and is there to assist you and the captain is inside the boat doing the same. While our property is fully ADA accessible, our historic vessel is not, but we are working to increase accessibility in the future.
River Discovery Tour
SNHA staff guide 24 passengers on a 1 hour tour of the river, sharing the history of the Chief Uncas, stories of Lake Clarke’s special landscape, and the Susquehanna River’s lasting legacy! You will experience the joy of being on the water aboard a historic vessel, hear stories of the river, and view beautiful scenery and wildlife. A great experience for all ages! This season tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for youth (ages 5 to 17). Children under 5 years old are free.
Watch the Sunset over the Susquehanna!
Limited to 12 passengers, these 1.5 hour cruises offer you the chance to roam the historic Chief Uncas as it silently cruises the Susquehanna under the setting sun.
Use its original ice box to store your cold drinks and watch its vintage lights glow as evening begins aboard our elegant 110-year-old launch. Sunset Cruises are B.Y.O.B with a ticket cost $50. In addition to the tour, all passengers receive their choice of a complimentary buffalo check SNHA picnic blanket or a PREMIUM 14oz cocktail glass, etched with an image of the Chief Uncas!
Have a beer aboard the King of Beer’s yacht! Join SNHA and Starview Brews aboard the Chief Uncas for a one of a kind Brews Cruise experience! Watch the sunset over the Susquehanna as you sample from Starview Brews local beer offerings.
Each beer sample will be provided by Starview Brews. Sit back, relax, have a starview beer, and roam the historic Chief Uncas on a 1.5 hour Brews Cruise.
Special Theme Tour Weekends
Theme Tour Weekends are back! There are so many stories of the river SNHA’s Boat Tour Team wants to share with you. See below to learn about what theme tours will be offered aboard the Chief Uncas this season.
Flames Across the Susquehanna Tour Friday October 13 – Sunday October 15
Explore the Susquehanna’s Civil War history aboard the Chief Uncas! SNHA staff guide passengers on a 1-hour tour of the river, sharing the colorful story of the night that flames stretched across the Susquehanna as the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge burned on June 28, 1863.
Native Peoples’ of the Susquehanna Tour Thursday October 5 – Monday October 9
In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ day, the Zimmerman Center will be providing Native Peoples’ of the Susquehanna boat tours aboard the Chief Uncas! On this 1 – hour boat tour, SNHA staff will introduce you to the story of this area’s Native Peoples’ as you pass historic Native American sites.
Private Chief Uncas Experience
Request information about a Private Cruise. For more information on booking your private experience aboard the Chief Uncas please review and complete our request form so we can find the best experience for your interest and budget.
Boat Tour Gift Certificates
River Discovery Tour & Sunset Cruise gift certificates make the perfect gift for the ones you love. Each gift certificate can be redeemed for 1 ticket on a River Discovery boat tour or Sunset Cruise during SNHA’s 2023 boat tour season.
Buy gift certificates for your family and friends to come aboard our 110 year old vessel for a boat tour experience they will never forget!
About the Chief Uncas
The Chief Uncas was built for Adolphus Busch, co-founder of the famous American beer company, to enjoy cruises at his summer estate on Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, NY – the very headwaters of the Susquehanna River. After cruising those headwaters for 109 years, the Chief Uncas begins a new chapter in its life 400 miles downriver as Susquehanna National Heritage Area’s flagship tour boat! You can learn more about the history of the Chief Uncas here.
Support the Chief Uncas
Donations are essential to help SNHA provide boat tour experiences aboard the Chief Uncas for years to come. It is your continued interest and support that will make the Chief Uncas cruise the Susquehanna for another century! Your tax deductible donation to the Chief Uncas goes toward the maintenance, storage, and boat tour operations of our historic vessel.