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Paddlewheel captain ready to set sail on a summer along the Red
After two months of sailing lost to high waters, the Paddlewheel Queen throttled its motors July 16.
Last week the ship, along with the Paddlewheel Princess, arrived and moored at the Redwood Docks to squeeze in what it can in the three months left in Winnipeg’s river tourism season.
"So far, it looks good," said Captain Steve Hawchuk, who has helmed the ships since 1969.
"The boats have been away for two months. People have been waiting."
On top of the constant engine room upgrades, Hawchuk’s crew is currently working on recarpeting the Queen’s observation deck in time for sail. The Princess won’t run this summer, Hawchuk said.
Despite losing out on the June grad season and a number of cancelled birthdays and weddings, Hawchuk hopes the 400-seat Queen will see a busy July and August for first-timers, nostalgia seekers and corporate charters looking to travel and see the city from a different perspective.
"Everybody you talk to has been on the boat at one point or another," he said. "It’s a beautiful way to travel."
Hawchuk has captained more than 10,000 cruises and three million passengers since he took ownership of the boats.
Some of his most famous guests have included Colonel Sanders, Pierre Trudeau, and the Guess Who.
Afternoon sightseeing cruises run daily from 1 to 3 p.m. Tickets are $17.75, with discounts for seniors and children under 12.
Evening dinner and dance cruises run daily from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $18.75, with discounts for seniors and children under 12. Meals are not included in fare prices.
The ship is licensed.
For more information, visit www.paddlewheelcruises.com or call 204-942-4500.
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