Hardest Working River Tour

Tours on the Explorer riverboat are currently suspended as we address an error with one of its systems. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Ticket sales are suspended.Ticket sales are suspended.

Once known as the “Hardest Working River in the World,” the Monongahela River was responsible for much of Pittsburgh’s early commercial and industrial success—even centuries before it earned that moniker!

The Hardest Working River Tour—the Monongahela’s Industrial Legacy

Join Rivers of Steel for a journey up the Monongahela River on the Explorer riverboat. Once known as the “Hardest Working River in the World,” the Mon, as it’s known to locals, was responsible for much of Pittsburgh’s early commercial and industrial success, even centuries before it earned that moniker.

Hop onboard for a three-hour tour that begins at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers, then travels to destinations upriver, in view of the Carrie Blast Furnaces and Edgar Thompson Works, and back again. Along the way, you’ll not only hear the stories of our region’s commercial and industrial heritage, you’ll have an opportunity to leisurely enjoy incredible views of the Mon River Valley as fall takes hold.

Hours & Admission*

The Hardest Working River Tour is a specialty tour, offered only a few times each spring and fall. Tickets are $45.00 per person for the three-hour excursion.

General Admission 


Ticket Sales are suspended.Ticket Sales are suspended.

Location & Directions

The Explorer riverboat docks on Pittsburgh’s North Shore near the headwaters of the Ohio River and adjacent to the Carnegie Science Center.

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What to Know Before You Go

Rivers of Steel maintains a family atmosphere on the Explorer. Please be advised of these tips and guidelines to ensure your best possible experience.

Duration & Arrival:  Guests may board Explorer one-half hour before their tour is scheduled to depart. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the tour is scheduled to begin. The excursion should last three hours, but could run up to 15 minutes longer should we encounter river traffic.

Location & Address: The Explorer riverboat docks at the Rivers of Steel Dock on Pittsburgh’s North Shore near the headwaters of the Ohio River. The official address is 715 Casino Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. For practical purposes (since we are on the river, not the road), the location is along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, between the Carnegie Science Center and The Landing Hotel at the Rivers Casino. All public tours and programs originate from this location.

Directions & Parking: Parking is available at the Carnegie Science Center’s paid parking lots. Please review their parking information here. For more details, including maps and step-by-step directions, visit our Google Business page or download this pdf.

What to wear: Many patrons enjoy experiencing the Explorer from its outside areas; please dress for the weather.

Food & Beverages: Water coolers are available on each deck.  Guests are welcome to bring snacks, as this is a three-hour program. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted during sightseeing or historical tours. Smoking / vaping is prohibited at all times.

Accessibility: The Explorer riverboat and its home dock are ADA accessible, which includes an ADA restroom onboard as well an elevator to navigate between the boat’s decks. Handicapped parking is available nearby at the Carnegie Science Center.

COVID-19 Policies: Please be advised of our current COVID-19 policies.

Photography:  Photography is encouraged. Tag us @Rivers of Steel on IG with #ExplorerRiverboat. For safety reasons, videography and drones are prohibited.

Admission: Unless otherwise noted, all admissions are ticketed. By purchasing admission tickets, all visitors consent to be photographed.

Children: While kids of all ages are welcome, the content for this tour is targeted to older teens and adults.

Weather Policy: Tours are rain or shine. Rivers of Steel will cancel a tour if inclement weather poses a threat to our guests or our vessel. In the event of unsafe river conditions, severe weather conditions, or mechanical failure or as required by the U.S. Coast Guard, other regulatory or governmental agency, our captain reserves the right to stay at dock, or if the vessel is underway, to return to dock. In such instances, refunds or exchanges can be issued for tickets purchased in advance.

For more information, contact tours@riversofsteel.com.

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