Beautiful scenery, live music, good company and great drinks– what more could anyone ask for? Wilmington Water Tours offers all of these things and more, giving a new twist to spending a night in downtown Wilmington.
Captain Doug Springer and his wife Diane started their business in 2010 along with Garland Valentine and Mary DeLollo. With their custom built boat, The Wilmington, Wilmington Water Tours has hosted 30,000 passengers and offers cruises year round. The unique design of The Wilmington has helped with their success. The engines are very fuel efficient, using the same amount of fuel whether they cruise with one person or forty. The boat also has a wake cancelling design, which makes it stable enough to allow passengers to walk about with ease. It can even become fully enclosed with heating for comfortable winter cruising.
Of course, there is more to Wilmington Water Tours than just an awesome boat. Doug and Diane strive to make every passenger feel welcome and part of the family. Go on enough cruises and you can qualify as a frequent cruiser, allowing you to enjoy a free cruise every Friday night. I had the chance to speak to one of their frequent cruisers about why she enjoys Wilmington Water Tours.
“There are always such great people on board. Whenever I need a break from life on the land, I come here and relax on the water. It’s my mini-vacation,” says Gerry Owen.
Wilmington Water Tours is also dedicated to ecology and environmental education. Doug and Diane are both involved with Cape Fear River Watch, and are always sharing their passion for the river with others. This passion is what gave them the idea for their business in the first place.
“We always enjoyed taking cruises on the Cape Fear River,” says Diane, “but we noticed we were often the only boat on the water. This scared us because the river is such a beautiful and unique resource to Wilmington, and if no one enjoys it and appreciates it, then they won’t protect it.”
Conservation is at the heart of Wilmington Water Tours. It’s not just about the enjoyment of cruising the river, it’s about building a community of friends dedicated to protecting and enjoying one of our best resources.
Visit the website for information on cruises and private charters.
Wilmington Water Tours
212 South Water Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
By Luke Edwards, WDI Intern