I’d been on the Edmonton Queen once before, with my family the year it was announced that the boat would be docked for good. I don’t remember much, and truth be told, it was so crowded that it wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been – the cruises were free to the public because of its farewell voyage. Well, needless to say, the Queen reigns again, and with the push provided by a 2-for-1 cruise coupon, I took Mack on his first journey down the river two weeks ago.
We walked to the south side of the river, a pleasant stroll through Louise McKinney Park and across the footbridge. I know it’s a moot point since the hires are probably seasonal, but for an attraction, the ticket staff were less than friendly. In my two phone interactions and one in-person visit, they were a bit curt – not the best representation of our city (it’s also a pet peeve of ours that the base assumption is for one to have driven to the destination – we were greeted with a “Did you drive?” instead of a “Do you need a parking pass?”).
Can you say tourist?
Thankfully, the staff on the Queen were better, friendly and welcoming as they were. We had some time before we would be setting sail, so bought drinks to sip on the deck. Surprisingly, the prices were pretty reasonable ($4.50 for Mack’s Grasshopper, and $6.50 for a refreshing slush cocktail).
The boat was decidedly under capacity compared with my previous ride, and meant we were able to easily navigate the different parts of the deck for the best vantage point at various points in the cruise.
Beautiful day for sailing
Mack hearts downtown!
We set sail upstream on the North Saskatchewan first. It provided a view of Edmonton’s skyline we don’t normally see, and on that sunny and clear day, a picture perfect opportunity to capture it for future reference.
Under the bridge
We didn’t quite reach the Walterdale Bridge before we turned back and headed downstream for a bit. From the river, it was a nice reminder of how fortunate we are in Edmonton to have such a lush green valley with trees that seems to go on forever.
Rossdale from the water
Another skyline shot
In all, the cruise was an hour in length, but felt longer because we were travelling a path that allowed us to see the city from a different point of view. We highly recommend it!
You can see the full photo set here.