The Riverboat Cruise In North Carolina You Never Knew Existed
When one thinks riverboat cruise, you might think the mighty and majestic old-fashioned riverboats more acquainted for historic downtown Wilmington or gliding on the Neuse River beside New Bern. Surprisingly enough, the Catawba Queen doesn’t need coastal vibes – or even a river, for that matter. She rides along Lake Norman giving passengers an incredible back in time experience.
In 1991, friends Jack Williams and Bud Lancaster set out on a joint business venture to provide passengers with a unique, high-quality southern-style dining experience combined with a one-of-a-kind atmosphere found nowhere else. The Catawba Queen, named after the river dammed to form Lake Norman, is a custom designed replica of a Mississippi riverboat. The "one boat show" offered sightseeing cruises, laid back top deck lunches and elegant dinner cruises. In 1998, a second boat was added to the mix, the Catawba Belle. The graceful and impressive boat sailed along Lake Norman treating passengers to a unique experience until it was retired in 2005 and found a new home in Arkansas. That same year, "Lady of the Lake" a 90-foot, luxury yacht, was purchased to take its place.
While sadly both Jack Williams and Bud Lancaster have now passed away, Lancaster's niece has stepped in to run the business and continue the riverboat's legacy.
A variety of different 'cruises' are offered on both Lady of the Lake and Catawba Queen. Passengers can enjoy the open air, yet covered, top deck during a sightseeing tour. Sightseeing tours allow those to view the beauty of Lake Norman while being treated to drinks from the bar and kitchen-box lunches. You'll want to get a prime seat on the deck as you hear the captain recall the exciting history of Lake Norman, notable residents, and narratives on celebrity homes.
If you want to live like the rich and famous for a bit, try a party cruise on Lady of the Lake yacht. It features two full open bars, music, hors'devours and the perfect mix of both relaxation and party. Both boats are also able to be rented for private and corporate events. From weddings, birthday parties, to even celebration or networking events.
A popular option is the Catawba Queen Dinner Cruise. While gliding along open water, you're treated to a chef-served buffet featuring prime rib, chicken marsala, or seared salmon. There's also the fully functional bar to up the fun-level while the dinner cruise is perfect for families, couples, and even some solo adventurist in search of a piece from the past.
If you've ever seen the majestic Catawba Queen sailing about Lake Norman, now you know all the details of this historic riverboat and ways in which you can enjoy it. A true relic, this is a must-experience for any North Carolinian who loves history, the finer things, or even just a cherished adventure out of the ordinary.
Like many North Carolinians, I really had no idea this unique gem existed in North Carolina and also the fact it was available for so many different types of cruises! Have you ridden on Lady of the Lake or Catawba Queen? What was your experience?
1459 River Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28117
For another way to live by the water before summer ends, you must visit these
ten natural swimming pools.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.